Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

The Irish, the Germans, and the Wimbledon Bump

In Uncategorized on July 7, 2009 at 10:18 am

Well, it seems that since my book came out, everyone has to get in on the act and try to play a new “greatest match ever played.” Federer’s 16-14 fifth-set triumph on Sunday qualifies as a contender due to the extraordinary length of the deciding set, and was exciting to watch, but the quality wasn’t nearly as high as last year’s final. And that one, between Federer and Nadal, actually took longer to play, although that was due largely to Nadal’s interminable toweling off, ball bouncing, and shorts tugging between points. Back before TV timeouts and  ball boys proffering towels like royal attendants, tennis matches occupied much less of one’s Sunday. The Budge-von Cramm match encompassed five long sets in only two and a half hours.

During the Wimbledon fortnight, aside from my BBC radio appearance, I was also a guest on Irish radio and an international radio service out of Germany. In Ireland I was on the popular “Moncrief” show, a commercial daytime talk show with host Sidney Moncrief. (I don’t think my segment is available for online listening.) And then, on the day of the men’s final, the German radio service “Deutsche Welle,” which provides English-language reports on subjects concerning Germany, broadcast a short interview with me, which you can hear here. (My bit begins at the four-minute mark.)

Also during Wimbledon, the New York Times tennis blog, “Straight Sets,” featured an entry about A Terrible Splendor. The book was also mentioned in a previous entry, to which I contributed as well.

People are always asking me, “How is the book doing?” And I never have a good answer. Do most authors know their sales numbers? I have chosen not to pester my publisher weekly for sales reports, for fear of the answer. But last week there was some indication. I don’t know if the radio interviews helped, as they were broadcast in countries where the book is not for sale, but the spirit of the Wimbledon fortnight did seem to have an effect. An email from Crown’s director of inventory reported “a nice bump in sales.” Orders during the second week of Wimbledon “wiped us out overnight,” he said, resulting in a rushed second printing of three thousand copies “to cover us for a bit.” (The first printing was fifteen thousand.)

And finally, a few more links to post since last time. You will probably not want to click on these unless you happen to be my mother, but here they are:

My 30-minute interview on “Writer’s Voice,” Francesca Rheannon’s show out of Amherst, Mass., is available for download or online listening here. (If you want to just hear my segment, skip to the halfway point.)

We’d been waiting months for a promised review in Newsweek, and it turns out that they did review the book—back in April—but only online. (Click here.) Even my publisher didn’t know about it.

Also a good short one in the Post and Courier, a South Carolina paper.

Looking forward to a booksigning this Thursday at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport and afterwards watching the grass-court tennis at their pro tournament.