I am now working on the Isle of Man edition of my book for NEDs – it’s the last in the quartet. I can’t begin to tell you how convoluted is the world of print-on-demand publishing for the UK author. Getting the thing written is the simple part, but getting it listed on UK websites is a battle royal. You’d think it wouldn’t matter, in this globalised, online world of ours, but it comes back to physical details, and specifically postage. If you buy a book from the US, it costs a fortune to post it to Europe. So I have been waiting until book distributors here in the UK notice that my books are on Amazon.com in the US (which they are – how exciting is that?), and start offering them locally – it’s a black art, involving book databases, bibliographical data and other things I don’t want to think about any more.
My whole reason for doing this is so that you can buy the book in sterling and – more critically – get free postage. The distributor I have my hopes pinned on is the Book Depository (the UK version of the NEDs book is already there), so I thought I should check with them that their free delivery offer applies to Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. You’re not on their list of free delivery destinations, so I thought I would ask, and this is the answer I received: “I can confirm that Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man are part of the UK and we do offer free delivery to these places.” Please don’t shoot the messenger: ignore the fact that you have been politically reassigned, and focus on the free postage element of it all. Mind you, Royal Mail pulls a similar trick: ordinary letters to your three islands cost the same as UK letters, but for parcels you miraculously (and expensively) become foreign.
By the way, thanks to those of you who have taken part already in my poll on who should join Edward Jones, MLRO about town, in his next adventures. Unless there is a late surge (voting is still open), it looks like I’m going to have to work a teddy bear called Winston into the story. Perhaps he can be used for smuggling drugs….