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You may remember that a while ago I was all in a flutter because one of our lovely local, independent bookshops in Cambridge – G David, on St Edward’s Passage in the middle of town – had agreed to stock “Fatal Forgery”.  Well, feeling a bit like an encyclopaedia salesman, I called in there yesterday, book in hand, half-expecting them to have changed their minds.  But Brian – for it was he – was charm itself.  He looked at the book, read a few pages, inspected the cover – and said that he would stock three, no, six, no, ten, no, thirteen!  Unlucky for some, but not for me!  And he wanted them all signed, “for when you’re famous”.  I went in again today, to hand over the further copies, and there was “Fatal Forgery”, at eye-level on the main desk, near the till, with a big label on it saying “Local Author – New Crime Novel”.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.

And if that weren’t enough, I also chanced my arm in Heffers, which is our Cambridge university bookshop.  I spoke to the lovely lady in charge of fiction (I believe that’s her official job title), and she was so welcoming.  She said that I should be very proud of the look and feel of the book, and that she would take six on sale-or-return.  Six!  She’s going to put half in fiction and half in crime, and see where people find it most often.  Top tips for others hoping to get self-published books into local bookshops: make sure your book has an ISBN (bookshop systems live and die by the ISBN), and get a professional cover design (I used this company, who were truly excellent) and use a proper template for the interior, so that it doesn’t look like something cobbled together on Word (I used this company – again, excellent).  I’m sure that the fact that “Fatal Forgery” looks like something that a traditional publishing house might have produced has worked greatly in its favour.

I’ll keep you posted – I might just collapse with excitement if someone buys a copy from either shop.

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