Last week the dust jacket for my next book A SUITABLE HUSBAND, out this month, arrived and I find that I don't dislike it as much as I did. I'm still waiting to receive a sketch for the cover for A DISSEMBLER, due out in August. I have been promised that I will be allowed more input with this one. I sent several Victorian photographs of Great Bentley Green, a village two miles from where I live where the book is set, weeks ago so should get something any day. I will post it as soon as it arrives.
This week I have made six dozen sausage rolls, both vegetarian and normal, for my private book launch party on the 26th March. I am also going to bake 150 mini quiche - these were the most popular items on the buffet last time. This is the last private party I'm having; next time Caxton Bookshop is holding a signing and launch for me on the weekend of the Frinton Literary Festival. I won't sell as many books but it won't cost me anything.
This brings me on to the subject of promotion and PR. I have come to the conclusion, and I'm not alone in this, that readers are not really interested in who writes a book. I think that they select their reading purely on whether they like the content, have read a book by this author before, or the title has been recommended somewhere. It is the book that matters - write a good book and eventually people will hear about it and read it. What do you think? Are you interested in the writer or just their writing?
I know authors who do no promotion, publicity etc. at all and sell just as many books as those who spend days, and hundreds of pounds, contacting bookshops and newspapers. So from now on I am going to concentrate on writing, which is my life, and leave the books to get on with it.
I doubt if it will make any difference to my sales, but I will save a great deal of money and time.