The publicity campaign for ‘Omnibus Edition’, Clapham’s Literary Festival, is now really up and running. The Festival, from 3rd to 8th May, is run by a partnership between Omnibus Arts Centre, Clapham Library, Clapham Books ( Clapham’s independent bookshop ) and Clapham Writers. The dedicated page on the claphamwriters site gives a list of all the writers who originate from, live in, or near, Clapham.
If you live or work in Clapham I hope that you will have seen one of the posters ( example, left) either for the festival or for the Readers Afternoon event ( below ). Much pounding of pavements was done by this Clapham writer and others. The ‘e’ flyer went out to over seven hundred homes and businesses and the Omnibus ‘e’ Newsletter, with a pull-out feature on the LitFest is going out today ( see here ). Electronic media is so much easier on the shoe leather.
Local media have already been engaged, all the local magazines and ‘free’ newspapers, like the Wandsworth Guardian ( article ) and there are interviews scheduled for local radio. The ‘e’ trailer is released today.
So far ticket sales have been good, but not spectacular. Yet our Omnibus partners aren’t phased. They say that there is always a peak of sales in the week or so leading up to an event and see no reason why this shouldn’t happen with the Festival events. There isn’t much interest from Book Clubs, apparently. I suspect that the cost of buying the book or books and then paying for entrance to Readers’ Afternoon has put people off. This is a learning point for next year – have the book club event at the Library or in the book shop garden, where entrance is free. And get the publicity out earlier.
We are into technical arrangements as regards the events in the Arts Centre. What will the miking be like for the panel discussion ( Thursday )? How will audience members’ questions be heard? ( Note to self, always repeat the audience member’s question, to ensure, first, that every one has heard what the question is and second, to give panellists a few seconds to gather their thoughts. ) How will the Readers Afternoon writers be arranged in the Theatre on Friday ( around small tables, since you ask )? Do I have all the claphamwriters mobile numbers, just in case disaster strikes and one of them doesn’t arrive on time for one of their events? Erm….?
And then there are the ‘Reconquista‘ events. The book shop already has a large box full of copies. I’m hoping for a sunny evening on Saturday 7th May and have already checked out where to station book table, drinks table and music. I also plan to read an excerpt from the book and I have yet to decide what that will be. Chapter One is exciting, but I think it will be a section from later in the book, which shows a character in greater detail. The one or two reviews which the book has already received on Amazon have high-lighted the characters as engaging; ‘though they have, kindly, also pointed out how exciting the whole book is and what a complete world the novel creates.
Onwards and upwards, as they say. I’m half way through re-reading Landscape & Memory and dipping into Raymond Williams – prep for the panel discussion. Oh, and I’ve just discovered that a New York-based Professor has written a new book on King Alfonso X – one more for the reading list. More on that later.