I know this blog is usually about my fictional writing, but I do also write lots of non-fiction to do with my day job (which is anti-money laundering consultancy). In fact, my first foray into indie publishing (which used to be called self-publishing) was with my non-fiction titles, and specifically a whole suite of books with pink pigs on the covers. These “piggy books” explain the anti-money laundering requirements to directors and staff in various jurisdictions, and six of them deal specifically with the UK. Where is she going with all of this blather, I hear you cry.
Well, whenever the money laundering legislation changes I have to update the piggy books, and at 8pm on Friday 20 December 2019 the UK government updated its money laundering legislation. And the deadline for businesses to comply with this legislation is 10 January 2020. Yes, that’s in about a fortnight’s time. (We knew we’d have this deadline because the legislation is based on European legislation, but frankly – with the general election and concomitant awfulness – we assumed that the government would simply miss the European deadline, figuring that there’s little that Brussels can do to us now.) Rushing out the legislation just before Christmas, and with no publicity to warn affected businesses, is plain slippery. And – for me and my piggies – panic-inducing.
As a result, I spent the weekend before Christmas close-reading the new legislation, marking up the old legislation to highlight the changes, and then re-writing the relevant sections of all six UK piggies, before re-formatting them and re-publishing them. It took three long days, as I was determined that anyone coming into work today would have a new piggy available to help them with the new legislation. And how many have I sold so far? Not a one. Bah humbug.
On a much more positive note, just before the piggies and I went into silent retreat, I caught up with a podcast of one of my favourite on our local radio station. “Bookmark” is broadcast every fortnight on Cambridge 105, and its topic is “books and writing with a local slant”. I was particularly interested in the episode from 14 December 2019 as the crime buyer at Heffers bookshop – the sainted Richard Reynolds – was talking about his Christmas book recommendations, and I had a book token burning a hole in my pocket. I was scribbling down his suggestions when (at 44:40, not that I’ve played it over and over again…) he mentioned me! My Christmas cup runneth over.