Thursday, October 09, 2008

So it ends...

The tour ended last night. The last stop of the Graveyard Book reading tour -- up, like the others, at Mousecircus, at

Chapter Eight is the shortest of the chapters, so I tried to make up for it by doing twice as many Questions and Answers. And somewhere in there, I forgot something I had meant to mention.

I didn't know I'd forgotten it until Elyse Marshall from Harper Collins, who was the tour publicist, tour manager, tour organiser and wrangler said, when I came off stage "You didn't tell them that The Graveyard Book is at Number One on the New York Times children's book list."

"I did, didn't I?'

"No. I was waiting for it. You didn't."

"Oh, bugger."

We'd got the news from Elise Howard, my editor, while I was pre-signing books at The Red Balloon bookshop. (, and Elyse had bounced into the air and done a happy dance. "This means," I told her, when she had finished, "that you're the number one children's book publicist in America."

So this is the end of the book.

It was good, although the church acoustics were a bit echoey, even with a thousand people in the seats -- something you can hear on the audio.

I'm tired. The travelling is not yet done, but I'm tired enough that I'm investigating the possibility of cancelling some of the things I'm meant to be doing over the next few weeks and coming back and spending time at home recovering with my loved ones instead. (The UK tour at the end of the month will still happen.)

Hi Neil,

I was at your first Graveyard Book reading in NYC and have been delightedly following all installments. I just recently quit my job to go freelance and it has been great to tune into each chapter as I do my work at home. Will there be a collected video of these readings available? Watching you read, your face taking on the myriad expressions of your characters, is so much better than just an audio. Stray noises and all.
Thanks for giving us the experience,

I don't know. We haven't really thought that through. We also have about six hours of me answering questions and babbling and burbling that we haven't really figured out what to do with either. I suppose we could do a DVD or something of the whole tour: we have everything in much higher resolution that it's up on the web. Or we could make a virtual Neil that answers questions in video clips as an extra FAQ thing. But really, we didn't think any further than "I want to read the whole book, and I think we should put up video as we go..." and that Colleen O'Connell and her team and film-maker Brady Hall made it happen so smoothly still leaves me beaming and surprised.

For now, the whole book is up online for free and I have no plans to take it down.

Dear Mr. Gaiman,
I really enjoyed your reading last night. I'm a local young adult librarian in Washington County, MN, and wondered whether it would be appropriate/legal for me to stream one or two of the videos of you reading from the Graveyard Book from the mousecircus website for the kids/teens at a Teen Read Week event at my library. (I have the sense that this could be considered a "public performance of a copyrighted work", which would make it different than just me watching the films online, but I'm not sure.)

I wouldn't be charging them or anything strange, and it wouldn't be a publicized part of an event - just something I thought they might really enjoy and not otherwise find.

Thanks for any guidance.
Virginia Weil
Youth Services Librarian,
Washington County Library, Park Grove Branch

As far as I'm concerned, the videos exist to allow people who weren't there to experience the readings, to taste the story, to enjoy it. I'd love it if libraries used them. I'm happy if bookstores use them, or if schools use them for that purpose, in the US or out of it.


So the book came in at Number One -- and really I want to thank all of you who prowled your bookshops and badgered them to go and find that one copy they still had in the back, and every bookshop employee who ordered a few extra copies or made it a store choice, or who put in on a hallowe'en display. And I want to thank everyone at Harper Collins, with especial thanks to Elise and Elyse, and Brady, and Cat.

Finally some good advice:

I used to work in a chain bookstore, and thought I might shed some light on bookstores where it is not easy to find The Graveyard Book.

A chain bookstore is a big place, and although each book has a catalogued section where it should be, the books may be displayed on end-caps (those displays at the outside ends of the shelves), or on cardboard displays provided by the publisher, and the employee you ask for help may simply not yet know where the book is on display if all the copies are gone from the catalogued section.

Additionally, at the store where I worked the combined taste of the employees covered much, but not all, of the store. The employees on duty at any given time may just not be familiar enough with Neil's work to know that there is a new book out, and therefore are less likely to be aware of end-caps and displays.

I personally went to a small local chain and was told that they had the book, but no one could find it (and mostly, they left me on my own to locate it). Before trying Barnes & Noble next, I called them first, confirmed that they had the book, and asked them to hold a copy for me at the register. I know this takes a lot of the fun out of browsing the bookstore, but I would recommend this method to people looking for the book since it seems to be difficult to locate.

Or you could just move to Singapore....

Dear Neil,

In my completely biased opinion as a buyer at Books Kinokuniya, Singapore, I'd like to suggest that you direct all the readers who are unable to find The Graveyard Book at other book stores to Books Kinokuniya, Singapore! Not only have we correctly displayed them both at the children's and adult's sections, it's also splashed at the various new arrivals sections around the store. You just can't escape The Graveyard Book here at where we are!! Also while you're doing that, perhaps you'd also like to pop by and sign a few copies personally... And maybe a shirt and a wall or two?

What do you say? I can beg a pretty cookie if need be.

Warm wishes,
Felicia Low

I say thank you. (The last time I was there I promised I would come back. And I will. But right now I don't want to think about travelling.)


A final reminder: the Subterranean Press signed and limited edition of The Graveyard Book book that Amazon lists is something they won't be able to deliver, Subterranean Press and Harpers keep asking them to stop listing it, but for some reason, they keep it up there, and I notice its Amazon ranking rise, which worries me as it means that people are ordering it from Amazon and will not get it. It comes up as "hardcover" too, and makes it hard to find the actual Amazon listing for the book.

So, the Amazon listing for The Graveyard Book is actually

You can order the Subterranean Press limited edition, while stocks last, here.