Sunday, 17 January 2016

Another chat with Jeremy Vine

Well, Thursday was another one of those days where the World stands on its head. In the morning I went for a meeting with the manager of Jarrolds, the biggest independent bookshop in Norwich. That was very encouraging and gave me some insights into the book trade, which is still a very new business for me. On leaving him, I was walking towards Norwich Cathedral (he'd mentioned they had an exhibition space, and I thought I'd check it out) when I discovered that someone had left a voicemail on my mobile. It was very difficult to hear the message but I picked up something about wanting me to ring the Jeremy Vine Show. I had not a clue about what it might be for and I couldn't hear the number clearly enough to ring back (and the number wasn't on my phone because he must have rung when I was in one of Norfolk's many blank spots). So I thought I'd continue to the Cathedral and have a look (nice exhibition space, but too small and too difficult to black out for my installations) before heading back to check my home phone. I'd started walking along the river to where I'd parked my car when my phone rang, and indeed it was a researcher from the Jeremy Vine Show - they were doing a feature on internet businesses and knowing that I had had a bit of an overwhelming demand situation (!), wondered whether I might come on to talk about how I dealt with it. This was just before midday and they wanted to talk to me at 1.30, so I continued the walk back to my car, calmly drove home and in arriving back at 1.10 I was able to get a bite to eat and listen to a bit of the show before they rang.

The show is up on iplayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vbwkv and the segment that involved me starts at 1:39:08. And having been talking about dealing with a rush of orders, I then had to deal with a rush of orders. I sold out of what was left of the 1st reprint, and changed my book web page to show that it was now going to pre-orders for the 2nd reprint: the 2nd reprint is arriving on 2nd February and being posted out in the first week in February. This second interview has also led to some national press interest. That, and the fact that I am getting the most amazing emails from people who have read the book, tell me that there are still legs in this yet.

I've also been getting emails asking about arranging for me to give presentations. I've now got 41 requests and I'm just working out how to handle that, given that I'm not entirely in control of my calendar at the moment, and also that these requests are coming from around the country, including many places that are not exactly close to my home in Norfolk. I want to be able to keep costs down for people booking me, so I'm trying to formulate a plan that involves me doing mini-tours in various areas - and I will be getting in touch with everyone about that soon.

This week I've got a meeting with the company who've been sorting out the packaging and posting out of my book orders and I hope we are going to come up with solutions as to how to handle everything better - and then I'm heading over to Belgium with a van to pick up everything from the take-down of the exhibition. Here's hoping that it doesn't end up being too much of an adventure, but with all this snow about, it may be that providence has different ideas from me as usual!




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