A very exciting thing is happening this month – exciting to me, anyway! My debut book, Doubting Abbey, is being rolled out in print form, into all branches of the UK’s The Works. On Saturday I travelled to Chester, to pick up some copies, as the stores nearer to me hadn’t been sent any yet. I endured a two hour trip, due to holiday traffic, but it was worth every second. To finally hold a paperback of one of my novels, being sold in a shop, after ten years of writing, meant everything.
For several minutes, I stood admiring the front, back and spine of the book. It looked at home, on shelves bearing work of online author friends. And I felt at home – as if my whole professional life had led to this point. I celebrated with a lunch of Mojitos and Red Velvet cake and – of course – a bottle of Prosecco later on.
Funny, isn’t it, because any success I’ve had as a novelist has been with the digital form. And I love everything about digital publishing – the speedy turnaround with which my books are produced, the flexibility of pricing, and versatility of length and topic matter. And despite the periodic rumours that ebooks are on the way out, there is no doubt in my mind that they are here to stay. Readers want the vast choice of subject matters and prices that digital books offer. One writing friend recently sold 130,000 books in around a month, with the novel nationwide in every supermarket and bookstore imaginable – yet 90,000 of those sales were from ebook retailers.
What’s more, I am fully converted to reading on my Kindle. I love the fact I can turn the pages with one hand and hold a drink or biscuit in the other. I can read erotic fiction covertly on the sofa and take as many books as I like on holiday, without exceeding luggage weight restrictions.
Yet there is something very special, as an author, about holding your words in print form. Smelling the book (I know, that sounds weird). Choosing a spot for it on the shelf. Signing a copy for a friend or family member. So, I imagine I’ll be visiting many more branches of The Works over the next few weeks – forgive all the book selfies, if they turn up on social media! And if you are interested in buying a physical copy, it’ll only cost you a bargain £1.99. Or you can buy a selection of three books for £5. And if my books are all facing the front, I’ve probably been in the shop earlier 🙂
Also available from The Works online.