OK, now for non-Christmas news. Today, my paperback copies of Testament arrived in the post. Not quite as astonishing a moment as when the hardbacks arrived and, for the first time, I saw my book as a real thing which other people would buy, but still quite something. And paperback – I mean, that’s a real book isn’t it, the kind of book ordinary people like you and me buy? (Many thanks, however, to all the wonderful, noble people who bought it in hardback…)
Interestingly, Pan has decided to retain the hardback’s dust jacket design for the paperback’s cover. I have to admit, it’s very distinctive and looks brilliant in the paperback format – just enough out of the ordinary to make people pick it up (or out – even the spine is gorgeous) and wonder what it’s about. I know we’re proverbially warned not to judge books by their covers but we all do, don’t we? So I’m very pleased with how it looks. Here it is...
The publication date is this Friday – the 2nd of January – so it’ll soon be out there in the bookshops… I shall be in Canterbury on Friday seeing if I can spot it. If any of you manage it, let me know!
I keep reading in papers - and even in The Author - that the dreaded credit crunch is going to mean an upswing in book sales as people decide that they can’t afford to eat in restaurants or treat themselves to expensive evenings out. And, when you think about it, a paperback book is amazing value when compared with other forms of entertainment. At 568 pages, Testament represents around 8 or 9 hours of reading time (if you’re a slow reader like me, at any rate) which, at £7.99 seems like a lot better value than a cinema ticket at anything upwards of £6.00 for a couple of hours’ viewing. And you can’t even take the film home and lend it to your friends! Scale up for the theatre (or premiership football match) and even more so for eating out and, suddenly, paperbacks seem like astonishingly good value.
Of course, I’m preaching to the converted here but I am pleased that the industry I’m part of offers such good value.