Saturday 12th December
A Twist at the end......
Andy Street, Lady Anne Knowles and Jonathan Berg
What a month it has been. We met with our production manager to receive an early copy of the book in mid-November. Photos were printed amazingly but on closer inspection there was a problem with the spot colour for the background tint. The whole print run was affected and was not fit for retail sale. I sent a note to my contacts in bookshops explaining the delay and people really seemed to appreciate that one .... Amazingly we got the book reprinted in just two weeks.
For the technically minded we did not risk the spot colour the second time round and printed the background tint with an 11% black. We took delivery of a part order of 2,040 books the second time round a week before the launch and got into shops with a few days to spare.
Time for a selfie with the BBC Dalek in Mailbox before an interview on local radio
People around me were surprised how calm I was during this potentially stressful time. To be honest the situation was helped by an amazing print production company in Jellyfish Solutions. I am so glad I did not try and work directly with an overseas printer on this edition.
We sent out a couple of press releases and also did some personal letters to key media. Midlands Today said "No" yet again - they have never featured the book for the last 21 years! However Adrian Goldberg was much more positive and I spent a happy 10 minutes on his show on Monday 30th November. I also got interviewed by Graham Young from the Birmingham Evening Mail and his article is fantastic - see here....
Preparing the books for sale
After the tribulations of the first printing we decided to QC every book. This means we open every box and check the books and also add our marketing leaflet. The 'scrap' rate is about 0.08% which is acceptable considering the book was reprinted in 4 days and probably through the night.
John Lewis Launch
Around a hundred people attended the launch at John Lewis in Grand Central
The launch was a lot of work. I was responsible for the invitations and organising what happened with JLP looking after venue and catering. I met Rebecca at Adil's when we were taking a photo for the book and she offered the services of her Conservatoire 5-piece ensemble. They were great and made a huge difference to the feel of the event.
Gary Newbon kindly oversaw proceedings and Andy Street was very kind when he said a few words. Lady Anne Knowles seemed to enjoy being with us and it was great to meet her again. She and Sir Richard were so supportive in the early days and she is in the last photo in the new book.
John Lewis sold 144 books at the launch in about 40 minutes. Considering there were around 100 people at the event this was pretty good. Barbara gave out the Acme 'Grand Central Positively Birmingham' whistle to everyone she could. We were going to do the whistle for a donation to the Lord Mayor's charity but he did not come so it we changed that one.