Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Yes, we are almost at the end of March and with a day to go our target is still just about in reach. But first, here is a house that looks like David Bowie. Thank you. You're all too kind.

So, we last gave you a strugglometer update on Sunday evening. Since then we had a monster day on Monday, with some very very nice cheques and account payments being made. We also had a great sales day through the tills... but you know all this cos you read the last post.

Anyway, yesterday was the day we had invited Andy Stanton, author of the brilliant Mr Gum kids books, to entertain a theatre full of kids at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham. We took the books over to his flat last Friday to sign. Well, we took most of them...unfortunately there were about 90 books missing from the order we'd placed with the publisher (oh yes, this happens), so we had to quickly order some more from our distributor who can guarantee next day delivery (excellent service Bertram's). They duly arrived and we breathed a sigh of relief. Andy furiously signing copies of his book.

After another small hiccup involving the books beng misplaced for a few hours (this also happens), we were ready for the big show. We'd organinsed for 5 schools to come along to meet Andy and the whole thing was brilliant. Tim sadly, forgot to take a camera to capture the brilliantness of the event (this happens too), but hundreds of kids left very happy, with signed copies of Mr Gums clutched in their sweaty hands.

Tuesday was also the day that the delivery company that our distributor uses to guarantee next day delivery ballsed up big time, and we were 6 boxes short on a delivery full of customer orders and books to restock the shelves from the weekend's sales.
Oh well. Here is a picture of my brother with a dalek to make us all feel better. It was taken a few years ago, which is why the dalek looks so young.

We salvaged what we could from the delivery and carried on. There was still a ton of stuff to do yesterday. There were schools and organizations who had some money left from their yearly budget which needed spending by the end of March and they needed us to make sure that we could sort out their orders and deliveries for them. We think we managed it.

So with 2 days to go until the end of the month (I have had a day off today, so I don't know what it's been like in the shop), how close are we to our target?
In the time old tradition of playing for time there is still more to tell you. Today was the start in earnest of the Portable Bookshop in Crouch End and this is a great side project that we are very excited about. If you're anywhere near Crouch End tomorrow, please go and see Robin at the Hornsey Library. Even if you don't buy anything, we're still really interested in what you think about the idea and whether you have any suggestions. So don't be shy.

Tomorrow is also the Society of Young Publishers Birthday Benefit party for us. There will hopefully be many many people joining us at the shop to whoop it up with the SYP. Everyone is invited , whether you're a young publisher or not. I can assure you that the SYP are a wonderful bunch, and as is the way with these things, the more the merrier.

So, with two days to go.... wait there's a couple more things to mention. Just because in a couple of days the strugglometer will be no more, please don't forget about us. We have a huge line up of things happening in April. Here's just a little taster in the first two weeks.

  • Friday April 1st 11.00am Story time and Songs for the under 5's at the bookshop

  • Sunday April 3rd 1.00pm-3.00pm Knitters Group at the Bookshop

  • Tuesday April 5th 7.00pm Gail Renard Talks about her 8 Days with John and Yoko

  • Wednesday April 6th 11.00am Morning Reading Group at the Bookshop

  • Thursday April 7th 7.00pm How to Get Published. A talk with Isabel Losada

  • Friday April 8th 11.00am Story time and Songs for the Under 5's at the bookshop

  • Sunday April 10th 11.00am Committee Meeting (info to follow)

  • Tuesday April 12th 7.00pm Evening Reading Group

  • Wednesday April 13th 7.00pm Writers Group

  • Thursday 14th April 7.00pm The Big Green Bookshop Quiz

  • Friday April 15th 7.00pm Ha Ha ha Hardbacks. The Stand Up Comedy Night

Right, I won't keep you in suspense any longer.

88%. Yes, Monday was a mighty fine day and Tuesday (with its Mr Gum magic) also shook the very foundations of North London.

I will not be writing a blog tomorrow as I shall be swinging my pants with the Society of Young Publishers, so as tomorrow sees the last day of the official appeal, can I say how incredible you have all been. I have been truly overwhelmed by the generosity and selflessness that you have shown and whether we make it to 100% or not, we are in a considerably better position than we were in a month ago.


I also hope you liked the picture of my brother with a dalek.



Jan Jones said...

Wonderful photo of the dalek with your brother.

And how impressive is that strugglometer!

Best of luck with the last 12%

Voltaire said...

Excellent picture of me and the Dalek... I shall make a donation to help with that pesky last few percent :)

Emma Newman said...

Yes, that photo is great. And it's so reassuring to hear that fretting over book deliveries is normal - I am currently losing years off my life worrying that the books won't arrive in time for my first book launch. And there I was thinking it was only me...

Good luck with the last 12%...