Posts Tagged ‘books’

The Tale of the Book Shop

July 29, 2009

I like book shops. I like big ones and little ones. I especially like little independent book shops run by people who have a passion for books. I like to see them make money so the book shop keeps open.

When we moved to this city last year I checked out the local book shop scene. In the shopping suburb not far from home I found one. It had a cute name. I went in to introduce myself, as the new local author, to the manager.

She was a bit quiet and did not enter into conversation easily. Not quite evasive, but not giving anything away. Perhaps wary. I had a copy of my first book and suggested that she sell it in her shop. She was not drawn easily into that idea.

“I’m selling the shop,” she said.
“I saw the notice on the window,” I replied. “Is it sold yet?”
‘No, but it might sell any time soon and I don’t want to take on too much new stuff just in case it does.”

We continued for a few minutes like that, but it was becoming clear that I was trying to push start a conversation that was not going to run of its own accord. So I said my farewell and left.

I went in again today. The shop has a new name. The cute name is gone and a person’s surname has taken up residence in its place. That is a real pity, I liked that previous name. The shop had been bought by another bookshop I recognised from the city centre. The same woman was behind the counter.

I asked her if she had received the promo mailing I sent about my book launch, she said “No.” Considering I’d made sure I sent it to this particular shop this was unexpected.

I asked when the shop had sold, thinking that the change of name had meant the mailing got lost in the postoffice. It was only six weeks ago, so the postman is unlikely to forget the previous name of the shop, and it had not been returned to me.

I pointed out that there was a book launch poster for another book/author on display. “So how do I make some arrangement for that kind of publicity?” She told me I had to see the new owners.

I asked if she was interested in setting up an author signing. She said I’d have to speak to somebody else about that, the people at the other shop. I pressed her a little further, trying to get some local arrangements made. She gave me a brochure with the email of the other shop on it.

Are you beginning to see a pattern emerging here, or is it just me?

“Tell you what,” I said. “I’ll give you the website of the book and you can chase it up. It’s got some pretty good reviews on there.” There was a yellow sticky-note block on the counter, so I took a note and wrote the website. Then I stuck that to the counter facing her. She took up the note and carefully stuck it back on the block as if it had not been removed.

Game over.

The upshot of all this is that I still like little independent book shops that are run by people who have a passion for books running in their bloodstream. It’s a pity there isn’t one close to home.

Clem starts at 1550

June 3, 2009

Nice number to start with, I reckon, 1550.

Clem is the character in my new book, ‘They Told Me I Had To Write This‘. You can find it here

The release date is July 1st, but who’s counting? I’ve got a few author copies sitting on my desk. Friends of mine want to buy it. I’m getting a promo video prepared for YouTube. It’s all happening.

And I just got the news from the publisher – a school book club wants to take 1550 copies.
The first sale!
What a way to start!!
Clem is running round the house yelling Yippee!!!
The exclamations marks are building!!!!

Hope my editor doesn’t find out about those exclamation marks.

The Clem Cover

April 2, 2009

Well, the final cover design is done.


Check it out –

The book is off to the printers.

We’re planning a book launch.

I’m now putting together a promo video. Lots of new stuff to learn in there. There’s a lot of promo videos out there. Some of them are pretty good, I don’t plan on being among the others.

The Next Step For Clem

November 29, 2008

That book, the one being published next year. Here’s the catch-up.

The publisher is Ford Street Publishing. Yeah, I know I can give you a link, but you can google it just as easily.

OK, here is is –

And here’s the book intro –

We are setting up for a June 2009 release.

That’s all, folks. Nothing to see here. Move along, please.

The Contract, The Cheque, The Date

October 28, 2008

Two out of three ain’t bad.

The contracts for the Clem book are all signed up and shared around. My copy is still sitting on my desk. I don’t have a place in the filing cabinet for ‘Publishing Contracts’, and can’t remember what happened to the contract for the first book.

And the first cheque arrived. Nice one. It ends with three zeroes, or five if I keep counting after the dot. Maybe I should say, “My latest royalty advance ends in five zeroes.” Nah. That’ll only invite requests for a loan until payday.

And number 3, we are talking about a release date. Nothing decided yet. Sometime through 2009.

Here’s a link.

The cover will change, this is merely a working sheet to inspire me. OK, it was a distraction dating from when the work of editing was getting me down. The publisher will get a designer to come up with something better.

The book is on the conveyor belt while I sit around drinking champagne. What a great life this is.