The decade's most triggering comedy
New author Chelsea Banning was feeling sad following the low turnout at her book signing but then got support from some of the most famous authors in the world.
The Ohio native posted about the event on her Twitter account. Banning told NPR that nearly 40 people had responded that they would attend her signing at Pretty Good Books in Ashtabula, Ohio, but on that night, only two fans showed up.
“I was discouraged and bummed and I felt bad that the bookstore owner opened his store for me,” she said.
The first-time author had just published the fantasy novel “Of Crowns and Legends.” It’s meant to be the first book of a trilogy about King Arthur’s children.
Rather than sulking away in shame, Banning shared her experience on social media and was shocked to find some of the best-selling authors of all time commiserating with her.
“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,” the author shared with her followers.
Banning couldn’t believe it when some of her favorite authors replied to her tweet. “I stayed up until 1 a.m. in complete shock, just watching it happen,” she reportedly said.
“Terry Pratchett and I did a signing in Manhattan for Good Omens that nobody came to at all. So you are two up on us,” British author Neil Gaiman, who wrote “Coraline” and “American Gods,” said in reply.
“I have sat lonely at a signing table many times only to have someone approach…and ask me where the bathroom is,” New York Times best-selling author Jodi Picoult agreed.
“Can’t beat my record. One (1) person turned up at a signing once. We had a lovely conversation and went to coffee. Lemonade!” fantasy and sci-fi writer Robin Hobb chimed in.
“I did a book reading where only my husband’s cousin showed up. One person. I’ll never forget that reading,” Min Jin Lee wrote.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” author Margaret Atwood said it happened to her, too. “Join the club. I did a signing to which Nobody came, except a guy who wanted to buy some Scotch tape and thought I was the help,” she tweeted in reply.
Even Stephen King said he had a lackluster showing early in his career. “At my first SALEM’S LOT signing, I had one customer,” King wrote. “A fat kid who said, ‘Hey bud, do you know where there’s some Nazi books?’”
After Banning’s tweet went viral, her book shot up to the number one best-seller on Amazon in the Arthurian Fantasy category, and she shared that all her signed copies sold out.