Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tea and book shops

My legs are really aching tonight, and I think I may have overdone things at the gym this morning. I burnt off 200 calories by rowing for 10 minutes and then cycling 9 kilometres in half an hour. I am not surprised then that my poor leg muscles are screaming out for a rest!
It was such a beautiful day as well that Coran and I decided to go a walk this afternoon after lunch, and take some photographs of our new surroundings. We parked near the bottom of the main road and walked up a very steep hill (not dissimilar to The Pyramid on Lundy) to the next bend in the road. The colours were spectacular with the afternoon sun shining against a backdrop of brilliant blue skies with just a smattering of cloud.

We are off to Glastonbury on Friday for a long weekend, staying three nights at the Chalice Well. It has been a while since we had a break together, the last time being the somewhat ill fated trip to Forest Mere at the beginning of the year, when we had some major decisions to make about the future of our relationship. For a while I thought it was touch and go, and we may have to go our separate ways, but we thankfully managed to iron things out. I think than when you have been through all the things that we have experienced together in the last ten years, the relationship is worth working on and persevering. All couples after all go through their sticky patches, and we are no exception.

I had a surprise phone call from Paul at lunch time with some exciting news. I will not divulge quite yet what it was, but wait and see what the outcome it. I have you all guessing now I expect. All I will say is that he is negotiating with a major book chain regarding actually stocking my book - by this I do not mean that they will say yes, it fits our criteria and then leave me to do all the hard work of phoning them all up, but rather that they will roll them out themselves on a national basis. He is also going to speak to some independent reviewers who work for certain other national newspapers that I have not yet spoken to myself. I will not at this stage then mention names, except to say watch this space.

I had a lovely email yesterday as it happens from Stu, one of the Managers at Tonto Press, a small press based in Newcastle upon Tyne. I read about them a few days ago on Grumpy Old Bookman and from there journeyed to their blog site, where I saw that they had linked to my own (this) blog, recommending it as a source of information for would be self published authors. I made some comments of my own on their own blog, which I guess Stu must have seen, so it was lovely to hear back from him. They seem to be a company who are really going places, but also have the same difficulty that I encountered with the rather snooty Manager at Borders (Boreders !) in Birmingham, i.e. that people assume that because they are based in Newcastle, they publish only books of local interest and then stick them on the wrong book shelf.

Thankfully Paul managed to sort that little problem out for me by ringing the relevant Buyer at Borders Head Office and getting them to change the category. I suspect that Tonto need to do the same.

After we got back from our walk then and a delightful lunch at our favourite tea shop, I set to work ringing yet more book stores, and managed to secure an order from Waterstones in Cardiff. I am now stocked then in 60 book stores, and that is just the ones I know about - I suspect there are more that I don't know about. With any luck by the time this weekend is over there will be a few more in Glastonbury as well.

The up to date list of stockists is then as follows:

London - Borders - Kingston-upon Thames, Uxbridge, Wimbledon, Whiteley's (Bayswater)
Waterstones - Barnet, Covent Garden, Kensington, Kingston-upon-Thames, Leadenhall, Piccadilly, Putney

South East - Borders - Croydon, Lakeside
Waterstones - Andover, Basildon, Bluewater, Bournemouth, Brentwood, Brighton, Chesham, Crawley, Dorking, East Grinstead, Epsom (High Street), Folkestone (Sandgate Road), Godalming, Horsham, Ilford, Reading (Oracle), Redhill (signed copies), Romford, Southampton (Above Bar and West Quay), Slough, Staines (signed copies)

South West - Waterstones - Barnstaple, Bath, Dorchester, Exeter (Roman Gate)
Chalice Well Book Shop, Glastonbury

Midlands - Waterstones - Boston, Coventry (Lower Precinct), Lowestoft, Market Harborough, St Neots

North - Waterstones - Blackpool, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester (Trafford Centre), Scarborough

Scotland - Waterstones - Aviemore, Braehead (Glasgow), Inverness (Eastgate), Oban, Stirling

Wales - Waterstones - Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Llandudno

Northern Ireland - Waterstones - Ballymena, Belfast

Not bad for a book that no one wanted to publish and I was told wouldn't sell ...

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