Well, it is a full month since The Guest House By The Sea hit the bookshops and into readers hands and I’m delighted to share that it seems to be hitting the spot!
We (the assistant and I) had fun dropping into some bookshops over June – this is in Stephen’s Green one quiet morning – signed copies, Glen and his fantastic team were good enough to supply the sharpie and the stickers! Eason’s championed the books as one of their books of the month – very much appreciated!!
It’s a strange thing, we are onto our ninth women’s fiction book and still, in the run up to publication, there is always that question – have we done enough? Is there something extra that might mean the difference between the book getting a really good send off and feeling that there was something we were meant to do and we’ve missed it. You know that feeling, it’s the one you remember from Home Alone, where every item is ticked off the list – except someone forgot to count Kevin!
But it seems this time round, that despite our summer holidays clashing with publication week and even despite the fact that it feels as if there was never less done in the run up to publication, Esme and her guests have found their own legs and they have taken off running – no mean feat when you’re in your ninth decade.
Looking fab in Bookstation windows across Dublin over June! Sharing the space with some fantastic books this year – thank you Bookstation!
First off, the reviews began to trickle through. Kind words from other writers are always lovely, particularly from writers you really admire and I had an inkling when Sheryll Woods (Sweet Magnolias and Chesapeake Shores) sent on her compliments that we might be onto something.
Quickly, the trickle turned into a flow and then, as the big date approached, it felt like an oncoming tide – a very, very welcome one.
Netgalley – a forum for reviewers also threw up some absolutely fabulous reviews, these come from all over the world and so, you get an idea of how the book is resonating not just with people who are familiar with Ireland and our funny little ways.
The press too, have been very generous in their reviews and coverage for the book, with great reviews appearing in Woman’s Way, Prima Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Weekly Love Picks, Pick Me Up Special and closer to home, The Clare Champion.
All of this coverage is of course down to the hard work and dedication of the publicity team in HoZ – so thank you to Ayo, Amy and Jo for all their hard work.
Dubrays gave us a warm welcome with a gorgeous display to greet us when we arrived! Thank you Dubray!
The highlight of any book coming out – well, honestly it’s a lovely thing that happens all year round, but it’s especially nice for a new book – is when people you know, sometimes people you’ve known for years, occasionally people you’ve lost touch with, reach out to let me know that they’ve read and enjoyed the book. You have no idea how much this means, such kind words and that feeling that someone actually took the time out to put their thoughts down and say well done!
Finally, one of the ways the publishing industry measures a book is by how it is ranked across various sales regions. The good news here is that The Guest House By The Sea is holding its own also. It’s been in the top ten Easons weekly best sellers list – up to number three since it’s release, it’s also been a Top 5 Irish Times Bestseller for the last three weeks!!!
So, what’s next?
Well, watch this space or of course, you could just sign up to the newsletter and see what we’re all up to in the Hogan House this weather….
In the meantime, if you’ve bought, read, gifted, borrowed or shared the love for the book in any way – thank you so much, I really hope you enjoy meeting Esme, Cora, Marta & Co at The Guest House By The Sea!!