Thursday, 13 January 2011

Impromptu Signing in Waterstones


On Saturday I was mooching around the city centre, fine-tuning arrangements for the SketchCrawl, and I popped into Waterstones. I was amazed to see the shelves stacked with dozens of my books - normally I have to hunt out the odd copy here and there, generally well hidden, and buried beneath great piles of The Gruffalo!.

Turns out, they ordered loads of stock ready for my Christmas storytelling event but, because of the snow, most of it didn't arrive until afterwards.
My first thought was 'how lovely!', followed a millisecond later by 'I must get these all signed fast, so they stay put!'

If you're not in the book business yourself, you might not realise that getting your books stocked in shops is a very tricky business and, if a title doesn't
fly off the shelves, it generally gets returned to the publisher pretty smartish. However, signed books can't be returned (sneaky eh?)


Actually, signing the stock is great for the store too, especially if you draw pictures in, as it adds value, which makes the book extra special for the buyer as well - everyone's a winner! The manager of the children's dept in Sheffield Waterstones in really nice. He fetched me a table, chair and a Sharpie, and I did an impromptu signing session.


As browsing customers noticed me, I gave them a beaming smile, engaged their children in conversation and often managed to sell them a book (John says I'm shameless).

When I was done, Waterstones emptied a bookshelf and made a special display of all my signed books - Yahoo! Now all I need is for all you lovely people to get over there and buy them: oh, go on...

7 comments:

Shirley said...

Loved this post. It's amazing what good customers like me don't know about the publishing business. Putting a drawing with your name is brilliant!

Vicki said...

Hehe...you crafty mare! Well done you!

aka Penelope said...

I agree! This was a clever move, Lynne! A tiny sketch added to your signature does make it truly unique. I admire your dedication to promoting your work. Being shy doesn’t help but is something creative people sometimes need to overcome. :)

Anonymous said...

I somehow read the title as Impromtu SINGING in Waterstones and spent the whole entry waiting for you to break into song! Maybe an idea to make the next signing even more special...

Alexandra (an aspiring writer and illustrator who loves your blog)

Lynne Chapman said...

Ha ha ha! If only I'd thought of that!! I'll have to write a 'come and buy my books' song, to lure them with music.

Deborah said...

Oh Lynne - - just gorgeous. I shall order multiple copies for our local library as we are rapidly growing out of picture books and into chapter books. I would love to hear you sing in Waterstones too. I think you probably do hum a bit don't you?!
Best wishes for an abundnt 2011 from your Aussie fan club. Deb

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you Deborah - that woudl be GREAT!!!! And yes, I most certainly do. I have been caught singing with my ipod earphones in too - quite embarassing...