So, progress on the novel has been brisk of late. The end is in sight! I’m currently sitting at about 400 novel-length pages, which is frankly probably far too long for a first novel by an unknown nobody. But, y’know, editing… For all I know, cut all the drivel out of it and it might result in a pamphlet.
But let’s say it gets published, and meets with great acclaim. Huzzah! One thing that authors seem to do is book signings. Now, at the best of times this idea fills me with an uncomfortableness. On the one hand, being the center of attention? Bleah. On the other hand, how many times have you gone to a Books-A-Barnes & Borders and saw a book signing by an author you’ve never heard of, hawking a book that seems uninteresting to you, and the author is sitting at the table, piled with books… and there ain’t nobody there. Yeesh. Talk bout a buzz kill. About the only thing more distressing than being the object of attention of a bunch of strangers is to be *ignored* at such an event. I always feel *real* bad for the very sad and lonely looking authors at such empty events.
So, California has come up with a solution: basically make book signings illegal.
If you are selling a “signed something-or-other worth more than five bucks,” guess what… onerous new book-keeping regulations:
Sellers must, among other things:
- Note the purchase price and date of sale,
- specify whether the item is part of a limited edition,
- note the size of the edition, anticipate any future editions,
- disclose whether the seller is bonded,
- divulge any previous owner’s name and address,
- if the book was signed in the presence of the seller, specify the date and location of the signing, and identify a witness to the autograph.
And what happens if you don’t have such records for a book signing that occurred, say, five years before the State official shows up to check your papers? Potentially tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Ta-da. No more book signings.