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  • Writer's pictureSound Marketing

Word Up

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Copywriting and creating content in the Pro AV and entertainment-technology industry can be moderately diverting at times. Today, for exam

ple, I was challenged to make sense of a big slab of technical information about an immersive sound system at what appeared to have been a quite interesting avant-garde, electronic music gig in Switzerland. Chinese Football stadiums, fancy Belgian restaurants, huge festivals, go-kart tracks, art installations and super labs - I get to write about them all, and I never stop learning.

Naturally, there’s a lot of staring out of the window to accompany the thought processes, and now and again I like to go walkabout to escape the screen. Overall, though, this section of my writer’s life is never dull and if I was ever stuck with anything, there’s a veritable army of armchair copywriters out there who can help…

For all that, though, more interesting to me (as you’d expect) is the personal creative side of my pen-wielding activities. A large chunk of this has involved the publication of more than 150 songs across 15 JUMP albums that have spanned more than three decades, but recently as the muse has taken me, I’ve produced three books. The skills present in the Sound Marketing office have proved invaluable - Steph’s knowledge and understanding of design software have supported the creation of each book in turn and made possible my desire to create physical product. Much as is the case in the independent music sector, your opportunities are determined by having tangible stuff to hand.

“You write books?”


“Go on then, let’s see one…”

…is much like…

“You’re in a band?”


“Got a CD?”

That said, in the last couple of years, people tend to just ask if you’re on Spotify so they can get all your blood, sweat AND tears for free. I’m grateful that our demographic prefers plastic to ether…

Anyway one of my recent literary releases has been going along quite nicely. As is the case for most cottage-industry enterprises like mine, there’s a lot of promotion on social media, updating of website, a lot of trips to the post office, and a lot of chatting with people about book fairs and expanding reach. Marketing, if you will. In the Pro AV content creation role, one of the elements you’re always looking to secure is that quote where someone says something really complimentary about a product - especially someone with a trusted reputation in their field - you know the kind of thing:

‘Dave Wires, Lead Sound Engineer on Every Broadway Show Since Time Began, commented:

“This new microphone is better than the one they use to record creatures scrabbling on the ocean floor from six miles away; it’s so good I’m going to order one thousand of them, right now!”’

That kind of thing…

Anyway, this book of mine has been doing a few rounds and I’ve had some nice messages from people and some decent reviews here and there. All in all, very pleasing. Then one evening just over a week ago, I received a flurry of phone calls and messages urging me to listen to Huw Stephens’ show on BBC Radio Wales. It was being hosted by stand-in Adam Walton, who was interviewing the winner of the prestigious 2023 Carnegie Prize for Literature, Manon Steffan Ros about her winning book, The Blue Book of Nebo, which has been translated into a host of different languages and is absolutely brilliant. I’ve read it. So I know.

I duly jumped onto BBC Sounds and scrolled back a little, unprepared for what was to come. As a musician, there’s that moment when you first hear one of your songs on the radio. It’s almost impossible to describe. This was like that, so I’ll leave you with the transcript:

In conversation about ‘The Blue Book of Nebo’, BBC Radio Wales. July 12th 2023

Adam Walton:

“There are certain books you read, that you know are gong to live with you - are going to become part of your emotional DNA…and I’m sure that there are books like that for you, so what have you read recently that, you know, has kind of maybe shifted your perspective a little bit, or evoked a mood that is one you’ll try to recall after having finished reading the book?”

Manon Steffan Ros:

“Ah…I found a really wonderful book by a writer called John Dexter Jones. I came to him through the artist Pete Jones from Bangor. I don’t really know Pete but I’d been to see one of his exhibitions at Storiel in Bangor, and then I heard about this book. It’s called Mountain Punk and it’s basically descriptions of his walks up mountains of Eryri and it’s all non-fiction - creative non-fiction - with Pete’s paintings and it’s just so beautiful - it’s such a lovely, lovely book…it’s made me re-assess the mountains where I was brought up. I think when a book makes you do that - when it makes you look at something that’s so very familiar to you in a different way - it really made me want to go there. The way it describes silence and majesty is very under-rated - it’s a very underrated book. You know - people should buy it - it’s wonderful.”

Pictured above: Manon Steffan Ros

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