Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Number One (with a bullet)

It may be the only time I'll ever top a bestseller chart. It will almost certainly be the only time I figure ahead of a Booker Nominee (Colm Toibin), Carlos Ruiz Zafon and one of my all time heroes John Connolly. I think I should just call it a day right now - or maybe just savour the experience a little while longer.

Update August 3rd: Still Number One. That's four weeks. I'm getting delusions of Bohemian Rhapsody or Brian Adams right about now. Steady!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Getting Noticed aka DIY Marketing

Now that The Third Pig is on shelves, I, of course, want people to flock to bookshops in their thousands and buy it. As part of that grandiose aspiration, Harry needs as much publicity as he can stand (and that's quite a bit). With that in mind, we came up with a cunning plan to try and get review copies noticed.

Firstly, we mocked up a Thid Pig Detective Agency complimentary slip. Using the magic of Photoshop, a copy of the cover, one used coffee stain and judicious application of filters we produced:

Aha, we said, that does look quite nice, now how else do we get our book noticed amongst the hundreds (if not thousands) of others that arrive on a weekly basis? In keeping with the crime theme of the book, we mocked up an evidence bag (see, watching CSI every week can be educational) complete with red tape and included the book and press release in it (excuse quality of photo).

It may work, it may not; but if it gets Harry noticed only once by the right people it will have served its purpose.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Busy, busy, busy.

And still the publicity machine rumbles on.

The Clare Champion did a good interview and photo recently. They're still working on their online site so for the moment you can have a gander here:

I've had a couple of good reviews recently also (which is great).

Award-winning crime writer Matt Beynon Rees enjoyed the book and followed it up with a Q&A session which you can read here.

Caroline Smailes, author of the dark but very satisfying Black Boxes and In Search of Adam, also liked it. If you don't believe me, check it out here.

I contacted the two big local bookshops and asked if I could come in and sign their stock of The Third Pig. Both were delighted for me to do so, so signed copies are now available in Eason and O'Mahonys and both have said it's selling well.

And not letting the grass grow under my feet, I've just started sending out a horror trilogy to agents and publishers to see if any of them will bite. It's very different to the Third Pig so we'll see how it goes. I expect much waiting and "Dear Johns" but maybe someone will like it. It has received good feedback from people in the industry so perhaps...

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sign Here Please.

Yesterday's signing was a hoot. It went off well and a goodly crowd (who weren't all family and friends) showed up. I was signing for about 40 minutes and then did a quick reading. As the signing went on, my handwriting deteriorated so those at the top of the queue got wonderfully legible messages, those at the end may have trouble deciphering what I wrote.

Kudos to Dervilla and the girls at the Ennis Bookshop for organising and hosting and to everyone that actually turned up on what was a dreadful day.

After the signing we all (family, that is) went back to my mothers for some grub and excellent desserts.

Here are some pics of the day and I'll throw the rest up on Flickr in due course.

"Look mom, he can do joined-up writing"

"And he'd be able to read too if he looked down at the book"

I was going to mention that I'd done an interview for the News of the World but what ended up in the paper after a 45 minute conversation was short, inaccurate, mostly pointless and didn't mention the book by name once. Still, I did end up on the same page as a huge picture of the girls from Baywatch so it wasn't a total disaster!
At least it didn't have something like "My Stalker Hell!"
Welcome to tabloid journalism.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Last Minute Reminder

...if anyone happens to be around, do drop in.

Hopefully I'll have some pics of what went on (assuming someone, other than me, is there to use the camera)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Updates on My Quest for World Domination

There seems to be a lot of activity around Harry Pigg at the moment. Hughes & Hughes in Galway (hi Liz!) have sold out of their current stock of The Third Pig and O'Mahony's in Limerick have said they're almost out of theirs. Means someone is buying it at any rate!

The Ennis Bookshop contacted me and asked would I be interested in doing a signing. Would I, heck! If anyone is in the Ennis area at 3pm on Saturday July 11th and fancies having a heckle at the sweaty guy standing in front of the table of books, do drop in. I'm fully aware that there could be anything from 3 to 30 people turning up but it'll be a useful experience whatever happens. If you're around, call in and say hi. They've also given it pride of place in their window - alongside John Connolly again. Hmm, I detect a trend here.

Mention should also be made here of my niece, Aislinn who did the spiffing poster that you can see advertising the signing and Conn, who took the photo.

Local newspapers have been very supportive too. Both of the papers in my home county did an article. The one from the Clare People is below and I'll scan in the other over the next few days.

All in all it's been a busy few weeks - so much so that writing has temporarily taken a back seat, but it'll be back to the grindstone as of next Monday as work continues on Harry 3 (working title: The Curds and Whey Mystery).