It was published on the 14th of November, a date etched on my mind, and despite the best efforts of the Picador reps, it didn’t make it to the shelves of the biggest book chain in the country until Christmas week, five weeks after launch.
Everyone had bought their Christmas books. It disappeared from the shelves almost as soon as it managed to slip on them.
Itâ€™s a fate that every writer dreads. Years of work gone up in smoke because the book isnâ€™t available for readers to buy, and whatever about individual bookshops, bookchains are ruthless: if itâ€™s not selling, thereâ€™s no second chance.
Grace Wynne-Jones‘s books are aimed at a female readership, but I suspect a lot of men read them too, as sheâ€™s one of the funniest writers around. Her four novels are being reprinted this year by Ãccent Press in attractive new covers. This will make them available in the UK and further afield and Accent has also released Ordinary Miracles and Wise Follies (which have been out of print for some years) in Ireland. Her 3rd and 4th novels Ready Or Not? and The Truth Club are already published in Ireland by Tivoli and are available under that imprint in Irish bookstores.
Ordinary Miracles was re-published on February 19, and my sister who is a big fan, rushed out to buy it. She kept trying and eventually, six weeks after publication, asked in the largest bookshop in the country. There was no record of it. All I can say is that I empathise.
Graceâ€™s parents named her well, as she is far too graceful to complain about this, and barely alludes to it on her website.
Thankfully it seems that the problem has now been addressed. Wise Follies was published this month, and I see from the Ãccent website that Grace attended the London Book Fair to promote it. Her reprinted books should be widely available soon and major Irish and UK book stores have copies already.
Good for her.