I feel compelled by the confessional nature of the blog (it really does feel like some creepy pale-skinned man-in-a-frock reads everything I write) to admit to doing something shocking today …

I am sure I am not alone, as an author, in going into bookshops and helping with the arrangements of displays. There is the familiar feeling of disappointment when I find A Prickly Affair not face out at eye-level … but as I am sure that is just an accident, I like to show willing by helping out and rearranging things.

So, that is okay? Isn’t it?

Then there is the business of signing books … now, I don’t just wander around bookshops signing my copies without asking (though there have been incidents where people have been found signing away in obscure volumes that might, or might not, be theirs) – I ask, and usually feel a little embarrassed about asking. But it is an important thing to do – not only do people feel they are getting something a little more special (though what could be more special than A Prickly Affair anyway?) with the scribble … but there is the seriously important fact that once the books have been signed, they cannot be returned.

If only I had spent a year running around the bookshops in America to stop them returning the far better title US edition – The Hedgehog’s Dilemma … got my royalty statement yesterday – ow, that hurts reading those numbers …

So, moving books and signing them – ok?

But then, while signing the books on the display in Waterstones, Oxford, today, I did something that reveals the true depths I will sink too … my book was on a display – manager’s choice …  four stars out of a possible five and a great selling point too … and what did I do? I coloured in the final star – at the time rationalising like the book placement – obviously it was just an oversight on their part, and actually, it did look like there was a partial colouring in of the final star and ….

How low will I stoop in the quest to sell A Prickly Affair? Other top tips welcome!

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