Writer who complained on Twitter about empty book signing receives support from famous authors

Margaret Atwood and Stephen King spoke out in support of author Chelsea Banning
Margaret Atwood and Stephen King spoke out in support of author Chelsea Banning   -   Copyright  AP
By Tim Gallagher

A new author has received an overwhelming swell of support after opening up about a lacklustre book signing event.

Chelsea Banning appeared at a book signing in Ohio, US, for her debut novel ‘Of Crowns and Legends,’ but when the event began it was only attended by two people.

“Only 2 people came to my author signing yesterday, so I was pretty bummed about it,” the distressed writer said on Twitter.

“Especially as 37 people responded "going" to the event. Kind of upset, honestly, and a little embarrassed.”

Banning, who is based in the US, is a fantasy writer whose book is rooted in Arthurian legend. Her tweet received 62,000 likes and over 2000 comments and retweets at the time of writing. She has since sold out of signed copies of the story she spent 15 years working on.

“Holy heck ya'll!!! This BLEW UP. Omg,” the author wrote a day later of the groundswell of support she received.

Which authors supported Banning’s tweet?

Among those responding to Banning were a few familiar faces reminding us that everyone has to start somewhere.

“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,” wrote British writer Neil Gaiman of his late colleague and friend.

“Join the club,” responded ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ author Margaret Atwood.

“I did a signing to which Nobody came, except a guy who wanted to buy some Scotch tape and thought I was the help.”

“I have sat lonely at a signing table many times only to have someone approach…and ask me where the bathroom is,” added Jodie Picoult, writer of ‘My Sister’s Keeper’.

“I once did an event for CHOCOLAT in Glasgow, where the only person who turned up was an old man who had come in out of the rain,” said author Joanne Harris who chairs the UK group Society of Authors.

Perhaps the biggest name to respond however was none other than horror aficionado Stephen King who said: “At my first SALEM'S LOT signing, I had one customer. A fat kid who said, "Hey bud, do you know where there's some Nazi books?"

This proved too much for Banning who responded,

“Omg!... btw my husband freaked out more than me that Stephen King replied. Huge fan! Thank you for your stories, sir!”