Not seeming to be having any luck with getting bookings from the schools... ( possible only 10% of those who I have contacted, ever got back to me...I decided to contact Noreen Renshaw from the Stockport Library Service and offer to visit the local libraries in Stockport to perform readings. I wasn't feeling too optimistic due to the fact that she was one of the of the first people to buy several copies of the first edition, and may have even forgotten about me by now. However she did remember and even mentioned a few other people that I should contact from outside the borough who may be interested. A quick google search on on of the names came up with a website which listed all of the respective district library managers for the whole of the North West and subsequently for the rest of the U.K. as well.
Finding a lead like this is like gold dust, so again my Monday was spent on the phone haranguing the unsuspecting "good people" of libraries throughout the North West to see if they would be interested in receiving a copy of the Hairy Plug Monster with a view to stocking it. I "bigged myself up" again on the phone by telling them that the HPM has been compared to the Gruffalo and The Cat in the Hat....(which is a very bold claim to make) and sent off e-mails and letters.
Subsequently I have now got 2 definite bookings in Bury and Runcorn which could possibly lead to them stocking the book as well. I also got the feeling that the library service seems to have very good lines of communication, as some of the coordinators even told me that they were just talking about my book and were expecting my call.
We sent a copy to Chris Everett from the Warrington Borough Council who sent this fantastic email back to us today.
Hi Leighroy I have just received a copy of your book. Thanks so much for sending it as it really cheered up my Friday afternoon. We have been having a mini story time in the library, with my colleague Janet (adult stock manager) reading the book to me. As you can imagine we do get a lot of books sent through for us to read, but this really stands out as one of the best. We will definitely be buying copies via Bertrams, and I was wondering if you are still giving free story sessions at libraries. I will pass on the details to our primary schools too. Good luck with the book, and congratulations on producing such a fun story that I know will be enjoyed.
Development Librarian -
Youth,Warrington Borough Council -
Leisure, Culture and Heritage Service,
Libraries, Learning and Heritage Division,
Feeling a lot more confident than I maybe should have been, I audaciously emailed the organisers of the Edinburgh Book Festival, Hay Book Festival, and Lymm Festival to ask if I can attend and have a slot to read in....I haven't heard anything yet, but with a bit of luck I may just get a booking for one of them. ( My money is on the Lymm one).
Two definite festivals which will host The Hairy Plug Monster are
Just So Festival August 20 - 22 http://www.justsofestival.org.uk/whats-on
Zombie Aid which hasn;t got a confirmed date or venue, but welcomed my offer to host a children's tent and tell Golden arm and the othe stories from the book. I also spoke to Carl Whiteley ( the Head Zombie) about working on a project together about an "undead vertically-challenged "girl called Zombelina which may get turned into a stop motion short.
My contact in Japan ( who doesn't want to be identified ) also sent me some classic Japanese picture books to give me a better understanding of the market and what quality is required.