The North East Spreads the Word
After its successful launch at the Appledore Book Festival, Off-the-Wall Walking’s promotion in the North East was given a huge boost when Northumberland’s daily paper, The Journal, devoted a double page spread to it entitled 'Bust Sparks Wall Odyssey'.
Book Signings Reunion
One happy outcome was the unexpected arrival at the book signing in Borders Store, Newcastle, of Geoff who’d donated his sandals to Laurence at a critical point on the walk and had seen his name mentioned in the article. Laurence was delighted to present him with a signed copy of the book.
New Outlets Opened Up
Apart from very good sales at Borders, Northumberland National Park HQ ordered copies for their main visitor centre, as did Hexham and Haltwhistle Tourist Information Offices. The National Trust are currently considering it for their prime Housesteads site and Waterstone’s can now also supply the book countrywide.
Independent Bookseller takes 60 copies
The Cogito Bookshop arranged for Laurence’s talk at Hexham Abbey. The tactics he outlined for enhancing any journey were applauded (and hopefully acted upon later!) The bookshop ordered 60 books, most of which they have now sold. One mother took three copies as presents; one for each of her grown-up sons.
Story Book Ending
While at Hexham, Laurence met up with Elizabeth Tait, the now 90-year-old lady who rounded off his whole story and joined him at the end of the walk. She told him about the stone in Hexham Abbey crypt which recorded Caracalla’s vain attempt to wipe out all traces of his brother and joint emperor, Geta, whom he had arranged to be murdered. The story had started with Caracalla’s bust at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, so it was most fitting to return to Hexham Abbey where a reminder of Caracalla’s crime is forever carved out of stone. And thanks again to Elizabeth who, though frail in health, is as lively-minded and staunchly independent as ever.
North-West Passage Navigated!
These were the highlights of an action-packed promotional tour in the North-West:
Now into its first reprint, the book continues to sell well with new outlets such as WHSmith stocking it.
Off-the-Wall Walking at the Double!
Having won the Local Interest category of the National Self-Publishing Awards, Laurence was taken by surprise at the Awards Ceremony to also be presented with a Silver Cup and Certificate for the Self-Publishing Marketing Award.
An article describing his marketing approach appeared in the July 2008 issue of Writers’ News.