While doing a series of talks to promote TRUST: What it feels like to be a Medium, I sold out of the paperback copies of LOYAL and TRUE. This sounds a bit grand, but the truth is that I do not order a lot of copies of a book when I publish the paperback version for the simple reason that they cost money and as a ‘struggling writer’ money is in short supply. So, you can see that I have to be careful about holding too much ‘stock’.
As a result of my timid approach to printing enough copies I missed a couple of opportunities to sell books and this made me rather annoyed.
It is a horrible balancing act when it comes to carrying stock and my decisions are coloured by my decision from a few years back when I published my very first book, [non-fiction] SCHOOME. I had a few speaking engagements lined up so I ordered a bunch of books, I got a bit optimistic and most of them are sitting on my bookshelf! They look great sitting there, but I would rather have the capital to put into the next project. I’ve been averaging about 2 paperback sales a year so that means that if I live well into my 80s they should all be sold! Just kidding, but it is annoying, but so is missing a sale because I was feeling less than confident about my ability the day I ordered the initial batch of LOYAL and TRUE.
New copies arrived in the same box as my latest book SLIGHTLY SPOOKY STORIES. The bloke who delivers our parcels is an interesting bloke and after a full six months of delivering my parcels to the wrong address he is very careful to make sure I get my stuff. “Are there books in these boxes?” he asked. “Yes, there are,” I answered. “Did you write them?” “Yes, I did.”
“Oh.” I’m not sure what ‘Oh’ meant, but he smiles at me every time I get a shipment, so I suppose that is good.
It took three large boxes to deliver TRUST. Most of the copies had been pre-ordered, so it made it easier to calculate how many to buy.
LOYAL and TRUE was, and is, my first collection of short stories [anthology], but it was published quite a while after my second collection PASSERBY. This caused a bit of confusion because the books are numbered.
I remember the look on a friend’s face when he bought a copy, “What the hell happened to book 1?”
This bloke always buys the very first copy of my books and I number them on the fly leaf when I sign them, 000000001. He loves it and he has been a supporter of mine since my first fiction title THE LONG WEEKEND.
LOYAL and TRUE was held up because a very good friend of mine was ‘proofing’ it for me and she works full time, so I did not want to rush her. She is a very good proofreader and she won’t take any money for her efforts [I do buy her very good bottles of wine and pretend that I’m being a good visitor by bringing them with me, she knows what I’m doing, but she drinks them anyway!]
So PASSERBY saw the light of day first and LOYAL and TRUE had to wait.
The cover of this book grabs people’s attention and is responsible for its early sellout. As soon as I put it on the table people pick it up. I always tell them that the stories are not dog stories and they look at me like I’m an idiot, “We know that”.
My incredibly talented son [the one who came up with the cover shot for SLIGHTLY SPOOKY STORIES] took that shot. It was taken when his family were staying in a house on a piece of highway not far from us known as ‘the mad mile’. Does that give you a bit of an idea of how interesting it was getting out of his driveway?
Obviously, I’m very proud of this anthology. There is something about your first collection; it is very close to your heart.
I’m in the process of preparing the next book in this anthology series, RED WHEELBARROW, but it will have to wait until I publish my next novella, THE KEEPER OF SECRETS.
Hopefully, there will be enough money in the ‘publish jar’ to cover the cost associated with these two titles.
If you have purchased any of my books so far, I thank you. Your support has given me the confidence to keep on writing and publishing. I hope that you enjoyed what you read and that you keep on coming back for more.
If you would like a no obligation advance notice of any new publication then message me and I will add you to my email list [no one sees this list except me].
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This is a shot from a few months back when the first shipment arrived. Not sure why I look so serious, maybe I was channeling James Bond from the poster behind me. That would explain the finger gun.