My First Book Signing!

It’s a fine, dry day and there’s an Italian market in the square outside Waterstone’s. Good for a book signing? ‘Bad,’ says Tim. The stalls are blocking the view of the shop and the fine weather’s keeping everyone outdoors. Hmm, that must be why they’ve only put one small poster up for my event, I mean why waste the Blu Tack?
Tim demonstrates handing off the marauding hordes

After much refolding of a black tablecloth and a rummage around for some books, I’m invited to take up my position at the author table somewhere between ‘fantasy and horror’, children’s books and a poster of the next author, Bobby ‘Iron Duke’ Windsor who’s signing on Monday. Once Tom, Lily, my lovely daughter, and her partner, Russ, are all sure I’m not going to run away, they leave me to it, taking it in turns to make sure I’m all right and bring me tea.

Very soon, I notice a small boy watching me. When he returns with his family I learn that he would like to be a writer. His method, he tells me, is to rewrite his favourite stories, adding his own twists and new characters – amazing! It’s a brilliant start to the event especially when his family buy my book. I’m so grateful I feel like packing up and going home!

But then I would have missed the folks who made such an effort to come to see me; writers and bloggers, Liz Fielding, Preseli Mags and Fennie of Corner Cupboard and Linda, fellow student on the OU creative writing diploma course, all come in, some with family, to say hello. It’s an absolute delight so see so many friendly faces! I am quite charmed too, by the young Asian guy, who makes a bee-line for my table, gives me a sweet smile and passes me a hand-written note which reads, ‘Apollo Cinema’, then asks if I know where it is.

The author and her lovely assistant, Lily

Alas, Tim’s prediction about customer numbers is proved correct; it’s a quiet day and my ‘target’ readers are thin on the ground. However, those I do spot are happy to chat to me, interested in what I do and one or two even buy a copy of my book; it’s a huge delight and privilege. I’m relieved and Tim’s happy too. He invites me back later in the year because he thinks Turning the Tide will make a wonderful Christmas present (it will, it will!). And, who knows, if I’m very lucky, next time I might even get my own poster...


her at home said…
Well done for getting the first signing out of the wy without turnin heal and dashing for the door!! The next I am sure will be easier and I am sure it will all go splendidly !!
Lane said…
Well done Chris. I'm sure any signing situation must take nerves of steel and you look delightfully cool. And what a glamorous assistant!

Huge kudos to you. You're a writer who has a signing under her belt. Many more to come I hope!
Debs said…
TTT will definitely make a great present for Christmas.

Well done.
Jane Lovering said…
You did it! It all looks fantastic (and no one asked you where the toilets were?) and sounds great. Next time won't be so hard.

And remember - how many author wannabes would absolutely KILL to have a book signing (or even a published book to sign). You are truly living the dream...
HelenMHunt said…
Well done. And good luck for the next one.
Lucie said…
congratulations - I'm so pleased it went well for you! TTT is a brilliant book and I shall be bringing mine with me for you to sign later in the month, as I couldn't make it on Sat, if that's OK!

Chris Stovell said…
HaH... touch and go for several moments but my family made me stay!

Thanks Lane, for both - gibbering heap underneath that fixed smile!

Aw, thanks Debs!

Jane, good job they didn't - I never found out where the loos are... perhaps Cheryl Cole never goes? Ta mate.

Thanks Helen!

Lucie - and congratulations to you, lovely news!
Cait O'Connor said…
Congratulations Chris, I am so sorry I couldn't be there.
Chris Stovell said…
Ah, Cait - how can you get away from work? It's not possible, but thank you for thinking of me We'll catch up - and we'll get Fennie and Mags and the Shrop/Welsh border brigade to complete the picture.
It must have been so daunting, going to your first book signing, but just looking at your photos and reading what you've put, you sound and look a natural.

Tim (and staff)sound like darlings.

You did it Chris. Now it gets easier. ANd I know there will be many more book signings to come.

Pondside said…
Well done, Chris! A book signing seem, from this perspective, to be quite an accomplishment - huge, even!
I'm dying to know - what colour were your shoes?!
Jenny Beattie said…
Well done Chris. You looked gorgeous and it sounds as though you had a positive experience. I'm sure it's terrifying and you did a great job.
Reflections said…
Well done. I'm sure many of us would be wrecks at our first signing, but yours is now behind you. All is good and sounds like it turned out well.
Elizabethd said…
Each one after this will be easier. I dont think October is a good month to attract people out of the house....maybe nearer Christmas will be better.
I would have come, but its a long way from Brittany!
gaelikaa said…
Well, I wish I coulda been there. I'd have bought a copy of your book. I hope it comes out in India soon. I'm planning to twist my brothers arm to buy a copy of it for me. I know about Harry Watling and Matthew Corrigan and Little Spitmarsh. Yikes, it's available, I've just checked, price Rs.551, with an Rs.55 discount and shipping free from Flipkart! Too good a bargain to miss. Well, I'm off to twist my brother's arm right now, see you later Chris. I sincerely hope you'll be able to personally autograph my copy for me one day. Byee.....
Posie said…
You look so professional sat there in the photos Chris, and how fantastic that you have inspired that young boy's dreams to be a writer and given him the opportunity to meet a real writer. Lovely that fellow bloggers came along. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book,
Chris Stovell said…
BSM, hardly daunting compared to anything you're about to face... but it did loom over me a bit. Thank you!

Pondside - I think you can guess what colour those shoes were!!

Thanks Jenny! It was far better than I imagined it would be - I was tired when I got home though!

Reflections, thank you - yes, it was a good first step. Nothing horrid - phew!

Elizabethd - as much as I would love to meet you, expecting you to come all the way from France is a bit much! But thanks!

gaelikaa, oh that's exciting to know. Don't twist your brother's arm too hard! And thank you!
Jude said…
Well done...I'd have ran for the hills!!
Christmas time will be easypeasy!
Take care
Pauline Barclay said…
Fantastic for getting your first signing and being there! Next time will be even more fun!

Didn´t know you did OU. I did yonks ago!

So well done....hugs x
Cara Cooper said…
Glad it went well, it was very brave of you. Not sure I'd be that brave!
Chris Stovell said…
Posie, thank you - I'm really pleased (and relieved!) you enjoyed the book.

Jude - I bet your family would have made sure you didn't too! Once I relaxed it was lovely.

Pauline - thanks, nice of you to visit when you have so much on your plate.

Cara - thanks, and you would! Truly, deep breath and then it's fine!
gaelikaa said…
Hiya, I'm back, I twisted his arm nicely, my copy will reach me by courier in 21 working days, I'm told. Yippee! I can't wait to actually read a novel and give feedback to the author herself!
Margaret James said…
Well done, Chris, you looked great and very relaxed!
Milla said…
glad you ended up enjoying it and best of all to have another one lined up! Must have been terrifying.
Liane Spicer said…
Well done, Chris! You're now a seasoned veteran of the book signing!
Flowerpot said…
Well done Chris and here's to a cracking Christmas signing too! x
Chris Stovell said…
Is the right answer, Magaret!! (ahem!)

Milla, only in the very quiet bits when I had time to be scared!

Liane, not quite as seasoned as Cheryl Cole, but hey, we've all got to start somewhere!

Fp, thank you - yes a Christmas cracker would be good!
Cottage Garden said…
Well done Chris! By the time you get to my neck of the woods you will be a seasoned book-signing pro! Look forward to 21 October and the Choc-Lit Girls Night!!!

Chris Stovell said…
Ooh, Jeanne - does that mean you'll be there?
Huuuge well done, Chris! Must have been daunting, but well done for sorting it out and getting on with it - you look very much the author sitting there behind your tempting piles of TTT. And thoroughly agree it will make a terrific Christmas pressy - or indeed any kind of pressy come to that.

Cottage Garden said…
I hope to be there Chris.
Fennie said…
Very well done, Chris, you made our day and thanks for being so welcoming. You looked so smart and professional that I'm sure you'll have great success in Bury St Edmunds.
And then on to where? Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth, the Norfolk coast?
veronique said…
Hi Chris,

what a lovely looking blog - so clean and crisp and appealing to the eye!

You are so lucky to be doing book signings..and I am sure they get easier with time. Maybe one day (sigh as I gaze off mistily into the distance)'ll be me?!

Anyway, thanks for all your kind messages and comments, looking forward to the next post,

Chris Stovell said…
Jeanne, it would be lovely to meet you if you can make it.

LBD, oh thank you - with that black cloth I kept wondering if folks were expecting me to do some sort of magic trick.

Fennie - oh it was an absolute delight to meet you and yours. So lovely of you all to travel up to Carmathen - thank you.

Veronique, welcome and thank you. Keep doing what you're doing and it will be you - you've made a great start and the talent's obviously in the genes!
Kath said…
Fab that your first signing went so well and I think the little boy who wants to write is a star for being the first to go up and chat to you. He'll go far!
Chris Stovell said…
Kath, he was genuinely enthusiastic about his writing too - a real star in the making... should have got his name!
hey congratulations I just stopped over from the Wales Blog party to say hi
Chris Stovell said…
Hi Joanna, welcome - good to see you here, thanks for visiting.
Hi Chris, just taking a look from Kaths blog party. I like the idea of an Italian Market nearby to your book signing, adds an international flavour! Beautiful colours to the cover of your book too. Look forward to reading more of your blog.
Chris Stovell said…
Welcome Juliette, thanks for visiting and for your kind comments about the book. well done that Kath for getting everyone together.

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