Chris Nickson in for Lynne again this week. With a new book out (it’s called Modern Crimes, since you insist, and out in paperback and ebook, but only in the UK until the start of 2017. It’s a tale based on Leeds’ first policewomen in the 1920s. Extremely loosely based) I’m on the publicity trail again.
Publication date was last week, but the official launch comes next week (a regrettable incident on a bookstore not having stock for a prior launch has taught me to allow a window), and then a few other events. The first was yesterday, addressing a local meeting of the University of the Third Age, a large group of very engaged retirees. If there’s something similar where you live, I recommend it.
The publicist at the (very small) publisher is doing what she can on no budget. But I’m doing what I can, too. Social media, of course, which is a start, using Twitter, Facebook, blog posts. Yet the idea is to let more people know about me and the book.
Like most writers, I’ve built a local network of media people. Approached sparingly, they’re great contacts. So this Friday there will be a piece in the local morning paper (and possibly even, too). The day before the launch, an interview on local TV. I’m still working on radio for this one.
Public appearances, author events, whatever you want to call them, pay huge dividends. Of course, many writers and solitary people, and the idea of talking to groups is terrifying. I happen to love it. What I do is part history (I write historical crime) and part stand-up. I try to entertain them, and even more to interact with them. Audiences want to feel involved, to be appreciated.
It’s not easy. You have to put yourself out there, to be willing to stand on your hind legs and talk. But as we all know, writing the book and getting it published is only half the story. You have to do the legwork to let people know it’s out. Get it to bloggers, the press, the trades, anyone who’ll write about it and pique people’s interest. Yes, it’s a crap shoot: not every reviewer will like it. You take your chances.
Yet think about this. You’ve put a lot of work into that book. You’re proud of it. There’s no point in just letting it appear and think job done. Others will like it. But if they don’t know it exists, how can they tell?
It’s wearing – I have five events in the next three weeks, on top of a full writing schedule. But this is my job. This is what I do. And I do it the very best way I can. Every writer should, as it’s in our own interests.