Friday, August 24, 2007

As one door opens, another one closes

I will be glad in many ways when this week is over, as it has been such a strange one in many ways, and although there have been many successes and things to celebrate, I end it on a not so good note.

I started the day well enough, and had a very productive morning in fact. The first thing I did was ring Southern Counties radio, which is my local BBC station, to ask how I would go about getting on to one of their shows as a guest. They explained that I would have to send them a copy of the book and gave me the relevant address, so that was good. I then decided to start contacting some local papers, and so made a start with the one in my nearest town. I spoke to a very nice man there who sounded interested and asked me to email him all the details, which I did. I then remembered Patsy at who last year mentioned my book launch, and so emailed her. Following that I emailed The Surrey Mirror. I will follow them all up after the Bank Holiday to make sure they were received and see what the interest is.

Brian then called round to collect the September newsletter, and after he had gone, I set to work ringing more branches of Waterstones, managing to get through the rest of the C's and most of the D's. I was lucky in that I managed to secure orders from four of them - Coventry, Dorchester, Derby and my own local branch as well. My local one is only a small shop, and they have proven extremely diffcult to crack, which given my local connections, I find somewhat puzzling. I do realise that they do not have a large Mind, Body and Spirit section, but my friend Ann Davies recently had her book launch there (Ann writes poetry, which is, if anything, even more difficult to market, especially for POD) and did very well. I managed to cajole the Assistant Manager into ordering one copy, by telling her that I had contacted the local paper and they looked likely to give the book some coverage. Now I have to hope that they follow through!

By then it was lunch time so I had a break and made a list of all the stores that I needed to follow up during the afternoon. It was a long list of almost a dozen of them. Most of them are what I call 'fence sitters', i.e. those who say that they are interested, and may order some copies, after conferring with the MBS Manager etc, but will not seem to commit themselves. This is most frustrating, and I would really much rather the just came out and said that they were not interested, since I could then concentrate on those that were instead of wasting theirs and my time. Oh well, such is life.

I suppose though it was a conversation with the Manager at Aylesbury that has led to my somewhat black and melancholy mood. She was very helpful and polite, so it was not her manner, it was more what she had to tell me about Waterstones buying policies. It seems that all the Store Managers had a memo today from Head Office, saying that a lot of the stores were to be rearranged in order to give more space to the genres that sold well, and less to those that don't. In a lot of the smaller stores then this means that the MBS section will be cut right back to minimal shelf space. It seems that Managers have also been told not to order any books unless they absolutely have to. This is not good news for me at all, especially at the moment, since the autumn seems to be the main book buying period for book stores.

It seems then that as soon as one door swings open, it comes back to hit me in the face. I was feeling so fed up and angry after being told this, that I went to the gym and took it out on the exercise bike to work off all my frustrations.

It is though a Bank Holiday weekend, so I am going to concentrate on getting my website finished, and then I am going to go out and buy the richest, fattiest cream cake I can find !

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