Thursday, August 14, 2014

This Post Contains Too Much Information

I sometimes get the impression that people expect my life to be more organised than it really is. Some people seem to imagine that in my profession there must be a scheming agent working out a series of five-year plans on my behalf. Or behind my back. The truth is that - like burglary - it's all much more opportunistic than that.

With live work I have a degree of control. With everything else it depends on someone else giving me an opportunity. Offers come and go. You try to apply judgement as to what is and what isn't a good idea. And so on and so on.

My new book comes out in September. The new series starts in September too. And the tour kicks off at the start of October. That looks like some kind of masterplan is in place, where all the pieces slot together in some kind of perfect storm of mutually beneficial publicity. But it's not. It's a coincidence.

I'd agreed to write the book before the first series was commissioned. I just couldn't start work on it until the series was done and dusted. And the tour was planned before the series had been recommissioned. It's force of circumstances that means they're all coming in to land at the same time, not masterful puppetry on the part of my controllers.

In some ways it adds complications to things. The publishing company, the broadcaster and the promoter are all different entities. They all work on their project and it means things are hitting my diary in haphazard ways.

I really like doing book-readings and normally, when I have a new book out, I try to do as many as possible. I'd normally do a dozen or more in the first couple of weeks. Because they're fun. But this time round, because the tour is imminent there simply aren't that many free dates to play with.

I'm going to be doing a pre-publication event at the Edinburgh Book Festival on August 22nd (although I think that one's sold out already).

The official publication day is September 4th and I'll be doing a launch event that night at Battersea Arts Centre. (Tickets are £20, which includes a copy of the book).

On September 10th I'll be heading to Newcastle for an event at Waterstones and on the 11th I'll be doing a lunchtime signing in York before an evening event in Leeds. The details for all three of those should be here.

And in non-book related news, I have another couple of tour warm-up shows to announce. On September 16th and 17th I'll be doing work-in-progress shows at New Greenham Arts near Newbury. (Expect it to be a bit rough and ready. And, y'know, fun.)

There'll be a few more tour warm-ups to announce soon.

They'd all be announced at the same time if things were a bit more planned.

10 comments:

linkaylomen1 said...

Why do I always find out about these things when all the good tickets are sold? D':

AdamK said...

Forgive the theoretically-easily-Googled question, but I've so far been unable to find out if there will be an audiobook of this one. Can you confirm one way or other?

Dave Gorman said...

@AdamK: Yes. I recorded the audiobook last week.

Dave Gorman said...

@Linkaylomen1 Well one reason would be not-being-on-my-mailing-list. http://gor.mn/DGBNML

That would certainly help you find out about things sooner.

Not everything mind. Just my things.

AdamK said...

Cheers Dave. Whilst I'm pestering you:
1) is the audiobook unabridged?
2) is it due out the same time as the physical copy?
3) I know this is more a question for your publishers, but are Audible still being fair with royalty rates, or would you get a bigger slice if I bought the audiobook somewhere else (assuming there *is* anywhere else!)?

Dave Gorman said...

@AdamK

1) Pretty much. There are diagrams in the book that are obviously not in the audiobook. And a few phrases got changed to make sense of them as the spoken word. But basically, yes.

2) I don't know. But I assume so.

3) I have no idea. But I wouldn't trouble yourself over it. Get it in whatever form suits you and from whichever (legit) source is best for you!

Tom Youngjohn said...

What bloody rubbish. I bet he doesn't even use the water closet without his publicist's permission.

Dave Gorman said...

@Tom Youngjohn: Which bit do you think I'm lying about Tom? (And why?)

Ali Ryan said...

Hi Dave, remember that pound shop where you bought the combs and key ring fobs etc? I think it's been robbed. I saw a picture on Jason Manfords page and apparently £5000 worth of stock was pinched. I laughed when I saw the pic because I thought of your combs. Hope they are still useful, I love you, Ali :-)

Anthony Bailey said...

I have a thought / opinion re something in the book, and figure that if any well-known person in the world is still noticing semi-coherent well-meaning comments from strangers on old blog posts, it might be Mr Dave Gorman.

I'm writing because I assess that you'll want to know if there is something in the book that is commonly believed, but that is probably untrue, and that reduces net good in the world when it is expressed and reinforced.

There's this section (on page 59 of my copy) that reads "Let's say you have a sum of money available to give to a charity [...] it's whatever you can afford and are willing to donate. How many hundreds of thousands of good causes could you donate it to? How could you begin to rank them in order of deservingness? It's not possible. You can't. And so you don't."

Widely believed. And you go on to correctly describe common charity giving behaviours that result: sponsoring a friend, being supportive of causes one randomly has some kind of connection to.

But I assert that "You can't" is quite, quite wrong. Although assessing the value of charitable donations is pretty tough, there's a quorum of folk who collectively choose to try to do it (because it makes such a big difference to how much good one can do in the world) and who have come up with incomplete but useful, actionable findings.

The buzzword is "effective altruism".

One of the sites I'd recommend is givewell.org (and when it comes to considering amounts, givingwhatwecan.org)

A fine pop book on the subject is Peter Singer's "The Most Good You Can Do".

As well as being a trend worthy of promotion, I suspect you might find this stuff pretty fascinating. There may well be some funny lurking in e.g. the usually rigorous but heated debates on issues that arise on the side such as existential risk.

Thanks for reading!