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I know that some of you read this blog with a more commercial eye, curious to know whether it’s possible to make a living at self-publishing, and I promised at the outset to tell you the unvarnished truth about all aspects of this writing adventure.  And this week I have mixed fortunes to report.

You may remember that back in October 2016 I scored something of a coup when I convinced the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge to stock three copies of “Portraits of Pretence”, as it is about art fraud.  I supplied the copies – as I do for most bookshops – on a sale or return basis, and they very promptly paid my invoice for the three copies supplied.  I sidled into the shop from time to time, feigning interest in other items but really checking out the bookshelves, and the trio of “Portraits” was still there.  This week I decided that it would be impolite, and not in the spirit of our original agreement, to stay silent, and so I contacted the stock manager and asked her if she would like to return the books, and she has – I collected them this morning.  To be fair, the staff tried hard: they put the books on different shelves, spine out, front out – they tried it all – but it seems that their visitors buy non-fiction art tomes rather than novels.

On the other hand, Sam is going great guns at Daunt Books in Cheapside.  I find this particularly pleasing because it is directly over the road from where Edward Freame’s bank is in the series (actually a Café Nespresso in real life).  This week Daunt ordered eight more books and my husband kindly delivered them on his Brompton folding bike and collected cash payment for the eight that had sold – some of which found its way pretty sharpish into the till of the aforementioned café (pedalling/peddling is thirsty work in hot weather).  It’s a busy bookshop, this one (it’s not the famous Marylebone Daunt – it’s the City cousin) and the customers are very much my target audience, with their interest in financial (mis)doings.

In short, it’s eight out and three in, and as long as I’m in credit, I’m happy!