Sunday, 23 December 2007

A breakthrough?

Yesterday’s Lezard piece in the Guardian was, of course, the dream review, for both author and publisher. (Actually, last week I did dream of a review of one of the books: it was in the Independent, and was so badly typeset that no one could read it.) Especially as the publisher happens to be tiny: how else is one to make potential readers aware of the books’ existence, except through the voice of a well-respected reviewer writing in a public forum?

Between yesterday and 6 p.m. today, 50 books have sold online. Every one of those sales is directly attributable to the review. And this is despite the review suggesting envelopes and cheques, and not mentioning the website. (Presumably folk googled CBe and found the website for themselves.) A letter has gone off to the Guardian Review with the website details and mentioning the three London indie bookstores that have shown immediate and direct support: the London Review Bookshop, Crockatt & Powell, John Sandoe – maybe we can spin out this media exposure. Daunts in Holland Park and Marylebone High Street have also taken them, but just one copy of each and they won’t be taking more before the new year. A couple of others have said they’ll get back to me; we know what that means, but after that review it might mean something different.

Frisbee and football in the dark in the park this afternoon. (There were dogs with little lights on their collars, so their owners could see them in the fog: it must be Chiswick.) Followed by the first bottle of Languedoc from the wine-dealer-in-the-next-street (RW henceforth). It’s good.

(I still can’t get italics on this thing, I suspect because I’m on a Mac and using Safari. Nor can I do the links as I want to – I mean where I mention for example the review and it appears in blue and you click on it and it takes you there. Another day I’d be worrying this through, but today – 50 books sold, and the Languedoc – no.)

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