|Real book, real author!|
Since I had a few hours 'spare' between checking out of my friendly air bnb and catching my flight home from Edinburgh airport, I thought I should build on my face-to-face experiences with a bit of salesmanship of the door-to-door kind.
|In good company in the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey|
However with the weather looking very iffy and with a degree of post-event tiredness setting in, I didn't expect too much of myself and had a back-up plan of sitting on my suitcase and reading a book.
So here's my salespersons dairy!
|DCLG: A reference library and a half|
|Edinburgh City Art Centre- worth a detour!|
12.30: Since Google maps informed me I was only a short distance from South Bridge, it seemed only sensible to cal in to Blackwells Bookshop and have a chat with one of the organisers of my October event who offered some practical hints and tips. Just one small snag, it wasn't far to walk but most of it was vertically - up one of Edinburgh's steepest closes - and with a suitcase in tow! I tried to think of the benefits to my heart.
|A new view of Calton Hill|
1.30: Lunch was not so much in order as an absolute necessity. With energy levels suddenly through the floor I grabbed a supermarket sandwich and collapsed on the corner of the Royal Mile. With tourists from all over the world jostling past, I hoped I was contributing to local colour. Somewhere on North Bridge my phone fitness app registered my daily step target. I should think so too!
2 pm - The Portrait Gallery (home to last year's Perfect Chemistry exhibition) was in my sights but I was suddenly shy of making a pitch in what felt like the most important place. Instead I lingered in the photography exhibition and wondered if I would head straight for the airport. But while loitering in the entrance hall I caught an air of friendliness from the reception lady and reminded myself I had a 'guid Scots tongue in my hied'. Could I leave a book for the photography curator? was my tentative enquiry. The receptionist thought yes and went one better - would I like to speak to her in person? After that conversation I definitely deserved a Portrait Cafe scone. And very nice it was too.
My whistle-stop tour had gone better than expected. Did I learn anything from my pounding of the pavements?
- in face to face situations people are nearly always helpful. I was touched by the kind reception I had from everyone I met, especially the lady at the Portrait Gallery but also the assistant in Superdrug who asked me all about my journey and my Dunfermline landlady whom I barely saw but who downloaded In the Blink of an Eye. and has messaged me to say how much she is enjoying it.
- a personal visit bears more fruit than an email. Of course not all of my marketing chickens will come home to roost but I came back armed with personal email contacts rather than generic ones of the 'shop@' variety - this feels like progress.
- fortune favours the brave! Doorstepping isn't the easiest thing to do, but what's the worst that can happen? I was lucky to find a couple of useful people were happy to talk to me, but if they hadn't been, at least I had tried.
- my newly updated Smartphone was a lifesaver, telling me everything I needed to know (especially where I was!) and keeping me in touch with online life during the whole weekend. Who needs social media? Me!
- Thanks to my new M&S nubuck trainers - not the trendiest but indubitably the comfiest - I took all those steps without feeling a thing.
And for my next trip?
In October I'll be back in Scotland and in Edinburgh. Here's your invitation to my Edinburgh launch for anyone in the vicinity.
Do please register here if you can make it.
Hope to see you there!
In the Blink of an Eye is available in paperback and e-book from Linen Press.