Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Singapore Grand Prix Book, A tremendous Success

THE must-have companion for this weekend’s Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix has been flying off the bookshelves.
Barely nine days after its launch, the first run of some 5,000 copies of the book — The Singapore Grand Prix: 50 Years in the Making — is almost sold out. Publisher MediaCorp is thinking of a second print run.
Written by Today senior correspondent Ian De Cotta (picture), each book costs $26.90 (including GST).
“It’s been selling briskly and a lot of places have sold out,” said Mr Patrick Yong, senior vice-president, integrated sales,MediaCorp. “We’re considering a reprint.”
The book chronicles the history of the Singapore Grand Prix from 1961 to 1973. It was launched on Sept 13 by main sponsor Audio House at its new showroom at Liang Court.
“Just four days after its public launch, vendors began asking for top-ups,” saidMs Jessie Sng, senior vice-president for op-erations at MediaCorp. “We’ve had many bulk order enquiries from vendors and readers.”
When told of sales figures for Mr De Cotta’s book, Mr Edmund Wee, managing director of local design and publishing firm Epigram, said he was “impressed”. “That’s very good. It’s hard to sell books in Singapore ... 5,000 is a good number”.
He credited the strong sales with the timing of the launch. “It’s so topical; it’s tied in nicely with the upcoming Grand Prix here,” he told Today.
Last Saturday, MediaCorp held a Formula 1 roadshow at Bugis Junction, and it will be repeated this Saturday and Sunday at the same venue, from 5pm. MediaCorp will also host a “live” screening of the race this Sunday from 7.30pm.
So popular has been the book thatMr De Cotta has received numerous emails and calls from fans thanking him for reviving interest in the sport. He said: “The book has brought back fond memories for many drivers and spectators. Many among the younger generation have forgotten that Singapore used to be a hotbed for motorcar and motorcycle racing at the old Upper Thomson Road street circuit.”
Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone — one of the prime movers behind the push for Singapore to host the sport’s first night race — even asked for a copy of the book, which was given to him during the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.

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