Saturday, April 5, 2008

Book plugging across the universe*... only going forwards 'cos I can't find reverse...

It's been a strange old week of promoting the book. I'm exhausted by the amount of press I've had... and delighted by it also. PR people have a habit of being very apologetic... they grimace and say, "I'm really sorry... but I'm going to have to ask you to do one more..." as if I'm going to be unhappy about promoting my own book.

I think some people think of the writing as the artistic bit and consider selling their wares a bit tawdry... but I'm not shifting souvenirs and merchandise I'm selling books and I can't imagine putting the blood, sweat and tears into writing it and then not encouraging people to buy the thing. That sounds like the masochistic route to me.

As well as readings I've been doing all sorts of interviews including one day where I think I managed 15 back to back. There's always a day like this. You visit the BBC and sit in a tiny studio (John, the studio engineer told me that I'd drawn the short straw and that my studio for the day was nicknamed 'The Wardrobe'.) while they connect you up to various regional stations. So you record an interview with BBC Wales, then BBC Lancashire, then BBC Bristol and so on. Some of them are live, some of them are recorded. I think I did interviews at 9am, 9.30, 10, 10.30, 11, 11.30, 12... then I went upstairs and did something face to face for a Radio 2 show before returning and doing 1, 1.30, 2, 2.30, 3, 3.30 and 4... then at 4.45 I got in a car and was driven to Basingstoke for a reading.

The only city we've stayed in overnight so far has been Leeds (which was lovely because I have a couple of longstanding friends there who I could have a bit of a catch up with.) I would have liked to stay over in Nottingham too because it's such a great city but the demands of breakfast telly meant I had to be back in London.

Exhausting as it is I really am delighted that there's this amount of interest in the book. Much as we like to grumble it would be much worse if nobody wanted to talk about it and I was calling the publishers pr office to check that they had the right phone number for me because I hadn't heard from them.

The hardest part of a day like that is remembering what you've already said to someone. Every now and then someone will ask an open-ended question like, "Tell us about one of the other places you went to?" and your mind goes blank as you can't separate what you've already said to someone else from what you might have already said to them.

The most enjoyable interviews have been the ones conducted by the audiences at the readings. There's always some overlap with the questions but by and large each night is different and it stops proceedings from being boring for me and hopefully means that the crowd go away knowing that they've had an event shaped by them. The Leeds event was huge - apparently the biggest that shop's ever organised and last night's in Hove was a joy too.

The schedule means I haven't had a chance to get online much during the week so I haven't been able to stay on top of things like this... so here's a quick round up of things that would have trickled through in smaller, daily entries if I'd had the chance...

WIN A HUBCAP (SEE PHOTO): There are four main characters in the book: me, Stef, Andy and the car. Only the car and I actually went all the way from coast to coast. I love that car. When anything fell off it I swiped it and brought it home as a trophy of my travels and travails. Most of them are on my kitchen wall. When the journey was over we nabbed the remaining hubcaps. I ended up with two of them. So I can afford to let one of them go. So I've given it up as a competition prize... which Play.com are running. I can't give you a link to the direct page because it seems to be embedded but if you visit their site you have a fifty percent chance of seeing a banner advertising the competition.

SIGNED COPIES AT PLAY.COM: In my last entry I gave this link to the signed copies that you could buy through Play.com. They sold out quite quickly... but this afternoon I'm going to sign another two or three hundred for them so they should be on sale again pretty soon. Every shop I read at always asks me to sign some copies before I leave so there always signed copies available at those stores too.

GUARDIAN ARTICLE AND PODCAST: Even though the event at Foyles was filmed the Guardian website has used a small audio clip from the night and illustrated it with a slide show of my photos. I think the photos works quite well. It's here. There's also an article I wrote about the journey in today's Travel section, here.

TODAY AT BORDERS, OXFORD STREET: There's another reading happening this afternoon (Saturday) at Borders on Oxford Street in Central London. I've had quite a few e-mails from people telling me that the shop hasn't been especially helpful when they've called and asked about it... which doesn't bode well. But I think it's the kind of thing you can just turn up to. It starts at 4pm. Come on down.

CARDIFF, APRIL 29TH: This event has apparently sold out. But yesterday I was told that they're going to move it to a bigger venue so if you've tried to get tickets and been told it's full you might want to try the shop again: Tel: 02920 387 909
(If you have a ticket and are worried about the change of venue I think it's very close to the bookshop so it shouldn't cause too much confusion on the night.)

THE WRIGHT STUFF: I'm appearing on the show every morning this next week. There's a small live audience in the studio so why not come along. You can apply here... or you can call Eric on 0207 985 1927.

I think that's everything. I have Sunday off. And breathe.


*- Not actually across the Universe. Just bits of Britain really.

21 comments:

Simon said...

My my Dave, you have been busy!

I did wonder about your interview with Steve Wright on BBC 2 which was broadcast at around 10 to 5 on the same day as your Nottingham reading...the magic of the wardrobe room aye!

Anyway, from a purely selfish point of view, re: the Podcasts. The Flash picture/audio slideshow is great, but does this mean that the Guardian are not going to be showing any of the video footage from the night on their website at all?

All I've seen so far in terms of video (and myself :-) ) is the short "play.com is mine and our favourite online retailer" ident clip on your book's item pages on play.com.

Seems a bit of a waste recording video of the event to just use the audio from it!

Simon

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

I think this may be the link for the Play.com competition you are looking for:

http://competition.play.com/Competition_Popup.asp?id=664

Do I get a souvenir for that?

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the Leeds reading Dave. Thanks. You certainly know your Mormon material! I managed to blag my way in early and get a comfy seat at the front. Apparently there was a health and safety issue regarding letting people in early. But I'd driven a fair way and I felt I'd earned pole position. And I was persistant! I'm unsure what hazard I presented while sitting quietly and reading?! Not started your book yet. Leaving it until I get some uninterrupted time on holiday next week. I reckon you are due a rest yourself. I sit and read your books and your adventures sound like enormous fun and even when it's not going so well too.... but I guess the truth is that very often, you're not always having laughs a 100% of the time. And you get genuinely p'd off and frustrated from time to time just like we all do. Thanks again and thanks also for the photo opportunity. The kids were well impressed! Best wishes. Ian.

Simon said...

My selfish indulgeance has been answered in the form of the Amazon.co.uk book item listing :-)

My question, in its entireity!

S Gibbons said...

Hey Dave just finished reading your book and have now watched the film a couple of times through. Brill read. Incredible Journey of a life time i must say.
Was just wondering have you stayed in touch with any of the people you met on your journey or have you sent any of them a copy of the book / dvd for them to catch up on how you got along in the rest of the journey?

Gail said...

I was set to order a signed copy of the book from Play.com, but when I checked the shipping policy it looked as if they don't ship to the US. Is there any other online site that might be selling signed copies that I could purchase?

Richard said...

I've just popped into WHSmith in Reading and they are selling it (unsigned) at 1/2 price, so I picked it up for £5.99.
Strangely, if you buy it from their website, it's still £11.99. And there was me thinking that the internet was meant to be cheaper!
I hope this deal doesn't affect your cut Dave.

Steve Gemmell said...

Drat, I just got back to Cardiff after the obligatory Easter family stuff, and I was ready and eager to pick up a ticket for the Borders reading.

Will you be updating on here about the venue and suchlike?

Emma said...

I enjoyed the song reference. Thank you.

Mike P said...

I listened to the Radio 2 interview in the midst of a 2 1/2 hour dental implant surgery. Very enjoyable it was too.

Ryan Davies said...

Haha, "The Wardrobe".

Honeysuckle Rose said...

Any way for Yanks to get hold of a copy? Or did I miss that bit of info?
Lx

Dave Gorman said...

It hasn't been published in the US... so the only way is to order it online from the UK.

Howard said...

Heh, there's no shame in a bit of tarting out your wares every now and again. Something's got to keep you in hubcaps!

Entwistle said...

I managed to buy a signed copy of the new book at Borders in Milton Keynes, though it doesn't seem Dave has been there!

helloblog said...

I was just watching Something For the Weekend on the iPlayer, I must say your beard is looking fantastic. I am a bit disappointed that they didn't ask if you do much cooking at home - I love it when they ask that.

Geek Mythology said...

Dave, I've just finished reading the book and wanted to say a big thank you. Not just for writing yet another great book, but also for having the guts, determination and desire to want to do something like this. Huzzah on behalf of small business's everywhere.

Also admiring the song hamage, but next time you write a book, any chance of making it longer? The trouble with page turners such as yours is you get through them so damn quickly!

Anonymous said...

I've just finished reading the book (I was saving it as a treat for after I'd finished some work myself). I really loved it. I've been looking forward to it since I saw the documentary- which I enjoyed, but was probably a bit too aware that it (necessarily) had quite a lot of stuff left on the cutting room floor.
I also really liked the way you mucked about with the style of it (I won.t give an example in case I spoil if for anyone else). Very clever.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to tell anyone from the US who is interested in getting the book, that it's being sold on Amazon.com. Of course you won't get a signed copy.

Anonymous said...

Dave - I know you don't plan projects in advance but the Cra-Zy Mor-Mons stuff in this book and the Creationism episode in Googlewack had me in tears. Methinks that the world of religion, whilst prickly, could offer a wide area for you to explore....

Lizardbouy