A super awesome reader asked the other day if any of us Scribble Chicks ever go in costume to our book-signings.
The answer is no, because I write contemporary romance, however - I think it's a great idea, especially for historical authors who can dress in their genre time period.
I see several benefits to the costume idea, actually.
1. It likely will make you braver. Sometimes, putting on a costume or something outside of our character to become another character gives us a little bit of a confidence mask. If book-signings make you nervous, this could really help you get into your groove. Something about putting on a costume boosts courage, even if just in your own head. Hey, whatever works.
2. Great conversation starter! Even someone who doesn't read might still be drawn to the costume itself, maybe someone who sews or enjoys dressing up, etc. and could start a conversation with you that could lead to gaining a new reader, a referral, or at the least, a convo that helps you not feel so alone behind your signing table :)
3. Costumes show your personality. The people in the store will think you're fun and maybe a little quirky and willing to put yourself out there for your fans. It also shows how much you believe in your story by going that extra mile. All win-wins! :)
4. It will draw attention. People will notice you, where by if you're sitting behind a table in jeans and a top, you might get overlooked if the store is really crowded or if someone doesn't happen close by that area.
The only "costume" I ever wore to a book-signing was for my YA release through Barbour books, ADDISON BLAKELY, CONFESSIONS OF A PK. My bestie and crit partner had made me a T-shirt that was hot pink and said "TEAM WES" on the front. Wes is the male lead in the story and it was a spoof of Team Jacob/Edward from Twilight that was so popular at the time. Super cute and fun, and it got a lot of comments :)
So if the thought of a full costume is daunting or too expensive or impossible for you, consider a smaller scale like the T-shirt.
In my opinion, there's really no way to overdo making your book-signing unique to you and your story. Get creative, have fun and then post pics on that author FB page Erynn taught you about Monday!!! :)