In my last post, I told you that I was going on a trip to Gibraltar, which is the setting for part of “Fatal Forgery”, and that I was taking a few copies of the book with me to flog, sorry, sell to discerning readers, and that I would tell you how it had gone. In preparation for my visit, I had contacted the local newspaper (the Gibraltar Chronicle, published continuously since 1801 – which is quite something) and persuaded them to write a little feature about the book. They very kindly did this, and in fact several people did mention having read it, so it was very worthwhile from a publicity point of view. They also asked for a copy to pass on to their book reviewer (my absolute dream job, whoever that lucky person is), so “Fatal Forgery” may have a second outing in the Chronicle.
When I called into the local bookshop to ask about the possibility of their stocking a few copies, they said that they had read the piece in the paper and considered ordering some, but could only use their normal book supplier and not order print-on-demand books, so no go. I did think about ordering and supplying their copies myself, but – lovely though it would be for Gibraltarians to be able to buy them locally – it would make no commercial sense for me. By the time I had paid for author copies and their shipping to me, and then posted them on to Gib, and then given the bookshop a portion of the profit, I would end up subsidising each sale, which would be crazy vanity.
So I took ten copies along to the anti-money laundering training sessions I was providing for the local compliance association, and through a combination of local publicity, sympathy and morbid curiosity I managed to sell five – which pleased me greatly. Those five might recommend it to, say, ten more readers, and so it goes. And one lady bought it for her policeman husband, which I liked very much.