The day I sold my baby for the first time

May 22, 2010, 2 Comments

How does it feel to sell your baby to strangers? Anyone overhearing that question from a colleague yesterday must have thought we were having the strangest conversation. What the casual eavesdropper didn’t know was that the baby in question was born a few weeks prematurely, is 21cm long and weighs only 392 grams. And is called Swiss Watching.  Yes, my book is on sale, at least in Switzerland if not in the UK just yet.

It always seemed a little too weird for me to refer to the book as my baby, though plenty of other people have done just that. I guess it’s the closest I’ll ever get to producing offspring, and I was far more involved than most expectant fathers up until this point. It wasn’t merely a case of a few climactic minutes but months of hard labour. Perhaps that makes me as much the mother as the father of this particular baby. It’s over two years since conception, giving it a gestation period similar to an African elephant. Or, looking at it another way, it’s six months since the first draft was finished and the publishing process began, making the book more of a baboon, gestationally-speaking.

And to answer the question from the beginning, it  feels great. I wonder how many authors get to sell their own book as part of their day-job? Every author should try it as it makes all the hard work worthwhile. It was lovely to see the reaction of regular customers to the early arrival; even better when strangers bought the book and then realised that the man behind the till is also the one on the back cover. Lots of smiles and laughs all round. And sales, luckily for me.

 As you can see from the pictures, the newly-refurbished English Bookshop at Stauffacher was designed with my book in mind, giving it the perfect display space. Look a little more closely and you can see that it’s positioned between William Shakespeare and Cecelia Ahern. I wonder if that’s my true readership? Somewhere between Macbeth and PS I love You. If it sells as much as either, then I’ll be a happy author.

2 Comments on "The day I sold my baby for the first time"

  1. Stephan Bögli Tuesday June 1st, 2010 at 02:57 PM · Reply

    Just stumbled upon an article in Tagesanzeiger about your book and it sound so quite interesting and promising. I always like an outside view on the things so familiar and common that we don’t even think about.
    And it will be a pleasure to travel all the long, long distance from Zurich to Bern to buy it. Every reason to come back to Bern is a good reason…

    • swisswatching Tuesday June 1st, 2010 at 04:04 PM · Reply

      Thanks Stephan – and you shouldn’t have to come to Bern to buy the book. It’s on sale in Orell Füssli and Pile of Books in Zurich. But, as you say, any reason to come to Bern is a good one.

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