Last week I met a friend for lunch in the city – lovely lunch, lovely catch up and as I walked from the restaurant the sun was shining on a beautiful Melbourne autumn day. Passing a bookshop I decided to call in, found my books and the children’s bookseller (who wasn’t at all busy) and asked if she’d like me to sign some of my books. Her reply wasn’t at all rude, but a very definite, no thanks!
I consider myself extremely lucky as a writer with a reasonable publishing history with several more books, at various stages, on their way to publication. But what shocked me was the way I felt. As I said, the sun was shining and I was feeling good, but as I left that bookshop I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach with something large and heavy.
I know that bookshops supposedly cannot return books which have been ‘signed’, I know that I probably should have rung first to say I’d be calling in, but here’s the thing. What chance have our books got (some with shiny award medals) of leaping off the shelves if the bookseller doesn’t believe in them, doesn’t know them and doesn’t recommend them to potential buyers?
I’ve picked myself up, dusted myself off and lost myself in my writing, but it still rankles.
I’d love some feedback from other authors on this and yes, I know, I’ve got to toughen up!