A mostly uneventful day

Well, that's another one to chalk up to experience. Saturday was my book signing day - the lovely people at Teddy Bears of Witney had given over a whole one of their windows for a display of my books.

And in the long back room where the child-safe bears live, I had the top of a glass display cabinet for the Puddletown toys, where they sat very happily. I also had a digi-frame set up, showing previous work.

One crucial thing I did learn as the day went on was that I should have put them on the two lowest shelves because of course, they are not at child height and the little mites had to crane their necks to see.

I set my table up at the back, with everything I needed,
including work, as I didn't expect to be overwhelmed with crowds of adoring fans.

I was not disappointed. I was not overwhelmed by crowds of adoring fans.

Several people came in to see me over the six hours; stayed to chat about various things, admired the toys and books. I very much enjoyed meeting them all and one lady who has read my blog (*waves if she is reading this*). One person came in specifically because she had heard my radio interview and felt a connection, having had a difficult childhood herself - we exchanged details and if the day had been meant for anything, it was for that, so I'm glad.

The shop sold three books in total, which works out at half a book every hour and I sold enough pin badge/postcard combos to cover my bus fare and have a much needed pint. I felt more sorry for the shop, as they had gone to so much trouble on my behalf.

I'm tough enough to take it - the next signing is being planned in Oxford. Hopefully we may sell more than three books this time.


Becca said...

I promise to come to the Oxford one - get a date and I'll spread the word!

Sweet Nothings said...

Your characters look fabulous, you are so talented! I notice you have a cloth over your felting pad, can I ask why? does it stop the fibres tangling with the pad? or are you just hiding it? Xxx

Dartford Warbler said...

Ah well....one to put down to experience I suppose.

I`m sure you will have more children and parents to meet in Oxford. I recently spent a wet day in several Oxford bookshops and they were teeming with young ones, choosing books.

Your two lovely books are now wrapped up in my cupboard, ready to be birthday parcels on my Granddaughter`s third birthday. I know that she will love them.

Good luck for your next signing.

Vintage Jane said...

Oh what a shame ... hope the Oxford signing has a queue out the door and round the corner! I tried to catch your interview on my day off last week but I think I was too late as there was a mention of you in the text but no interview sadly. I need to be quicker off the mark next time!

Tonia said...

Chin up, happens to all authors - walked past Waterstones in Cheltenham once to see Mary Wesley (Camomile Lawn, anyone?) sat all on her ownsome. Felt dreadful, went and bought 3 of her books to make it better.
Have only ever seen massive queues for Terry Pratchett signings - and he is a god after all.

Of course, Oxford one will be better with queues to rival Pratchett's!

rossichka said...

Dear Gretel, the lack of "fans" has nothing to do with the artistic merits of your book! People maybe didn't know about the signing hours, but I'm sure a lot of children will like the book and will receive it as a gift, because it's so interesting and unique, that's calling: "Buy me!":0)
I wish I was there to feel the excitement of meeting you and being in this fairy shop. I wish you a queue of future admirers in Oxford!
By the way, if I have luck, I'll have your book delivered from England this summer!!!
I like how your felt heroes looked like on the new place!:)
Don't you worry about anything! You've created something beautiful with all your heart and children will love it. Just wait a little...

Kate said...

Oh what a shame; I'd have love to have been one of the folk who came to support you but was unfortunately not able to do so this time around. I don't have a huge amount of followers but will also gladly 'promote' your next signing via my blog; perhaps if we all did this you'll be inundated next time around!

Kate :-)

Caroline B said...

Never mind - there doesn't seem to be any logic with this sort of thing. Sometimes I think it all depends on the way the wind blows more than anything! Hopefully Oxford will be more productive for you.

Anonymous said...

I remember doing my first craft fair - standing behind my stall all smiles, ready to have lovely conversations and sell all my beautiful things ...... and people kept just walking past, without looking!
I am sure it will be better next time! My two books are sitting on my table beside me as I type this - they are much too precious to be abandoned on a bookshelf!!

The fabric of my life said...

Oh honey, what a disappointment for you. I have had days like this. Fairs that have taken weeks to prepare for barely pay my costs and some to put 'down to experience'. You know you have many fans out there.

By the way, I keep meaning to send you a picture of Lizzy's nasturtiums that you sent her for her birthday. She planted them all by herself (unbeknown to us) in my Grandmother's old belfast sink which stands in the garden. They are flowering and are lovely. I think of you every time I see them :-)

JOHN SHORTLAND, Cotswold Hills, England. said...

I heard the interview on the radio when I was travelling around in the car. Would have come over to say 'hello' to a fellow blogger but work got in the way.

Perhaps the publicity from the interview will make more people visit you in Oxford. I'm sure you deserve it!


Janet Metzger, Artist said...

Dear Gretel,
No worries...it's all part of the process. Only one way to go from there...UP!

I am sure Oxford will be great, so be prepared and see you have learned from the Whitney signing....display the toys lower ;->

janet xox

Frances said...

Gretel, I am a bit astounded that there weren't more folks visiting you in Witney. Keep thinking about all the children who would have been captivated.

On to Oxford!

I've done a few events myself (years ago, mostly) and have never known what to make of the results. I remember taking part in an outdoor art exhibit once and all the caring preparation of cutting mats, etc., to display my drawings and prints. Well...lo and behold the artist next to me was displaying his copies of pictures of Minnie and Mickey Mouse and ... well, you can guess the rest.

Guess I learned something from that weekend, but clearly the memory still clings to me.

Here's another exhibit tale. I was in a group show with others in a printmaking workshop. All sorts of folks turned up. I sold everything on display, and a few unframed etchings besides. But better yet, I introduced a non-artist friend to one of the fellows in the workshop crew, and ...they got on, got married, moved back to his homeland in Spain, and now have two grown children, one in med school, one studying graphic art.

You just never know. xo

Soozcat said...

The next showing will be better. Even with a little radio boost, sometimes it just needs to be in a larger venue for people to show up. But the time well may come when you look back on uneventful book signings like this one with a wistful fondness... you never know.

ted and bunny said...

let us know the date in advance for Oxford and I'll put it on my blog and hopefully if we all do that then more people (more of the RIGHT people I hasten to add!) will know about it and you'll sell loads...if you were to sell a WHOLE book every hour at least it'll save tearing all those books in half....


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Every one who does buy will tell ten others about the perfect book they've found ..... And that lovely window display will have caught many a child's imagination !
Oxford will be much busier , you'll see .

Elizabeth Rhiannon said...

Wish I had been there! ;) Sadly though, maybe it's just a sign of the economic times. Certainly is here. Best of luck next time...you deserve it...I think your work is wonderful.

Laurel said...

Oh, too bad. The shop and display look absolutely lovely, too. But I concur that between economy, summer, and other vagaries we can't guess at, this will be a blip for you. Oxford will be lovely. And I certainly would have come if it didn't take a transatlantic flight!

D A Nelson said...

Hi. Don't be disheartened. This is the life of an author. I've done quite a few book signings and several of those I spent sitting on my todd, twiddling my thumbs. This is quite common according to other authors I know (unless you are someone REALLY well known like J K Rowling). Good luck with the next one.

Dawn x

My Bella Bleu said...

It all looks wonderful! I just adore your work! Wish I could have visited you, but I'm in Florida!!!

Joy said...

Hi Gretel it was lovely to meet you in Witney. I have taken the book into school and am ready for our next story time. My daughter was very inspired and is going to have a go at felting over the holidays. It will be lovely to do it together.

Jane said...

What a shame you had a quiet day. All too far away for me to get to, but I'll mention your Oxford date to a fiend of mine in Oxford and I'm sure she'll spread the news in the embroidery guild meeting.