Wednesday, 28 November 2012

ABIDE WITH ME - Basildon Book Signing - the return

I last visited Basildon Waterstones way back in April of this year, my fifth book signing following the release of ABIDE WITH ME in the March. I sold  a really decent amount of books, had a great time chatting to the book-buying people of Basildon, and found the staff to be incredibly helpful and friendly.

So going back again, I was proper looking forward to it.

My boy, Charlie, had come along to help, and as the two of us wandered towards the Eastgate Shopping Centre, where Basildon Waterstones is situated, the rain began to fall. I clutched the box of spare books I’d brought with me to my chest, praying the rain wouldn't find its way inside. Me and Charlie eventually found the shop, and I was delighted to see the table had already been set up, complete with the big seven-foot banner wotsit I dropped off earlier in the week.

Charlie helped me set up my paraphernalia – the bookmarks, the West Ham Cup Final programme and yearbook, the Crime Lovers Fiction review, and the miniature West Ham scarf.

Alice brought me a cup of tea, and I was ready to go.

I was an hour early, but thought an hour extra selling time can’t hurt. And it didn’t. I sold my first copy within twenty minutes.. Things went a bit slow for a while after that; Charlie had eaten everything in his lunchbox by half-eleven, and was dying for some chocolate. 

To be honest, we both were. My dad came to the rescue in that respect with a most welcome Mars bar at about half three.

A Mars Bar . . . mmm . . .

The people of Basildon were, as always, a delight.

I was wearing the white shirt and black trousers that marked me out as a member of staff at all the other Waterstones book signings, but I'd taken the precaution of wearing my Caffeine Nights Author badge wotsit, hoping it might stave off the punter's enquiries. 

It didn't. 

 I was asked where the pregnancy books were, where to buy the gift vouchers, and when the Hobbit film would be out. I was also asked by three separate people on three separate occasions, all standing in front of the cookery books – where the cookery books were.


In the middle of the afternoon, a bloke in his mid-fifties walzed past, wearing a female Asda’s Supermarket outfit and a blonde shoulder length wig.

Shortly after, the first of two people, after surveying, ignored the books and made me an offer for the miniature West Ham scarf. 

 My much sought after West Ham scarf

Come the end of another highly enjoyable day at Basildon Waterstones, me and Charlie had sold a decent amount of books and had a brilliant time. 

The staff, as usual, were fantastic. 

I would like to thank Lottie, Alice, and all the other brilliant staff at Basildon Waterstones last Saturday. Your palpable love of books, your friendliness, your politeness to the punters in the face of sometimes overwhelming odds, all of it was magnificent to witness. Thank you for having me :) and hope to see you all soon.

So, that was the second Basildon Waterstones on the ABIDE WITH ME book tour.

 For me, these book signings have rekindled my love of book-shops.

And I wouldn't swap that for the world.

1 comment:

  1. But.... did you sell the scarf? This was such an enjoyable post, Ian, and brought back many warm (and not so warm...) memories of booksignings. And Mars Bars... ABIDE WITH ME is such a great book, btw!