Which is a lot more than can be said for the independent bookshop in St Andrews who could not have been more patronising, negative, dismissive and scathing of me. I had gone there first with more hope than expectation and came out wanting to crawl home and cry.
Instead, I screwed my courage to the sticking point, thought, "Well Waterstones can't be any more horrible to me than that!" and went along to the big, national bookshop. I spoke to Stuart (who is someone I have often chatted to when I have been in there) and broached the subject. I didn't really know Stuart beyond brief chats in the shop, but I knew he was the sort of chap that would let a novice writer down gently if the store couldn't do anything.
He could not have been better to me!
He took my Advance Information sheet from me, looked at the picture on it and immediately said, "This looks great!" After that, he checked whether the shop could order it (it's distributed by one of the main distributors in the UK, so yes, no problem), said that even if there had been a problem there were ways around it, told me that the shop was always really keen to support local writers, was delighted it was a thriller... he was just wonderful! I really wish I'd gone there first!
So, to cut a long story short, if you're looking to do a book launch in a bookshop, don't be afraid to ask. If I had crawled home, demoralised after the first experience, I would have missed out on what (so far) has been an absolutely fantastic experience.
Oh, and the snotty guy in the independent bookshop... he'll probably not get another sale from me or many of my friends.
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