Unwitting Criminality and things to do with Poland
Alongside the fear of having committed unwitting criminality as regards the penning of prose, one of a writer’s greatest fears is that the slaved-over book will never sell. Yes, we all know about James Joyce who penned the book we all aspire to understand, is now dead but graces every coffee table in the land. ‘Is that a good read then?’, ‘Oh yes, I particularly like his comments on Bono. Mind you I feel sorry for the Irish.’
Then there is that splendid Harry Potter franchise and of course the tales of the heroic David Toulmin who was first published some 25 years before his unpleasant death. In the big scheme of things however, literary fame comes in small doses and as in the case of famous artists, often arrives late in life or even afterwards.
I was however pleased to read a fine piece in yesterdays Sunday Post about Dundee bard Michel Marra. The Post is not my favourite tabloid and nor is it a paper I buy every week. But, as has often been the case recently, I half expected a review of my new book to be gracing the pages. My parents bought the paper for much of their lives but, apart from that Wullie whom we seemingly all love there was, at that time, really nothing to commend the Dundonian style of Jam and Jute pretence at journalism. Made up stories graced the pages and Francis Gay and the Doc dominated the centre spread. Nowadays, of course, a made-up version of Psychic Sally attracts the credulous to page 63 or thereabouts.
An ex-brother-in-law apparently worked at the paper in order to circumvent the stranglehold that the print-unions of the day had on press-accreditation. Seemingly DC Thomson would hire non-union labour thus enabling the gaining of a coveted press card for the future use of the incumbent. Mind you, I digress. He subsequently shot himself following an episode of being unhappy in love. Not that I blame DC Thomson for that folly. I suspect that his liking for drink and drugs, shotguns and crossbows might have been more to blame for the sorry episode. Then there was that wretched German lady who could not conceive due to repeated abortions and that desperate search for a father he had never really known about. I digress yet again.
But on to figures. A fellow writer, Mike Shepherd alerted me recently that my new tome had reached the heady status of – and I may have gotten this wrong – number 4,026 in the Amazon rank of fame. I checked, and he was correct. Plus, the A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire was number two in an obscure category described as ‘History, Scotland, mythology’ or something vaguely similar.
The rankings have of course now changed due no doubt to some Amazon driven sales algorithm or other but, in the big scheme of things, I am pleased indeed that the tome has been selling well and has been generally positively reviewed.
And, and this is a big and - my blog, which of course you are currently reading has, alongside a growing following in the UK, the US and Canada, been well received in Poland. Now how cool is that!
Soon perhaps, alongside the selling of my book, I will be earning an absolute fortune endorsing goods from Warsaw. Watch this space …
The A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire is available from most good bookshops.