Don’t smile at the camera, it makes you look like the ‘Before’ in the ‘Beecham’s Pills’ advert.

You know what they say, if you think you’re important, try giving orders to somebody else’s dog.

(Actually you don’t give orders to a Border Collie, but they will occasionally deign to discuss policy)


But anyway, I’ve been trying to be noticed, having a book to launch means that you try and get everywhere and somehow look like you’re important enough for people to stop and read about. Perfectly sensible people have asked me why. Surely publishers do all that sort of stuff for you? The answer to that is, “Well, sort of.”

The great P.G. Wodehouse said it best.


“Too often when a publisher entertains an author at the midday meal a rather sombre note tinges the table talk. The host is apt to sigh a good deal and to choose as the theme of his remarks, the hardness of the times, the stagnant condition of the book trade and the growing price of pulp paper. And when his guest tries to cheer him up by suggesting that these disadvantages may be offset by a spirited policy of publicity, he sighs again and says that eulogies of an author’s work displayed in the press at the publisher’s expense are of little or no value, the only advertising that counts being – how shall he put it –well, what he might perhaps describe as word-of-mouth advertising. “


Thus wrote the great man in ‘Uncle Dynamite’ and in homage to the great man and his insights I’ll mention the book is available here


You see, as far as I can tell, old PG was right. Do I buy books because they’re mentioned in adverts? Do you? I know that I buy them because they are recommended by friends whose tastes I trust, or because I know and like the author and their work. In a shop I’ll pick the book up and flick through it before making a decision, but buying on-line or e-books, that isn’t an option.

So I’ve been all over the web like an undignified medical condition, I’ve seen my photo so often I’ve developed a dislike for it, hence the title of this blog.


Fortunately I’ve been able to keep a sense of proportion. Whilst all this has been going on we’ve had builders in. We had a chimney fire on New Year’s Eve and this meant we had to get a new liner put down a five hundred year old Chimney.

This involved scaffolding and that went up the day before we had the extreme gales. Say this for the gentlemen at Speedier Scaffolding, it never budged.

Then we’ve been lambing and what-have-you, and when the weather’s been fine I’ve been busy trying to get some hedging finished before spring and the new growth comes.

But I was talking to one lady who was really full of the spring lambs in her area. She told me that the farmer next to her was so progressive and advanced that all his lambs wore little plastic jackets.

I told her that that was nothing. Tom makes sure that all his have a fleece!

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6 thoughts on “Don’t smile at the camera, it makes you look like the ‘Before’ in the ‘Beecham’s Pills’ advert.

  1. The Story Reading Ape March 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's New (to me) Authors Blog and commented:
    Many of my blog visitors really enjoyed Jim’s article at:
    So I KNOW they’ll also enjoy this one AND it gives evidence that even the ‘Old Masters of writing’ had book publicity issues (P.G. Wodehouse for one) 😀

  2. howdowefeedtheworldsstarving March 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm Reply
  3. Nikita Biswal March 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm Reply

    This post is great. Very true, very engaging. 🙂

  4. Rosemary March 10, 2014 at 7:19 am Reply

    Your posts always make me smile Jim. Hopefully I don’t look too much like a “Before”

    • jwebster2 March 10, 2014 at 7:59 am Reply

      My Father was the perfect gentleman and I was always brought up to be like him, so I’ll merely point out that you beauty shines through your prose and your presence here raises the tone to a level at which even quite respectable people might start to feel comfortable 🙂

      Glad you enjoy them.

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