When Richard and I started writing “Life on a Permanent Wave: Hair-raising Stories from a Shipboard Stylist”, it was before the full horrific extent of 2009 financial crash was felt around the world, and several publishers showed interest. By the time we’d finished the manuscript, American banks had been revealed to be spoilt irresponsible teenagers who had, with characteristic thoughtless selfishness, dragged the entire globe down with them into their slough of despond, and publishers had chopped their lists to the very bare minimum. As one told me at the time, “We’re publishing nothing that we’re not 100% sure will be a bestseller.”
Long story short, we finally published it ourselves through Amazon’s Kindle platform (initially) and then did a paperback version through Amazon’s CreateSpace platform. We knew that it was a route that would never make us rich – in fact, after almost a year of steady sales, we still haven’t reached Amazon’s minimum royalty amount to even be worth sending a royalty cheque to! – but we were just thrilled to see it in print at last.
We’re very, very grateful for every purchase of the book, and also for your reactions, which have been so encouraging. There’s plenty of great feedback on Richard’s FaceBook page (see 16 August in particular), and the reviews on the two main amazon sites (.com and .co.uk) are fantastic. Here are a few.
“Loved this book! Very funny, and great preparation for my next cruise. Also, it just made a couple of boring flights go a lot faster. Many thanks, Richard Wood!” – J. Collins
“It took me back to those decadent days of ship life, especially on my favourite one, the QE2. A most excellent read from the halcyon days of ship life.” – Jason Sloan
“A great read! Being a Steiner was once my ambition but alas life got in the way and it never quite happened. Reading this made me feel like I had lived it and I enjoyed every moment.” – Sarah
“An absolute must for Cunard fans, passengers and crew. I couldn’t put it down and had to keep reading.” – Angus J Cameron
“A great read. It’s full of laughs, love and life. It truly reflects a bygone age of cruising in every meaning of the word. Around-the-world stories from a well-rounded author.” – Andrew Allen
“Brings back so many great memories. Read it in a day and laughed out loud for most of it! Great read for all ex Steiners.” – Keeley Godwin
“What a glorious read! I’ve heard so many stories from my older gay friend about ‘life at sea’, but those stories pale in comparison to this first-hand account! This book is an easy read, great for a Sunday afternoon.” – Daniel Hawkins
“This book captured the essence of what it was like to be on the QE2! Filled with so many hilarious experiences and eye-opening revelations, I couldn’t put it down! Well worth the read!” – Jess
“A must-read for anyone who’s ever worked at sea. A real insight into the below-decks goings-on of a cruise liner. Laughed out loud.” – Sheila Spreeth
“Hilarious! A must-read.” – Shane Monroe
If you’re still unsure whether it’s worth the bucks and the bother, here are a few extracts for you to test the water…