Christmas is an excellent time to sell books, so when a local bookshop owner suggested I might have a book-signing event in his shop, I was keen to accept. Off I toddled, laden with posters and books, and hoping for an easy place to park. (Sometimes, the most stressful thing about events is trying to park.)
I was given a little table in the coffee shop area of the bookshop, and set up my stuff, then sat back and hoped for customers. Book-signing events are unpredictable. Everyone in the shop is there because they read, which is excellent. However, they do tend to be there because they have come to make a specific purchase, so it can be hard to entice them to try something different. (This is different to general Christmas Fairs, when people are there to buy “something” and a book is as good as anything else.)
Mostly, things went well, and I sold 22 books. It’s not always very efficient, as some people just want to chat. I have found that trying to ‘sell’ my books doesn’t work, so now I simply explain what they’re about as interestingly as possible, then sit back and let people decide whether or not they want to buy one.
My mum was hugely helpful. She caught the bus to the bookshop town (because I had an early start) and then stood outside, enticing people into the shop. I don’t think a single person managed to pass the shop without popping inside. The bookshop owner wants to employ her. If you were one of the many people who arrived inside looking rather bemused, then apologies and thanks. Some of you bought a book, some avoided looking at me and hurried to the opposite corner of the shop; though most people ended up buying something, even if it was a calendar or different book – so I can see why the shop owner was delighted to have Mum there. He did suggest she should dress up as Mrs Christmas, as he had a costume upstairs and Father Christmas was also there – but she declined. Which was a shame, as she’d have looked wonderful with her white curls and sparkly eyes. Maybe next year.
Anyway, it was a fun, if exhausting day. Now I need to prepare for Christmas, and try to fit in checking the proofs that have come from the type-setter ready for printing Clara. But that might have to wait until the new year now. I have just written a list of everything I need to do before the 25th. This was a bad idea, as the list is very long, and there are very few days left. Not sure the animals are going to get much love this week. (There’s an extra one now, as a pheasant has decided our garden is a good place to live. I guess, as the dog keeps the foxes out, he’s probably safer here than in the lane, as long as he doesn’t get into a fight with the cockerels. Not sure how long he plans to stay, but he’s very noisy in the mornings.)
I usually post a blog piece every Monday – but next Monday will be busy. I have lots of people coming for Christmas lunch – including my in-laws, and a range of meat lovers and vegetarians, so what could possibly go wrong? I’ll write afterwards and let you know how things go. But whatever your time zone or religion, I hope your Monday goes well and you have a great day.
Love, Anne x
(It’s always thrilling to see my books in a ‘real’ bookshop! Even if my name forces them onto the very bottom shelf. Did you know ‘Lee Child’ made up his name, just so his books would be placed on the bookshelf next to Agatha Christie?)
Thank you for reading.
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