Just back, exhausted, from the trip to London to 'present' the book to the publisher's sales team.
This is all part of the changing face of the book trade. The days are gone when all an author had to do was deliver their manuscript to the publishers and then sit back and think up another. Now, authors are expected to be pro-active about publicising their work. Sometimes you're asked to come and talk to the sales reps - these are the most important people for a writer. They are the ones who are going to go into the book shops and persuade the management to stock your book. So this is not like an ordinary presentation - you have to think of an unusual angle on your book - something that's going to catch the jaded eye of the bookseller - and then you have to somehow enthuse a whole bunch of rather tired reps so that they actually want to promote your book out of the (literally) dozens in their book bags.
They were a very nice group of people, from all over europe and I was invited to xmas dinner afterwards in a rather plush gentleman's club in Whitehall - the kind of place women were never allowed to go in until recently! But there's nothing nicer than eating good food and drinking wine among a group of fellow book enthusiasts and I do hope they're going to like mine and persuade somebody to buy it.