Well, not quite – after all, you can’t sell out of print-on-demand books or Kindle editions – but sold out in one sense. You may remember that my local bookshop Heffers kindly took six copies of “Fatal Forgery” on sale-or-return. I called in today to tell them that I might be appearing on local radio in September (I’ll tell you all about that when it’s confirmed – don’t like to count my media chickens, darlings) and they said, “It’s all gone – can we please have some more!”. Reader, I will confess that I did a little jig of joy right there in the crime fiction department. I am not sure what caused the sales stampede – the six copies had lain untouched for quite a few days – but I think it might have been that centrefold in the local paper.
It’s an odd thing, selling physical copies of a print-on-demand book. What it means in practical terms is that I have to order them myself. In an odd quirk that I have yet to decipher, if someone orders a paperback copy of “Fatal Forgery” through Amazon.co.uk, the order is sent to Createspace in the UK and they print and send it. But if I order author copies direct from Createspace (which, granted, are cheaper than through Amazon), they are printed and sent by Createspace in the US – the UK division cannot do this, even though I am in the UK. So it’s more expensive (with international postage) and slower – and mystifying. But I have done my sums, and it is still worth it – to the tune of about 62p per copy (depending on the exchange rate) – for me to order the copies and supply them to Heffers. Plus it’s worth more than that to me to see it on the shelf, and to be able to do my sold-out dance.