‘Burke in the Land of Silver’ is officially published today. What can I say about it that I haven’t said already? It’s really good and a snip at £2.99. Just buy it. (Unless you’re waiting for the paperback of course. That will be along shortly.)

Why the relaunch?

Like a lot of other writers these days, I’ve been feeling that my books don’t get the love and attention from their publishers that some of the people who love them (not just me – check the reviews) think they deserve. So I decided that the next two Burke books (one set in Spain and one in Ireland) would be published by me. I can devote more time and effort to my own titles than a publisher can. (I’m not blaming the publishers: the economics of publishing make no sense at all and most publishers are scurrying around desperately trying to survive the apocalypse – or Amazon as it’s often called.) And because a book series sells better if the books all look like each other and are promoted together, it made sense to republish the first three under the exciting new ‘Big Red’ imprint. (If anyone is interested, it’s called ‘Big Red’ because ‘Little Brown’ was already taken, which tells you all you need to know about my sense of humour.)

Buttons (they’re in front of you!)

It’s one thing to devote time and effort to my marketing, but having any idea what I’m doing (or the advertising budget to support it) is another. But I have been trying to smarten up my marketing effort. I wonder if you’ve noticed?

On Twitter (https://twitter.com/TomCW99) and Facebook I’ve changed my banner and my profile pic. Here on my blog, the changes are more functional. Somewhere (down at the bottom left if you’re reading this on a laptop, bottom of the screen on a mobile) there are buttons enabling you to post about my blogs directly onto Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. I think the most interesting button, though, is the green one. If you click on this, you will get an e-mail every time there is a new blog post so you need never miss one again!

(I wonder if any Americans picked up the panto reference in the heading there.)

Newsletter

I did experiment with having these buttons is a pop-up, but they just got in the way and irritated people, so that experiment was short lived. (Don’t say I don’t respond to what my followers want.) The problem is that without pop-ups people often miss things like that, which is why you find pop-ups on so many sites. I have very few people who subscribe to my newsletter – so few (barely double figures) that I hardly ever send newsletters out, which I suppose is more or less the definition of the vicious cycle. Still, the books I’m now desperately devouring on ‘How to sell your book on Kindle’ all say that e-mail newsletters are a crucial way of generating sales, so I’m trying again with a bigger, clearer description box. Again, if you are reading this on a laptop it should be somewhere around the top right of the page. Do feel free to fill out your e-mail address. I’ve yet to master automated newsletters, so I have to write them all myself. There is absolutely no danger of you being inundated with spam, because that rather assumes that I want to add excessive newsletter writing to all the blogging, tweeting, Facebook posting and other efforts to communicate which have completely taken over from producing any new books lately.

Of course, if you all just bought a book, even without a newsletter, we could keep empty inboxes and I would produce another novel that much quicker. Actually, if you’re reading this, there is a very good chance you already have bought the book in one of its earlier incarnations, in which case, thank you very much. If you haven’t, but you enjoy my blog (thousands of people read it and presumably some of them enjoy it) then you could buy a copy just as a gesture of support. With adding social media buttons on, I’ve taken the opportunity to remove the ‘Buy Me a Coffee’ widget with which you could make a small donation to show you appreciated my efforts. My tip jar was easily missed and, frankly, embarrassing, so now the only way you can express your gratitude is a heart-felt expression of thanks in my comment box (at the foot of the page) or by spending £2.99 on the book. Honestly, I’ll settle for either and you don’t even have to read the book, though if you do, you’ll probably enjoy it.

Author talks

I may not be big on newsletters, but I do love talking about my books and the history behind them. If you have a book group meeting socially distantly or on-line, I’m happy to talk to you. Once life returns to anything approaching normal, I’m happy to turn up in person, provided it’s in the London area. There’s some stuff about talks on my website at http://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk/lets-talk/.

Me and the wonderful Lynn Bryant on the panel at Malvern

If any of you have any brilliant ideas for how I can get the word out about James Burke, do let me know. Or, of course, you can do it for me – just by reviewing the books on Amazon. It doesn’t need an essay – a few positive words is more than enough. Amazon reviews are probably the most effective marketing a book and have and they don’t even cost anything. If you review any of my books you will have my undying gratitude.

Enough of all this chatter. You’ll be having books to read.

If you’ve got this far, thank you for reading.

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