Andrew and Jennie’s
Hello again from Santa Diego. We hope you’re well and having a great Christmas. Here’s another individually photocopied letter from two cherubs to some other heavenly creature(s)!
This year has been one of significant changes, trying to move our careers towards more creativity and autonomy. Jennie left her job as Marketing Manager for a sports company to move into advertising. After a spell at an advertising college, she got an internship at a growing public relations and advertising firm in San Diego. They soon did the smart thing and hired her after a few months. She now does account management, writes news releases, works with the media, and sneaks in some creative design. Her clients include some restaurants (ah, free food!), Tiffany & Co. (alas, no free jewelry), America On-Line (Digital City San Diego) and some other fun accounts.
I left my job as Regional Sales Manager for BT Videoconferencing in April to start a publishing company. I’m creating a series of travel guides for people who enjoy photography. Packed with color pictures, the books show all the best views of the best sights in a particular destination, and detail the what, where, when, and bow of every shot. They’ll be the first such books of their kind. The first two, PhotoSecrets San Francisco and Northern California and PhotoSecrets Yosemite, are due out in April.
Most of my time has been spent marketing the books. I wanted to publish them myself to retain creative and marketing control (and the profit margin!). The industry here is dominated by a few major chains (Barnes & Noble and Borders) which have no time for small publishers, so I needed a distributor. Most distributors aren’t interested unless you have at least six titles (sort of a Catch 22), but I was lucky to get picked up by the country’s second largest distributor, National Book Network (NBN). They carry about 70 publishers and are based in Virginia. I spent last week in Washington D.C. pitching their sales force on the concept. PhotoSecrets is in their Spring/Summer catalog and they’re pitching it to B&N next week, and Borders in January. Meanwhile, I have to write the thing! I’ve only got six weeks left. I have all the photographs (400, from four trips) but only written a few pages, so probably I won’t be sleeping for a while. The electronically-enabled can get a preview on my web site:
Jennie and I had a good trip in the Summer, staying with our good friends Eduardo and Sylvia in San Francisco, then meandering down the coast through Monterey and Big Sur.
One of my India photographs won an award in the annual National Geographic photo contest, and will be featured in the Jan/Feb copy of National Geographic Traveler.
We held our second-annual Halloween Party in October, filling the house with a lot of strangely dressed people.
My brother is charging around Europe, setting up trade shows for Jaguar, while setting up a recording studio at home. My Mum and Dad are fine, Dad having just got a new job with a Japanese firm in Redditch.
I hope everything is well. We’re planning on a two-week trip to England this summer, so hopefully we can meet up then.
Andrew and Jennie
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