I used to complain about sales figures. A lot. And got very little sympathy. In fact none. Because, as we know, everything in life is relative. And that goes for sales figures too.
In the world of foreign lit Peirene is doing well. Judging from the sales numbers, word of her existence has spread across that tiny planet and the inhabitants have welcomed her warmly.
“You’ve done amazingly well. And what’s more this is as good as it gets,” a wise colleague recently said to me, “the average UK reader lives on a different planet all together and has no desire to move to yours.”
Maddy and I held an emergency meeting and decided that if the mountain won’t come to us, we will go to the mountain.
So, yesterday at 8.30 we arrived at Camden Lock Market. We pitched our tent, decorated our stall, put our beautiful books out. We stayed till 6pm, sold three books and one bag, signed up 6 people to our monthly newsletter, ran the risks of frost bites and put up with a whiny, complaining nymph all day.
That’s one way of telling the story. But there is another: We made more money than the jewelry seller to our left and the woman opposite selling hats and scarves. The stall manager was thrilled to have us there and let us off the rent. And a guy who told us he doesn’t read much for a start, and if at all than only scifi, walked away with Beside the Sea and Next World Novella and really can’t wait for Maybe This Time.
By the time we got home, Peirene went straight to bed with water bottles at her head and feet. She re-emerged today at noon. As she poured herself a coffee, she said:
“I am so pleased we’ve got that experience out of the way.”
“What do you mean?” I asked, slightly puzzled.
“Well, I assume we are not going to repeat it, are we!”
“Peirene, it’ a long a trek. This was just the first outing. I am sorry to say, we are just not giving up that quickly.”
Peirene stormed out of the kitchen. I heard her door slam. I followed her and listen at her door. I knocked.
“Can I come in?”
No answer. I carefully pushed the door open. She lay on the bed. I sat next to her and stroke her head.
“Ok,” she said after a while. “I’ll come next time but only if I have a thermal vest, long John’s and some extra sick socks.”
“Deal,” I agreed. “I’ll get you some. Indeed, we should make that the obligatory staff uniform for the three of us.”
P.S. Email Maddy email@example.com if you want to know where our roaming store will be next.