Mid-August, when publishers begin to wipe the Ambre Solaire off their iPads and think about their autumn list. The Grand Duchess of Nowhere is scheduled for publication on October 2nd. Is that good or bad? I have no idea. There’s probably some algorithm for working out your best chance of a major review in The Times but as I’m not consulted about pub dates I’ve never worried about them. Until today.
What, my publicist asked me, did I think about waiting an extra week and being published on Super Thursday? I didn’t have a ready answer because I live down a deep burrow and don’t know (or rather didn’t know) what Super Thursday is. Generally speaking though I’m allergic to anything with ‘super’ in its name. I used to shop in Superquinn, Ireland’s equivalent of Sainsbury’s, because they sold good stuff but since they changed their name to Super Valu (sic) I can hardly bring myself to walk through their door.
But to get back to publishing, what I think about Super Thursday is that for a struggling mid-list novelist it would be madness, competing for review space and air time with all those sure-fire celebrity books that will go flying off the shelves for Christmas. Volume 13 of Katie Price’s autobiography. And no doubt offerings from all the National Treasures. Stephen Fry’s 10 Day Detox. Michael Palin’s By Tricycle to Lakeside Shopping Centre. Clare Balding’s Festive Flower Arrangements. It will be, to quote my dear old Dad, like peeing in a hurricane.
So I think, I hope what’s going to happen is that Grand Duchess will slip quietly into the world on October 2nd as originally planned, a few dear loyal readers will then buy it and life will trundle on. Super.