Trials and smiles of an author (9)
[Apologies for this post being a day late.]
Well, how are things going?
There are three things to say:
The Ragaris Fortnight sold 18 books (up to the end of October): 10 paperback volumes that I sold in person, and 8 online, 7 of the 8 Kindle. Hopefully some of them will lead to more purchases, and reviews! I haven’t had post-October figures yet, but I’m told there are some more sales. 55 people viewed my first video on Youtube. Baby steps, as they say, but I don’t think this is too bad, considering that it was a fun activity for me, and will certainly have increased name recognition in Beeston – and that there hasn’t been a new book for more than a year. (It’s a question whether I’d have been able to do more without coronavirus. I certainly wouldn’t have rented a room for another party – although come to think of it maybe I should do that when lockdown ends…) I got my blurb into two local free papers.
I had a very supportive team (thank you again, those who are reading this), and fun preparing daily updates on social media.
Lessons learned: I bought too many posters; and I really need to decide what if anything I’m doing about Twitter.
The second piece of news is that due to some publishing negotiation behind the scenes, the books are becoming more widely obtainable. Since WDNKC was first published in 2016, they’ve only been obtainable via Amazon, or (with some difficulty) via the author, or a few other outlets; not the most familiar non-Amazon sources. It’s something technical to do with ISBN numbers. My publisher has been at work on this problem, which affects her own books too, of course, and I am happy to say the Tales from Ragaris are now orderable from Waterstones and Blackwell’s, and I’m told, from libraries. WH Smith hopefully soon.
This doesn’t of course mean that they’ll be on the shelves when the shops reopen, as even big shops have limited shelf space and only stock what they’re sure will sell. But it’s progress.
Those who like the books, please keep recommending them to any person and in any format you can!
A few people have been encouraging me by telling them the books repay rereading, which is lovely to know.
Meanwhile, a few folk are understandably pestering me about book 4, one going so far as to accuse me of having nothing else to do in lockdown…
I think there’s been a bit of writer’s blog with book 4, but I also think I’m coming out of it. I’m feeling more positive and enthusiastic. But it’s still going to be a while, I fear.
All my published books so far have featured murder, but this one is the first that is following the immediate criminal investigation in minute detail. (How minute should this be?)
I’ve read so many whodunnits by Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, etc; I hadn’t realised how difficult this is. Detective A interviews Suspect B. Meanwhile, what are Suspects C, D and E have nothing to do but sit around worrying, plotting, arguing. What do they think of the murder? In what order should their revelations be revealed or false trails be laid?
And how many times can A ask “What were you doing last night?” and be told “Nothing” without the reader throwing the book down in frustration, even if some of these replies are probably lies?
Some of you may remember that this story started out with unplanned pregnancy, story-telling and Falli’s combined national eisteddfod/athletics championship… These things also have to be fitted in. Then, as with all the books, there’s the implications of it all for the government and foreign relations of the nation of Falli. Book also needs a title…
Anyway, the next time I read a police procedural story, I’ll feel a lot more respect for the juggling author.
You don’t have to sympathise… all authors have similar issues, I’m sure, but that’s the current position. Incidentally, I’m going back to work next week.
Love from the PPI Blogger
PS I’ve posted my letter to Richard Sharp, about to become Chairman of the BBC. I’ll let you know if he replies!