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Newly Published Author Tweets About Disappointing Turn Out to Her Book Signing, Is Encouraged by the Likes of Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and More

By December 15, 2022New Releases, News

After 15 years of work, author Chelsea Banning recently published her first novel, Of Crowns and Legends, and was excited for the first official book signing in Ohio on Saturday. Almost 40 people had RSVP’d to the event but, unfortunately, only two people attended, and Banning was understandably a little upset. When the author posted a Tweet explaining how upset and embarrassed she felt, she no doubt never suspected the Tweet would go viral and attract some of the biggest names in literature, all of whom had similar stories to share.

“Only 2 people came to my author signing yesterday,” Tweeted Banning, “so I was pretty bummed about it. Especially as 37 people responded “going” to the event. Kind of upset, honestly, and a little embarrassed.”

It wasn’t long before the Tweet attracted the attention of some seriously high-profile writers, all of whom had words of encouragement for Banning. Good Omens and Sandman writer Neil Gaiman replied to the Tweet, saying: “Terry Pratchett and I did a signing in Manhattan for Good Omens that nobody came to at all. So you are two up on us.” Famed horror author Stephen King chimed in, Tweeting: “At my first SALEM’S LOT signing, I had one customer. A fat kid who said, ‘Hey bud, do you know where there’s some Nazi books?’”

As if that wasn’t enough, Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, recalled how no one attended one of her signings, except for one person who mistook her for a member of staff. “Join the club,” she wrote, “I did a signing to which Nobody came, except a guy who wanted to buy some Scotch tape and thought I was the help. :)” Her story of embarrassment was trumped by Danny Wallace, who said: “I did a signing in Austin, Texas once. They had my name in lights. They had 6ft cardboard cut outs of me. 6 people turned up, 5 of them mad. One dressed in robes, who got out a colouring book when I started speaking.”

Robin Hobb added to the conversation, recalling a time when only one person attended one of her signings. “Can’t beat my record. One (1) person turned up at a signing once. We had a lovely conversation and went to coffee. Lemonade!”

Seeing so many household names share their own horror stories will no doubt encourage aspiring writers still finding their audience, and is a reminder that even the biggest writers have to start somewhere. The influx of good will on Twitter has been covered by a number of major news outlets, and Banning probably never considered her debut novel would get so much attention, since fans of Gaiman and the other authors will no doubt be encouraged to check out Banning’s novel. Of Crowns and Legends is available to purchase now from all good book stores and retailers.

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