« short & sweet: Thursday Feb 6th | Main | the devil eats prada (cake) »

tout soul: two years on

May 27, 2014

I can't believe that it is two years since Tout Soul: The Pursuit of Happiness in France was published. It seems like another lifetime ago.

In it's first year Tout Soul sold 3183 print and 3460 ebook copies – a total of 6643.

In its second year – sales from 31st March 2013 to 31st March 2014 – it has sold 682 print copies and 990 ebook copies, a total of 1672 copies.

The figure is down on last year partly because book sales tend to tail off after the first year; but also because a certain e-retailer increased the price of the print book (and it's profit margin) by £4 from £6.49 to £10.49, which noticeably depressed sales.

I can't do anything about that, but the good news is that the lack of on-line discount means that many people have bought Tout Soul from bookshops instead. Hurrah!

At a donation of 50p for each and every (English language) version sold, this means that £836 has been raised in the second year of publication; to which I'm also adding 25 per cent of the £1887 advance on royalties from my Polish publisher, bringing the total of this year's donation to £1308.

Rather than splitting this between two charities, this year I have decided to give the full amount to the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at King's College, London, which carries out pioneering academic research into stem cell therapies for repairing damaged brains.

I've made this decision because King's has sent me regular updates on its work, so that I have an idea of progress that is being made and how the money is being spent.

The research team works closely with King's College hospital, which is one of only four major trauma centres in the UK, dealing on a daily basis with patients who have sustained life-changing spinal and brain trauma injuries.

Together with the £3322 donated last year, the total amount raised for brain research via sales of Tout Soul so far is £4630.

I'd like to thank my readers for making this possible.

And I'd also like to thank Waterstone's and its wonderful staff, in particular certain booksellers in the Kensington High Street and Lancaster branches (you know who you are!) for all they have done for my books, in particular the wonderful handwritten recommendations, which are like a sprinkling of fairy dust for a book.

I'll post the letter of acknowledgement from King's – and a little update on their latest advances in brain injury research – here in due course.

comments (14)

1. Posted by Annette Gardner on June 9, 2014 5:39 PM

This is a fantastic achievement Karen - well done. A x

2. Posted by Karen on June 22, 2014 2:33 PM

Having just devoured your first two books in 3 days I have now just started reading the third, Tout Soul, and it's a fabulous as the first two. Thank you for writing them and much much love to Biff. x

3. Posted by Biff on June 22, 2014 10:36 PM


4. Posted by Melanie Cory on June 26, 2014 11:02 AM

Uplifting news Karen, your big heart touches us all. I am sure Luis is looking down on you with a big smile on his face and love in his heart. xx

5. Posted by Nicola Sheppard on July 5, 2014 11:20 AM

What an amazing achievement and what a very special person you are. I finished Tout Soul with tears in my eyes and have enjoyed every page of your first 3 books. I cannot wait to read Sweet Encore. Much love to you xx

6. Posted by Margaret Powling on July 16, 2014 6:17 AM

This is a great achievement! Well done! Can't wait for your new book, Karen! Hope you are keeping well, and Biff!

7. Posted by Irene Bianchi on July 17, 2014 1:32 AM

Karen, I would love to read "Evolutionary Outlook on Life". Where can I find it? Give Biff a hug.XX

8. Posted by Karen Perrey on July 27, 2014 3:52 PM

Hello Karen.....I am delighted to have found your Blog and an opportunity to respond to you 'personally'. I have just given Tout Soul a 5 star rating review on Amazon...having just finished my Kindle edition 1 hour ago. Such was the impact of your book on me, I came straight into the house from the garden, to look up your website on my IPad.
I found your first book, by chance, whilst searching the 'travel' section of Kindle books at the beginning of July. I was feeling very poorly with a chest infection, demoralised with work and generally below par. Your glorious style of writing, honest memoirs and tantalising tit bits of gossipy life in France have kept me transfixed over the past 3 weeks....during which time I have devoured all three 'Tout's'.
I finished Tout Soul in tears....such was the raw emotion that emanated from your words. I felt frustrated, saddened and uplifted in turns, but through it all the very real love you experienced shining clearly. The greatest tribute to your 'Lion' being the memories you now preserve and the massive insights you received.
I was eager to find out how you have coped since....and I am full of respect for the fundraising you are now involved with.

9. Posted by Carole Halé on August 10, 2014 10:03 AM

Hello Karen
Like Karen Perry, blog posted 27 July, I have just finished Tout Soul, and, after a few minutes decided to look up your blog. I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms, having read your trilogy in just over 1 week! Karen has very eloquently put into words exactly how I feel about your books. Being married to a Frenchman (but, unfortunately,living in England) I am a great Francophile and your books paint such a colourful picture of your life in France.
I was delighted to read that you have a sequel in preparation so I shall be buying it as soon as it is published. I love your style, your characters, your anecdotes. However, I hope that your latest chef d'oeuvre finds you in a happier place and that you have successfully moved on from where you were at the end of the third. Please keep the books coming!
Best wishes

10. Posted by sam banister on September 15, 2014 1:27 PM

like the above post I found your books through Kindle and have rad all three - just finished the last one Tout Soul and here I am checking out your blog. I loved loved loved the books and cried and laughed with you all the way through - especially at Magda and the plumbing crisis.

Thank you for sharing your journey with the Lion - frustrating, funny, sad, uplifting, powerful and peaceful. Your generosity of spirit eclipsed the negativity and narrow mindedness of others. So is there another book in the offing - sorry but I just feel so nosey now and want to know more about your life in France and wonder if you have met anyone else or if Biff is keeping you too busy and if we should ever find ourselves in France near you please can we come gatecrash?

11. Posted by Derek Sanders on February 8, 2015 5:48 PM

Hi Karen, I have read and enjoyed your three previous books (kindle editions) and found them all so interesting, funny, sad but also so uplifting. Like some of the people in the posts above I was also wiping the tears away at the end of Tout Soul.......very embarrassing for a man! Have been waiting for a sequel and have just now pre-ordered Sweet Encore.
Best wishes
Derek Sanders

12. Posted by Parisjewels - Julie Carboni on June 28, 2015 2:44 AM

Dear Karen.. Well what can I say - after just finishing Toùt Soul.. I know understand why you said in your last email to me in Australia - about early 2012!!! You'll have to read the next book - how hard it must have been for you my dear?! Thank you for sharing such a personal insight to an amazing story - I'm looking forward to Sweet Encore! Love from Parisjewels - Julie xx

13. Posted by Parisjewels on June 28, 2015 2:51 AM

Dear Karen loved Toùt Soul - cannot wait for Sweet Encore! Best wishes from Julie (Parisjewels) in Australia x

14. Posted by Janice Van Brabant. on August 29, 2016 12:30 PM

My daughter ordered your 3 books for me as a surprise from Amazon, as I have always lived abroad, Belgium, France, which I loved and Mallorca, the last I live permanantly now, and came here when I was just 19 to work and met my Belgian husband, who has passed away 4 years ago now. I have had 5 dogs as well. So I just loved reading your books, could not stop. I found you very brave to live in the village on your own, and the travelling to England in the car, and then with Biff. I guess I used to do that as well. I am now 71 and life passes quickly, so enjoy it all. Just loved Biff and hope he is ok still, let us all know how he is please, and you are still living the the house in the village? So sorry about Luis, the Lion, that was very upsetting for you. I would like to think you have now met someone else and are living happily and let us know about any other books out now please. Take care.

post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)