What’s it like to see your books in shops? This is a question I have been asked a few times since my children’s picture book, There’s a Crocodile on the Golf Course, was released earlier this year. The answer… it’s pretty darn exciting!
Seriously, perhaps it’s because it’s still a bit of a novelty, but I never get sick of seeing my book on a shelf. It is a buzz to see a book you’ve worked on sitting there alongside other books by amazing authors… people whom I have always admired. I doubt it would ever get old!
For full disclosure, I’d love to be the cool and collected type, but I’m just not. In truth I consider myself a bit of a dag – even at the best of times. I have just returned home from a trip to Darwin for a publishing forum and workshops run by the NT Writers Centre and NT Library (more on that another time), and popped into The Bookshop Darwin and Crocosaurus Cove, who are both wonderful stockists of my book… just to visit my books on the shelves.
Of course, I am touching base with the store managers and staff too. And it’s exceptionally lovely to browse the shelves of a real-life bookstore, something I don’t get to do often, living on a remote island.
But also, I just love visiting my books.
My great friend, Steph, has opened a new restaurant, Spice Garden, in Nightcliff, Darwin and asked to stock a few copies of my book alongside some others she has on display. ‘Well of course!’ I said, then promptly went in for a selfie! Happily, Steph was keen to join in!
I’m not overly big on selfies, I was probably just born too early, but for my books I will make an exception. I am sure that store staff generally think I’m a little crazy, but they are great sports and allow me to come in and make a glorious fool of myself attempting to pose for inconspicuous selfies that are absolutely not inconspicuous. They try to supress their smiles sometimes as they walk by politely. Other times they just laugh along with (or at) me. Fair enough! Come to think of it, this happens in libraries too. I get the strangest sideways glances from other customers, but that’s ok. I’m too daggy to care.
I’ll never tell you this, of course, but even when I am home on Groote, I will pop into the shop occasionally just to peek at them. Of course, I love catching up with the lovely Sandy who runs the Alyangula Newsagency and Kiosk, but I’m sure she suspects my motives sometimes!
So, there you go, the jig is up, the secret is out. If you see me posting a selfie or two with my books, please be tolerant! Just roll your eyes and laugh along. I’m not really crazy. I just can’t help but get excited… it’s a buzz. And I’m more than happy to look like a dag for that!
I think it just means that I’m proud of my work. 😉