On Thursday, even though we were just a few days away from publication, it still didn't feel real. I'm not sure I will completely believe it until I see the book on a shelf in a bookshop, but on Thursday we moved one step closer to that happening. A delivery driver knocked on my red front door, and calmly asked me to sign for a cardboard box. He was nonplussed by my not-calm-at-all response. 'Those are my books! This is so exciting.'
I signed. He left.
I carried the box into the kitchen and put it on the table. I sat down and looked at it for a minute or two. And then, wielding my trusty old Sabatier knife, bought in France in 1977, (yikes, that's forty years) I sliced open the tape which was holding it closed.
I looked inside.
I delayed, examining the rather nifty packaging. Tubes of brown paper (I presume this is book-waste of some sort) which have been stitched together with a huge staple-free stapler. Really very clever, I thought.
And then I looked underneath.
My publisher sends five complimentary Author Copies. I bought another twenty at a discount (more of that next week).
Isn't it beautiful?
I mean, I know I'm a little biased, but don't you agree?
Jean and Fred have arrived.
The advance copies which went out to pledgers seem to have been well received. There are five star reviews on Goodreads, and I keep getting Twitter DMs and FB messages saying lovely things about it.
On Monday morning the ebook will be launched on Amazon, and I'm told there will be paperbacks there as well. People have been going into Blackwell's and Waterstones and indie bookshops like the fabulous Big Green Bookshop (BGB offer free UK shipping) and ordering their own book, and extra copies for friends and family as well, which is simply fabulous.
The book would not have come to exist without the advice and help of a lot of people. They are in the Acknowledgements at the end. If you read them, you will get some idea of the scope of the research which went into it, and once again, I would like to say thank you to everyone. You are all a part of this.
If you are in Edinburgh, there is an Official Launch in Blackwell's on Wednesday 3rd May in the evening. Please come, there will be cake, and special Sewing Machine Gin, and I would love to say hello!