Friday, 4 January 2013

"I'm writing a book".

All writers hear this admission from strangers. My most recent one was whilst in Spain.

As my books are e-published I always carry some brochures with me and, whenever I see someone with an e-reader, I try to get chatting to them and hand over one of my brochures. The first evening at the hotel I did meet a lady with an e-reader and did my public relations bit. A little later in the evening I was chatting to a couple - or rather, he was doing the talking. His wife said barely a word and, as I soon realized, it didn't matter what I said, he wasn't listening.

Eventually he brought the conversation round to the brochure he had seen me give that lady. I handed him one…. "I'm writing a book. Doing it all by hand." And, no, I didn't believe that he was doing it in the way so many of us do - write then type. I remembered that during his chatting he had mentioned that they don't have a computer.

Having told me what it was about - no, don't ask, my eyes glazed over. I assume it was the usual retired man's expertise on running the world. Eventually he wound down with those famous words, "I'll send you a copy and you can let me know what you think." Didn't ask, you notice. (This was the same man who wished his wife on me so that he didn't have to bother going on excursions - see blog on

I side stepped the issue every time it came up during the week. On the last day I sat down and wrote a 'dissertation' on what he needs to do if he wants to get published - including the various expenses. That was followed with information on publicizing oneself via Twitter/blogs/web pages. After dinner that evening I handed it to him. He glanced at it and said "Oh I know all about that," and stuffed it in his pocket. Then told me, "I'll go to Waterstones to buy your books."

You should have seen his face when I told him he won't find them in there. Of course he hadn't read the brochure properly nor had he listened to what I had told him. Once he had recovered he told me that my address and telephone number aren't on the brochure. "No, I don't have them on there. Neither do I have any business cards with me." Bye-bye, sweetheart. Did he really think I was that stupid? Probably. Especially as he had offered to share his profits with me. The way I see it, 50% of nothing is nothing.