After the legendary debauch of my imaginary book launch the following week was bound to be a bit of a let down. The avalanche of effusive praise, display of high spirits and the warm embrace of the literary establishment has faded away. I have clipped and kept the glowing imaginary reviews from the Times Literary Supplement, The New York Review of Books and, most precious of all, the Worcester News.
As with the aftermath of any party I have been left with a lot of mess to clean up: broken glasses, red wine spilt on the white sofa, cigarette butts stubbed out on the shagpile carpet and I will draw a veil over what I fished out of the imaginary hot tub. The omertà of the literary world forbids me to mention what the imaginary prize-winning author of several historical masterpieces and the pre-eminent writer of magical realism were caught doing in the very real Indian fire bowl that did eventually make it across the border from Wales. Suffice to say photographs have been developed and imaginary blackmail letters have been sent. My next masterpiece will have fawning blurbs from those two splashed all over the cover.
All I can look forward to now is a glowing write up from Comic Book Resources and thinking of how I will spend my imaginary six-figure royalties.
The first thing on the shopping list is a new imaginary hot tub.
Following the hectic round of media interviews and promotional obligations, glad-handing, backslapping and imaginary schmoozing I am left feeling seedy and deflated. Obsessively checking stock levels of my book at online booksellers is exhausting work.
In your face, Obama.
It did sell out (temporarily, I hope) at a couple of the sites I linked to. Never underestimate the awesome promotional heft of this newsletter. That or government incompetence. I think UK comicbook stores will be getting their orders of The Book Tour this week. I will not rest until the people have their copies. For themselves and as gifts for their disinterested relatives. All shall share in the bounty.
After that I guess it is back to pushing the metaphorical rock up the metaphorical hill while the metaphorical eagle pecks at my liver. I confess my grasp of Greek myth isn’t what it should be. The classics were not on the syllabus at Brigshaw Comp.
We (my agent and I) are hoping to conclude negotiations on a contract for a new graphic novel soon. The cycle will eventually begin again. At a future date the promotional whirligig will sputter back into action in a new world. A post-Covid UK will be frolicing naked on the sunlit uplands of a bright future. Imaginary book launches will be a thing of the past. Real people will be back in vogue and they will be able to see the real Indian fire bowl out of the back window of our kitchen.
I will still put a padlock on the cover of the imaginary hot tub, though. You can’t be too careful.
If you’ve read The Book Tour and enjoyed it please consider leaving a review full of effusive praise at the big online booksellers. It shouldn’t matter but it does. Not only readers but marketing departments and editors look at them when considering new projects from authors.
Yup, you can still buy my book at places where good books are sold. Sorry (not sorry) to go on about it. Try Bookshop.org and Hive, OK Comics and Gosh. Order from the fine folks at Page 45 and your copy will come with a signed bookplate.
It’s widely available online. There is also Kindle and comixology. Support your local indies wherever possible.
And if you absolutely can’t wait to read my books trot over here to buy PDFs of my backlist. Breakfast After Noon, Slow News Day, Skeleton Key and other classics await.