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Authors hate book signings

Authors hate it when they have to sit and sign 3000 books in a row, but they also hate it more when no one shows up. The Independent looks at the pros and cons of the book signing.

From those who are incredibly successful…

There’s a shocking story about Stephen King signing books in a Seattle shop. He signed for hours until his shoulder ached and a publicist had to apply an ice-pack. Then his fingers dried up; they cracked and began to bleed, and he asked for a bandage. Hearing this, a fan in the queue demanded to have some authentic Stephen King blood on his book. Others joined in and he signed in his own blood for hours. Chuck Palahniuk, the modern gross-out novelist, author of Fight Club, recalls a visit to a store in Austin, Texas, where the staff dished out free beer to the signing queue, and where an aggressive queuer, possibly not Chuck’s greatest fan, demanded of a quaking employee: “Why should I wait in this long line to get my books signed by that dickwad?”

and those who are not…

Jonathan Coe, author of What a Carve Up! and The Rain Before It Falls, recalls two encounters at a signing in Brighton: one woman picked up his new novel, read the author’s biog on the back flap and sniffed, “Is that your only claim to fame?” When he said, “Yes,” she replaced the book without another word. The other was a girl student who said brightly, “Can I ask you a question? Why are all your women characters so crap?”

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