Sunday, 31 May 2009


I have talked before about how getting a contract is not the end of the story, and that there then ensues all the unavoidable promotional stuff. I was wrong. I have been wasting my time with all the stupid things I've been doing to promote a book (the name of which I cannot tell you) which may or may not be published some time soonish, on a day which I will not reveal. My lips are sealed. In the words of the waiter from Barcelona, "I know nothing."

It was all going so well - the publicity for this nameless book - and I'd even, to my shame and horror, had some lovely reviews on places like that big book-selling website that everyone goes on about. Then, on Saturday, I read the papers and discovered, in a horrible flash of gah-ness, that I'd got it all wrong.

Here's the story that shook my world. After five years of fevered anticipation by readers, Haruki Murakami's new novel, IQ84, has been published. The flood of advance orders meant that his publishers had to increase the initial print-run to 480,000. The secret to this stunning success? Secrecy. Silence. Nothing. Yep, he totally refused to say anything about it. Ever. For five years and all the way up to publication, he zipped his mouth and swanned around eating sushi and drinking rice wine. (I made that up: for all I know, he could be teetotal. After all, a writer with the self-control not to mention his book? You couldn't do that if you were sober.)

Now this is the sort of publicity campaign I could quite easily be attracted to. It's a bit late, but from now on my lips are sealed. I will not tell you anything, not one teensy item, not even the title, about my new booky thing that's possibly published on Monday, or Tuesday, or thereabouts. I've no idea where you can buy it and if I see any copies I will hide them behind someone else's titles. Everything I have already said about the book is a lie. Someone said it's Book of the Month in some **poxy shop - well, pah to that. If you read any reviews before publication, they are fabricated. Any videos you find are probably created by a jealous rival, just to throw you off the scent.

I will from now on be a woman of extreme mystery. One day, I will be like Shakespeare and everyone will argue about whether I was really the writer of a book called ... Or maybe even Homer and people will argue about whether I existed.

Sometimes, I have wondered this myself.

** No offence, Vanessa - all in the interests of not identifying the shop, which could never in a million years be called poxy.


Anita said...

Gosh, and the silent approach seems a lot easier, too...and more conducive to actually writing a book (no time spent on publicity). :) We'll see how it works for you! Good luck!

Elen Caldecott said...

Happy publication day!!

I'm sure a bookshop in Bristol will have slipped through the net of secrecy and stocked a copy. I shall be on the lookout on my next trip into town!

behlerblog said...

As a publisher, I'm wickedly fascinated. Think of the money I could save on marketing and promotion. All of my authors (including me) could become recluses, grow long fuzzy beards, and drink entirely too many pitchers of margaritas while banging out our next secret tomes of brilliance. Bless you, as always, dear Nicola.

BuffySquirrel said...

I shan't breathe a word :D.

Nicola Morgan said...

BuffyS - hello! Good to see you.

Lynn - thing is, some authors do publicity even with the long fuzzy beards ...

Elen and Anita - thank you! (But shhh)