Battle of the Waterstone's

Mum and I arrived at Wigan hoping to beat the sales record set in Warrington. It didn’t look likely at first as we were told that the store would be so busy, there was no room for a table to sell our books from, that no flyers had been printed up, and the store no longer had a copy of the email containing our flyer. Some copies of Hard Time had been placed at the end of the checkout counter, completely out of view of the incoming shoppers, and we were told to operate from there. After 20 minutes of not selling a single book, my agitation rose to the point where I began lobbying for a table. The manager was eventually summoned, and a large table near the door laden with Xmas offers was cleared. As soon the display of jail outfits was set up, shoppers besieged the table.

Throughout the day, the managers of the Warrington and Wigan branches were taunting each other by email: the Wigan manager boasting that we were on target to sell 100 books and smash the record in Warrington; the Warrington manager pooh-poohing all such claims, insisting that the Warrington record was unassailable.

When Mum left at 3pm, we were still over 20 books short of the record. At 4pm, I usually leave the store, but my competitive juices had been sufficiently stirred by the manager to motivate me to stay. I left before 5pm with 97 books sold, versus 87 in Warrington.

We returned to Warrington on Christmas Eve, but the store was scheduled to close early. The manager jokingly offered to give me the keys, so I could keep the store open in order to sell enough books to beat Wigan, but I declined. We sold over 70 books. The regional manager shook our hands, and congratulated us.

500 books were sold during these recent northern book signings. They left me so exhausted I slept for 11 hours last night.

Click here for the previous Waterstone's signing blogs


Anonymous said...

I couldn't sleep, my head was spinning, but when I did fall asleep I had a dream that I was in Waterstones doing my sales pitch when a huges pile of Hard Time stacked up behind us started to fall on top of our heads. The books didn't hurt but as they began to bury us I woke up.

It was a wonderful, if exhausting, experience helping Shaun to sell his book. He's come so far since that December three years ago when he was released. I'm so proud of him.

Thanks to everyone who's bought the book and thanks to all the blog readers for your continued support. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Our warmest thoughts are sent to everyone incarcerated for whatever reason all over the world.

Best Wishes

Rosa said...

That's awesome! Congratulations on your continuing success with the book sales.

Merry Christmas!

EVRoss said...

Hello Shaun
I met you in Wigan around 3pm. Thanks for stopping to talk to me in what must have been a stressful day for you and your mum. It was great to meet you after reading the blog for the last 2 years. I went back later in the evening to buy a copy.

Thanks Emma
(girl in bright red hat)

Jon said...

I remember you, Emma! Please email me when you've read the book, to let me know what you think of it.