Thursday, November 30, 2006

You know your book's not doing well when...

...your publisher has an end-of-year roundup on how all their books are doing and yours isn't mentioned. Which means it is amongst their worst sellers. Even though it's only been out for 4 or so months, there have already been plenty of ups and downs - of which this is just the latest. Seeing e-luv as one of only five novels recommended on the Waterstone's website last month was brilliant. As was making the front cover of the Big Issue. As was having the book translated into Russian. And seeing it in nearly 100 public libraries. But then there has been all the rubbish stuff, like...nah, it's too depressing. I think I'll stop there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A top secret meeting


This is Cafe 162 and it's frankly a bit rubbish. But did that stop Liz and I heading there today? No, it did not. For we had a meeting with one of the higher profile film producers in this part of the world and two development executives who laughed at all of my jokes. The purpose of this gathering was to discuss turning e-luv into a film. Or sitcom. Or animated TV series. Not only did I get a free apple juice, but I learned that TV channels and film funding people don't just expect scripts, but also a full range of marketing tie-ins, including plans to utilise the internet and mobile phones. Needless to say, I felt totally out of my depth. We are meeting again next week.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I consult the experts


I have a new plan. I am writing to CEOs of the world's leading advertising agencies as well as various celebs asking them how I can sell more copies of e-luv. Today I got a reply from Kevin Roberts, ├╝berboss of Saatchi and Saatchi, which I have posted for you. Paris Hilton has also been approached for her ideas, which should be hot.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A slight correction

When I said you could download the first quarter of e-luv from the publisher's website, what I meant to say was that you can get the whole book. Absolutely free. Won't cost you a penny. Of course, this applies to everyone except Timbo, who must buy it. But for the rest of you, help yourselves by going here. You can also get Blood, Sweat and Tea in its magnificent entirety as well as up to half of a few other books.
Whether this scheme is a stroke of genius or sheer insanity is open to debate, but personally I think it's a brilliant idea. Why? because the more people who read books like these from indie publishers who don't have huge marketing budgets, the better. It can only help the word of mouth...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Here is the news

FREE SAMPLE - Any minute now, the first quarter of e-luv will be downloadable in a variety of formats. Free. It's part of Friday Project's plan to be the first publisher in the entire universe to let readers try before they buy. I think it's a good idea - I download a song or two from a CD, and if I like them, I'll generally buy it.

E-LUV: THE FILM - I have a meeting with a producer next week - I sent him a copy of the book a few months ago and now he wants to talk. More news on this as I have it.

E-LUV: THE SEQUEL - I have had millions (well, six to be exact) of emails in the past couple of weeks asking if there is going to be a follow-up to their favourite internet romance novel. The answer is that I don't know. The plot is done and I've vaguely planned out the chapters, but the motivation isn't really there currently.

THE FRIDGE - I have managed to borrow some money, which is good news for the fridge. Soon it will be filled with papayas, which are the finest fruits known to man. I could live on the stuff - really.

TIMBO - It is approaching Timbo's payday and as soon as it arrives, he will be the proud owner of a brand new copy of e-luv. Hurrah!

X FACTOR - My wife, who is American, informs me that Ray, the annoying twat who inexplicably hasn't been kicked off X Factor yet, is a dead ringer for the Big Boy Restaurant mascot.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fridge and Timbo update


Caroline and Jude have requested, as a matter of some urgency, a status report on my fridge. I'm afraid the news is not good. As you can see, there is just a small scattering of food to be found and not much prospect of adding to it. But late last night, things took a turn for the better when Timbo finally relented and informed me of his plans to buy e-luv on his next payday. I am anticipating that he will love it so much he'll tell all his friends to buy it and it will then be only a matter of time before the fridge is full to overflowing with Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon.

Monday, November 13, 2006

From Russia with e-luv

This was the scene in Moscow today as locals reacted with unbridled joy to the news that the rights to e-luv had been sold to one of the biggest publishers in the country. The deal, which will surely see e-luv become Russia's best-loved internet romance novel, was done at the Frankfurt Trade fair. And if that's not good enough for Timbo, I don't know what is.

"happybutterfly" has asked me to pass this message on to Timbo

Timbo you must buy the book. It isn't rubbish or boring. Disturbing? Yes. Amusing? Yes. Unputdownable ? Yes. Good ending? Yes. Enough reasons to break you down now? Hope so!!!;-)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Timbo is close to buying e-luv


I like Timbo (seen here in festive mode). He has a blog which I regularly peruse, an amusing Roger Moore anecdote and a love (which I share) for The Flaming Lips. He hasn't bought e-luv yet, but I sense he is weakening. In the space of a few hours today, he went from saying " I must buy this book of yours" to " I found your book in Waterstones. I liked the introduction. That's all I have to say."
So. There is still work to be done as I am picking up on a certain reluctance to commit. The question is, how do we persuade Timbo to cross that line and buy it? I have added a link to his rather good blog, as you can see on the right. I'm thinking that might work. I will let you know if it does.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I get a sales update from the publisher

Clare emails me about once a month to give me the latest news on how e-luv is doing and I heard from her yesterday. She reports that half of the initial print run has been sold "and it's only been published a few months". There have been returns, mainly, I suspect, from my favourite book chain Waterstones. Apparently, this pretty much always happens when a book has been in a promotion like 3 for 2. To help get sales moving, Friday are trying to get e-luv into some of the Valentine's Day promotions which is a fabulous idea. Other than that, it's hard to see what anyone can do - maybe just hope for the word of mouth thing to work. Or for one of the major papers or magazines to pick up on it. Or for some celeb to start raving on about it. If you can help spread the e-luv or have any ideas, do please let me know...

One of these statements is a lie - but which one?

1. Sarah Jessica Parker's production company has been talking about making e-luv: The Musical for HBO.
2. I managed to convince Portsmouth Public Libaries to buy two copies of e-luv, by writing to them under four different names from four different email addresses.
3. There is a chapter in the book that makes no sense, because I meant to go back and finish it when I felt more inspired, but completely forgot.
4. The music of James Blunt (seen here in his only pose) kept me going through my darkest hours of writing e-luv. After all, who doesn't feel a little better after constantly being told they're beautiful?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Person of the Week

Meet Shelley from Worthing. Before winning the coveted e-luv Person of the Week award, her main claim to fame was passing Damon from Blur in the street. Shelley not only bought e-luv (and used the last of her money to buy it), but she also read it straight away and loved it. This is why she is totally brilliant and deserving of this life-changing honour. For more on Shelley, visit her MySpace page.
Remember - if YOU want to be Person of the Week, all you have to do is tell me you've bought the book.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Things I have been doing while waiting for my book to move up from its Amazon.co.uk Sales ranking of 235,516

WATCHING way too much TV. I seem to have developed an addiction to X-Factor and an unnatural liking for Eton Road, a bunch of young scallywags who appear on it.
PLAYING on a brilliant site where you put your photo up and some kind of face recognition computer trickery tells you which celeb you look like. I'm a dead ringer for Donald Sutherland, apparently, while Mrs Roberts resembles someone called Kristanna Loken.
THINKING it would be a tragedy to go through life without tasting Oatibix.
LISTENING to Recycled Air by The Postal Service, Waterfall by The Stone Roses, Yoshimi vs The Pink Robots by Flaming Lips, Born Under a Bad Sign by Richard Hawley, California Snow Story by Saint Etienne and The Dark Is Rising by Mercury Rev.
READING Temptation by Douglas Kennedy, which is as fabulous as I expected.
TRYING UNSUCCESSFULLY to get an agent.
WONDERING if anyone is buying e-luv. They certainly aren't on Amazon, Waterstone's are stocking fewer copies than before and I haven't heard from the publisher in ages.
URGING anyone who sees these cards to buy them, so I can afford to eat.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

More 80s pop stars spotted in New Zealand



Following my extremely successful recent post on the whereabouts of Pepsi, I can now bring you reports on two more 80s pop stars who fled to New Zealand. Alannah Currie of the Thompson Twins is now a mother against genetic engineering, and produced a billboard featuring this multi-breasted woman to make a point which is not entirely clear. Meanwhile, Roland Gift, former Fine Young Cannibal has become a gravel-voiced bank spokesman who appears in moody and stark TV commercials.