So Takoradi to the stars (via Huddersfield) is out, and sales and reviews are bubbling along – thanks especially to the person who said my writing grabbed her attention “in a gentle but insistent way, a bit like a puppy pulling at my sleeve”, which is perhaps the most uniquely charming review I’ve ever received. And be honest – you clicked because of the puppy, right, so we’re all here for the right reasons.
Anyway, I’ve hit #17 in the Essays and Travelogues chart and #2 in Hot New Releases, but a #1 slot still evades me – until I realised that my book title does me one enormous favour, besides being downright fascinating and intriguing.
Search on Amazon – All Departments for ‘Takoradi’ and I sit proudly at #1, there not being a lot of products in the world with Takoradi in the title (though, at 381, probably more than you think). Still, I’m #1, which is very gratifying, though as I’m the only one I can see that has got any actual reviews, I’m not convinced this is a hotly sought-after title.
To be fair, I am edging out #2 despite a game attempt at controversy. It’s a downloadable track called ‘Takoradi’ by an artist known as EL – nope, me neither – from his Ghanaian album ‘Something Else’. Somehow, I don’t think it’s my demographic. There are 25 album tracks, every single one of which is labelled ‘Explicit’, and indeed I’m fully prepared to believe that ‘Joli Your Body’ or ‘Hold Your Bottos’ are not gentle paeans to love and laughter. Have I even got a botto? I’m not sure I want to know.
Number 3 is actually a Takoradi fridge magnet. I don’t know what that says about the quality of my book or this chart. Number 5 is a map of Takoradi – very useful – and, my current favourite, # 7 is someone’s PhD thesis on ‘The Impact of Service Quality on Consumer Loyalty: A Study of “All Needs Supermarket, Takoradi”, which to be honest guys, you are going to struggle to sell at £10.99. (Though for serious overestimation of the market, you have to scroll down to #23 for ‘The 2016 Economic and Product Market Databook for Takoradi (Sub Metro), Ghana’, which is yours for only £295 with free next-day delivery.)
The take-home message for me is that keeping it clean is working. In the book I do not suggest you joli your body at any point, though I do eat part of a whale, which I’m very sorry about. No one has complained about the price either so far, and if they do I shall be pointing them towards a sub-metro databook I could mention. Most of all though, I think it’s the puppies that are keeping me at #1.
Have a look inside, it’s free; buy a copy if you like it, it’s very reasonably priced if you’re used to buying PhD theses; and then tell me what you think – I’d be delighted to hear. Consider yourself sleeve-pulled by a travel-writing puppy.
Image: Puppy by Jonathan Kriz via Flickr, CC BY 2.0