What to Wear to a Book Signing

What to Wear to a Book Signing

February 3, 2015

I was once invited to a book conference where it was suggested the writers dress as characters from their books. As many writers, I’m a bit of an introvert, and I don’t particularly like to make a spectacle of myself. I spend days alone writing, and when I step out into the world to meet readers, I really don’t want to dress in costume. I decided instead to wear a scarf that fit in with the theme of the book I was promoting at the time, THE WOMAN WHO HEARD COLOR. The story is set in pre-World War II Germany and features many of the Expressionist artists who had been labeled “degenerate” by Adolf Hitler. I ordered a lovely, colorful scarf from the Metropolitan Museum—a design based on one of Franz Marc’s Blue Horse paintings. I felt comfortable and appropriate. Thank goodness I didn’t decide to oblige and wear a costume from 1930 Munich as I didn’t see anyone else in costume at the event!


I can’t speak for other authors, but I do give some serious thought to what I wear to a book signing. One of my biggest concerns is that I don’t clash with my cover.


At signings for my first book, THE SEVENTH UNICORN, I often wore a red brocade jacket that fit nicely with the cover colors and the red background of the six Lady and the Unicorn tapestries in Paris that served as inspiration for the story. I honestly can’t remember what I wore to signings for THE LOST MADONNA, but I can assure you I did not dress as the Blessed Virgin Mary.


I had fun with THE WOMAN WHO HEARD COLOR as I’m a big fan of color.  In addition to my Franz Marc scarf, I have a silky blouse that, with its bright splashes of color, looks like it could have been cut from a Wassily Kandinsky canvas. When I did a signing for EVEL KNIEVEL JUMPS THE SNAKE RIVER CANYON, I matched the red, white, and blue of the cover, which also happen to be the patriotic colors of Evel Knievel’s leather jumpsuits.


My cover for LOST AND FOUND IN PRAGUE reflects the magic and mystery of the city itself with golden rays of light and lovely shades of purple and orange, like a Prague sunset reflected off the Vltava River.


I’ll be signing books in Boise at Rediscovered Books, downtown on 8th Street, at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 19.  If you’re in the area, please drop by.  No dress code—just come as you are.  Don’t be surprised if I’m wearing the colors of a Prague sunset.

Reader Comments:

Wish I could be there to see your outfit and to wish you well, Kelly! Congrats on yet another book with your name on it.
-Kathy , February 4, 2015

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