Posted on

4-Book Mystery Bundle 99c First 4 Novels in the Rafferty & Llewellyn series.

Can’t get enough of mystery novels? Here’s 4 more for you. ‘Contagious detective duo’, Rafferty & Llewellyn fight crime, with wit and the occasional wisdom.



Just-promoted Brit cop Joe Rafferty catches trouble with the murder mystery of the Faceless Lady.


Everybody claimed to love murder victim, Barbara Longman, but she was still dead. Detective duo Rafferty & Llewellyn investigate this curious case.


Jasper Moon, seer to celebrities, failed to foresee his own murder. It is up to Brit Detectives Rafferty & Llewellyn to find the deception that has been played upon Moon.


A disappearing hanged man, a ten-year-old failed investigation, and a demanding magistrate witness, give Rafferty & Llewellyn a headache in this murder mystery.

BK_1-4_box_set_1440x1717_PNG (1)









Posted on

ABSOLUTELY, CATEGORICALLY THE LAST DAY AT 99c /99p! 4-Novel Rafferty Mystery Bundle

Amazing Bargain!
Amazing Bargain!

Today is your last chance to buy this 4-mystery ebook bundle at 99c / 99p. I had to extend it for a few days at Amazon because I had left it late to do the other retailers, so you Amazonians got a bonus. Definitely not to be repeated – I’ll get my act together in future!






B and N NOOK:




Posted on

99c! 4-Novel Mystery Bundle Books 9-12 of Rafferty and Llewellyn series-now on Apple, Nook and Kobo. Still available at Amazon)


My 99c Rafferty mystery bundle available at Apple, Nook and Kobo (and Amazon).

Few days only, so if you would like it, grab it now! Extended to Sunday 5 February 2017.




And all other Amazon sites.

Posted on

Rafferty Mystery The Hanging Tree #4, at 99c / 99p for two days only

‘Terrific series.’ #4 in the Rafferty & Llewellyn mystery series.

I’m offering another of my mystery novels at the bargain price of 99c / 99p, for two days only, the 12/13 November 2016.

‘A great book. A wonderfully entertaining read.’

A Little Laughter. A Little Mayhem. A Little MURDER…

‘The old crossroads used to run by here,’ Sam told Rafferty. ‘Legend has it that this was the original Hanging Tree.’

The murder mystery of ‘The Hanging Man’, whose body disappears just before Christmas, and then turns up again, suspended from the ancient ‘Hanging Tree’, has Essex Detective Joe Rafferty questioning his belief in justice and his own role in its pursuit.

Rafferty knows he is expected to go after the murderer with as much vigor as he would any other killer. But he is in danger of becoming his own worse adversary as the victim was a man who escaped jail on a legal technicality after being accused of four child rapes. The case was a cause-célébre and caused much ill-feeling in Elmhurst’s community. In this police procedural, Rafferty must battle against the inner conviction that Maurice Smith – a man who ruined more than just his young victims’ lives – fully deserved to be murdered. He feels that if there is a self-appointed executioner at work, meting out his own form of justice on the legendary Hanging Tree, then Smith’s ‘executioner’ is more to be lauded than condemned.

Consequently, rather less than full of the Christmas Spirit as the Big Day approaches, Rafferty can only wish he hadn’t opened his big mouth and invited his partner, Dafyd Llewellyn’s mother to both his Ma’s spare room and the Rafferty clan’s festive meal. Because, from his own intuition and Llewellyn’s ever more dour expression as his mother’s arrival gets closer, he has reason to believe the wretched woman’s visit is going to end in disaster. And not just for Llewellyn’s burgeoning romantic relationship with Maureen.

Rafferty fears he is about to become the Fall Guy twice over. Because he is only too aware that if he fails to find the murderer because of his own repugnance for the victim, he will also fail as a detective and his moral dilemma will give him no option but to resign.

There are seventeen books in the Rafferty & Llewellyn series:
Dead Before Morning #1
Down Among the Dead Men #2
Death Line #3
The Hanging Tree #4
Absolute Poison #5
Dying For You #6
Bad Blood #7
Love Lies Bleeding #8
Blood on the Bones #9
A Thrust to the Vitals #10
All the Lonely People #11
Death Dance #12
Death Dues #13
Deadly Reunion #14
Kith and Kill #15

Asking For It # 16

The Spanish Connection #17


For 24symbols, scribd and inktera, it is available through this universal link:

Remember, it’s only on offer at this bargain price for two days.

Posted on

4 Killer Cozies – Only 99c / 99p!

Continue reading 4 Killer Cozies – Only 99c / 99p!

Posted on

JUST PUBLISHED! Rafferty and Llewellyn Boxed Set Books 5 – 8

BK_5-8_box_set_1440x1717Just published a 4-book Boxed Set of Rafferty & Llewellyn:








A stolen suit, Dafyd Llewellyn’s wedding and murder!



DI Joe Rafferty was only looking for love . . .how would he know it would lead to him being in the frame for a double murder?



A robbery gone wrong DI Joe Rafferty thought. But then he meets the victim’s family and has cause to think again.



DI Joe Rafferty thought Felicity Raine a most unlikely husband killer. There were undercurrents to the investigation he didn’t like. Could it be that Felicity had been set up to take the rap for the real killer?

Posted on

PUBLISHED AT LAST! All the Lonely People, Rafferty & LLewellyn #12

LONELY PPLE BRIT TEC SERIES EBOOKselfpub-72dpi-1500x2000 (13)
#12 Rafferty & Llewellyn series

Finally got over the last hurdles with this book and published it to Amazon last night. So pleased. And so relieved! I swear that malevolent fate that follows my poor DI Joe Rafferty around has transferred its attentions to me. 🙂

But it’s done now, in spite of the lost disc, in spite of the endless copy- typing to update the digital edition, in spite of my hatred of copy-typing and the unwelcome attentions from the fates, I finished sorting everything out. And it feels wonderful!

I’ll get busy today and upload it to the other retailers, too.

Heres the blurb and the links:

All the Lonely People

#12 of 15 in the Rafferty & Llewellyn British Detective Series 

A Little Laughter. A Little Mayhem. A Little MURDER…

For readers who like cozy mysteries, humorous mysteries and police procedurals. 

When Detective Inspector Joseph Rafferty visits his local pub for a quick drink, he’s looking to forget his troubles, not add to them. His ex-fiancée Abra is still refusing to talk to him, and he’s fast losing hope of a reconciliation. But Rafferty is not destined to enjoy his drink in peace. Because a man is found dead – stabbed in the pub’s car park – and a preoccupied Rafferty is to lead the investigation.

What at first appears to be an open and shut case quickly becomes a lot more complex. The witnesses all plead alcohol-induced amnesia, and Rafferty’s habitually cautious sidekick, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, isn’t helping either—casting doubt on all of Rafferty’s conclusions.

And as Rafferty wrestles with the case, he also has to wrestle with Abra’s determination to avoid their problems. Soon, he is in despair on both counts…

The twelfth book in the quirky, not quite so Traditional British mystery series. 











Posted on

FREE! DEAD BEFORE MORNING #1 in my 15-strong Rafferty and Llewellyn series

Just to let you know that DEAD BEFORE MORNING, the first in my 15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn police procedural series, is now FREE! (only in the UK so far; I hope to persuade Amazon to price-match in other countries also, but no luck so far).

#1 in series
#1 in series

I expect to keep it free for the foreseeable future so you can have an introduction to my work. I f you like British procedural series that have a quirky take on family life and police work it could be worth your while to download it.

Brit DI Joe Rafferty, working-class lapsed Catholic, is cursed by coming from a family who think — if he must be a copper — he might at least have the decency to be a bent one.

FREE #1 in series:


And, if you like Tudor Biographical Historical Fiction, don’t forget that Reluctant Queen: The story of Mary Rose Tudor, the Defiant Little Sister of Infamous English king, Henry VIII, is a Goodreads Giveaway until 30 April 2014, with the chance to win one of ten copies of the pb edition.

‘A very readable account of a fascinating woman who dared to stand up to Henry VIII and survived. It is thoroughly researched, admirably written and the author’s love of the Tudor period shines through.’


Here’s the link to the Goodreads Giveaway page for the book:

I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in Venice. Beautiful place, but oh, those endless steps over the canals! My weary, couch potato legs proved unable for the challenge (an inability not improved when I decided to put myself on a starvation diet for the duration after checking out the restaurant prices). I had to keep taking a rest on the bottom steps and hope some great, gallumphing, fellow tourist didn’t stand on me!

Posted on


Why free? Because you get reviews (good, bad, indifferent). And reviews sell books. That’s what we all hope, anyway!

 If you would like a FREE copy of DEATH DUES #11 in the Rafferty and Llewellyn procedural series (more cozy than noir), in exchange for an honest review, check out my StoryCartel Book Page:


REVIEW ‘Lively and fun, with absorbing interplay between DI Joe Rafferty and sidekick Sgt Llewellyn. Replete with strong protagonists, infused with British atmosphere, and filled with intrigue and personal concerns alike, Death Dues is a fine detective saga.’ D DONOVAN, eBOOK REVIEWER, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

 GEvans_DeathDues (2)


When one John ‘Jaws’ Harrison is found with his skull caved in, in an alleyway backing on to rundown Primrose Avenue while on his way to collect debt repayments from the residents, Rafferty and his intellectual partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, imagine the case will be easily solved. Armed with a list of local debtors, they begin their investigations. But they hadn’t counted on the conspiracy of silence amongst the residents — most of whom had good reason to want Jaws dead.

 Rafferty is forced to make some unorthodox decisions and stretch his intuitive powers to breaking point to find the solution.



Chapter One

Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty riffled through the quotes from caterers and venues, photographers and florists, and thought, Why so expensive? It’s only a wedding, not the Second Coming.

When he’d proposed to Abra the previous Christmas, he’d been astonished that she’d said yes. His beguiling, spirited Abra could have married anyone, yet she’d chosen him. He’d wafted around in a rose-pink cloud for days. Then it had been all hearts and roses. But now the cold reality of a modern wedding hit him in the face with the force of a frozen kipper.

He ran a hand over his unruly auburn hair and muttered under his breath, ‘I can feel my credit cards wincing from across the hall.’ And he hadn’t even looked at the honeymoon brochures yet.

Abra reached across the breakfast table, took his face in her hand and forced an involuntary pucker. But she didn’t kiss him. Instead, she said, ‘You won’t be a tightwad about it, will you, Joe? We don’t want a hole-in-the-corner wedding. People will say we’ve something to hide.’

With no kiss forthcoming, Rafferty eased his head out of her grasp, picked up the stack of papers and let them drop again. ‘If we fork out for what this lot are charging, we will have something to hide. Us! From friendly, neighbourhood bailiffs.’

Abra tossed her chestnut hair. She slid around the table onto his lap to poke him slyly in the ribs. ‘Aren’t I worth it, then, love?’

He buried his face in her long hair and breathed in its just-washed lemon scent. ‘Of course you’re worth it, my little peach melba. But I’m not Rockefeller. Only a humble copper still paying off the re-decoration of the flat.’

‘That’s another thing.’ She gave him a lingering kiss which put him on his mettle, before she said, ‘I think we ought to sell this place and buy a house.’

‘But we’ve only just decorated,’ he protested. ‘All the new furniture!’

‘Exactly. That’s the most sensible time to sell. When the flat’s looking its best.’

‘I’d prefer to enjoy it looking its best myself,’ he said, disgruntled. ‘Anyway, I thought we were discussing the wedding, not moving home. Isn’t getting married big enough?’ It’s certainly stressful enough, he thought.

‘Where’s your ambition?’ she challenged. Then immediately softened. ‘Sorry, love. I’m being mean. But try to look at it from my point of view, Joe. This flat’s not mine, and it never will be. I want a place that we’ve chosen together. A place that’s ours. Is that so unreasonable?’

‘No,’ he conceded. ‘But we still haven’t settled a date for the wedding, poppet.’ Rafferty pushed her hair behind her ears and kissed her nose.

‘What about May?’

Rafferty nodded with relief. ‘May’s fine.’ That was one thing sorted. He eased her off his lap onto his chair as he stood up from the table. ‘And now I’ve got to get to work.’ He slid his arms into his jacket and straightened the frayed cuffs. ’Earn the money to pay for it all.’

Abra looked up at him with a winner’s grin. ‘Love you.’

‘Reckon it’s my money you love, you hussy.’ He bent and kissed her. ‘But I‘m pretty keen on you, too. Just try not to put my Mr Plod salary in too steep a debt spiral or we’ll be climbing out of the pit from here to eternity.’

As he picked up his raincoat and felt in his pocket for his keys, he shook his head. These wedding costs were getting seriously out of hand. Abra seemed to hope for the pomp of Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding—but look how that marriage turned out. His lovely fiancée had been taken over by an alien being—a mischievous wedding sprite, and he didn’t know how to get her back.

Abra shuffled the wedding quotes into a neat pile. ‘I’m off work today, so you can leave these to me. I’ll whittle them down. Some are charging way over the odds.’ She flashed her dimples. ‘I’ll ring round and see if I can’t knock them down a bit.’

Rafferty swallowed the sigh with the thought: A lot would be better. He bent once more, gave her a lust-filled kiss and made for the hall.

He only hoped this marriage worked out better than his first.

The weather was playing tag with Rafferty. A fierce wind blew his hair into that just-out-of bed look that was so fetching on Abra, whipping his raincoat into a veritable Irish jig as rain lashed him from all sides. He wished he was feeling as lively as his raincoat. He put down his head and dashed to the car, trying to restrain his flapping mac. Please God, let nobody get themselves murdered today. He didn’t fancy hanging around street corners in a downpour, musing on the type of house Abra might choose in her current mood. Buckingham Palace? Windsor Castle?

He hoped she hadn’t meant it. It wasn’t as though the flat wasn’t big enough. With three bedrooms, it could easily house a family. His Abra might long for Princess Diana’s fairy-tale wedding, but Rafferty—like Prince Charles—was no Prince Charming. And Rafferty lacked that princely income.

He threw himself into the car and slammed the door against the wind and rain, then glanced at his watch. His work day not even begun, and he was already behind.

Elmhurst was an attractive Essex market town that even the grey day couldn’t make ugly. Its quirky, individual architecture seldom failed to cheer him. Rafferty sped through it, quickly correcting as his back wheels aquaplaned through a puddle that had overwhelmed the drains and slid around a corner. He pulled into the car park off Bacon Lane, the police station’s back entrance. Naturally, the car park was full. Even the Super had beaten him to work today, his shining Lexus parked in the bay nearest the station’s rear entrance, a space sanctified by both Superintendent Bradley and, presumably, God. Rafferty had trespassed once or twice on its holy space and been roundly rebuked.

He parked in the last open space on the street and ran head-down and splashing through puddles to the station’s rear entrance. He opened the door and hurried dripping up the concrete stairs, leaving with each squelching step little slippery droplets to catch the unwary. Perhaps the sainted Super would have reason to come down shortly and injure his dignity. Rafferty smiled. A man can dream.

As he walked along the second floor corridor, he wrung out his hair and raincoat, wishing, in spite of the wedding arrangements, that he was still at home, in bed with Alba with her long, chestnut hair let down and her silky nightie soft under his hands. He quelled the thought. Inappropriate for work, isn’t that what they called it these days? He opened his office door.

His sergeant, Dafyd Llewellyn, was already at his desk, as usual. Llewellyn looked both industrious and bandbox-smart, also as usual, with a workspace as neat as conscientious industry could make it.

By comparison, Rafferty felt like something the cat dragged in. He glanced at his own desk and almost laughed as he realised that, like Llewellyn, he too was a good match for his workspace. Sometimes even the usually restrained Llewellyn’s fingers gave in to the itch to straighten the towering piles of papers, folders, and other impedimenta that covered the surface and threatened to spill over the sides.

Rafferty smoothed his unruly hair into some sort of order and sat down, shaking out the soggy ends of his trousers. ‘So what have we got, Dafyd? Anything exciting today?’

‘Not yet,’ Llewellyn replied evenly. ‘Unless, of course, there are any further muggings.’

‘Less of the fate-tempting, if you please.’

‘There’s still that report Superintendent Bradley wants you to read and initial.’ Llewellyn’s voice had the slightest tinge of disapproval. ‘It’s been on your desk nearly a week.’

Rafferty pulled a face. ‘I suppose you’ve read it?’

Llewellyn nodded.

‘Give me the condensed version, then, there’s a good chap. You know how wordy these bloody reports are. Mostly bumf.’

Llewellyn proceeded to explain the lengthy report in his calm, level manner, but as he proved almost as wordy as the report itself, Rafferty stopped him at Section 3 Subsection iv c. ‘Can you simply nod if the powers-that-be have ordered another meeting to discuss their preliminary findings?’

Llewellyn nodded.

Rafferty sighed. ’Meetings and more meetings. It’s a wonder we have any time to solve crimes. I’ll initial it. They’ll still be discussing it come Doomsday. Anything else?’

‘Superintendent Bradley asked for you to pop in to see him, if you haven’t arranged a prior appointment.’

‘What’s the old bugger want now?’ Sarky git, he thought. Trust the Super to assume he was given to making spurious appointments so as to avoid him. He’d only done it twice. Or it might have been thrice. But even so—Rafferty thumped the weighty report. ‘Not to discuss this, I hope.’

Llewellyn’s lips twitched slightly. ‘I think not. I understood him to say that he wishes to speak with you about the recent spate of muggings against moneylenders’ collectors.’

‘He wants to know what I’m doing about it, I suppose?’ Truth was, Rafferty wasn’t doing a lot. The local loan sharks’ collectors were nothing more than bullying thugs adept at putting the frighteners on little old ladies. Mugging was too good for them. ‘Throw a few grand-sounding phrases together for me, Daff. You know I’m no good at that sort of thing. Loads of long words and Politically-Correct bollocks. The Super’ll like that.’

Llewellyn raised dark eyebrows that were as neat as the rest of him. Rafferty swore he plucked them. ‘Something along the lines of: “We’re proceeding with our inquiries and have a number of promising leads,” you mean?’

‘That’ll do for starters.’ He felt in his pocket for some change. ‘But before you do that, can you get the tea in? I’m gasping. You can think up a few more bunches of bullshit while you’re in the canteen instead of chatting up the lovely Opal.’ Rafferty stifled a grin at his sergeant’s blush. Opal was a Caribbean lady of lilting accent, ample charms and an irrepressible sense of fun that believed flirtation should have a dangerous edge. She had taken a fancy to Llewellyn and seemed to find his puritan soul a challenge. ‘One of the muggers was thought to be Asian, so perhaps you can work in something about ethnic sensitivities.’

‘Wouldn’t it be easier to investigate the muggings?’

‘Probably. But I hesitate to interfere with anybody making the streets of Elmhurst safer. Oh,’ Rafferty shouted just before Llewellyn closed the door. ‘Fancy a hot-cross bun?’

Mock-serious, Llewellyn frowned. ‘I think you’ll find it is now called a hot-lined bun. Religious symbolism is also on the veto list.’

‘Veto my arse.’ Rafferty slammed the door for added emphasis. But he knew that no matter how many PC-worded explanations Llewellyn came up for his lack of progress , he’d have to do something about the muggings eventually.

Llewellyn was back in the office within minutes, a cup of tea in each hand and hot cross buns balanced precisely dead centre.

‘Managed to escape Opal’s blandishments again, hey?’ Rafferty teased.

Llewellyn placed Rafferty’s cup on a folded paper napkin which he’d earlier had the prescience to clear some space for on Rafferty’s cluttered desk.

Rafferty pulled a thin file on the investigation towards him. He began to read, liberally scattering crumbs across his front, his lap and his paperwork.

He was interrupted by the ringing of the phone.

‘Ah, Rafferty. You’re in, then?’ It was Superintendent Bradley.

The intimation that he’d been late wasn’t lost on Rafferty. He crossed his fingers behind his back. ‘Bright, shining, and ready to go, sir.’ Hey paused to swallow more tea before adding, ‘I’ve put in a couple of hours’ working from home.’

This brought a stunned, disbelieving silence, and across the room Llewellyn shook his head.

‘Right.’ The Super’s voice barked unexpectedly, so that Rafferty almost dropped his tea. ‘You can start by coming along to my office. I’m sure Llewellyn told you I wanted to see you first thing.’

Rafferty kept shtum.

‘I want to talk to you about these muggings.’

Superintendent Bradley was in lecturing mode. ‘You’ll have to do better than this, you know, Rafferty.’ The Super waved a thin sheaf of papers under Rafferty’s nose. ‘Your reports are sparse—very sparse.’

Rafferty began his explanatory spiel. He wished the Super hadn’t rung before he’d had time to get Llewellyn to prime him with the correct verbiage, but he hadn’t, so Rafferty did his best.

Superintendent Bradley interrupted him almost immediately. ‘It won’t do, Rafferty. It won’t do at all. I’ve had the Deputy Chief Constable on my back about these cases. He’s a golfing buddy of one of the moneylenders whose collector was assaulted. Man by the name of Forbes. That’s the wrong side of the brass to be on, Rafferty. Which makes it the wrong side of me. Do I make myself clear?’

As crystal.

Rafferty nodded glumly and made his escape.

He’d barely got back to his office when the phone went again.

It was Abra. ‘Hiya. Missing you already.’

‘Ditto, darlin’. The Super’s really not up to the job of standing in for you, more’s the pity.’

‘He’s dragged you into his lair already, has he? Poor Joe.’ Abra paused tellingly, then said, ‘I’ve been ringing round a few of the venues, and I simply can’t get them to drop their prices. I wondered—’ A more delicate pause this time.‘ How much might I spend?’ She named a figure that made Rafferty’s eyes water.

‘For a measly chicken salad and a few olives thrown in?’ He didn’t even like bloody olives. ‘What do they do in their spare time? Rob graves?’

‘It’s a normal quote, Joe. What did you have served at your first wedding? Sausage butties all round at the corner chippie?’

‘Abra, darling. You know I’d rather nip up to Gretna Green and forget this whole thing.’

‘I suppose Gretna Green is good enough for a man who’s been married once already. But this is my first—my only—wedding.’ The note of tears in Abra’s voice worked its magic. In truth, they’d never been far away once she set sail aboard HMS Romance. ‘I want to do it properly with all our family and friends there to wish us well.’

That was two people Rafferty had upset, and it wasn’t even ten o’clock in the morning. ‘All right, sweetheart. But can we talk about it tonight? I’m up to my eyes here.’

‘Tonight, then. Promise, Joe?’

‘Cross my heart. Love you, Abra. I’ll see you tonight.’ Rafferty had just set down the phone when it rang for the third time right under his hand. He braced himself.

‘Inspector Rafferty? This is Constable Smales. There seems to have been a murder, sir. Just called in.’

‘Where?’ Rafferty sat up straight, knocking his bun to the floor.

‘An alleyway adjacent to Primrose Avenue.’

‘What happened?’

‘Constanble Green, who’s on the scene, reports it as blows to the back of the victim’s head. Quite a mess, sir.’

‘Any idea of the victim’s identity?’

‘Not yet, sir. His wallet’s missing. Lizzie Green thinks he’s a man called John “Jaws” Harrison. Works as a collector for Malcolm Forbes, one of the local loan sharks.’

Oh great, thought Rafferty. Now he really would have to take action.

‘All right, Smales. I’ll be out there right away.’

Rafferty gulped his lukewarm tea, picked up his bun from the floor and dusted it off, before cramming its remains into his mouth. Muggings were one thing. But now they’d escalated to murder he knew he’d have to do more than a ‘little something’ He’d likely need the bun’s sustaining carbohydrates during the following busy hours.

Posted on

All about the indie life v traditional publishing: See my article on the storyreadingapesblog

I wrote an article about my experiences both before and after I took up the indie author lifestyle for thestoryreadingapesblog. I enjoyed writing it and I’ve had some lovely, appreciative comments for my honesty (Rafferty’s family wouldn’t be impressed!). If you’re contemplating the indie life yourself, you could do worse than take a look. Here’s the link:


Posted on

Marketing For Writers

Your book’s been accepted. How wonderful! Congratulations.
It’s a terrific, feeling, isn’t it, after all those rejections?

But now comes the real work. What? You thought you’d done
the work and that now came the pleasure? Ha! Think again.

Writing the book’s only half of it. And if you’re a techno-thickie,
like me, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn to do; I certainly

Everyone knows about the signings and the crowds of people who come to each. But everyone would be wrong. Unless you’re very

well-known, you’ll be lucky to get more than a handful of signings, if that. Think about it. Why would a bookstore manager want to

put himself to the trouble for a writer that no one’s ever heard of? For a writer who’s unlikely to sell more than one or two books (and one of these purchases will probably be made by the writer’s partner)? What happens most often is that the writer sits behind a desk with a pile of his/her books and no one comes. That, believe it or not, is the harsh truth of most book signings. You don’t need to take my word for it. Watch this video made by writer Parnell Hall and have a laugh while the sober truth sinks in:

So what can you do? There are other things. Libraries are always welcoming to the idea of your giving a talk. Ring around a few libraries, ask to speak to the librarian and introduce yourself and your new book. You should get an invitation or two to speak. No good at speaking off the cuff? Don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to use notes. I do myself as my short-term memory is shockingly bad and I’m hopeless at speaking without a crib. You may even sell a few books.

There are also other things you can do to draw attention to yourself. I’m in the middle of preparing for a seventeen-date Blog Tour in February. It’s a lot of work as you have to prepare posts to go on other people’s blogs and you won’t be too popular if you repeat the same blog on several people’s sites. You’re expected to be original and, as I said, originality brings a lot of work.

How did I organise this? I’m a member of a number of writing/book sites and I checked on the File listing of one of them: Yahoo Group’s MurderMustAdvertise, for those members who were prepared to host other writer members and contacted each one. You’ll need to be organised and create a Blog Tour folder on your computer where you can store the emails listing what you’re to do. You should also set up a folder in Documents with docs for each of the separate posts you’ve been asked to make and note in your diary the names, email addresses, dates, blog addresses and what your post is to consist of. If you don’t do all this you’ll get in a hopeless muddle. I could have arranged more Blog Tour dates if I’d contacted members on other book or writing sites, but I thought seventeen gigs was as much as I could cope with. This is my first Blog Tour, after all, and I didn’t want to over-reach myself.

I’ve written several question and answer sessions, prepared a few different excerpts of Deadly Reunion, my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel which comes out on 24 February, with links to the other excerpts. Deadly Reunion is the reason I organised the blog tour.

What else have I written? Another blogger asked me to produce a post about my writing ‘Made it Moment’. LOL! Shows how deluded one can be! One asked me to supply my Top Ten Tips for writers. Another wanted me to write a post about my ebook experiences since I’ve published two of my Rafferty novels to kindle et al. They all wanted a short bio and brief synopses of both Deadly Reunion, my latest hardback, and Dead Before Morning, my latest ebook. Another blogger wanted me to tell her readers about how I set about making my various video book trailers. I did it The Hard Way, I thought! The first one was made from a basis of total ignorance. Boy, this marketing mallarkey is a very steep learning curve. I’ve also collected up the links to various reviews, to my youtube video book trailers, to amazon and, of course, my blog and website. I’m still working on some posts. But when I’ve finished, I’ll put up a list of all my Blog Tour gigs and you can follow me through the Tour if you wish. You’ll probably be asked to provide a few prizes. I think the most usual is that, at the end of the Blog Tour, a drawing is made of all of those people who have made a comment during your Tour. It’s up to you to check on each of the blog sites for the comments and to note down the details of each so you can make the draw.

What else have I done? I’ve made a video interview of myself, using the webcam on the computer, with my poor husband acting as the interviewer. Here’s the link if you want to take a look and have a laugh at our pretty inept efforts. This was about our fifth attempt, so you can imagine how poor the earlier efforts were. It was originally done for The Lit Chick Show, a video blog that hosts author interviews. But I’m going to do it again for the show and hope that both of us manage to project ourselves a bit better! Practise! Practise! Practise! The interview’s not due to air until the 25 February, so we’ve got time to apply a bit of polish. You could do something similar and put it up on youtube, then at least you’ll have something ready for your Blog Tour when you organise it. You can try to get radio interviews; local radio is generally pretty willing to host you and local newspapers might well feature you if you contact them.
I’ve explained before, in a previous post, that you’ll have to provide your own marketing materials, like bookmarks, flyers and postcards, as it’s unlikely that your publisher will do it. I’ve just altered the design of my bookmarks, but I’ve had a hell of a job lining up the two sides of the bookmarks. It’s been very wasteful of my white card and my computer inks, not to mention my time. But fingers crossed, they’re lined up now. My next printing will tell. Oh for the money to be able to pay someone else to make the blasted things! Hey, maybe next week, I’ll have time to do some actual book writing!
Now. To market! To market!