Friday, 14 April 2017

Book a bookshop

In my last post I said that I was going to be doing a book signing in my local Waterstones branch...well, yesterday WAS that day!

Here's my little table in the corner of the children's section, with plenty of books ready to sign.

Books, bookmarks, cloud notebook and pens at the ready...

I'd been given the manager's office chair - which looked very much like an office chair. So Louise, (the manager) popped out to the market and bought a scarf to cover it and make it look prettier. It was almost the colour of StarMark's cover...

I was going to be in the shop for four hours, and previous experience has taught me that, unless it's a launch event, these kind of days can go very slowly. So I decided that, rather than take my knitting (!) I'd take a notebook to record impressions of the day as well as work on an idea that had begun to take shape for another novel. (More of that in another blog post!)

I loved sitting among the books. On the shelf I spotted old favourites that I'd read as a child, titles that my children had read and enjoyed (me too, if I'm honest - I do love a good children's story) and piles of new titles that I was itching to dive into!

It was a day of fits and starts - it would go so quiet at times, the shop would be empty apart from Louise and the other assistant (apologies to her - I didn't ask her name) sorting stock and stacking shelves. Then it'd get busy and there'd be children coming down with parents and grandparents to choose books (instead of Easter eggs - hooray!). One little girl spotted the new Tom Gates book; she literally clasped it to her chest, squealed with delight and jumped up and down on the spot. Then she spent half an hour with her sister, trying to decide which books to actually buy...before going back to Tom Gates... Made me smile.

Had an unexpected chat with a 16 year old lass who'd come in looking for a Macbeth revision guide got rather distracted by the Harry Potter display. It was her mum who said; "Look - an author! Tell her what you write." Apparently this young lady writes Harry Potter fan fiction...I've had a look at her work online and she's got some really good ideas. If she's reading this, I hope she sticks at it!

Quite a few folk dropped by just to say hello. They'd already bought StarMark, but it was lovely to feel so supported.

Then Mia bounded up to me. "You came to my school!" she announced. "I saw the book in the window and told my dad I had to come today." She'd been one of the pupils at Sacred Heart School, who I'd worked with as part of the Loogabarooga Festival last year, and it gave me a real glow to think that I'd made such an impression.

The day was apparently quieter than a normal Thursday, but we decided that was because some folk might have gone to Leicester to see The Queen (she was at the cathedral for a Maundy Thursday service). Even so, I sold 8 copies of the book in my four hours... And yes, some of them were sold to people I didn't know! To be honest, that was much better than I expected, considering how many people in Loughborough already have a copy of StarMark.

Only three left...

If you're passing the Loughborough Waterstones...there are three copies still in the shop, and I also discovered that StarMark is officially on Waterstones' ordering system, so in theory, you can go into any branch and order a copy...

The event was a good experience, and one that may well be repeated after Kingstone is published in June - which would be awesome! Watch this space...

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