Yesterday I had the very first signing for my new book—Rain on Me: Devotions of Hope and Encouragement for Difficult Times. The signing was at my church = less scary. But my church is BIG = more scary. Mark and I were there for all five services.
You will be proud to know that I did not walk into the men’s bathroom during any of them.
I did, however, manage to do some other craziness.
The hardest part about a book signing is the beginning. The church made a video to play in the services telling everyone about the book. But before they showed it no one had any idea who I was or why I was in the foyer grinning like a fool.
At one point a woman approached the booth looking eager. I lit up and leaned across the counter. She dug in her pocket. “Yes,” I thought, “My very first customer.” She pulled out a wad of cash the likes of which I have never seen. It must have been four inches thick. “I bet this has never happened to Max Lucado,” I humbly reflected.
Then, as if in slow motion, my husband reached out and took the entire stack of cash. He nodded and said to the woman, “Thanks for getting fifty one dollar bills for us so we can make change.” My book-signing fantasy went right up in a little puff of ego.
But I wasn’t too concerned because I still had a back-up plan for getting people to come to the booth. In my twisted little mind I had a theory that went like this, “No one knows who I am (besides my ever-faithful friends and Jesus) and no one has ever heard of my book (except my relatives and Jesus).
But every woman loves chocolate. So I will put Dove milk chocolate eggs that coordinate with the book cover (yes, they really did) on the counter in little glass bowls so people will come over here.” If that sounds a bit like bribery to you then here’s what I’ve got to say about that, “You are very perceptive.”
I also decided I needed to make my little booth look pretty. I bought a vase of red tulips and as I was putting them in the water, I broke one in half. Yep, just like that—snap, snap—and my lovely tulip went from stately to stumpy.
Not to be deterred, I taped it back together and shoved it down in the middle. It never quite stood tall like the rest. At one point a little girl asked, “What’s wrong with that one?” I said, “It needs hope and encouragement.”
As for the actual signing of the books, I felt clueless the entire time. I didn’t know what to say, which page I should write on, or what kind of pen to use. I was also paranoid that I would spell a name wrong. Someone would say, “Please sign it to Pat.” And I would ask, “How do you spell that?” Then they would look suspiciously at me as if asking themselves, “Did she really write a book?”
In the end, I did spell a name wrong. But it was not Pat. It was Holley. Oh, yes, my friends. Upon reflection, I’m fairly certain I spelled my own name incorrectly once. So if you’ve got a book and my first name is missing an “e” then see me for a refund. Or sell it on eBay. Whatever works for you.
People were truly very gracious and kind. The best part of the day was talking to them and hearing their stories. It was wonderful and humbling to know where my little book is going. I kept inwardly repeating one of my favorite prayers, “Oh, Lord, please use me in spite of me.”
I’d like to conclude my little confessional by thanking Mark, my banker and husband, for keeping me focused and not letting me do math. Thank you to our dear friends who came and helped. And thank you to my wonderful church for all the support.