For those of you who read my earlier post on George R.R. Martin’s upcoming signing in Toronto,(see here )you may already be familiar with the rules outlined for the signing. For those who are not familiar, I will re-list them:
• Line-up will be first-come, first-served. Due to anticipated attendance, line-up may begin outside of Indigo Manulife Centre – Bay Street entrance ONLY. Please dress appropriately for the weather.
• George R.R. Martin will sign ONE to TWO (1-2) books maximum, depending on the number of people in line.
• No personalizations – author signature only
• No posed photography – can take photographs from the line
Some people are taking this as evidence that Martin (sorry, I got tired of writing the whole thing, plus two initials, over and over) has fallen victim to his own celebrity, and has a vastly inflated ego as a result. That if he can’t even take time to add a name to a signature, or pose with a fan, why should the fan take time to buy his book. And then there is that nasty rumor that he doesn’t actually care if he finishes the series, because between the books and the tv show, he’s made his money.
I admit, this was the camp I initially found myself in, thinking of all those people, including fellow employees, who will be waiting hours in line to see him, in Toronto in March (which is a potential horror in and of itself), and he can’t exert himself a little? After the initial righteous indignation passed, though (the advantage of being out of my twenties), I thought about this a little more.
First of all, Martin is not a young guy. See above photo. He, too, will be there for hours, shaking innumerable hands (thanks to Bruce Campbell’s autobiography for acquainting me with what a scary process this can be), and signing innumerable autographs (think of the hand cramps!). If he took individual photos with everyone in line, it would either mean the whole event would be waaaaaaay longer, or, more likely, that he wouldn’t be able to see as many people. So this stuff actually is probably to increase the lowly line-waiter’s chance of a face-to-face, however brief. Also, the day before the signing, he has a reading and Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival (sold out). Just so you know, these events encompass more than just the time he spends with the public. There is much going on behind the scenes to make it all possible. So, he is probably already exhausted. I would be too. I had a look at his schedule of appearances on his official site… he already has bookings for 2014. http://georgerrmartin.com/appearances.html
Also, although it could be a be conspiratorial marketing scheme, looking at various pages of his site, including his journal, he seems to actually like (most of) his fans, and even has a soft spot for the crazy ones who name babies after his characters. So maybe we should go easy on him, and author and fans can appreciate that the other one is setting aside time out of their schedule for them. I, for one, think of all this as further evidence that books are definitely still relevant, or we wouldn’t be so passionate.
So thanks to you both.