Yesterday was my book signing in Waterstones. EEEEEKKK! Of course, it being hot and sunny, every self-respecting Brightonian and day tripper was on the beach, not shopping so I got to the shop just before 12 and it was pretty much empty which was really not a good start. I nearly ran out again and jumped on the bus home but took a deep breath and went up to the counter. "Hello, I'm meant to be doing a signing here today..."
They showed me to my table with a mountain of books on (and some water and yummy strawberries - thank you, kind Waterstones people) and I sat there, in the almost empty shop, bracing myself for the most humiliating two hours of my life. OH GOD, I thought. No-one is going to come and I am going to be sooooo embarrassed and will have to crawl back home and never come out again...
It wasn't a nice moment. But then, just as the Events Manager was kindly saying, "Don't worry if you don't sell any, it's a sunny day, everyone's at the beach", one of the mums from school appeared - hooray! Thank you, S - who bought the first one. And then some kind men took pity on me and bought one. And then lots of people who'd been on my writing course appeared which was lovely, as I haven't seen any of them for ages. And then lovely friend J came who bought loads for her book group... And it was fine, I sold 30 copies, mostly to friends and people from the school but also some random strangers which was brilliant. (My favourite was the man who bought one for his wife, and sneaked over to me and asked me to write "For [her name], I hope you love this book as much as [his name] loves you." Oh!! Bless!! A bit of romance right there and then at my signing, fabulous. And then JEN turned up which was even more brilliant. Hello, Jen!! Lovely to meet you. And thank you for buying my book!!
And then we got home and heard that someone had made an offer on our house, so that was a bit exciting too. And daughter went on her first sleepover, so... Oh, it was a big day all round in our house. So of course, partner and I cracked open the bubbly last night...
I don't want to sound ungrateful but it was quite a relief, the signing being over. Now, I can get back to normal life a bit and don't feel like I have to be a horrible saleswoman all the time. I am looking forward to calmer waters ahead next month....I hope!
Hostages to Fortune
23 hours ago