As regular readers of this blog will know, I self-publish my novels through an American firm called CreateSpace. And when I order copies, they are printed in America (South Carolina, I understand, which conjures up all sorts of images of decorous Southern ladies sipping mint juleps on lace-fenced verandahs – although it’s almost certainly a cavernous factory in the rough part of town) and then shipped to me. And, with international postage, volume is the key: buy more, and you pay less per copy for shipping. So I try to save up my orders and do them all at once. Which means that this happens:
What you are looking at here is the “spare” desk in my office, now groaning under the weight of one hundred copies of “Worm in the Blossom”, thirty of “Fatal Forgery” and thirty of “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”. Aren’t they lovely?
Deciding how many to order was half-calculation, half-wishful thinking. I had pre-orders for eighteen “Worms” – fifteen for bookshops and three for friends who don’t like using Amazon and can’t get to my local bookshops. Then there’s my almost-a-launch-event at Toppings in Ely on 26 October – I don’t know how many they will want, but let’s say at least a dozen. And I have talks booked at my local library and for the Rotary Club next spring. And of course the bookshops will want re-stocking (that’s the wishful thinking kicking in, right there). In the meantime, I’m getting hard stares from my husband who now has no desk space for wrapping parcels, doing crosswords, etc.