Booksellers and signing books – A Cat Called Trim

When a new book comes out it’s always a great feeling to see it displayed on the bookshop shelves, especially if it’s in a prominent spot, face out. If I see my book I usually introduce myself and ask the bookseller if they’d like me to sign the copies on the shelf.

Over the years I’ve experienced a range of greetings and emotions when I do this. In a perfect world it would be best to contact the bookseller prior to the drop-in, but this isn’t always possible.

Booksellers are busy people so I make sure I’m not interrupting at a hectic time but still the way I’m welcomed varies enormously from store to store. Sometimes I’m greeted with a smile and massive enthusiasm for the book, which makes my day, other times I wish I hadn’t entered the store. I know I’m not alone in this and somehow, as creators, we often need to dress in a suit of armour to protect the heart we wear on our sleeves.

Dymocks Westfield Doncaster – A Cat Called Trim


The bright light for me on the weekend was a call-by visit to Dymocks Bookstore in Westfield Doncaster. When I handed the bookseller my business card and mentioned A Cat Called Trim she grinned and said, ‘Oh, I love that book, it made me cry.’ She raced to the shelf and placed a pile of copies in front of me. While I was signing she added ‘Signed by the author’ stickers to the covers and said how nice it was to meet me. ‘It’s always good to meet the author,’ she went on, ‘I can now tell customers that you are lovely and recommend your book.’

So this bookseller really did ‘make my day’. She was courteous, kind, enthusiastic and obviously had a love a books. The perfect bookseller.

Of course staff move about, so the photos below at Dymocks Doncaster are from a reading time session I did in October 2017, when Little Dog and the Summer Holiday had just been released.

Queenie: One Elephant’s Story


Many moons ago, when Queenie first came out, I called into what was then Angus and Robertson at Forest Hill Shopping Centre. As I approached the store the bookseller was vacuuming, so I very nearly didn’t approach him. But I did and ended up doing a book-signing in store the following weekend. I sold 40 copies of Queenie in an hour and met a lovely elderly gentleman who had bought in his apprenticeship papers to show me. It turned out he had been an apprentice pastry chef and had worked on Queenie’s birthday cakes way back in the 1930’s.

Perhaps dig out those suits of armour, smile and go in and introduce yourself to the booksellers. Mostly it’s a lovely experience.


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