Musings on our first book signing

We had our first book signing at Waterstones Newport, Isle of Wight today. It also coincided with very heavy rain. Not a good combination. We thought it might drive people into the shop. It did, but unfortunately not many children with families. Anyway, when we arrived the amazingly friendly staff welcomed us and made us tea! We arranged our table and soon after the photographer from the Isle of Wight County Press arrived to take some snaps. Our children loved that bit.

We settled down to wait for the crowds to arrive. Of course, they didn’t. To say it was quiet was an understatement. A few children turned up and were happy to do some colouring, but when their parents found them, only one bothered to pick up the book and when I invited children to come over they just looked at me with worried faces and ran off to find their parents – “Mummy a scary man just asked me to do some colouring!” :-).

I think people who passed didn’t connect us sitting/standing at the signing table with the books arranged in front of us. It was only after talking to several people did they realise we were the authors and it had a local connection. Even then they didn’t buy. Due to the layout of the shop, there wasn’t room for us in the children’s section, so we found ourselves between Gardening Picks and Current Affairs, which meant any families and children on their way to the children’s section didn’t see us. Also several customers used the free chairs around the table to sit on and read other Waterstone’s books. One woman even leaned on an open copy of our picture book with her wet arms! I eventually pulled the book away and wanted to tell her that if Waterstones has to return the book it’s us that has to pay for it!

Up sides to the day were when staff asked me to sign all the stock. I felt suddenly like a “real” author and put an individual message in each book, and on request dedicated a book to a Waterstone’s member of staff. It was also a big ego trip to see the black “Signed by the Author” sticker going onto every copy.

So what did we learn? Selling books is a hard business. There’s millions of other books in competition. Books are not a “must have” buy for most people. We’re not likely to make our first million vey soon 😉

We’d like to say a massive thank you to Paul and all the staff at Waterstones, Newport IOW, for their hospitality, support and opportunity to promote our children’s picture book – Jack and Boo’s Bucket of Treasures! You are brilliant! And thanks also for giving us a prime spot in the window. We hope to sell all copies very soon. Role on our next signing in Hastings in July!

Book signing and activites for the kids this half-term

Beachy Books are celebrating the publication of their first children’s picture book, Jack and Boo’s Bucket of Treasures, at a book signing at Waterstones in Newport on Saturday 29th May between 11am and 1pm. There will be also be beach-themed activities and book readings to keep the children entertained at the start of half-term. All Welcome!

Jack and Boo’s Bucket of Treasures, the first in a series, follows the adventures of two children on the beach collecting found treasures washed ashore by the sea. The book also includes a beach spotter guide and family ideas to entertain children on visits to the beach.

Happy reading and beach treasure hunting this summer!

Treasure found in Waterstones window

On Saturday I almost fainted when I walked past our local Waterstones and spotted our beachy treasure, Jack and Boo’s Bucket of Treasures in the window display along with with a card about us and details of our book signing this coming Saturday. Rah! We are very thankful to Paul at Waterstones Newport, IOW for giving us this book signing slot and such a prominent window position.

And if you don’t believe us…

Waterstones Newport, IOW
Just to prove our book is in a real Waterstones!
 Boo's Bucket of Treasures in Waterstones, Newport IOW Front window

Vote for our children’s picture book on polling day!

Just one more vote to cast – a vote for a great children’s picture book about a magical trip to the beach collecting treasure. Your kids will love it. We’ve already got some great reviews and we have a book signing coming up this month.

Now vote with your eyes and buy a copy of Jack and Boo’s Bucket of Treasures at a bargain price from If you are in the US then try here.

Happy voting!

Taking photos on a woodland walk

We are working on our next book set on an adventure in the woods at the moment. It’s a challenge given the little “free” time we have after work and family…and twitter of course!

We found a stunning ancient woodland the other day and took some snaps while out with the children. We’d already got together photos of a wood from previous adventures out, but many of the images were too dark and grainy. I guess I could have used a tripod and a decent camera, but part of the magic of writing these books is capturing family days out. It’s more about the composition and a feeling than taking an award winning photo. In any case these new snaps are looking great but I must have got a bit carried away as I now have to trawl through 150!

Fossil Hunting on Yaverland Beach

Spent a sunny down on Yaverland beach, in Isle of Wight with the kids fossil hunting, but mostly playing on the beach. We found fossilied wood with iron pyrite inside but no dinosaurs today. We don’t really know what we’re looking for at the moment as I’m not too hot on geology, but I’m picking it up. right now I could have easily found a dinosaur bone and not realised it judging from these photos of finds on the uk fossils network website.We try not to do too much damage, simply hunting for rocks on the foreshore rather than breaking huge chunks off the cliff as many people seem to do. Still, a fun challenge for family and children, but do some homework before so you know where to look and what to even look for!

Pity the day was spoilt slightly by a nuisance that seems to plague every beach, street, footpath and stretch of grass in the uk – dog poo! With all the dog owners not clearing up their foul lumps, in a few million years from now, people will find fossilised poo as common as…well muck. To be fair I did see several dog walkers with little bags of the stinking stuff, so shame on you others – how would you like it if I let my children do the same? Sermon over.

Our first book signing at Waterstones on Saturday 29th May!

Bit excited today as we have confirmed with our local Waterstones in Newport, Isle of Wight, that we have a book signing for Jack and Boo’s Bucket of Treasures on Saturday 29th May, between 11am and 1pm.

Also Paul, the manager, told us today he’s already ordered 30 copies in advance, which we are really chuffed about! We’d like to take this opportunity for thanking Paul at Waterstones for his time and giving us this great opportunity.

I’ll be blogging and tweeting more details of the event nearer the time…