Who wants to be a millionaire? Chance would be a fine thing | Dave Thomas

There is this myth that there is money to be made writing football books

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 3:45 pm
Author Dave Thomas says he writes books for love, not money

Some football books do sell well, but I can assure you that writing Burnley books does no such thing.

The biggest seller for me was probably the Bob Lord book at around 1,000 copies so far.

The Lord book was £20 in the shops. The shops make £10 per book, Mike Smith and I made 50p each.

We do it for love not money and if we get our costs back, we are happy enough.

To make money I’d have to write something saucy that sizzles and call it '50 Shades of Claret.'

Being a Yorkshireman, one of the pleasures of producing a book via subscriber lists, is the cheques that come in for a new book. On a good day there might be half a dozen landing on the mat. It’s a bit like Christmas without the Boots vouchers.

Being a Yorkshireman I’d been ironing the creases out of one batch that had just arrived, and I began to tear up the envelopes. Then, it dawned on me, one of them felt thicker than the others as if there was still something in it. By thi’ ‘eck. I’d torn up an order form and a cheque. Being a Yorkshireman, I felt quite ill.

The pieces sat there in front of me on the kitchen table after I had sorted them all out. Years ago, I used to be a quick thinker. Out came the sellotape. Several bits of cheque were fastened together and looked like a patchwork quilt.

I looked at it and thought 'oh Lord, what a mess.'

At the bank I passed the repaired cheque, mostly sellotape, over the counter, and asked is it OK?

The cashier looked at it and had a think. She clearly didn’t know if it was still legal. Cashier number one passed it to the cashier next to her and asked is it OK? She had a think. She didn’t know either. Between them they decided to call the manager. The two of them stood up and went into a conflab with the manager, all of them now in the corner behind the screen deep in conversation.

Brows were furrowed, heads were shaking, expressions were puzzled but I couldn’t hear the discussion. The cheque was passed between them like it was game of pass the parcel except nobody was smiling. It was clear that between them, they hadn’t a clue.

The manager spoke. “The trouble is Mr Thomas, it’s just nearly all sellotape. But we think it should be alright.”

Being a Yorkshireman, I was hugely relieved.

It was part of a batch of 10 I was putting in. I like putting them in batches of 10; I find it deeply satisfying. Maybe it’s because I’m a Yorkshireman. David Beckham probably puts his in, in batches of a thousand.

Anyway, in it went without further ado so I was mighty relieved. On the way home I called at the shop down the street to buy another roll of sellotape. Just in case, I thought.

I’m a Yorkshireman; if you want to be a millionaire, always have a roll of sellotape for a banking emergency.