It's not every day that a World Champion of Public Speaking becomes an author seeking to make a Guinness Book of World Record -- in book signing!
Ryan Avery, best known for his 2012 World Championship title in public speaking (which he garnered at the age of 25, making him the youngest to hold that title) is gearing up for his April 16th event, wherein he'll attempt to set a new Guinness World Record. The event will take place at Avery's university alma mater, Colorado State University, where he earned a journalism degree back in 2009.
For the April 16th event, Avery hopes to surpass the previous record set by Hong Kong-based author Sammy Lee, who is widely known in Asia as the Chairman and Managing Director of LKK Health Products Group (LKKHPG) and also as the Chairman of Infinitus (China) Company Ltd. Last year, January 19, 2013, Lee set the record of 'the most books signed by one author in a single session' with 4,649 copies of his oeuvre, Auto-pilot Leadership Model, autographed.
Interestingly enough, in the summer of 2013, British author Neil Gaiman -- renowned for such lovely works as Coraline and Newbery Award medal The Graveyard Book -- was approached on Twitter by the Guinness Book of World Records, after one of Gaiman's book-signing sessions. The gist of the Twitter exchange reportedly went as follows:
Guinness World Records responded:
Most books signed by author in a single session is 4,649! If you’d like to beat it sometime Neil, let us know!
Scary. I’ve done more than that sometimes but it’s horrible.
This is understandable, given that a person would have to wait hours in line for an autograph -- and the author would likewise need endurance to sign and chat with each customer at his table. Neil Gaiman was even photographed icing down his writing hand after one of his signing sessions (see the photo in the gallery provided), which he described as: "Am now icing my forearm after signings because it's swelling and it hurts," he said, "The people are lovely, but I'll be glad when the signings are done."
Gaiman's words could serve as an augury: "Perhaps this is madness that shouldn't be celebrated!"
Still, the title has been coveted by many authors because of the high sales implications, not to mention the advertising reach such a campaign entails. Take for instance the claim made by Canadian writer Ryan North, who tweeted in the past: "I signed 4340 books yesterday alone! That's over twice the previous world record." See Ryan North's tweet here.
But Lee's record at 4,649 copies still stands, and the newest contender for breaking Lee's record is public speaker Ryan Avery, who aspires to sign at least 5000 copies of his new book Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking (McGraw-Hill Professional).
What's the appeal for holding such a record? Is it because Avery now lives in Houston (with his wife Chelsea)? Did the Lone Star's dust rub off on Avery and compel him to think big when it comes to book-signings? No matter, Avery's a National Speakers Association member, has clout with Toastmasters International, and has even been previously sponsored by the Tie Society. Hence, Avery's public speaking influence and following might help, especially since his global clients have included Safeway, Nissan, Nike, Toyota, and even Bank of America.
To register for the book-signing event, which takes place on April 16th, from 8:30AM - 6PM at the Colorado State University bookstore venue, click here. The all-day event will also be streamed live online, and the university's radio station, KCSU-FM, will broadcast it as well.