It's been a while since I've been to a book signing. Back in the day, when I thought about book signings, I imagined what took place at book signings. There would be a table with books, of course, The author sitting with a collection of pens greeting each guest with a warm smile, a little banter, and a lot of autographs. I saw long lines of excited patrons waiting their turn to greet, banter, and receive the signature.
And I suppose many book signings are just like that. But there are other kinds of book signings out there and they go a little differently than what I've described. Sure there's a desk, some pens, lots of books, and (usually...) a smiling author. Sometimes, however, that long line of anxious and excited book-carrying people just doesn't materialize and people can approach the author without having to wait their turn.
This is, in no way, a reflection on the author, or the quality of his/her writing, it's just a fact of life. Unless you're a household name, or a household name among a specific fanbase or group of people, long lines just don't happen when you're doing a solo book signing. At least, that's what I've seen a couple of times.
At today's event while I was there, a few of Dave's friends gathered to chat and wish him well. If you know Dave, he's a great conversationalist, among other things. And he many times brings along a beautiful guitar on which he strums. I brought my copy of his latest novel. I did not buy it today, but I did buy it at a Barnes & Noble bookstore last month. I stood in line, sort of. I was a little anxious and a little excited, and I was greeted with a smile. So, I guess it's not the quantity of who attends, but the quality of experience of those who do.