Mini-Newsletter – A Ton of Gemini – 26th May 2000

Greetings everyone. This is just a quick note to tell you how the deliveries of Gemini are coming along.

They arrived late last week, a few days later than I’d hoped, and the first shock was just how heavy they really were – 1.1kg each. We had 816 advance orders at that time (more than double Caprice and Rondo) and took delivery of 1000 copies so that is 1.1 metric tonnes of Gemini. (as my muscles will testify since I had to open them all myself!!) I took a couple of pictures of the sea of books as we sorted them – they filled our events room – and will put them on the website once they’re developed. People were coming up just to look at the spectacle and wonder if the floor would hold up!

Dorothy and I went in on Saturday and again on Monday (which was a UK holiday) and were there until 8pm, me opening the packets, inserting the order details and passing them to Dorothy for her to sign and where possible personalise the copies. Then me sorting them into countries. At that point there were about 500 for the US, 147 for the UK, about 35 each for Canada and Australia, as well as substantial amounts for New Zealand and Germany, plus all the smaller amounts for Japan, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Eire, France, etc. etc. though more orders are coming in all the time.

We managed to get 860 of the 1000 copies signed which gave us a few spare but the additional orders have exhausted those and Dorothy is coming in this afternoon to sign the final 120. Since Monday we’ve been frantically packing the books and checking credit card details for charging. With so many copies it is a long long job. We’ve already sent out the books for Australia, New Zealand and other far flung places like South Africa on Wednesday and Thursday, Canada went out Thursday and this morning. For the US copies there are so many of them that after looking into the various options we decided that the best and fairest method was to send them all at once by a bulk airmail carrier who have promised that they will deliver door-to-door in “a few days”. This should mean far more consistency than using the normal postal system. We are about half way through the packing and charging of these and the despatch staff are coming in over the weekend to work extra hours on it. We hope to send them off on Tuesday or Wednesday (Monday is another public holiday and the carrier is closed then). There are a few that we’ve found have either invalid or expired card details or seem to have duplicated orders and we are attempting to contact everyone affected at the moment. The UK copies will go out as soon as they are packaged up.

So now we all cross our fingers and hope that there are no postal service strikes, no airmail planes falling out of the sky and no hurricanes or tornadoes!

It’s probably worth mentioning to those that were worried by the cost of the book and the strength of the pound, that in the last few weeks the pound/dollar exchange rate has fallen from 1.65 to the current 1.48. Not sure exactly how the other currencies have been doing but I think they are better than they were. I should also say that the real costs of airmail postage have turned out to be considerably higher than expected because the book is so large and because of recent postage increases. In effect you are getting a discount of about 3-4 pounds on the price.

Oh yes, by the way, I’ve been reading my copy in the early hours of the morning and so far it’s superb!

Personal Appearances

Three dates have so far been fixed for promotional appearances where Dorothy will give a short reading and then answer questions and sign books.

Monday 12th June
Edinburgh – James Thin South Bridge, 7.00pm
Tel: 0131 6228278

Monday 26th June
Manchester – Waterstone’s Deansgate 6.30pm
Tel: 0161 837 3080

Tuesday 27th June
Leeds – Waterstone’s 93/97 Albion Street, 7pm
Tel: 0113 244 4588

US Tour

There is also good news for the US readers. There will be a promotional tour in September around the same time as the Philadelphia Gathering. Dorothy will probably be in the US for about 2-3 weeks altogether. No details of the individual appearances as yet, but as soon as she hears anything I’ll pass them on.

Ahh, as I write this I’ve just been told that Penguin have duplicated the 1000 copies of Gemini and our Goods Inward Dept are going crazy. Who’d be a bookseller? I think I need to lie down in a darkened room.

Best wishes and fast postal deliveries.

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