Famous Authors Are Commiserating on Twitter About Their Worst Book Signing Experiences

neil gaiman stephen kinf margaret atwood book signing

When American author Chelsea Banning set up a book signing for her debut fantasy novel, she expected more than two people to show up, especially as 37 people had said that they would.

“Kind of upset, honestly, and a little embarrassed,” the fledgling novelist wrote on Twitter.

When she posted that tweet, however, she probably did not expect the giants of the literary world to descend from the digital ether to rally around her in a truly uplifting display of support.

“Join the club,” Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, 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 :)”

Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, Coraline, and Stardust, also chimed in, sharing that he once did a signing with legendary author Terry Pratchett for their co-authored book Good Omens in Manhattan, and no one attended.

“So you are two up on us,” Gaiman wrote.

Stephen King, perpetual Twitter fiend and author of virtually every famous horror story from the past 50 years, shared this incredible tidbit:

“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?'”

Dozens of other big-name authors and media personalities have shared their stories of failure and rejection in relation to Banning’s experience.

At the time of writing, the original tweet has more than 50,000 likes, and it’s fair to say that the author has been cheered up. Banning wrote that her book, Of Crowns and Legends, has now sold out in physical copy while the digital version sits at the top of the ‘Arthurian Fantasy’ genre list on Amazon.

The reaction to Banning’s experience indicates that being an author is quite clearly not the glamorous life of luxury and adoration that we might think. It also shows that even the most successful people in their trade have fallen absolutely flat at some point.

Finally, we can probably take away from this event that Twitter, despite its Elon-accelerated descent into cesspit territory, can still be a pretty heartwarming place as well.

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