Sex, Vodka and Bad Press


A dirty weekend – five days – Thursday to Monday that’s what I had. Yep! And I am a married woman. I spill the beans right here on the blog,webite-home-108small for family, friends and strangers to see. It has to be, I have no choice. It’s called a marketing strategy. Starlets sleep with directors, wanna-be writers with agents. And I bare my soul to you. For the sake of my books.


Last week’s book sales went really well – so well that “Beside the Sea” was heading for sell-out. And I ordered a reprint. This week sales have slowed down dramatically and in fact I now worry that I have ordered the reprint too early.


So, here comes my juicy story. On Thursday morning, at five o’clock in the morning,  I took my suitcase and called a cab and went to the airport where I met my companion. We boarded a plane and flew to St Petersburg, and went to a hotel room and drank Russian Champagne and Siberian Vodka and ate red Caviar. We did some kissing too. Then on the last day we walked hand and hand across the frozen Neva and boarded a plane and flew back. At Heathrow I took the exit to passport control while he rode the escalator to Flight Connections…out of the country and out of sight. It still feels like a dream.


Did I promise too much? I hope I have your attention now and you won’t forget my little story or Peirene and her books ever again. Bad publicity is better than none, right? Or at least that’s what I am learning. Because a dirty weekend is not my only shady news. Peirene Title No 1 has a bad publicity story too. A reviewer in the  FT didn’t like the book at all, and made that utterly clear in a tiny article. When I first saw it, it felt like being hit unexpectedly from behind and I wanted to ask, why did you need to publish this, if you didn’t like the book, couldn’t you just have ignored it? I am new small publisher, please, don’t immediately smash me to pieces. The interesting thing is, however, that I had almost as many people e-mailing me congratulations and wows and well dones responding to the FT article  as for the wonderful Guardian review. Only yesterday I received a message: “Just read the review in the FT. Congratulation. Well done. Will now go and read the book!”


So I guess I prefer bad publicity rather than none. Nothing can be worse than total silence. That’s one way of looking at it. Another way: Perhaps most people understand that bad publicity contains many half truths. If a reviewer tears up a book this says more about the reviewer than the book. Furthermore readers will be intrigued why the text arouse such strong reactions in the first place.


And finally, to underline my point about bad publicity not telling the whole truth: I admit, the companion was in fact my husband. I know … lame joke and sorry to disappoint. We did however meet at the airport and parted there again too. My husband likes flying around. That at least is true!

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