What a difference a day makes.

June 2, 2010, 4 Comments

Tuesday 1 June has been a red letter day in my diary for a very long time, marked as my last day at work before leaving for the launch of my book in Britain. That was so yesterday. Now Tuesday 1 June means something totally different to me. Now it marks the day my book was noticed.

It started with updating the bestseller list for Stauffacher English Bookshop, as we do on the 1st of every month. Swiss Watching was Number 1! After just a few days on sale, it had outsold the next two titles together. That was a great way to start the day – changing the bestseller display to make my book Number 1. It was even more satisfying to do that knowing that it wasn’t only my friends and regular customers who had been buying the book; it was tourists and strangers. The fab cover helps (how glad am I that I came up with that design idea?!) but the book seems to be selling itself.

If I thought that would be the best part of the day, I was very wrong.  By mid-afternoon I’d finished work and was out shopping for all those last-minute things I’d forgotten (mainly chocolate). An hour away and the whole world went mad. I got back to find my email inbox full and over 3000 extra new visitors to this blog. And all thanks to one article.

A week or so ago Jonathan Spirig, a very nice man from the Berner Zeitung, came to interview me in German about my book. Yesterday his article went online, and then was picked up by newspapers all around Switzerland: Der Bund, Tages Anzeiger, Basler Zeitung, even the Thuner Tagblatt. That was why my blog exploded into life. That was why I was suddenly getting comments, not just from Zürich and Basel but New York and Virginia. That was why 1 June is now a memorable date for me.

By 22.01 Swiss Watching was a number one bestseller on Amazon in the UK (and number nine in the US). I say ‘a’ number one because it was top of the list in the ‘Books about Switzerland’ category. Not quite the big bestseller list but still outselling Lonely Planet, Rough Guide & Co. There must have been an awful lots of online readers of the Thuner Tagblatt living in the UK somewhere. Definitely a day to remember.

Now I’m in the UK, getting ready for the official launch of my book next week, followed by a much-needed few days off. I’m not taking my iPhone, let alone a laptop, so I may not catch up with your comments every day. But do carry on reading and writing back. My parents always told me not to talk to strangers, but there’s nothing better than getting comments and emails from people scattered around the world. It makes all this so much fun. Sometimes, it’s good to talk, even to strangers. After all, isn’t that what the blogging is all about?

4 Comments on "What a difference a day makes."

  1. Sara Ellul Wednesday June 2nd, 2010 at 10:39 PM · Reply

    I wish I could read the article in English as my German’s not up to much! Congratulations on your number one spot – can’t wait to get my hands on a copy on publication in the UK.

  2. lexu Thursday June 3rd, 2010 at 05:34 AM · Reply

    So glad to here you are getting recognized.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your book! You put many things into words that I’ve experienced myself (German expat of 40+ years) here in Switzerland. They (and that includes me by now, I fear) are so different, but not wrong!

  3. Janie Thursday June 3rd, 2010 at 05:36 PM · Reply

    Wow, What a wonderful June 1st you had. I am so glad for you. Really! I have not looked for your book because I thought it was not out yet but I will go look for it. I really like your blog. I have told you that but I thought I would mention it again. LOL.
    Have a great time in the UK. Yes, I love talking to strangers also. It is fun to get an answer from someone that you have written to.
    I love Il Divo and their website has a forum and I have made a few friends since writing on it. It is funny that I say they are friends because the truth is I do not know them but we have written back and forth so much that they seem like friends so that is what I call them.
    So I totally understand what you mean that writing to strangers is fun.

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