Book-signings are considered prestigious events for authors where fans are supposed to line up to collect autographed copies of their favourite writers’ new books. Reality, however, can be different. On Sunday, Chelsea Banning, author of the fantasy novel Of Crowns and Legends, tweeted about how “embarrassed” she felt after only two people showed up at her first book signing event.

As it turned out, the lukewarm response to Banning’s book-signing event was not an exception, even among some of the world’s best-known writers. Her tweet went viral within a few hours after she received replies from other writers, including celebrity authors like Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood, stating that they had had similar experiences.

Other bestselling authors like Min Jin Lee, Jodi Picoult, and Sheila O’Flanagan also recalled similar experiences at book signing events.

Sarah MacLean, author of the Scandal & Scoundrel series, joked that it’s an “awful rite of passage” that every writer goes through.

After Banning tweeted about her experience, Of Crowns and Legends reached the top spot in the Arthurian Fantasy section on Amazon. She shared a screenshot of her book’s Amazon page and called it a “daydreamer’s dream come true.”