Sunday, 2 September 2007

Publicity machine

The publicity machine is beginning to hum. I like the noises it’s making. My UK publisher, LittleBrown, is starting to give The Russian Concubine a good push in national and local press, radio, magazines etc.

This is exciting for an author. After all the blood, sweat and damn hard grind of giving birth to a book, it is heartbreaking if it is then left to fend for itself in a vast sea of other books, all fighting for space and spotlight in the bookshops, jostling each other for the book-buyer’s attention.

That’s where the magic words ‘front-of-store’ come into play. One of the facts I’ve gleaned recently is that a huge percentage (I can’t recall exactly what the figure is but I know it’s indecently BIG) of would-be purchasers never get further than the first ten feet of the shop. Too much of a rush? Too bemused? Too bored? Too something anyway. They just grab one of the first books they see and run. Therefore, for ‘front-of-store’ read ‘gold-dust’.

So you can see why a bit of Publisher Pressure is vital. That’s where Joanne, Tamsin, Louise, Emma and their cohorts at LittleBrown come in. They are working hard to raise awareness of The Russian Concubine before its launch in November, aided by a great review in The Bookseller – the UK trade mag that can open bookshop doors.

My lunch with the LittleBrown team was hugely enjoyable – in Joe Allen’s in Covent Garden, a cool place to eat – and they weren’t scary at all, just full of enthusiasm for The Russian Concubine and its progress so far. And patient when bombarded with questions. We got through lots of good stuff and serious discussions about titles and sequels. You can see a picture of us, raising a medicinal glass of something – hmm, I notice it seems to be quite a theme of the photos on this blog!

But afterwards, instead of the dutiful hours I’d intended to spend in the British Library – seizing the opportunity for more research – I popped into its hallowed halls only briefly. Instead I was seduced into buying a new Zara jacket and going for a lovely drink with my agent, Teresa. Devon is a gorgeous place to live and I adore its sea, sand, rivers and moors galore, but it is not much good at shops. So when in London, how could I resist?

Right, that was fun-time. Now it’s work-time.


Rebecca said...

Really liked your book, when can we expect the sequel to The Russian Concubine?

Coy said...

Great work.