Shortly before Christmas, Neil Gaiman dropped a bombshell for his fans: this summer will mark his final signing tour.
To coincide with the transatlantic release of his new adult book Ocean at the End of the Line, he'll be traveling across the UK and USA, as well as probably visiting Canada. He says it'll be his first signing tour (as compared to reading tour) since Anansi Boys in 2005, and, he writes on his blog,
They’re exhausting, on a level that’s hard to believe. I love meeting people, but the sixth hour of signing, for people who have been standing in a line for seven hours, is no fun for anybody. (The last proper US signing I did, it lasted over 7 hours and I signed for over 1000 people. I'd suspect a lot of the signings on this tour will be like that, or bigger.)
So I’m going to try and make this tour the glorious last US book signing tour, and then stop doing book signing tours for good.
He says he "may" do events with pre-signed books for sale in the future, and perhaps also repeat what he termed a "ninja signing" at St Mark's Bookshop in New York City in December: as part of a documentary being filmed about him, he announced a pop-up signing on Twitter only a couple of hours before arriving at the store.
We were there for the signing, and it was a respectful and, for Gaiman, remarkably small crowd - one of whom has nothing to fear for a lack of future signing events, because she has a tattoo of his signature already on her arm.
We can sympathize - Neil Gaiman's crowds are usually something to behold - but he's sure to be disappointing fans with this decision. What do you think about his announcement? Let us know in the comments!
See photos of Neil Gaiman's ninja signing at St Mark's Bookshop: