Young author Chelsea Banning tweeted her bitterness at a book launch that nobody attended (ah, actually, just two people).
The impact of his post on Twitter went viral after, surprisingly, greats of literature replied: “You are not alone, welcome to the club.”
To promote a book is to present it: it is something impossible to avoid. The life cycle of books is shortening, and to keep them alive, “word of mouth” is needed, an increasingly broad and direct contact with the community of readers.
Every day, in hundreds of cities, after six in the evening, there is a presentation; the umpteenth stage of what for many authors has become an ordeal.
The case that the world media are presenting this Wednesday, December 7, is that of Chelsea Banning, a young American writer who expected a good presence of people at the first official signing of her books in an Ohio bookstore last Saturday, but who only received two people.
Banning had told the bookstore owner that prepare for a crowd. But when the doors opened for the event, only two people walked in.
Banning is the author of a fantasy novel “Of Crowns and Legends”the first book in a trilogy that follows the children of King Arthur during a time of war.
Banning, a librarian by profession, he had worked on the story for over 15 years, and in August 2022, it was finally published.
Problems with digital marketing
But getting your novel on the shelves is half the battle. During the last few months, she works with people from digital marketing to promote your book on social media, with little luck.
After the failure of the presentation on Saturday, Banning tweeted about what happened with the intention of deleting the tweet in a few hours, he said.
Banning wrote: “Only 2 people came to my author signing yesterday, I’m upset about that. Especially since 37 people answered ‘go’ to the event. A little upset, honestly, and a little embarrassed.”
Only 2 people came to my author signing yesterday, so I was pretty bummed about it. Especially as 37 people responded “going” to the event. Kind of upset, honestly, and a little embarrassed.
— Chelsea BanningAuthor (@chelseabwrites) December 4, 2022
The writer and the responses of celebrities on Twitter
However, within a few hours, when the writer was about to delete the tweet, she was surprised when a large number of authors, including some of the world’s most renowned novelists, responded with their own experiences of low participation in book signings.
Among those who responded were some of Banning’s favorite authors, including Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb and Jodie Picoult.
An author tweeted her sadness that no one came to her book signing. She answered, among others, these three.
Never give up. 😉 pic.twitter.com/QlAW0245Cs
— Duck (@PatoNotPatricia) December 7, 2022
“Terry Pratchett and I did a signing in Manhattan for Good Omens that no one came to. So you’re two above us,” said Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself).
“I have sat alone at a signing table many times only to have someone walk up and ask me where the bathroom is,” Jodi Picoult (@jodipicoult).
“You couldn’t beat my record: a person appeared at a signing once. We had a lovely chat and went for coffee,” Robin Hobb (@robinhobb).
Other widely known novelists who responded to the writer’s tweet included Min Jin Lee, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, and Cheryl Strayed.
“I did a book signing where only my husband’s cousin appeared. A person. I will never forget that one,” said Min Jin Lee (@minjinlee11).
“Join the club. I did a signing that no one came to, except for a guy who wanted to buy some duct tape and thought I was the salesperson,” Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) told her.