Monday, 12 November 2012

Could this be why book stores support introducing unknown authors to new readers?

I thought you might like to see this lovely response from a boy I met at one of my signings in Waterstones at half-term.

“Dear Alan,
 I was thrilled with meeting you today in Bishops Stortford.  My teacher, Miss Jones, really enjoys reading ‘Curd the Lion and Us’ to my class.  All my friends love to listen.  I wish I could be you.  I can’t wait to tell them I’ve met you.  When Mummy finishes reading the book to us I’ll e-mail again and let you know what we all thought.
 William Shields (6 years old)”

And Mum’s follow-up after I sent him an email pdf of one of my drawings.

“Dear Alan,
 Thank-you for the picture that you drew for William.  He was absolutely thrilled and we'll get it printed professionally and put it on his wall.

Thanks again for making a little boy very happy and for helping him develop a love for stories and reading.
Lesley Shields”

To the managers of Waterstones’ branches: Without your continued support, store by store, such responses would not be possible and I thank you all.

To any who read this: feel free to pass my thanks on to your colleagues in other branches, especially all those who supported me through the summer holidays and indeed, for the past three and a half years, resulting in roughly £140,000-worth of my books through Waterstones tills at signings (total sales £165,000).
I hope stores will continue to support my work and enable me to have a successful pre-Christmas (see 2011 autumn to Christmas results below).

On querying James Daunt on the purpose of the summer signings policy recommendations, I received the following assurance:
"Persistent, intrusive pitching to customers of books that often did not meet any reasonable standard which, as booksellers, we should have been maintaining, was unacceptable."
"If your books, and the manner with which you engage with our customers, is acceptable, the new policy on events will not hinder you."

I hope you share the view that the quality of my books and my manner of approaching customers are both sufficient to permit me to continue with my business conducted so far successfully through Waterstones.