Disappointments Diary

It never ends (although it might)

True to its name, Perpetual Disappointments Diary is back – in an updated edition packed with underwhelming features. The latest edition is the one with the orange bellyband and it’s available from Pan Macmillan in both good and bad bookshops. The US edition continues to be available from Chronicle.

Picking up on the trend for the Quantified Self, there is a new section called The Quantified Loser – a way to keep track of the gradual decline.

There are also some new demotivational quotes mixed in among the old.

And you’ll find perennially useful features such as a travel phrasebook…

…reminders of important dates in history…

… a contacts page for all those friends of yours…

… and a notes section at the back.

It’s been a long journey doing this diary – the original came out at the end of 2012 and we published and sold it independently for a few years. That was a fun time because we got to see exactly who was buying it. The highlight was when David Blaine (!) bought a copy and then ordered 20 more. His PA complained at one point that the covers were curling a little, and we asked her if David Blaine had been staring at them too hard.

We didn’t really – the covers were curling because of production problems that became an annual headache and eventually led us to seek out a ‘proper’ publisher. It’s now in its third edition with Pan Macmillan and I’m not sure whether it’ll extend beyond that – this could be the last sad hurrah.

Working with a publisher means you lose some sense of personal ownership, but it’s also been great fun to see it appearing in shops around the world – lots of photos pop up on Instagram from Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to the Library Shop at Queensland State Library for the photo at the top of this post.

So yes, it’s available now and I’ve no idea how long it will be in future, so maybe act now if you’re ever going to. You can’t argue it’s not a timely gift given the state of the world.

Order now to ensure disappointment. (The link goes to Blackwell’s because they’re nice, but other massive online book retailers are available – just make sure you get the orange edition.)

Taste the indifference

The day the John Lewis Christmas ad is released seems like a good time to let you know there is an updated version of Perpetual Disappointments Diary in shops now. Its not in John Lewis as far as we know, although it is in Sainsburys.

For the uninitiated, Perpetual Disappointments Diary is the journal / diary / life planner for people who wish they weren’t in the target market but stoically recognise that they are. It is also the answer to the perennial Christmas question: what do you get the person who has nothing? 

The most significant addition in this version is On This Day — reminders of key events from history including the invention of aspirin, the discovery of anti-matter, the development of the SOS distress signal, and the launch of LinkedIn.

There are also some new demotivational proverbs among the most depressing of the old. 

And there are some extra notes spreads.

All this, plus perennial favourites like Useful Travel Phrases, Bank Insecurity Questions and Personal SWOT Analysis.   

We were surprised to walk into Sainsbury’s recently and see the diary on sale alongside Fearne Cotton’s Happy Journal — an extreme experiment in shopper profiling. (Which will be skewed by the fact that ours is going very cheap.) But it’s exciting to see the diary getting out into the world and in front of more people.

For American readers, there is a version of the diary out with Chronicle Books, which is beautifully produced in a way that somehow makes the contents more disheartening.

Thanks to everyone who has grudgingly supported the diary on its journey from sad little self-initiated project to depressing mass market product.

Please buy the diary in your local independent shop, Blackwell'sAmazon, Hive, Waterstones etc. Or Sainsbury’s.  

New York Times interview

London Metro review

Telegraph article

Failure Magazine review

Make America Grumpy Again

A brief post to mark a milestone / millstone in our lives.

Last week the US edition of Perpetual Disappointments Diary officially came out with Chronicle. (This follows the UK edition being published by Pan Macmillan last year, which in turn followed us publishing it ourselves for several years independently.)

As expected, Chronicle have done a beautiful production job on the diary, with an especially nice cover stock, smart embossing, and a cool sheet of blue Monday stickers.

The diary includes some changes for the US market, including some more US-centric Notable Deaths (sorry Hovis Presley), some tweaked cultural references (Kestrel Super makes way for Sierra Nevada Hoptimum IPA), and some new proverbs, complete with US spellings.

March is an unconventional time to bring out a diary, but hopefully it’ll give it time to get into US stores before Christmas, by which time 50% of the current administration may be using it to write their prison memoirs.

On that note, we discovered this post by a Disappointments Diarist on Instagram:

If you're in the US, you can order the diary here.

And the UK edition continues to be available here.