Thursday, December 11, 2008


Submitted for post by Lizabeth.

This is the info on the book signing Kate did tonight at the Barnes and Nobles in Grandville, Michigan. It was from 7 till 10 pm and the line apparently began at 4 pm. I got to the mall at 7:15 and met friends that had arrived at 7 pm. The Barnes and Nobles is in the middle of this mall, and the line snaked through the store, around some kiosks, then out to the clear other side of the entire mall. We were concerned about whispers that her books were running out, so one of my friends went to buy a couple of copies.

At around 8:30, as the line slowly progressed, they had Barnes and Nobles managers coming through the line to say Kate would stay as long as possible to get as many books signed as she could. We were excited, since it seemed that we may have the chance to see her up close, then also realized that she was doing the book signing in a front area, where you could easily see her at the doorway or through the glass 'walls' in front of the store.

Time passed and eventually (around 9:30) we were told by another manager that they were not sure how long Kate could stay. There were hundreds in line behind us still -- one person I stood near said she overheard that a Zondervan person was using a clicker to find out how many books were signed-- at that point it was 3,000! Not sure if that is accurate, but it seemed right according to the line and amount of people everywhere. In the end, though, as we approached the store they had to cut off the line and say Kate needed to leave This was shortly after 10 pm.

There were a few problems in the store that I noticed which attributed to the chaos. People were standing around in the aisles and outside the store with cameras and just looking. B & N employees were not prepared to handle the crowd either, so lots of people cut in and would scoot through without being told where the line actually ended. Another issue was just the sheer amount of people still in line- there was no physical way Kate could have signed everyone's book, even if she stayed till 2 am, so I can't blame them for that! I felt unsafe waiting in line as well when we got to the entrance of the store. When they announced she had to leave people pressed in to get pictures and try to get another look.

One really neat part was that each person who got their book signed was given a post it note to write down what they wanted Kate to inscribe (that way spelling is correct and the line can move faster). She personalized each book, which I thought was really neat even though it took so much longer than just scribbling her name! My friends and I wondered if that would continue at other signings, since they were also surprised she didn't have a stack of pre-signed books she was just handing out.

We were told by a B & N employee that this was her first book signing, besides one at a conference with 800 people. Zondervan is based out of Grand Rapids, and this is the biggest mall in the area, so that made sense. As I mentioned before, no one was prepared for the turn out, so I am sure it was completely overwhelming! My friends and I were shocked that the line was across half the mall, especially with it being a school night (as a side note there were many, many parents with young children there. One of my friends teaches young 5's and we discussed how being at a mall at 10 pm on a school night in the winter is not really a good idea for little ones!).

In the end it was a bummer not to officially meet her, but she seemed really nice- when the signing had to end she came out to the crowd and said Hi, then Thank You to the crowd. Security ushered her out, since it was definitely a packed house and I'm sure if I was nervous the way the line was that she felt the same way!

I attached a couple of pics-- my camera broke when I was there, so I wasn't able to get any better ones! Two are of Kate (as well as I could catch her before the camera croaked on me) then one is the crowd. As much as my friends and I were bummed that we didn't get our books signed tonight, we were really thrilled at the turn out. Tomorrow night she will be at a Baker Book House (a local Christian book store) so my friends took my book to get it signed for me since they will be trying again then (I have class or else I would be there too!).

12/11/08 Here is a link to an article that Lizabeth sent it from The Grand Rapids Press regarding the book signing.

Here is another link Lizabeth sent in with more pictures.


Florida Mom said...

Thanks for the post Lizabeth. I'm glad Kate's book signing went relatively smoothly. I would hate for one of the wackos to make a scene. (When you mentioned them handing out post-it, I wasn't sure that was a good idea :)
Sorry you didn't get it signed. If she was the condescending diva some would make her out to be, you wouldn't think she would make each note personal.
Thanks again. It is nice to get perspective from someone who was there.

Saint said...

You know what struck me most about this post? It's so believable. There's a big crowd; it's handled well enough, but could have been better; Kate responds just as anyone would have. She's not avoiding eye contact with the crowd; security isn't screaming at people not to take pictures; she isn't mumbling about there being too many people.

Thanks for the great post and the pictures, Lizabeth.

Lizabeth said...

An article in our local paper about the book signing-- looks like the clicker number I overheard was inaccurate, but everything else was true :). I did see people giving her gifts, as well-- one boy who worked at the Fields cookie place nearby walked past us with a tin that was wrapped with a bow to give Kate.

I was disappointed not to meet her, but it was completely understandable. As I mentioned, there were so many people that we kinda knew we wouldn't get in unless she stayed till after midnight.

Nina Bell said...

Thanks for a great post, Lizabeth. Sorry you could not get your book signed. Wow, that is a lot of people that came out to see a woman that everyone dislikes so much! I am glad for Kate and for the Gosselin family. It looks like Kate has a decent fan base of her own.

Linda said...

I've been to 1 book signing. I have a friend who has written a book and it was published. The book signing was kind of disorganized but when I spoke to a B & N bookstore employee they said that there was really no way to tell how many people are going to show up so they have to hope that people will be patient and civil.

Thanks for posting this Lizbeth.

Nina Bell said...

I posted they link to the article Lizabeth mentioned in her comment at the end of her post. This quote is from the article:

"I'd say we maybe were a little busier with 'Harry Potter,'" she said. "But after that, this is the busiest. It's definitely rivaling 'Harry Potter.',

Pretty amazing.

mkb77 said...

The post-it notes scared me too! I thought..what if someone writes something really mean on it? LOL!

Glad it all went well. Too bad you weren't able to get a book signed, but maybe you'll get the opportunity tonight!

rachel said...

Thanks for posting about the book signing. I'm glad you had fun with your friends & sorry you didn't get your book signed :( I really wish EVERYONE could have, but like you said--it was not a reality.

I was working last night at B&N during the signing. (I've worked there 4 1/2 years) The article was a 'bit' inaccurate & the person interviewed from our store just as inaccurate. There was NOT a counter, but when we were cleaning up the store the managers agreed the numbers were 2,000-3,000 of people that ended up in line and coming in to take pictures. By FAR the biggest crowd we've ever had to manage--Harry Potter was a piece of cake compared to last night. I'm thankful for all of the patient & understanding customers--and hope the people that were downright CRUEL to us employees feel sorry when they woke up today.

P.S. We were just as in the dark as everyone else as to if Kate would stay past 10pm--we left it up to her, but she didn't give us an exact time. She just said "Okay, I'm done in 20" At which point we scrambled to make the best of it. She didn't even sign the employee's books! She just said "Sorry, I can't." She was exhausted.


Kari Lynn said...

Thanks for the post Lizabeth. I am a fan of the show and wish I could have been there. Glad there was such a nice turn out. Hope you get your book signed tonight. Thanks for the links to the other articles also.

FIONA said...

Thanks for sharing this. Sorry you didn't get your book signed.

I have been to 2 book signings. The first one was a LONG time ago when John Denver released his autobigraphy-13 years ago. I got my book signed and it was kindof crazy. I did get a picture with him and my daughter.

The second one was Barry Williams, aka, Greg Brady...he was pretty nice. My friend and I got our picture taken with him.

Bridget said...

I was at RiverTown Crossings last night, too. My 8 year old daughter and I waited for four and a half hours and did not get to have our book signed. We hung out after the signing near the bathrooms hoping maybe Kate would come out from the back of the store, but eventually gave up. My daughter was very disappointed, but handled it well at the store. However, there was a child behind us who was sobbing as her mother tried to comfort her.
So, yeah, it was totally understandable that Kate was exhausted. It had to be overwhelming for. I heard from one of the first persons in line that Kate was teary eyed because she couldn't believe all these people were there. And we got a few glimpses of her when she went to the bathroom and when she was leaving the the front area. The woman is stunning and I am happy for the people who did get their books signed.
My daughter cried herself to sleep last night :( So, I'm just really disappointed for her. It's one of the hardest thing for a parent, when your child really wants something and you have no control how it goes. But we still love Kate and the show :)

Anya said...

Hey Lizabeth. Thanks for your post and for giving us a birds-eye view. Quite interesting. Even I am a bit surprised at what a large and enthusiastic crowd Kate was able to command. Good for her.

Also, I think the use of post-its was a much better use than what another site was suggesting be done with them! :-)

Lizabeth said...

Bridget, I'm sorry you waited that long and didn't get your book signed either! I know from the video interview linked on the review I did that Kate said she felt awful for not getting to meet everyone, but it honestly was just not possible. Where in line were you? We'd been there for 3 hours and ended up right outside the store (where all the craziness was!)

Anya, I totally agree!! Such a great point :). I had thought there could be some haters there spreading lies or something, but everyone I talked to was a huge fan and excited to at least get a glimpse. My friends are trying again tonight at Baker Book House and I might try again on Saturday night at a different Barnes and Nobles. This time I'll show up way earlier though!!

I thought it was interesting that the other reason she was in GR was to record the audio version of "Multiple Blessings."

Barbara said...

This is so fantastic. I love to read about how many people go to see her when so many of the blogs out there make her out to be the worst person and parent in the world. There is a certain blog this morning, I don't know if we can mention it or not, something about planets, that has the title "Boycotting Proctor and Gamble and every other corporate sponsor that is riding the Gosselin children gravy train" and then goes on to pontificate about how horrible you are if you support this family. Then continues on to list all their sponsors and how to contact them to tell them you are boycotting them. One poster says "at this rate, next Christmas my little one will be getting hand knit blankets and sweaters as I am running out of toy companies I can buy from". Wow! That's why I love this site and the other fan sites coming out. Someone needs to refute these people. I cannot post over at this other blog anymore because I did several times before and I was attacked by every single one of them and I just won't open myself up to that again. Thanks for sharing this information.

jace said...

Aw, I'm so sad that not everyone got their book signed, especially the kiddos. :(

Anya said...

Lizabeth, very interesting about there being an audio version of "Multiple Blessings." I can only assume that means the sales have met or exceeded their expectations?

I wanted to thank Rachel and Bridget for sharing too. My blood boils when I think about customers being rude to the bookstore employees and/or cutting in line. I have to just not think about it!

Bridget, my heart hurts for your daughter. I guess it's one of the lessons we all have to learn, but as a mom, it's always painful to see your child not get what they want....


P.S. Interesting that Kate has fans the age of Bridget's daughter. You would think they would all see how "awful" she treats her family (except Hannie!) and shy away. Hmm. Guess not!

FIONA said...


Saw the post you were refering to.

Sadly, I could not give up all of those products even if I wanted to.

Good luck to all who are boycotting P&G though! I am sure you will make a difference.

Bridget said...

Lizbeth, we started our wait by the Limited Too and by 10 p.m. were in Barnes and Nobles close by the sci-fi section. I think another 30-45 minutes we probably would have gotten to Kate. We were so close!
Although we will not be going to the Baker book store tonight, Kate will be at the other Barnes and Nobles on Saturday from 7-9 p.m. I don't know yet if we'll try again. It seems like a long time we'll possibly have to wait (maybe in the cold) and I don't know if our love for Kate runs that deep. Hannah Montana, maybe :) On Saturday, I could go check out the scene at B&N and if it looks promising, maybe I could call my husband and he could bring my daughter.

Anya, my daughter likes Kate, but she is a much bigger Gosselin kid fan. And she loves Cara and Mady. Her first name begins with a "C" and she was looking forward to telling Kate that she wanted to be "C buddies" with Collin and Cara. Although I very much doubt the message would have ever been passed along, my daughter was looking forward to telling that to Kate.

Anya said...

Bridget says... Her first name begins with a "C" and she was looking forward to telling Kate that she wanted to be "C buddies" with Collin and Cara.

Too sweet! Too bad they couldn't have let the kids go first...! Oh well, guess there is no really 'fair' way to handle something like this....

truthcomesout said...

Barbara said...
There is a certain blog this morning, I don't know if we can mention it or not, something about planets...

It's also interesting Barbara to read the entry regarding someone else's view of the book signing being discussed here and their version isn't so positive. There are always 2 sides to everything.

Lizabeth said...

Bridget, wow!! We started clear over at Sears and were impressed that the line moved so we ended near the store. I was shocked at how long the line was, especially since it went through the whole store. I did see one woman walk out and say the line cut off right at her-- there were a lot of disappointed people, but many that were thrilled as well.

I hope they get a decent game plan for Baker tonight-- there is hardly any parking and its a smaller store, so my friends planned to park at the ITT tech next door! I might try to get to B & N in GR on Saturday as well, but that all depends on weather and everything. Good idea to scope the area out first though!

Seems like the response from everyone who arrived was that they were understanding of why Kate had to leave then, and amazed at the turn out. Anya, it was great to chat with others in line who talked about how much they loved the show!! I kept thinking "Wow... so the petition to get the show off the air has less than 300 signatures and a book signing in little ol' Grandville, Michigan has thousands turn out..."

Lizabeth said...

truthcomesout, where else is there a 'review' of the book signing? I'm definitely interested in hearing other peoples viewpoints-- could you let us know where that was mentioned?

Nina Bell said...


There was someone who posted on cafe mom on a board that you have to be a member to read. Moon copied and placed it on her site.

happymama said...

I see that Kate is left-handed like me. :)

It would have been nice if they could have had the kids there, meet Kate first. It sad to know, that a child (or more that one child) cried herself to sleep, because she didn't get to meet Kate.

Lizabeth said...

They are doing things differently at tonights book signing-- apparently the store is handing out colored tickets, with 50 per color. They will call out a color (my friends got purple, which is the 9th group) and then you can line up in that group to get your book signed. There are 400 people in front of them, so they hope to get their (and my!) books signed.

This is way more organized than last night-- Zondervan and Baker came up with a great way to make sure people stay organized and don't have to necessarily wait around for hours in the cold.

jb said...

happymama said:

It would have been nice if they could have had the kids there, meet Kate first. It sad to know, that a child (or more that one child) cried herself to sleep, because she didn't get to meet Kate.


Are you serious or joking? If you are serious, it would be a pretty sad situation if a child (other than Kate's own) cried herself to sleep because she couldn't meet Kate.

Bridget said...

My daughter was one that cried herself to sleep. I am mainly attributing this to the fact that she had to wait four hours in a very long line with no payoff. And she was really well behaved in line, so I was sad that she did not get to see Kate.

Which is why we may not try this again on Saturday. I don't want to get her hopes up again for nothing.

Happymama mentioned that maybe Kate could have met the kids first. That would have been nice :) But probably chaos would have ensued. I was hoping after the signing maybe Kate could have said a quick "hello" "how are you" to the kids that were crying, but it had been a long night for all of us. I know she was exhausted.

SamanthaNC said...


Thanks for sharing- really wish you had been able to get your book signed!!! Maybe next time =) Apparently Operation Post-It isn't working...... LOL

rachel said...

FYI: Kate didn't even sign our stack of 20 books for the employees that were working the event. She just looked at them in the back room and said "No, I'm done."

I hope that the ticket system Baker & Z. came up with will satisfy the crowd tonight--it's a good idea. It's a shame my store had to go FIRST (we were blindsided by the turnout), NO ONE knew that the turn out was going to be like that. Kate said in her WoodTV8 interview that it was the biggest event for her yet. Who would have expected that in little ol' West Michigan?!

Nina Bell said...


Which statement your FYI was directed to.



rachel said...

Oh, not any comment in particular. Just a little tidbit of info. I had people yelling at me when I had to clear them out of the store saying "What do YOU guys care! YOU ALL (the employees) got your books signed!". When in fact, we didn't.

Anya said...

rachel said...
Oh, not any comment in particular. Just a little tidbit of info. I had people yelling at me when I had to clear them out of the store saying "What do YOU guys care! YOU ALL (the employees) got your books signed!". When in fact, we didn't.

Charming. Some people were clearly raised by wolves (not referring to Kate). What makes people think they can act like that just because they are the "customer", I will never understand.

Hopefully, some lessons were learned last night that will reduce the chaos and allow as many people as possible the chance to see Kate.

merryway said...

Lizabeth, I hope you get your book signed, it's sounds like you were so close last night. THANKS so much for posting. That's an amazing turnout. I would have taken a look at the line and turned around.
I like that Kate came out and said hi to the crowd.
Can't believe your camera broke, it's never a good time for that to happen.

merryway said...

I watched the video. IMO Kate's much more polished in these interviews. She spoke well even though I thought she looked tired. Book Book Book, I do believe she's been coached which is the smart thing to do.

So after all that, Kate had the interviews, and the next day more signings and prob more interviews. It sounds and looks like work to me. With Kate's personality does anyone else think she could burn out? I think she's the type to overwork herself by taking on too much. I think she has her family in mind the entire time. I could be wrong, she could be the type to thrive on this type of situation, but I think otherwise.
Isn't it a good thing that Jon has always been a hands on dad? I know several dads who would be terrified of being left alone with so many the same age.

scarfoot said...

You mean to tell me that Kate didn't come in with a bull horn, stand on a chair and yell "I love Hannah more than any of my kids, my boobs are fake, and I'm still broke - hand over your money"??

I bet some people are disappointed!

Guinevere said...

Scarfoot, you made me laugh!

It's also interesting Barbara to read the entry regarding someone else's view of the book signing being discussed here and their version isn't so positive. There are always 2 sides to everything.

Probably more than two. I read the post brought over to another site, and IMO a lot of what the poster has to say is subjective, and I have my doubts that she wasn't already a non-fan. JMO; I could be wrong, obviously, but she struck me as someone with an ax to grind (the bit about how Kate "REALLY is" reminded me of all the people who are convinced that they alone know THE TRUTH! about Kate Gosselin).

That said, I can believe that Kate is not Little Miss Sunshine at book signings or speaking engagements. I don't think it's her style. Being friendly and open doesn't necessarily mean that one is a better person; it often means that one is simply more outgoing, more comfortable in social situations, etc. I don't think Kate owes fans anything, even if they chose to wait in line at a book signing (well, I think she owes it to them to sign their books for the proscribed period, but that's it).

I think if Kate wants to be a TV personality she will have more success if she cultivates a warmer demeanor. But I don't think it really has anything to do with how good of a person she is, necessarily.

Lizabeth said...

My friend who went to the signing tonight just posted this on my Facebook wall:

I HAVE A SIGNED BOOK FOR YOU!!!! It went so well. It was awesome. My niece was excited because she thought she was going to see the "kids", that's what she calls the show. So while we were in line she asked where are the kids and my sister in law said "We just get to see the mommy." Kate goes, "yup, just boring me". It was funny. We were like "no no no". We only were there for like 1 hour, and in line for maybe 20 minutes of that. Baker book house rocks!

YAY! I have a signed book, thanks to my friends :).

Bridget said...

That's awesome!! I'm happy for you. It sounds like Baker Books had a great plan :)

Lorna said...

I read the post from the mall worker who attended the same book signing. A few things came to mind. She said she asked Kate if she still lived in PA. Kate declined to answer. I would also. Would anyone else with a "celebrity status" answer that? I would probably also question the motive of that person in line wanting to know where I lived.

I am sure Kate is well aware of what goes on on the internet regarding their lives and she probably suspected this person was up to nonsense. Hence, the not wanting to shake her hand eagerly.

And guess what? That person just happens to show up on Cafe Mom - Where's Aunt Jodi.

Anya said...

Scarfoot, LOL!!!

Lorna, I agree with what you said. I am sure it's a hard balance for Kate. There are plenty of people who show up for these things and feel they know her and her family and therefore feel they have the right to ask personal questions. I can understand that. Most of them are just curious and mean no harm.

Unfortunately because of the sickos and stalkers out there, Kate needs to be circumspect in her answers. I acknowledge it's probably inherent in her nature to be cautious and reserved anyway, but I also think it is the wise and prudent choice to be so in light of what even the casual Gosselin observer has seen on the internet.

Oh and the 'big expose' from the mall worker? TWO bathroom breaks during the three hour signing? What a DIVA that Kate Gosselin is!

Jana said...

Happymama mentioned that maybe Kate could have met the kids first. That would have been nice :) But probably chaos would have ensued. I was hoping after the signing maybe Kate could have said a quick "hello" "how are you" to the kids that were crying, but it had been a long night for all of us. I know she was exhausted.

December 11, 2008 12:21 PM
The better the store manager, the more fluid the book signings. A savvy manager would've found the way for the little kid to meet Kate.

Bridget said...

We just got back from Barnes & Nobles and...we got to have Kate sign our book! They used the same group technique at Baker House Books (good call) and we were in group 2. The line was very well controlled and we actually waited in line after we were called for less than 5 minutes. Kate was not personalizing the books this time but considering the mess that was Wednesday night and that she wss only there for 2 hours tonight, it was understandable.
The staff also made sure everyone's books were open to the right spot to "maximize face time".

Kate was very pretty and extremely nice. The staff that was sitting by her asked me if we had waited long and I told her we had waited for four hours on Wed. The staff repeated that to Kate when we got up to the line and Kate said she was sorry amd she said "thank you" to us for coming back. I told her how my daughter wanted to be C buddies with Colin and Cara, and kate asked my daughter what her C name was. My daughter told her and Kate gave her the biggest smile and said, "You can be a C buddy". My daughter was thrilled. As a parent, there's nothing better than seeing a big smile on the face of your child.

So that was it. I thought it went well and there was alot more staff than Wed night. I'm hoping all who wanted to got their books signed.

Saint said...

Great story, Bridget,
I am happy for you and especially the newest "C buddy." Thanks for the honest accounts, both times.

GlassAngels said...

I never realized she is left handed LOL

happymama said...

I also noticed that Kate is left-handed like me. I have seen some of the children using their left hand to eat and color.

Did you know that left-handed people are in their right mind? :)

Missthang said...

She has lost so much weight, not healthy looking. You see her collar bone and she looks half alive. Girl do not let anyone make you crazy! Eat something! :-)

P.S. I love the show, not a hater at all. But she is getting toooo thin!