So I had my first proper talk and book signing this week – in Formby. I was very nervous, and apparently it showed, so apologies to Formby High students for forcing them to endure my newbie session- I now have thoughts on how to improve things for the future, so I hope it was worth it for everyone.
The sessions were arranged by Tony from Pritchards Books, Formby. I had no idea how proactive independent bookshops were in organising author events. I popped in to see Tony and introduce myself after a day on the beach a few weeks ago and Tony was lovely – he didn’t bat an eyelid at my appearance, although when I met him on Monday he did comment that he’d thought my hair was straight (force 9 Siberian winds on Formby beach to blame for that one). After meeting me, Tony read my book, loved it and immediately started arranging events for me with local high schools.
I can’t say how much that support was and is appreciated. He met me at Formby High, introduced me to the students (and totally made me blush with all his praise for my book).
He arranged the book sales and signing, took me to the book shop afterwards and set me up with his colleagues, Jon and Alison to finish the day on the street.
Highlights of the day for me included meeting the teachers, including Deb and Olwen, who raved about my book and introduced me to ‘my biggest fan’ – which was absolutely brilliant. I sold a few copies to the students, including one named Che (pronounced Shay) who almost got two books, because one of the few people to stop and talk to me outside the bookshop turned out to be her grandmother, who tried to buy a copy ‘for her grand-daughter Che’ (I couldn’t in all conscience let her buy it, but I was tempted – it was damn quiet on that street).
I met some lovely students, some of whom were kind enough to let me get in a photo with them. And I met an older girl called Hayley, who told me that she was a total non-reader until she found Twilight and since then has been a complete convert. Apparently she preferred Angel’s Fury even to Twilight and despite only getting my book from Tony a couple of weeks earlier, had already read it FOUR TIMES! Now that’ s impressive.
Then literally the day after the visit, I received a Facebook message from one of the boys, who had already read the book and had proclaimed it ‘absolutely fantastic’.
The low point of the day was finding out that Pritchards Books in Formby will soon be closing. I think that’s tragic. If you have a local bookshop make sure you support it, or one day
we’ll have lost all our bookshops and libraries and browsing and
knowledgeable advice will be a thing of the past!