If you're thinking about asking me for a free book, please reconsider.
I’m not about to make a fortune and head off into the sunset in a Ferrari.
For a start, I can’t drive.
I’ve tried to drive.
My brother took me to a car park.
I mixed up the brake with the accelerator and almost ran over a couple and their dog.
Neither am I about to move from Mum’s house into some vast mansion with state of the art lamps that switch on when you blink.
“Oh, you’re going to go off and make millions,” customers say, after reading my interview in the Southwark News that’s now sellotaped to the shop window.
“Not really,” I say.
My bedroom is so small you’d mistake it for a walk-in cupboard. The Date even suggested I use my tiny bed for kindling wood in our Guy Fawkes’s bonfire.
I’m not moaning, I’m just trying to offer some perspective.
Give a guess, how many books do you think are being printed?
Because this being published lark is all very new to me.
It’s not just about writing a book, it’s getting it out there.
The Date designed me some Shop Girl postcards and the publishers agreed to finance the printing.
On Monday, I loaded my rucksack with my postcards and feeling somewhat apprehensive, I headed to the South Bank.
I walked along the river from Bermondsey to Waterloo distributing them.
Only one cafe said ‘no’. (The posh ‘illy’ one. )
“What’s it for?” some staff asked.
“I’m promoting a local book*,” I stammered. (*What does that even mean?)
Mostly they nodded and asked no more.
“Your book?” a man in a trendy bar wanted to know, comparing the neat picture on the card with the messy haired version in front of him.
“Uh, yes...,” I said, and for a moment I felt genuinely surprised that it was mine.
As my rucksack got lighter I felt happier.
By the time I reached Waterloo Bridge the weight was off my shoulders in more ways than one.
Now for my next challenge:
The Book Launch.
Yesterday I learned that the publishers don’t fund book launches.
Reaction: Panic! (and the following thoughts:)
1) I’m going to have to use up all my savings!
2) What savings?!
3) I don’t have savings!
4) No one will buy my book unless they’ve had a drink!
5) It’s just going to be a room full of books and people looking for their free glass of wine!
6) I’ll have to tell everyone to forget my birthday and support the cause instead! (typical, late November/December birthday money was designed for other people's Christmas presents or book launches!)
7) And forget that new launch dress!
Today I’m much calmer.
I’ve summoned the creative powers of my friends and family.
Tonight all three of us are meeting.
May the force be with us.
*The Book Launch is on Wed 2nd Dec, from 7pm at the Fashion and Textile Museum, Bermondsey St, London SE1. All welcome. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org