Twyford's ex-head launches book on the tube

Peter Inson's first novel "dunno" hits the underground


Peter Inson signs his new book

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 Twyford's ex-headmaster, Peter Inson,  
launched his first novel, "dunno", last week, by giving away 100 copies to unsuspecting commuters on the tube.

He told about his morning:

"Chiltern Railways were most accommodating at Marylebone Station; we had a table and a patch of the concourse to use. While friends and family set up shop outside WHSmiths, I set off with fifty copies to meet the early morning commuter.


Initially, I simply left copies amongst slumbering travellers but then, with growing courage, I told passengers directly that I was launching the book on the tube.

A few ignored me, several took it keenly and a number asked for signed copies.


I found the deep-level lines best and I hopped from train to train and platform to platform; the long seats making it easier to speak to a number of passengers together. It was especially amusing to see men who ignored me when I put down a copy of the book, grab it as soon as I had left the train then start reading the back cover and even the first page before the train moved off.


Later, I was joined by Radio Four’s Robin Crystal whose microphone lent authority and authenticity to the business. We found women more eager to take copies especially when I offered to sign their copies. Robin’s questioning was probing but it made me clarify just why I had set about promoting my book like this.


[Each stage, from showing a first draft to my pupils, to considering the responses of agents and publishers gave me the confidence and determination to take the next step towards publishing the book myself.]


At midday, back at Marylebone, I was interviewed by Oneword Radio and The Bookseller. A friend’s teenage daughter who has also read my second novel.was interviewed by the BBC.


Then it was back to the tube to hand over another fifty copies with a more direct approach, and more quickly for I had discovered that if I left only one copy behind, no one would take it, but if there were two or more, they were picked up immediately.


If any readers came home with a copy last Wednesday, I would be very interested to hear what they made of it. Please contact the publishers, Charles Kimpton by e.mail, [] or by post at, 15.Priory Crescent, Sudbury, Wembley, Middx. HA0 2QQ."

Peter Inson 

September 5th, 2004