Guildford Waterstone’s Book Signing

A big thank you to all of the great people who attended the signing, the Waterstone’s staff for putting up with my nonsense, and, of course, special thanks to the three people who assisted, Mum, Charlotte, Josephine and little Simon. We sold 73 copies, establishing a new record at that branch for a non-celebrity author selling a single book.

The day started early, getting up at 6am to pick Mum up at the Mandolay Hotel.

She was unimpressed with the free upgrade to an executive suite: "If that was the executive suite, I can't imagine where they put us poor people."

I whisked her off, half asleep, to the Guildford BBC studios on the University of Surrey campus for a radio interview with Joe Talbot. Mum was the star of the interview. To listen: click here for part 1: click here for part 2.

We arrived at Waterstone’s at 10am to set up. The book sales came thick and fast. I didn’t even get the opportunity to eat a banana until about 3pm, but I did allow Mum a full lunch break, and two trips to the loo, whereas I just clenched my bladder muscle all day long to avoid any loss of sales.

A surge in the people around our display table occurred when a posse of my fellow BodyCombat class extremists showed up, including our charismatic instructor, Tony, whose Wednesday night class at the Guildford Spectrum is so popular he actually has a bouncer on the door – I highly recommend it. Here’s a video of me telling jail and Wild Man stories to some of my BodyCombat friends:

I was really moved by the aunt who drove her niece, Leah, who had seen my talk at Harlington Community School all the way down the M25 from Middlesex as a surprise to the signing. Her face lit up when she walked in.

I had a great chat with these two readers of Jon’s Jail Journal who came from London to the signing.

Although my friend, Brenda, the Bearded Lady of Guildford didn’t show up. I talked to her beforehand and she agreed to this little video as a way of saying thanks to my friend Kathi out of Germany for some earings:

 With Josephine and Charlotte.

 With BodyCombat fanatic, Micky.

BodyCombat crew.

"Shaun, when is the prequel to Hard Time coming out?"
"With all of the talks to schools, I've been unable to make much progress."
                 "Well, you need to get it down because I'm waiting for something good to read!"
"I hope to get it done by the end of this year, but then it'll take up to six more months to get it published."
"You're going to make us wait another year!"
"I need to just stay in more and write and get it all polished up, and eat more chocolate because that really gets my writing flowing. I'll burn the calories right off at Tony's BodyCombat!"              

 With Jessica, the dynamic events coordinator.
 With Helen (from my karate class), and Mary (from BodyCombat)

I kept Mum and Charlotte working for almost two hours after the signing had officially ended. They passed out from sheer exhaustion. Even coffee didn't revitalise them. I demanded the manager, Kevin, do an on-the-spot firing of Matthew, the employee who provided them the coffee as they refused to sell any more books after sitting down - and there was still 15 minutes to go before the store closed! This kind of wanton laziness will not be tolerated at future signings. Coffee earlier in the day is permitted as there is a correclation between Mum's consumption and book sales.
With the manager, Kevin, trying to coax into giving me the keys to the store, so that I could keep it open beyond the closing time in order to sell more books.
Shaun Attwood


Leah Morris said...

Hi shaun,

It wasn't my mum that took me yesterday. She was my aunt, but we had a great time all the same. Glad I met you, leah.

Jon said...

Thanks for coming so far, Leah :) You rule!

Sue O. (aka Joannie, SS) said...

Go Shaun, mum and crew...what are your book sales to date? Sue O

Jon said...


The first print run sold out. 3500 copies. We are now well into the second print run. 3000 copies. Mum and I have worked hard to get the relationship with Waterstone's gong - it is the biggest book store in the UK. Nearly every branch now has a copy of Hard Time, and each area we do a book signing in, the people who have read the book spread the word. The book is making progress slowly. Because I am not famous, it is hard to get people to read it, and the other UK book stores to stock it, but the feedback from the people who have read it is tremendously positive as you can see at the Amazon reviews.

Anonymous said...

reportage in mail on sundays LIVE magazine about Bastoy.. norwegian prison. pls pls try and read if you can:)

Eli xx

Jez said...

Hey,Fancy coming to arizona for a vacation ? lol

Anonymous said...

That's brilliant, hitting 70+! It was great fun, but it was tiring and I slept like a log last night. Charlotte did a great job, and I really enjoyed meeting your pals from the gym. They seem like very genuine people. I liked Mary too.


Rotelocke said...

Thank you for the video.


Jon said...


I am banned from America for life by the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the videos! Keep them coming my friend!


Anonymous said...

Hurrah! I'm in Guildford Waterstone's next week myself. Great shop!

Bobbie Darbyshire

Jon said...

good luck with it, Bobbie, what's the footfall like at woking peacocks waterstone's?

Anonymous said...

It's okay. I sold 33 there last September. Wherever you are, footfall varies depending on the weather.

Bobbie Darbyshire

Jon said...

which are the highest footfall ones in this area? how are brighton, horsham, walton on thames?

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to Brighton or Walton-on-Thames. Horsham was fine. Windsor is good. Croydon can be good. The ones inside shopping centres probably suffer most on sunny days.

Bobbie Darbyshire

Anonymous said...

Well done to you

Mary xx

James said...

It was fantastic to meet the man behind the words

And I am loving the book!

Keep up the good work Shaun

Jon said...

Thanks so much, James, Mary and Chuy!

Aaron Hickman said...

Jez, I am banned from America for life by the Dept. of Homeland Security.