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Week 1

September 04, 2015 Poppy Fraser

It's been a roller coaster - the book arrived, in the pouring rain, on Monday 20th September, just 19 days ago. It was such  big moment, the van driver brought the first box in to me and I sat crouched in the porch, nervously opening it up and holding, for the first time, my book. As I have self published, there was no way of seeing a proof copy of the book except in email form. I was nervous it might not feel how I wanted it to, but I was so thrilled. I was so happy with it and the rest of the boxes were kindly piled into our barn. 

The next day I filled the boot of the car and took them up to  London, to deliver to my favourite bookshops who had pre ordered; John Sandoe, Hayward Hill, Books for Cooks, Lutyens and Rubenstein.

 I started with a cold call with Daunts on Holland Park Avenue. I hadn't been able to contact them beforehand but the lovely manager Adam, was called over and he had a quick flick and said he'd like 5!

 At that very moment, as Adam was deciding on where to put the book, a loud crash was heard. Adam apologised to me, and rushed off after a big, burly , shifty looking man walked out of the shop, clearly having shop lifted a mountain of books into his rucksack. I then said I would go and get the books out of the car and ran, having parked illegally and wary of getting a ticket. It must have crossed Adam's mind whether I was a decoy for the theft- so I ran back in as fast as I could with the books, explaining about the car and why I was sprinting. 

The other bookshops were so positive and kind about the book, John Sandoe immediately ordered more when they saw it. It was absolutely one of my happiest days of my life, just to see the books in these wonderful shops.

A few days later, we headed up to Chatsworth where my husband had his exhibition opening of his ceramic sculptures, which he has worked on ever since I have known him (6 years). They looked SPECTACULAR. It was a huge success and another enormous event in the same week. 

2 days later, our dog was run over- he is an ill trained jack russell who has got into the habit of chasing our cat out onto the road in our village. The poor farmer happened to hit him, as he threw himself at the truck. By some utter stroke of luck, after a night rigged up to a drip, and on morphine and after a fiendishly expensive X-ray, he returned home the following day, traumatised but alive. What a week- I think I blame the super moon.

Week 2 was very exciting, having got on the telephone to Alice Carter who has talked me through selling on Amazon, she was guiding me through the sight when we saw an order from Amazon for 147 books- I couldn't believe my eyes. I'd been told that what one should hope for is Amazon ordering 10 copies at a time, rather than the usual 2 or 3. 147. Another memorable moment of total excitement. 

More press from wonderful websites and instagram plugs. Sales are rather erratic, huge waves after certain press releases and then a quiet weekend made perfect by having my brother and his family to stay. 7 cousins running wild in the house= chaos/bliss. 

Week 3 is ending with a serious bang- last night I logged on to Amazon and the book was number 10 in the best seller list for quick and easy meals. Oh my goodness. That meant staying up late, phone calls to family and friends and celebrating with delicious gin and tonics. Wa hoo. Tonight, someone has suggested pitching to publishing companies and wanting to be my agent. Even if no-one is interested, I am just ecstatic that someone thinks it is worth pitching, my next book. I can't really think beyond this one at the moment, it is so consuming, but boy the thought is exciting. Today, the book has slipped to number 12 on Amazon's best seller list- thank goodness I saw the listing yesterday, it clearly swings around madly but still, very very grateful and happy to have briefly been number 10.