I was expecting my first ever proper book signing in a real book shop to be kind of weird. And I wasn’t disappointed. The weirdest parts were probably these bits…
- The part when someone said to me “Stick it in the back, it’s tighter there.”
- The parts when I repeatedly had to talk people out of buying my book.
- The bit when someone threw up on my signing table.
Allow me to explain.
Last week was my little sister’s birthday (Happy Birthday Naomi!) and two days after that was my big brother’s birthday (Happy Birthday Ben!), which also happened to be the same day as my eldest brother’s birthday (who died two months ago, but Happy Birthday Joss! Just in case my blog reaches you where you are), which was also the day of my first ever book signing (the one I did at latitude festival barely counts since I didn’t actually sign any books – not on request at least, but that was a whole other blog post). The venue was Deansgate Waterstone’s in Manchester – an AMAZING book shop, which also acted as one of the locations in my multi award winning* treasure hunt video.
It wasn’t quite as daunting as I’d expected, and was really quite enjoyable. This was mostly because Waterstone’s hadn’t received any posters or wotnot to publicise my signing, but the fairytale event that was going on in the same ‘wing’ had proved to be quite popular, so the first few hours was mostly spent chatting with little kids who would ask “Did YOU write this whole book?!” all wide-eyed and full of awe, and I would reply “Why, yes. Yes I did” all smug and full of self-importance. Then they would go “What’s it about?” and I would go “Erm… it’s… errrr…” and they would go “Mum! Please can I have this book?!” and I would go “Really, no. I don’t think it’s very suitable. Maybe in another six years or so, when you’re in double-figures.”
Yes. I spent most of my time DISUADING people from buying my book! (Not too sure I’ve got this whole ‘promoting’ thing entirely sussed).
Luckilly things did begin to pick up. I signed a copy for an old lady and another copy to a very kind woman who didn’t actually know any teenage boys to gift my book to, but was sure she might meet one some day, so purchased a copy anyway. Then, about thirty minutes before I was due to leave, people began to appear! Not only did my brother and sister and ‘entourage’ (that sounds cooler than writing ‘my mum and dad and some friends’) arrive, all wanting signed copies, but the blogger responsible for posting the first ever review of ‘One Seriously Messed-Up Week’ (the lovely Bungle, from Midnight Reads!) also happened to be passing through and ended up buying a sympathy copy. This sudden rush of attention helped spark some interest in the sad little guy sat at the table, which lead to even more signings, including the one where someone said ‘Slip it in the back, it’s tighter there’ (which was actually in reference to where a bookmark should be placed in a book).
Among the many adoring fans* I received were my very own little family – crafty blogger wife Laura (aka ‘Cupcakes For Clara’), our little girl Matilda, who is 3 this week (Happy Birthday Matilda!), and out little boy Theo, who was 1 yesterday (Happy Birthday Theo!). And it was this little blighter, this insanely happy little babay boy, who decided to retch on a rice cake and projectile vomit a belly full of milk all over my signing table! Which resulted in me spending my final ten minutes in store cleaning up sick!
So, yeah, it was just another glitzy day in the high-profile life of the award winning* author that is me. Tune in next time when I shall be telling you all about when I was interviewed on Scunthorpe Hospital radio and was shat on by a Psych Ward escapee!*
* All lies.
A few other posts you might find interesting: