Oh dear, I have found a new way to delay doing any work… checking the online Amazon sales ranking of my biography of Eglantyne Jebb – SCF’s founder. The ranking is a kind of scary irregular pulse that tells you how any book is selling compared to all the rest in Amazon’s warehouse on an hour-by-hour basis.
Before the book was published it had a static ranking of 500,000 or so. Last week things started to move; a full page article in the Daily Mail with a very nice pic of young Eglantyne brought me up sharp to 4,102nd place. To be honest I have no idea if that is good or bad or utterly meaningless, but it seems quite a leap.
Reviews in the Sunday Times, Church Times and a few other places kept things interesting, and then yesterday I was interviewed on BBC Radio Four’s ‘Women’s Hour’. Excited and terrified, I hung about listening to the show and watching the clock in the waiting room until my allocated 8 minute slot towards the end of the programme approached – then I nearly missed it with an ill-timed trip to the loo followed by a wrong turn into the wrong lobby… fortunately I was rescued and ushered into the recording room where Jenni Murray gave me a huge smile and counted down to ‘live on air’… 8 minutes never went so fast! At the end she thanked me and I thanked her, and we sat there a while, cosily listenning to the pre-recorded play that came on next, until she politely smiled again and said ‘you know, you can go now…’
I think it went ok – you can have a listen on iPlayer if you want to, just visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2009_17_thu.shtml and click on ‘listen again’. Certainly my Amazon ranking shot right up – by the end of the day the book was up to number 2,459 in their overall sales, and was 7th biggest seller in biography/women, and 15th in biography/history – happily rubbing shoulders with Mandella and Darwin! So hopefully it’s raising some decent funds for SCF… and it’s nice to know that Eglantyne can still raise a strong pulse… even 80 years after she died.