Actually, the reason I chose this title for the week’s blog is because my son and I spent a good hour and a half last night waiting for a breakdown man to arrive on the verge of a dual carriageway, in what felt like a wind spawned in the Siberian tundra. We were on our way to see an apparently excellent exponent of the blues, singer Kent DuChaine from Georgia at the Anchor pub in Sevenoaks. Tom, who is a much finer judge of great music than I am, and had already seen a Kent DuChaine gig, assured me I was in for a treat; we were eager and on time. I’d even brought along a copy of Roadrage (it’s set in Sevenoaks!) for Snakehips Sue, the dedicated organiser of the Blues with Bottle Club, who generally runs a raffle, to give away. All was going so well, that is until the engine on Tom’s little run-around suddenly died. We were fortunate that he could safely navigate the car over onto the hard-shoulder before we stopped moving forward altogether. So, if you were on the A21 last night and happened to see a young man and an older one wrapped-up together in a blanket whilst standing by the side of the A21 - that was us!
Actually, up until the breakdown, things had been going very well indeed this week: a Niedermayer & Hart countdown deal finished on Monday and I was extremely satisfied by the response to it; also Roadrage received an accolade - well, sort of, well, something along those lines! You see, it got onto a list. Let me explain, there are a number of things that are incredibly difficult for an indie/self-pub - writer to achieve:
1 It’s really hard to get people to believe that your book isn’t littered with typos and grammatical errors, and that it was thoroughly edited by a team of highly literate people.
2 It’s really hard to get people to believe that any nice things reviewers have written about your books weren’t all manipulated through multiple accounts organised and run by your Mum! Conversely, any negative review, no matter how badly it’s been written or how rotten the reviewer’s grammar is, or whether his/her spelling sucks, must be the damn truth!
3 Promotion is really hard - the big publishers actually pay stores like Waterstones to give prime positions to their latest titles. David and Goliath isn’t in it - it's impossible to compete! I’ve often wondered how they get starry reviewers to say all kinds of lovely things about a pretty mundane book. Ever read the blurb on a book’s cover and thought ‘This must be a cracker’, but fifty pages in you wonder if they attached the wrong cover to the pile of doo-doo you have in your hand? (Okay, rant over! )
Anyway, back to accolades, ah yes! In the words of Hamlet’s father’s ghost, “List, list, oh list!” This week Roadrage, as voted for by people on Twitter and Facebook, made it onto a W H Smith list entitled Underrated Crime Books. So - Hurrah! I say, and grateful thanks to W H Smith and especially grateful thanks to the kind souls who voted for Roadrage.
Incidentally, the list couldn’t have been better timed, because I had arranged weeks ago for a Kindle countdown promotion to begin over the forthcoming weekend on Amazon UK. From tomorrow morning, you can download a copy of Roadrage for just 99p, and I hope that as many people as possible will take advantage of this (US readers had the same opportunity on Amazon.com a few weeks back).
The Roadrage countdown offer starts 8 am Friday, 6 February and runs over the weekend until 8 am, Tuesday, 10 February before reverting to its normal price.
Here’s the link: Roadrage on Kindle countdown