Yesterday, Jennifer attended her first book signing in Preston, Lancashire. It was part of her major signing tour for Bringing Home the Stars and although things got off to a traditional bumpy start (all signing tours for small authors who are just starting out lack the fans who will line up outside the shop before the signing starts, so the author has to wait for the crowds to start gathering in the shop before they can get many people interested).
However, as is a testament to both the quality of the book (people often flick through it before deciding to buy) and the quality of Jenny’s ability to relax, get into the swing of things, and just chat with anyone who walks by, she managed to sell the store’s stock of her books. This is the second time in a row.
I’m very proud of her. From a publisher’s point of view, her selling out the shop’s stock is great news. It means we have a lot of confirmed sales. She did sign some extra copies (we always take a box of extra copies from the stock room along with us, just in case) for the shop, so anyone who wants a copy in the Preston area can pop in and get one.
After the signing, I took her for a coffee and a chat in a local branch of Costa (my favourite coffee shop chain – they use nice beans that aren’t as bitter as those from most other chains). She was really happy with how the signing went and told me very excitedly about having met Lenny Henry; who was browsing in the shop while she was there. I think he was in town as part of a tour.
Following the coffee and a quick look around the shops before they closed, we headed off to a friend’s fiftieth birthday party. Malcolm is a guy Jenny and I know from CPR Radio (formerly Chorley Hospital Radio but now covering Preston and somewhere else, too) and he invited us along to his half-century party. A very good night was had by all.
While there, I noticed that the tables had all been covered with paper tablecloths, to prevent drunken spillages damaging the woodwork. Being the cartoonist I am, I whipped out a pen and made some impromptu doodlings. Malcolm (and several other people who saw what I was doing) seemed to love what I’d done, and was very happy when I presented him with the finished product at the end of the night.
Since I’d had only four hours sleep before getting ready and heading out for the book signing, I was totally zonked before we even got back home. I think I fell asleep in the car and once I got home, I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Ten and a half hours later, I woke up.
As my Mum would say, I “must have needed it”.
Update: Jennifer has written her own account of yesterday on her blog. You can find her post here.