So in all my patting myself on the back for recent good news on the book front . . . I've egregiously neglected to pat on the back those who emphatically deserve it most: that is, YOU. (Well, very likely you, if you're reading this because you got mail about it.)
To everyone who bought the book in hardcover and most especially those who shelled out to buy it from overseas THANK YOU. You know who you are. I pretty much know who you are. (*)
In any case, I want to take a moment to stress that none of the numerous good things that have happened recently (U.S. deal, UK paperback deal, second book deal) would have happened without you. Seriously. That is literally true. It was only because I managed to shift a decent number of books that any of this was even a possibility.
Thanks particularly to my father, my grandfather, and Alex for pretty much buying out all existing stocks wherever they went. Thanks to my Aunt and Uncle Paula and Bill, who set up a U.S. East Coast Distribution Point. Thanks to all my relatives who also bought copies (well, of course they were obligated to . . .) Thanks to all my lovely mates in Britain who shelled out their hard-earned cash (really, virtually every single one of them bought a copy). Thanks to people in the U.S. (and Canadia) who paid to ship it across an entire ocean people like Matt and Joe and Laura and Liz and Knoll and Abbe and Skeet and Snitch and Nicole and Mandy and the Shieldses (and if I've missed you, just write, and I'll add you like a shot). Thank you. Thank you.
Hall of Addenda
• Jenn! I can't believe I forgot Jenn!
And This Is Really Freaking Overdue
And a thousand thanks to everyone who reviewed, publicized, name-checked, or otherwise supported the book in blogs and other online spaces. The very least you guys deserve is a paltry link:
For starters, there's the estimable Dr. Ian Hocking, a prince of a fellow, who's been incredibly supportive and great fun to talk with about the art and craft of fiction. (Also, as a man of science and a fiction writer, he's got my esteem and attention.) He's graciously given me several favourable mentions on his blog, This Writing Life; and, even more generously, wrote a very positive review of the book and got it published in Pulp. Ian is the author of the critically-acclaimed techno-thriller Déjà Vu which you should really go check out and then run right out and buy immediately from Amazon.
Other kindly reviewers and/or kindly favourable mentioners or name-checkers include:
- James at WHATSTHATSMELL? who also took the time (unprompted even by me) to additionally post the really lovely review he blogged onto Amazon.
- The Anonymous/Eponymous Shameless at Shameless Words and whose effusive review nearly made me weep with joy.
- Kieran Wyatt, from the staff of flavorpill LONDON and who also (erm, sharply prompted by me) cross-posted his enthusiastic thumbs-up to Amazon.
- Michael at Grumpy Old Bookman (one of the Guardian's Top 10 literary blogs), who had some of the first kind words for the book.
- Graham Pond who interviewed me for London by London.
- The kids down at need to know NOW who graciously plugged me.
- Ella Dyer at Nice in Nice.
- John Ballinger at Ocean Odyssey.
- My peeps from back in the day. (Just kidding.)
- All my homies in the county in cell-block six. (Oh, never mind.)
All this sounds like an awards speech, and like I've just won the National Book Award so let me pause to stress that it's all incredibly small beer in the scheme. I'm a great distance from having any kind of sustainable writing career and about a million miles from making a living, even a scanty one, doing it. Particularly in this murderously competitive fiction marketplace, the odds are still well against me. But, on the other hand, the odds are better than they've ever been before. And, anyway, the goal was always just to get published (i.e. be read) and, having gotten published, to get more work published. Thanks to you, that's happening. As the sports heroes say, I'm just happy to be here.
While I'm going crazy thanking people: SNaFu without whom there would be no book to start with, launch week would have been a disaster, and marketing would have suffered hugely from the lack of her good ideas. (Which wouldn't matter because there'd be no book in the first place.) And, then, amazingly, after all that, after having been part of the book's life for years . . . she bought three copies herself, for friends. !!!
D and Tiny E for being the other two loveliest people in creation, and for also being ever-supportive. Me dear mum for being unceasingly lovely year in and out, for birthing me and for also buying some copies. My father again, for always asking (about my Sisyphean, 10-year project of getting published) and always telling me to hang in there.
All my mates who were incredibly supportive and/or came out to launch events and/or bought copies (all three in most cases): Fifers, Paul, Nicole, Yu Kyoung, Meeyoung, Charles, Jacqui, Paola, Aunt Valerie and Uncle Chris, Anne-Gaëlle, Hilbs, St. Barnabas, Henry, Sinae, Jo and Ali, Tim and Katarina, Leslie, and Adaora (go see her debut feature film RagTag at the 8th Annual BFM Film Festival in September, do here's when/where it's showing).
Michael Barnard for "discovering" me, fixing my ending (and other bits), being unbelievably kind and responsive and professional, and a thousand other things; and Jayne Barnard for designing me brilliantly, building a 22-page chronology of everything that happened in the book because she noticed a couple of timeline inconsistences, and being unvaryingly funny and lovely. Mary Chamberlain for correcting me (in the scores of places I needed correcting) and being great. At Macmillan: Will Atkins (for being firmly onside in my project to remake the whole literature landscape, and memesphere, with my stories), Ewa Hertz (for being an organisational machine), Liz Johnson (for selling the book around the world), and Sophie Portas (for seeming as if she drops everything to expertly help me out, every single time I ask anything of her at all). David and Daniel at Goldsboro Books, for being incredibly (and substantively) supportive and unrelentingly sweet, and for being my little birds in the publishing industry and of course for selling a lot of books (to collectors around the world).
Nicole for writing a kick-ass Amazon review. Valerie for writing a New York Times Book Review-quality review just stranded on Amazon ; plus for years of support and advice. Dave Black for alerting all the UVa Pep Band alumni. Samuel Windmill and his mum, Lorna Almonds Windmill (buy her books as well! Gentleman Jim is brilliant!). Lynn Patrick, Managing Director of Crème de la Crime, for spontaneously providing an awesome blurb and for being one of the very first people to have read both my novels. Steve Sargent for being a great distribution channel plus for the great Amazon review! Nana Prempah for absolutely tirelessly plugging me at 9 Yards. Ian Miller for flogging it to all his friends, for finding typos and, as ever the most important bit for buying a copy.
Jeesh, totting all that up, I feel like a bit player in a very large production . . . Did I remember to thank those of you out there who bought the book . . . ? ;^)
[ And, actually, by the way, much more important than buying copies yourselves . . . was spreading the word about the book to other people. With little to no marketing budget, we've basically had to try and "seed" the water with as many initial happy readers as possible. (That's you.) The hope is then that word-of-mouth recommendations will multiply and spiral out. (Which is how books tend really to sell anyway.) So every time you tell a friend or colleague, you're acting as a force multiplier for the success of the book. Remember the magic of combinatorics: my 50 friends tell their 2500 friends tell their 125,000 friends . . . who tell 6,250,000 friends. And just like that I'm Dan Brown. (Apart from the sucking bit.) ]
[ And, no, before you ask, as everyone seems to, I don't actually know how many copies have been sold. And I'm not gonna ask too scary. A reliable source has mentioned, before I could stop him, that the book was in it's fourth or fifth printing (and that was some time ago). I don't know how big the print runs have been I gather "small, quite small" but the main thing is that we sold through the first one. Remainders bad; pulping bad. ] (hide)
ICA Cinema: 10th Sept, 8:30pm Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) The Mall London SW1Y 5AH www.ica.org.uk (to book tickets online) Box Office: 020 7930 3647 Tickets £8/ £7 Concessions (no cons weekends) £6 ICA & bfm members Tube: Charing Cross/Embankment/Piccadilly Circus Cineworld Cinemas Shaftsbury Avenue: 14th Sept, 5pm Trocadero 7-14 Coventry Street Piccadilly Circus London W1D 7DH Advance Booking line: 0871 200 2000 www.Cineworld.co.uk (to book tickets online) Tickets: £8.90 £5.80 Concessions & bfm members Tube: Piccadilly Circus(hide)