Buzz Aldrin 2005 -- Book and Custom Signing
at Novaspace Gallery
Within a couple of days of our Gene Cernan signing, came Buzz Aldrin for one of our "triple signings." That is, a two-day booksigning along with a private signing. We've done these before, with Alan Bean, Cernan and Jim Lovell and they are very difficult. So much so that we avoid them and only do them every few years. Unfortunately, this one was held during one of our busiest Christmas seasons.
The two-day booksigning was for Buzz' new children's book, "Reaching for the Moon" which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list for children's books. This is his fifth book, and most successful. Since Buzz usually charges $150+ for his autograph, a book signed for free was very popular, especially at Christmastime.
The reason we hold two booksignings is that the first is an evening reception for our best customers to interact with the astronaut and Novaspace staff, and includes catered food, wine, sweets, moonpies, and usually moonrocks on display, a large telescope for viewing, and complimentary photos with the astronaut. Our customers typically fly in from all over the USA and the world for these VIP events. We rent a big tent, police for security, and radios for the staff to communicate. We had about 150 people, including many families and children, which is typical, and about our limit for a comfortable signing.
Buzz came out, gave a rambling talk for half an hour to many flashes from cameras, and took a few questions. The crowd was enthralled by his presence. He sat down and began signing books, taking time to address questions and comments. Everyone had a handsome photo taken of Buzz, themselves, with their book.
The following afternoon, a Saturday is a regular booksigning for local customers. We serve refreshments, also, though not as elaborate. The private signing for people who can't attend is done before, between, or after as needed.
Saturday had the "benefit" of a long and favorable TV news spot, some ads in the papers, and Buzz' name recognition. Folks started arriving very early, while we restocked the gallery and rearranged tables from the night before.
The line of people was already quite long before we officially got underway at noon. Buzz appeared and gave a much more brief talk, and started signing books as fast as he could. We could tell we would be woefully short on books (despite ordering a half a roomful.) Limiting books to one per person, and even selling our own reserve, we ran out with over a hundred people left, and more arriving!
Moonpies and bottled water were passed out to those in the in line, with our apologies for misjudging demand. Only a few voiced complaints. As it turned out, Buzz had to leave for the airport as the last of the books came through the signing queue, so it wouldn't have mattered anyway. He posed for a few last photos with the kids, and then he was gone.