Good News: Tip your Amazon delivery driver for free. Just say “Alexa, thank my driver.”
Amazon will give your delivery driver $5 every time you say thanks! Here’s how it works.
Humankind, USA TODAY
- Ohio writer Chelsea Banning’s first book signing was mostly empty, despite dozens of RSVPs.
- An outpouring of support on the internet followed.
- Famous authors like Stephen King, Jodi Picoult and Margaret Atwood were among those who chimed in with their own embarrassing stories.
An Ohio fantasy writer skyrocketed from obscurity overnight thanks to an unexpected outpouring of support from famous authors including Stephen King. It began with a tale of two tweets.
“I have my first author signing at a local bookstore today!” author and librarian Chelsea Banning tweeted from her then barely used account the morning of Dec. 3, complete with a giddy SpongeBob SquarePants gif.
Banning’s first historical fantasy novel, “Of Crowns and Legends,” published in August. She had arranged a December book signing at Pretty Good Books in Ashtabula, Ohio, her husband’s hometown.
“I was really looking forward to it,” Banning told USA TODAY. She said she initially got into writing over 15 years ago.
The book is the first in Banning’s planned trilogy and explores the journeys of twin children that King Arthur wasn’t supposed to have.
“It follows their lives 20 years after his death and their struggles of living in this legend’s shadow,” she said.
On that windy, cold and rainy afternoon, only two of the 37 people who had sent a RSVP via Facebook showed up.
“It was heartbreaking, it really was,” said Pretty Good Books co-owner Joe Zinski, who runs the small bookstore with his wife, Sarah Zinski. The store also had two walk-ins during the event.
A SPECIAL ORNAMENT: After a loss, holidays can be hard. One woman’s business helps loved ones’ voices live on.
The reality of the low turnout hit Banning later that night, when she turned to Twitter and her 100-or-so followers to “vent into the void.”
“Kind of upset, honestly, and a little embarrassed,” she tweeted in part, later writing she felt bad because the normally appointments-only bookstore opened just for her event.
Then came the flood of kind words and supportive messages. The tweet has since amassed over 75,000 likes and her Twitter account now has over 12,000 followers.
Famous authors including Stephen King, Jodi Picoult and Margaret Atwood were among those who chimed in with their own embarrassing stories.
“It isn’t a reflection of you or your work!” tweeted writer Cheryl Strayed.
GOOD NEWS: Tip your Amazon delivery driver for free. Just say ‘Alexa, thank my driver.’
“At my first ‘Salem’s Lot’ signing, I had one customer, a fat kid who said, ‘Hey bud, do you know where there’s some Nazi books?”” King replied.
“Join the club,” wrote Atwood, who tweeted one of her signings had no attendees except a man who mistook her for an employee.
The responses left Banning in “pure shock,” she said.
“It’s been amazing,” she said. “It’s a reminder that there is good in the world and there are good people out there.”
The fantasy author used her newfound spotlight to share the work of other little-known authors on Twitter.
“We’ve got to support and help each other out,” Banning said of the independent writing community.
The Zinskis, who plan on hosting another signing for Banning in the near future, weren’t surprised to learn of her generosity. The author refused to let Sarah Zinski pay for a copy of her new book.
“This is not out of character for her, this is who she is,” Joe Zinski said.