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A week is a long time in publishing

This has been an interesting week with many journeys, both short and long. After Monday's trips to Aberfoyle and to Alloa (the latter to discuss how to bring our existing website fully into the 21st century), I visited Edinburgh on Tuesday. Mainly this was to meet the team at Seol, the repping cousin of Edinburgh publisher Birlinn. Since February, Seol has been repping our list in Scotland and it was great to meet them at last, and get some feedback from the retailing viewpoint. I managed a quick visit to the National Galleries before it was time to walk down to son Sandy's new flat in East London Street. This is a lovely modern development, with light, spacious rooms and it's great to see him settled there. Even better, he cooked a lovely seared tuna salad for us which we ate at an elegant glass table – in his previous flat, it was more a question of balancing a plate on your knees on the sofa-bed.

Wednesday's visit to Aberfeldy was to meet Richard Struthers of Safe Journeys, who has been leading trips to Nepal for 16 years and with whom I have booked an Everest Base Camp trek in September. I'm hoping to get a fair crack at Kala Pattar this time, and also to return via the Cho La pass (5450m/18,000ft) to Gokyo Lakes, and climb Gokyo Ri. Richard thinks that heavy snowfall is the main hazard that might prevent this, but at present, I suspect that it's my own lack of preparation that would create the challenge.

Thursday was my trip to London, on two publishing visits connected with my IPG membership. The first was a session with Susie Dunlop of Allison & Busby, who is kindly acting as my mentor, and she is proving incredibly helpful. Being a somewhat maverick publisher, based out on a limb in Dunblane, it's all too easy for me to sail on blithely unaware of things we should be doing, or doing differently. Supportive advice from an experienced publisher is a fantastic resource, and I intend to make the most of it.

Then it was time to hasten to the IPG's Meet the Buyers event at which publishers meet buyers from key wholesalers and retailers, both online and bricks-and-mortar, and discover how to try to make them aware of our offer. The answer turns out to be different in almost every case, so it's lots of work but definitely worth knowing how to go about it better. It was held in the recently refurbished Royal Institution in Albemarle Street, a superb blend of modern and traditional. The briefing was held in the Library:

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After arriving late at my sister's house in Dulwich, I had a lovely lazy start next day in the wonderful garden that brother-in-law Nick and sister Lindsay are just completing. Here are some photos of its swimming pond with beach hut: no chemicals, with water kept clean by ecological means. It's a beautiful feature, and this time was an island of tranquillity before an intense session of follow-up by wi-fi on the busy train home to Dunblane:

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 20, 2009 3:20 PM.

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