The hardest part of writing these days is discovery by readers. Take my books. Usually buried at the far end of non-fiction – the penalty of having a surname at the wrong end of the alphabet. I always knew I should have changed my name to Aaron A. Aardvark.
Well, guess what. Just now, it doesn’t seem to matter. I discovered my Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand just about everywhere I looked in the main Whitcoulls bookstore down Wellington’s Lambton Quay. This is the top shopping street in the country – dubbed the ‘golden mile’ for good reason. Technically the street’s nowhere near as long, but there’s no denying its repute.
My title features in their Spotlight shelf near their main entrance, and it’s got a complete panel of shelves devoted to it upstairs. In the main history section it’s at the top, next to two of my Random House titles, and ahead of the letter A in the form of Greg Allnutt’s book on modern Kiwi peacekeeping.
In short, there are piles of copies of the Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand available in all the best places around the store. And that’s very cool. In fact, it’s brilliant. I’ll explain.
The Whitcoulls chain makes up about a third of New Zealand book retailing, and the Lambton Quay shop is one of their flagship stores. Getting a profile there is important – and, of course, my book on railways is No.3 on their New Zealand non-fiction best-selling list this month.
Fingers crossed. And all thanks to my publishers for getting copies out there.
The Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand is available from Whitcoulls, in other good New Zealand bookstores and internationally from the publisher’s web-shop. E-book editions in the major formats are coming soon.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013
Coming up this weekend: the return of my ‘Write It Now’ and ‘Sixty Second Writing Tips’ series.