So the big news on the happiness front this week is that I have been offered my very first book-signing. I didn’t have to beg or grovel or anything like I expected I might have to do or lets face it, be prepared to do.
It’s not in London’s Oxford Street or New York’s Time Square but it is in the High Street of the nearest big town to where I live, Watford.
I didn’t go in there even with the intent to ask for a book signing. The place is called Reason Coffee Shop and Bookstore and it is a Social Enterprise shop which means it operates not particularly to make money but to offer valuable support to local people with the owner taking a particular interest in local authors and entrepreneurs which covers me twice.
What I liked about Reasons as soon as I stepped inside was how friendly it is. It feels rather like my living room with bookshelves along the walls, comfy seating and tables as well as fruit, cakes and a fine selection of drinks including Soya Milk which for me with my recently Gluten and Dairy free diet is a wonderful bonus.
The staff there are lovely and friendly and it is all this that made me speak up about having a book signing. The owner immediately said yes and this week he sent me an email offering me an almost all-day slot closer to Christmas. He’d even contact the local press too.
The question which faces every first time book-signing author is pretty similar to the first time you published or have published one of your books. Namely, will anyone attend, will anyone buy anything or will I spend 6 hours memorising the books on the shelves opposite my admittedly comfy seating whilst sipping gallons of soya hot chocolate? \
Just how many books do I bring? Do I bring too many and hardly sell any and have to take them all home and take ages to recoup my money? Or should I bring just a handful of each and risk turning away new fans and customers? I know what Alan Sugar would say on The Apprentice… the prospect of running out of goods to trade would no doubt very quickly get me Fired.
I guess I’ll bring quite a large pile of my 101 Most Horrible Tortures in History and a just a slightly smaller pile of my Lest We Forget History books with a smattering of my travelogue and the promise too.
You’re all invited of course or will be when I have a precise date worked out in November or December.
My tours are going extremely well and it has been a hugely busy summer. I’ve got so many books in the works that I’m not sure what to do next but I’m working with the very talented Jo Robinson to create a very special and long awaited Star Trek book, a vigilante novel called V, a book of poetry, a successor to 101 Horrible Tortures and a small history biographical work on a family ancestor and early air-pioneer at RAF Hendon for which I’ve been offered access to their historical archives.
If I might finish this post with some words of wisdom I very much came to realise this summer again from Sir Alan….