Tuesday, 12 July 2011


If you missed my blogpost yesterday, my 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' has a book deal - hurray! & I sent the manuscript off to my agent at 2am this morning [double hurray!].

Now, at the end of this book, I want to include a 'Top [Twenty or so] 'Weird Things Customers Say in Other Bookshops' along with the name of the people submitting and details of their bookshop. I really want to make this a bookshop book, you know? And I do have ideas of what I'd like to do for those twenty or so bookshops that will be included in the book, but it's still very early stages and I need to sort that out with my agent/publisher/get my head round it all.

So, for the time being, I'm asking you to get your thinking caps on. The book deal we've signed with Constable and Robinson is for UK rights, so for now I'm asking for submissions from UK booksellers only. However, I'm hoping we can sell rights to America and other places etc at some point in the future, and if/when that happens I'll come back and ask for submissions from those other places, and we can edit the 'Top Twenty' at the back of the book accordingly, depending on where it's going to be published. OK, everyone on board? Phewf!

So. UK booksellers, please send me your funniest 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' in an email to weirdthingsuk@gmail.com . You are welcome to send in as many anecdotes as you like [please keep them clean, though!]. Bear in mind that if your 'Weird Things' is picked for the book then you'll need to make sure you have permission from the bookshop owner [if that isn't you]. Please include a name, contact number, and the address of your bookshop, and set out your 'Weird Things' in the style of the previous posts [ie script format]. Please also make the title of your email something along the lines of 'Weird Things Submission' so I know that your email isn't spam. You have until 30th September to submit. 

If your 'Weird Things' isn't picked for the book, and I really liked it, I might ask you if I can use it in a blog post and post a link to your bookshop's website. But that's all for later.

I'm going away tomorrow for three weeks, and when I get back I'll pick the 'Top Twenty [or so]' and get in contact with everyone who has submitted.

So...I think that's everything... off you go!


  1. perhaps you might enjoy this selection of stupid bookstore questions, available as a free ebook from feedbooks - http://www.feedbooks.com/userbook/16271/bookstore-lore-the-stupidest-questions-ever-asked-in-a-bookstore - compiled in a San Francisco bookstore in the 1980's

  2. 'You do sell teabags, don't you?' - customer in Blackwell's, Oxford

  3. Shame about the UK only caveat, as I have a friend who has a bookshop in Ireland, who, I am sure, could have contributed.

  4. spacedlaw

    Jen's on holiday, but as her editor, I'd say that Ireland will be fine - the book will certainly be distributed there.


  6. Great news Jen! Congrats, we will totally link to your book at The Pygmy Giant when it's published.
    I used to work in a bookshop too so I've been greatly enjoying your collection. It was so long ago that I've not forgotten most of the ridiculous conversations (mostly from our strange, strange 'regulars') but I might scour my memory for a couple.
    All the best, Mel x

  7. Thanks Mel and yes please do! X