Long Islanders craving a brush with fame this summer can catch their big break at star-studded book signings. Celebrities ranging from former baseball player Darryl Strawberry to "Hills" star Lauren Conrad (see B4 for a Q&A) are scheduled to appear for signings and, in some cases, discussions.
Before you rush out to mingle with the stars, you'll want to know a little about how these events typically work to avoid an oh-so-embarrassing faux pas during your brush with stardom.
"Most etiquette comes in at the signing table," says Julianne Wernersbach, publicist for the Book Revue in Huntington, which has hosted signings by many famous names, including former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
BY THE BOOK
Call the venue in advance to ask about guidelines. Some celebrities won't allow photographs to be taken, others won't sign other memorabilia (i.e. photos or baseballs) during their book appearance.
It's customary to buy the book at the store hosting the event. When a large crowd is expected, Wernersbach says, Book Revue will hand out lettered cards to patrons in the order they purchase books - this determines the order they'll get their copy signed later.
If the author is speaking before the signing, turn your cell phone off.
Avoid spilling your life story at the signing table. "Say hello," Wernersbach says, then keep moving to let others have a turn. Some authors will sign for only two hours.
If a question-and-answer session is allotted before the signing begins, limit yourself to asking only one question.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Friday June 19, Barnes & Noble in Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove
INFO 631-724-0341, bn.com
MTV's "The Hills" star Lauren Conrad makes her debut as a novelist with "L.A. Candy" ($17.99, HarperCollins), the story of a 19-year-old's unexpected rise to stardom that's loosely based on Conrad's own experiences in the spotlight.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. June 24 at Book Revue , 313 New York Ave., Huntington
Buzz Aldrin will speak about and sign his new memoir "Magnificent Desolation" ($27, Harmony), in which he gives a first-person account of his flight on Apollo 11. Aldrin is famous for his steps on the moon just minutes after Neil Armstrong's in the space venture that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this summer.
WHEN | WHERE 1 p.m. June 27 at Borders, 1260 Old Country Rd., Westbury
Five-time All-Star Keith Hernandez helped lead the Mets to a World Series victory in 1986. The current Mets broadcaster will be signing "Shea Goodbye: The Untold Story of the Historic 2008 Season" ($19.95, Triumph Books), in which he recounts the team's final season at Shea Stadium.
WHEN | WHERE 6-7:30 p.m. July 30 at Book Revue
Former Met and Yankee Darryl Strawberry will be signing "Straw: Finding My Way" ($26.99, Ecco), in which the six-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion divulges his thoughts on his well-publicized off-the-field struggles. He will be signing, not speaking, and will autograph his book only.