Long-distance book launch in lockdown
Friday 18th December 2020 turned out to be launch day for Women, Crime and the Courts. That took us by surprise, as the publisher had reckoned on Monday or Tuesday of the next week. But on Thursday evening (UK time - early hours of Friday HK time) I had an email from him. "Look what's just arrived!' The printer had pulled out the stops and delivered to the New Territories office of Blacksmith Books in just 13 days. Things really do happen fast in Hong Kong.
We cranked up the social media posts and the publisher, Pete Spurrier, had the books in Bookazine and other HK booksellers later that day. Being stuck in Tier 4 land - English home counties - I had resigned myself to a non-event of a 'publication day'. That was ok - I'd had a wonderful launch at the Irish Consulate in HK for Policing Hong Kong, an Irish History. I'm a grown up, I can cope!
But I didn't have to cope, as it proved. I'd been pretty 'cloud-nine-ish about the look of the book and its coming out a whole week before Christmas. And then the messages started coming in. Say what you will about social media, at times like this its really so heartening to connect with people all over the globe. My personal Facebook page was a continual stream of notifications, while the post I'd put on LInkedIn very quickly that day got hundreds of views, adding to the thousands my earlier posts about the book there had received.
Now to get people buying. Harder at the moment for those not in HK - there is currently (24th December) no airmail or speed post from HK to the UK etc., and post to the US is having problems. But books are on boats - or will be soon, and those wend their slow but sure way to distant shores, so should reach us perhaps early February.
But WCC is on the shelves in Hong Kong, certainly at the wonderful Bookazine. My friend Les Bird, author of the excellent A Small Band of Men, sent me these two snaps - just so I'd know that its all real and not a dream! By the time you're reading this, Christmas stockings will have been unpacked - but why not get yourself or a friend a copy for a New Year's present. What better thing could you give than tales of gruesome murders, criminally negligent midwives or an American woman so fond of her dog that she pursued the man she thought had mistreated it with a horsewhip past the Hong Kong Club and up Queen's Road.