Contents of a Writer’s Signing Kit*

At a recent signing event, myself and fellow author Kimberly Lang started comparing our signing kits, noting deficiencies and what we wished we had on us at the time. Together, we came up with a list of things we needed to add to our bags based on issues we’ve run into in the past. So, with RWA around the corner, I thought I’d share the list in case you need to beef up your own kit.

First, the container – I use a small zipper pouch, although I’ve also seen pencil boxes. Whatever inspires you and is big enough to fit everything. My new additions are making for a tight fit on my current pouch. I may need to up size the bag or get some smaller containers for pills, mints, etc.

Now, the contents –

  • One or Two of my favorite purple Geltec pens (my signing pen of choice)
  • Three sharpies – black, pink and silver (for signing fabric, kindle covers, etc. The silver works well on glossy and dark surfaces)
  • Autograph stickers – I get mine from Ninth Moon. I love them.
  • Small scissors (3-4 inches)
  • Tape (opted for the small, pop up tape dispenser)
  • Removable Putty Tabs to hang things without leaving holes
  • Safety Pins
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Travel size tissue
  • Mints
  • Aleve
  • Stash of Business cards
  • Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick
  • A Square or other device to accept credit cards if you’re selling your own books

imageI’ve probably forgotten something, but here you go. Aside from the first few obvious things, the rest result from times when we needed to hang a sign or banner, trim something, or needed to spiff up after some long hours with readers. I have also found that having a mint or headache medicine can endear you to nearby authors in need.

Is there anything I’ve missed that you can’t live without during a signing? I’m always looking for good ideas.

*The title of this blog is inspired by the short story “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pockets” by Jack Finney, which I read in high school. I don’t know why that sort has stuck with me, but basically, its a man on the ledge about to jump who is distracted by what is in his pockets. As I recall, whatever he finds there convinces him not to kill himself. This list is nowhere near as dramatic.

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