There were about 1,000 people at the book signing. I came forty minutes early and all the seats were already taken. There was a two book maximum and I needed many more signed.
What did I do? I made the rules work for me. I got a second row seat by convincing the organizers that my horribly overpriced Barnes & Noble Readers Advantage card should give me some privileges. There were several open reserved seats in the second row and the ones they were reserved for didn't show. So I got a second row seat to the book signing/reading. It also allowed me to be number 24 in the list to get my books signed.
I also wound up with number 25 too (Gee I wonder how that happened O:) ). That allowed me to get twice the number of books signed. That still wasn't enough, so I had to buy pre-signed copies, but there was a limit on those too. So I just bought the limit on those and went on the line again. The cashiers were clueless or just didn't care. I had to get on the line three more times to get the needed number of books.
Neil Gaiman was just as I thought he would be. He's a big kid who needs a haircut and has a great sense of humor. He has very bad luck getting any of his writings made into movies though. About half a dozen of his writings are under negotiation to become movies and for one reason or another it's just never happened yet.
It was good to hear him read, because his inflections explained a lot of what goes on in his head. He only had a chance to read Chapter 3, because there was such a crowd begging to have their books signed.
He promised to sign until his hand fell off or the store closed. By the time he got up to me, he was already shaking the cramps out of his had, and I was near the front. He had to pre-sign a lot of books before the event too. I suppose success has it's price.
He even drew sinister rats next to his autograph. He's not really an artist, but it was a nice touch.