I’m absolutely delighted, and incredibly honoured, to have been chosen. I’ve been a long-time fan of the Book of the Month scheme: as an ex-bookseller myself (I’ve worked in both Waterstones and Blackwell’s branches) I know how important in-house enthusiasm is to selling books, and I know what a difference it makes when booksellers get behind a particular author or title. Book of the Month gives books that might not normally be noticed by customers a chance to shine and promotes the idea of handselling, which to me is exactly what bookstores are for. They can do what online giants and their algorithms never can: give word-of-mouth recommendations and suggestions that really work.
And this is all because of the brilliance of booksellers. Booksellers are smart, qualified and endlessly enthusiastic about their field. Books mean everything to them, and because of that, they can use their knowledge and passion to put the right book into the right pair of hands. Where books have succeeded, it’s usually because booksellers have championed them – for authors, booksellers are quite simply lifelines. They keep us in business, and we should never get tired of thanking them for their stellar work.
This month, Waterstones booksellers up and down the country will be talking about and selling Arsenic for Tea. I want to thank each and every one of them for putting their time and love into my book. I think it’s part of an author’s job to support bookstores and booksellers – I’m going to be doing my bit by visiting as many Waterstones branches as I can manage in February. So please look out for Arsenic for Tea, and if you can please do head in to your local Waterstones to buy a copy.
Three cheers for booksellers!