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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Let the Autograph Parties Begin!--and Other Philosophies

Just two weeks left! Hard to believe this book is so close to release. And hey, I just finished the opening chapter for the sequel to Passage to Zarahemla this week! This book's working title is Escape From Zarahemla. That's a first for me--working hard on another book before the currently completed book is released. I don't think I've ever done that before. Too busy with promotional stuff. So I hope that's a positive sign that the break between products will be short and that I'll flood the market with new adventures at a faster pace.

For those who would still like to pre-order Tennis Shoes 11: Sorcerers and Seers, go here: Link

Okay, so, below is a partial list of some of the autograph parties that are being scheduled. I expect one for BYU and BYU-I to be added next week. Possibly a few others.

(no surprise since the book itself isn't scheduled for release until the 7th)
Friday, Sept. 10 - Sandy Costco, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 11 - Orem Costco, 11-3 pm
Friday, Sept. 17 - Sandy Costco, 5-7 pm
Saturday, Sept. 18 -Orem Costco, 11-3pm
Friday, Sept. 24 - Lehi Costco, 5-7 pm

As you probably noticed, all of these signings are at COSTCO. Why is that (you might ask)? Welllll, frankly, because my publisher has figured out that Costco makes for a very successful autograph signing location. Trouble is, I'll only have two products on hand--the new book, Tennis Shoes 11: Sorcerers and Seers and the two book sets of the first five books and the second five books. (We'll just break 'em out of their shrink wrap and sign 'em there.) You're certainly welcome to bring in your old collections to be signed as well, but if you want to purchase anything other than the products I've mentioned, you'll have to buy them first at Seagull or DB or just come to a signing for BYU or some other venue. Costco is a very "corporate" entity and they only carry a limited number of titles--only new releases and cream of the crop products. No backlist items. Sure, we tried to talk them into taking other things, like the audio book, but...oh well. I'm just grateful they let us in at all! Traffic will be intense and I hope we sell a lot of books.

Autograph Signings have changed a lot in five years, since I last released a book. But they are also very, very different from what they were TWENTY years ago. When I first started signing books, it was rare that I signed less than a hundred copies at any signing, with lines going out the door. Nowadays, autograph signings can be very lonely events. That's right. I sold more books at an autograph party when I only had three or four titles out than now, when I have seventeen books and audio books. Oddly, I sell more book overall, but autograph parties have changed. And this is not just the case for little ole' me. It's basically the same for ALL LDS authors--top sellers on down. Not sure why this is. Many bookstores don't even do signings anymore. It has something to do with the saturation of LDS authors. There are so many of them now compared to twenty years ago. But more than that, I think Latter-day Saints just aren't as thrilled to meet LDS artists as they once were--that is, unless the artist has somehow "broken out" and become a national success. Part of this attitude might be healthy. What's the big deal? We all take the Sacrament every week just like everybody else, right? So this "we're-all-in-this-kingdom-together" factor in combinatin with the explosion of local LDS artists has more or less dampened the success rate of most in-store autograph signings. For a signing to be a success, traffic has to be naturally (already) high. Very few people will actually get up off their couch or scribble on the calendar a planned event to meet an LDS author. Let me be clear: I'm certainly not complaining about this. The market simply evolves, and we have to evolve with it. But what it means is that most signings will probably be restricted to venues with naturally high traffic, like a Costco.

I know that many of you live outside of Utah. If you would still like an autographed book--ANY book--don't despair. Obviously I can also sign audio books. Just call me and order it from me directly at 801-495-0555. No biggie. As I've said before, this is how I make a living, and it's always an honor to talk to fans!

Stay close to the Lord,

Chris Heimerdinger


  1. I'm so excited! My step mom and I will be in Orem on the 11th! I can't wait to see you there! I hope i don't break your hand with the 20 books you'll be signing... (my step mom and I both have full sets of the Tennis Shoes books... lol) wait, make that 19 books, i pre ordered Kingdoms and Conquerors, its already signed... lol
    I will have finished reading the book by the 9th, so I'll be asking you about your favorite part, and telling you mine! again, i can't wait to meet you!

  2. LOL. I think it's funny I could order my favorite books autographed directly from the author himself.
    Not being in Utah I wouldn't know, but are you making Tennis shoes movies? If you are, what's the most accessible way of sending you ideas and suggestions?

  3. I'm totally excited Chris!!!!! It's a good thing I'm going to BYU. You've been my favorite author since I was a teenager.

  4. Ideas and suggestions, Alex? Send them right here. Or to my facebook page. There's a club called Chris Heimerdinger Group that I moderate. But what I REALLY need to make Tennis Shoes movie, is about 5 mil. :)

  5. Understandable. Maybe a few fundraisers.

  6. I hate that you have to be limited to Utah for your signings :( My husband and I are so excited for your next book we can hardly stand it! But as luck would have it we will be making a trip back to Utah for the weekend of the 11th...not this makes any difference to you or anything! We are just EXCITED! WOO HOOOO!!!

  7. Chris, I'm excited about the sequel Escape from Zarahemla. The first book was awesome and I'll be ordering the 2nd book as soon as it's on the market.

  8. This is SO exiting! :D
    But, of course, I just HAVE to live 'hours' away from you, so I can NEVER come to any book signings. *Sigh* Well, if you ever decide to do a signing in northern UT, I'm all ears.
    Anyway, thanks for the update.

  9. Ah! Byu gets everything. Come to Utah Stateeeeeeee! I guess I'll just have to order online. :) I'm so, so, excited.

  10. Please note that the Sept 4th signing at the Orem, UT Costco was postponed. I always wondered how they thought they were going to pull this off considering that the book may not even be off the press. Anyway, more signings will likely be announced in the next few days.

  11. Can't wait! Sept. 7th is my birthday! Alas,I can't make it to any Utah Costco's anytime soon, Can I request that you tell your publisher to release it on the kindle?

  12. ooohhhh I am so excited!!! I have been driving my family insane with all of my tennis shoes updates. They can't figure out why I am so into the it but they refuse to read them and find out. my mom listened to the audio book of Eddie Fantastic and it drove her nuts the way it ended (she is now anxiously waiting for the sequal) so she has an idea of my anxiety. My aunt, mom, and I are also excited about the sequal to Passage to Zarahemla. If I am lucky I will be seeing you in Sandyat your book signing, I live in Holladay so it isn't that far but anything can happen between now and then. thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent and imagination with all of us fans.

  13. Can't wait---I've been trying to hint to my husband to get it for me (I think it would be a nice gift) not sure he's gotten it though---I might just have to break down and TELL him I'm getting it. Excited you are working on the next Zarahemla one---will you ever do any more Ben Franklin ones? When that one came out I was really into the "Quantum Leap" tv series so it kind of stuck with me. Besides, we have to know what happened. Ü Sorry I won't be at a book signing---I don't think you'll get much out here in Iowa. Ü You did sign my very first book though at a Seminary Fireside (ok it was a piece of paper from the clerks office that I glued in the first one since I forgot my book that night...but it works.) Congrats on the book and can't wait!!!!!!

  14. No immediate plans to do a Ben Franklin sequel. I don't own the rights to that one. It was my one and only "surrogate" project where I was paid outright for the book.

    As far as Kindle, my publisher is working on some kind of download option for next year, but I have no idea what the details are.

  15. I would so be in line for you to sign a book for me -- if I still lived somewhere in the area. My husband had you sign Passage to Zarahemla when we lived in Rexburg. Now we live on the Oregon coast, a million miles away from the middle of nowhere. (Okay, more like a thousand miles away from where you will be, but still). My mother-in-law knows how much I enjoy your books and so she sent me an early birthday present that I got in the mail today. A check with flier for your book attached. Since my birthday isn't until OCTOBER I was really surprised, but very grateful to receive something so thoughtful. I am super excited to read Sorcerers and Seers and can't wait until I get my copy! Oh and just to let you know, I have been telling my friends and family who enjoy the Tennis Shoes books about this little blog and when the book is coming out. You are getting some great PR from me and for free too!

  16. Book signings are different because you used to be much smaller potatoes. Then the series really took off, plus you branched out from just Tennis Shoes, too. I still have all the original versions of the books signed by you, plus a signed gameboard.