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A First-Time Writer Was Disappointed That No One Came to Her Book Signing. Then Stephen King Tweeted About It.

When new novelist Chelsea Banning showed up at Pretty Good Books in Ashtabula, Ohio, last Saturday for her first-ever book signing, she was pretty excited.

But when only two people showed up, she left “pretty bummed”

Banning tweeted: “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.”

Banning is the author of a fantasy novel called Of Crowns and Legends, which follows King Arthur’s children during a war. A professional librarian by day, she worked on the story for 15 years before self-publishing.

But fear not — her story has a happy ending.

Related: 10 Things This First-Time Novelist Did to Write and Sell a Bestseller (Podcast)

Book Twitter responds

Not long after Banning tweeted about her author-signing sadness, some of the most famous authors in the world responded with words of encouragement.

Horror king, Stephen King, tweeted: “Dear Chelsea Banning: When you do your next signing, let us know. We’ll let EVERYBODY know.”

Margarett Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale’s author, shared her low-turnout fiasco, tweeting: “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.”

Niel Gaiman of American Gods and Coraline fame wrote: “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.”

Best-selling novelist, Jodi Picoult could relate, tweeting: “I have sat lonely at a signing table many times only to have someone approach…and ask me where the bathroom is.”

Other notable authors who responded include Min Jin Lee (Pachinko) and Robin Hobb (Realm of the Elderlings)

Now a bestseller

Banning told NPR she spent the night gawking at her Tweetdeck. “I stayed up until 1 a.m. in complete shock, just watching it happen,” she said.

So did a lot of other people.

The book is now #1 in Dragons & Mythical Creatures Fantasy on Amazon.

What lesson has Banning learned?

“It’s okay to have feelings. We’re not alone in this, but don’t let them hold you back,” she told NPR.

Banning now plans to do another book signing on January 28 at the same location. This time, it’s safe to say more than two people will show up.

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