|Spirit of the Place by Dennis Hamley. Artwork: Anastasia Sichkarenko|
It's a very long time since I felt excitement about Christmas coming. Contentment perhaps, pleasure
So why should I feel these little thrills of expectation now? Surely I should know better at my age? You can be the judge of that. I know I've been banging on about this for months but now it really is happening.
Later this week or early next week the first copies will arrive of my limited edition venture. One hundred copies of a good quality signed and numbered hardback edition of Spirit of the Place. A beautiful object - I hope. No, I don't just hope, I know it will be a beautiful production. I wanted to reproduce the whole dust jacket here, because I think it's great. Anastasia Sichkarenko did another lovely job. However, Blogger seemed to think it was an image too far. and refused to oblige. Even so, the object itself will be something worth having no matter what's inside.
Yes, it's a risk. At £15.99 a copy I should clear £800 if I sell the lot. If I don't - well, the spare bedroom will for a long time be even more difficult to enter than it is now, full as it is with unsold paintings and books and a TV nobody wants despite our efforts to give it away. This is an experiment. Can such a project work? How valid is the Book Beautiful' theory? Have I wasted a fairly considerable sum of money on a folly?
Well, if I have, it would still be worth it because something worthwhile has been brought into the world. Even so, there is a slight undercurrent of fear accompanying the excitement. To start with, I have to admit that I made a miscalculation. I thought my timetable would allow the main activity to be before Christmas. A big launch party would take place with everybody scrambling to get a last-minute Christmas present. Fat chance. I should have remembered that the first general rule of planning is that EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER THAN YOU BARGAINED FOR and the first rule specific to this case is EVERYBODY IS BUSY AT CHRISTMAS. Somehow, in that first fine flush of enthusiasm, such petty considerations didn't seem significant.
No matter, I thought when I finally realised that they were. I'll get it all sorted out in the New Year. Then I remembered that everybody will be either exhausted or too busy trying to make their Great New Resolutions last beyond January, so considering obscure limited editions from some bloke in Oxford won't be high among their priorities. And besides, we won't be here. We'll be on the other side of the world for our usual two months in the sun. So, except for the orders I've already received which I'll sort out before Christmas, all bets are off until the end of February.
Actually, I'm relieved. March will be here, Spring will be springing, the sun will be shining and life won't be so pressured. The books don't have to be sold overnight so the process can be turned into something long and leisurely. First of all, there WILL be a launch party, it will be in mid-March, I'm negotiating with three possible venues and anybody who goes to it and buys a book there will get a surprise literary goody as well. Anybody who comes having already bought a copy might get two extra goodies. AND YOU'RE ALL INVITED. I'll give final details in my next month's blog.
So here's the drill for anybody interested. The book costs £15.99. Postage and packing will be £4. Anybody who'd like one should contact me either through Facebook - to me directly, through the Authors Electric page or (preferably) by email through my website (www.dennishamley.co.uk).
I'll take cheques (payable direct to me) or card. When I hear from you I'll reserve a copy and send you an email with my home address and bank details. As soon as we're home at the beginning of March I will start sending the copies out.
|Authors Electric Dennis Hamley|
And whether you buy one or not, may I wish you all a really brilliant Christmas and the sort of New Year we would wish for ourselves.