It thrilled me to my very socks to discover an article about Silly Beggar in the Weekly News this week.
For those unfamiliar with the work of the Weekly News, it describes itself as a newspaper that thinks it’s a magazine! Packed with real-life dramas, celebrity interviews, an in-depth guide to the latest TV shows and films, up-to-the-minute medical news, puzzles, prize competitions, cartoons, gardening, short stories, The Royal Week, top sports coverage and much, much more.
The Weekly News article talks of my love of tea, buttering up companies, and reveals how the book has several ‘running gags’ throughout, which any one of the companies would not have been party to.
There’s also a picture of me, from the book, holding a magnifying glass to the ‘Slimfast’ logo on my shirt. Unfortunately, the newsprint doesn’t really show the logo very well and it looks more like, for reasons not apparent, I’m magnifying my nipple. Oh well, whatever helps sell the book!
For the second time in two weeks, I found myself in the Dunfermline Press. This time, however, rather than being interviewed specifically about the book, I was asked a number of quick questions for their ‘On the Spot’ feature. I spoke once again to top journalist Matt Meade and I rattled off answers to his questions, including:
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Something to reflect on
Who would you most like to invite over to dinner? Cookie Monster. Though I suppose I wouldn’t end up with many cookies
What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy a million lottery tickets as you never know when your numbers will come up
The article also highlights the book signing on Saturday at Waterstone’s Dunfermline 12 noon to 1pm.
I was thrilled to find an article on Silly Beggar in my local newspaper, the Dunfermline Press, today. The article, written by readers’ favourite Matt Meade, came about after an enjoyable conversation. Following the interview, Matt had sent me some Dunfermline Press freebies which comprised of: 1 Pencil, 1 Dunfermline Street Map, and a DP Living Magazine. Matt’s article humorously suggests these are the worst items I received!
Most amusingly, Matt suggests that I may become the Godfather of a new blagging movement, revealing how one of my friends, a teacher, encouraged his class to try writing out to companies. He too experienced the thrill of the blag as his pupils received loads of lovely goodies.
As it is the local paper, the article also highlights the Book signing I have coming up on the 30th of May at Waterstones in Dunfermline.
An article about Silly Beggar appeared in the Daily Mirror this morning, under the headline “In the Blag…”
The article reads “Artful Cadger Reveals His Secrets” and focusses on the blagging element of the book. Playing off topical news stories about MPs getting things for nothing, the article begins “You don’t have to be an MP to get stuff without paying for it - you just have to ask nicely, or maybe pen a poem.”
The article highlights some of the best freebies that I received and even gives my Top Blagger Tips!
“Approach companies whose products you genuinely like and tell them why you’re a customer.
Save the cost of a stamp, go online and send an email. Most companies have a Contact Us button on their website.
Butter them up - you’ll be surprised how far a lot of unashamed flattery goes.
Do something to catch their attention - an elaborate story, a strange tale, a picture or a poem.
Say something funny. If you elicit a laugh you’re halfway on the road to getting a freebie. But at the same time try not to sound like you’re taking the mick.”
This is a great result. All the publicity up to this point has been through the Scottish media, so it great to think that a UK national paper has now run with the story.
I couldn’t ask for a better article with brilliant silly photos, which, um, Mirror the silliness of the book.
Imagine my surprise when I opened today’s Daily Record to discover myself splashed across the centre pages!
The Daily Record, one of Scotland’s national newspapers ran a fantastic article all about Silly Beggar, including excerpts and images from the book.
Under the Headline “Cheeky Begg@r”, it reads: “Skint James Spence sent emails to some of Britain’s biggest companies trying to blag freebies… and it paid off”
“JAMES Spence graduated, got married and then bought a house all within a matter of months. As a consequence he was broke, He said: “Cash-wise, I was just breaking even - and this was long before anyone had heard of the credit crunch.” Instead of sitting and feeling sorry for himself, he decided to do something about it, and have some fun at the same time. James, from Fife, embarked on a campaign to bag as many freebies as he could from some of the biggest companies in Britain, including Blockbuster and Starbucks. His new book, Silly Beggar, charts the emails he sent to companies and the replies he received.”
“Silly Beggar, The World’s Stupidest Begging Letters By James Spence Published by Aurora Metro Press on May 14 priced £11.99 and available at www.aurorametro.com”
The article then gives some (shortened) examples of a few of the letters appearing in the book. But why take my word for it? Here’s a link to the article on the Daily Record website. What a great start to the promotion of the book, two weeks before it’s even released!