Monday 27 July 2009

Cut Short in Cambridge

Cut Short in the window of Heffers in Cambridge. It looks very small. Can you see it?
Every year Heffers in Cambridge run an event called Bodies in the Bookshop where they invite crime writers to display their books. I was on the debut table with a group of intelligent, serious authors who all had vast piles of impressive looking hardbacks. They were talking about New York and Harrogate, their contacts and reviews, their international travel and their huge advances . . . And then there was me with my inexpensive little paperback, squeezed onto a corner of the table . . .
Many of the visitors were dealers who, I discovered, turn their noses up at paperbacks. Talk about judging a book by its cover! My low point came when a dealer upset a glass of wine over my folder. Not only did he not apologise, he didn't even buy a copy of my book. (I know, it is only a paperback.)
On a positive note, almost all of my books were bought, not by dealers but by ordinary readers who just wanted to read it - my kind of buyer. If anyone who came to Bodies in the Bookshop is reading this blog: I hope you enjoy reading Cut Short as much as I enjoyed meeting you.

And if you haven't yet managed to read Cut Short, it's in stock again on amazon. (Did I tell you that amazon sold out, resulting in Cut Short plummeting down the sales ratings - no books = zero sales. It went from 2 to 83 in one category in less than a day!)

Sunday 19 July 2009

Cut Short goes to Istanbul

I received this photo of someone reading Cut Short in Istanbul.
I haven't been posting much lately. In case you think that's due to laziness, here's a peek at my coming week.
Saturday - Book signing in Waterstones Bath
Sunday - Visit to Waitrose after offer to stock Cut Short in 3 stores
Monday - Day off for husband's birthday! (I'll be working on Book 2 )
Tuesday - Bodies in the Bookshop event Heffers, Cambridge
Wednesday - Talking to local NWR group
Thursday - Talking to local writers' circle
Friday - Meeting local journalist to discuss blog
Saturday - Book signing in Waterstones Harrow

Not to mention the posts I'm writing for two local papers and the Curzon Group, and an article I've written for a book trade journal.
Did I say I was working on Book 2? I think there might be some description of Geraldine Steel feeling knackered! Should be a convincing description... very believable...
Just when I'm beginning to wonder why I'm working so hard, I see a picture of Cut Short in a country I've never even visited. I'm not sure why, but I'm very excited about that.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Blogs and more blogs

I'm busy blogging these days. But still here.
Please leave a comment on my other blogs.
I'd love to hear from you there as well.

2.40 on BBC Radio Somerset today !!!

Sunday 12 July 2009

Blogs and twitter

I am now on twitter.I've done it! Not leighrussell1 or any of my other misguided attempts to arrive on the scene - just Leigh Russell (might be leighrussell) - and I know what my password is! (Yes, observant readers, there's a little subtext there...) But I will continue blogging here as well. I have too many blog friends to abandon this blog now. (and I still can't figure out how twitter actually works. I put my comments on and . . . then what?)

Signed at Borders in Cambridge yesterday. We sold out (as usually seems to happen) by lunch time and spent a lovely afternoon by the river. It was a brilliant day. I've really enjoyed meeting the staff at all the bookshops so far. They are so friendly and helpful wherever we go.

I am posting regularly on the Curzon Group blog every Thursday and hope lots of you will visit and comment there. And did I tell you I've also been invited to blog regularly on my local paper's website?

Tuesday 7 July 2009

I wonder where my book is going?

It is a real coincidence that a fellow blogger sent me this great photo because I am also ON THE MOVE! Read on....
Every THURSDAY I will be posting on the Curzon Group blog, starting tomorrow. Please come and visit me there or I'll miss you all. I haven't abandoned this blog. I'll be back here the rest of the week. Please check my previous post for links to reviews in the press.

Monday 6 July 2009

reviews & sales

Proof that I'm out and about signing books. These were taken in Borders and Waterstones. I have also signed in WH Smith's, but we forgot to take the camera there - will post a snap in Smiths soon as I have plenty more signings coming up in branches of all these chains, as well as in several independent bookshops.
Here are links to the two reviews Cut Short has had so far in the press:
'an excellent debut' - Mark Campbell, Crime Time
'a surefire hit - a taut, slick, easy to read thriller' - Melanie Dakin, Watford Observer
I'm also thrilled that a blogger has posted a brilliant review on amazon!
'gripping, fast paced psychological thriller... I loved it'.
Thank you as well to those of you who've emailed me for a virtual signature.
In the meantime, Cut Short continues to plummet down the amazon sales ratings so please, if you haven't bought a copy yet, but intend doing so, order it on amazon asap and email me for a virtual signature. If you're already reading it and like what you see - tell all your friends!
On a more serious note, I'd love to come and talk to reading groups and hear your feedback while I'm working on Book 2. After listening to comments from a reading group I talked to, I've already revised one idea (concerning a certain detective sergeant who had disappeared from Book 2 but has now reappeared...)

Friday 3 July 2009

promotion promotion promotion

I gave my very first author talk today. It was nerve wracking in anticipation but actually enjoyable in reality. The reading group were very complimentary and also offered me some useful suggestions.

I'm off on book signings this weekend:
Saturday 4th July Borders in Watford from 10.30
Sunday 5th July Waterstones in Hatfield Galleria from around 12.30
Borders in Watford have ordered in 60 copies of Cut Short, so no pressure there! I didn't dare ask how many Waterstones in Hatfield have ordered. The reality of all this is beginning to sink in - book promotion is hard work! I'm looking forward to Monday when I can sit down at my computer and think about my second Geraldine Steel book, Road Closed. I just hope I'm not too tired to think coherently. I'll let you know.

Thursday 2 July 2009

networking - we're all at it

This evening I met a lovely group of ladies I discovered through a website promoting local enterprise. I'm not exactly a businesswoman (couldn't be less of one I'm afraid!) but they insisted their new network is for people involved in the arts as well as commercial activities.
That's two networks I've become involved with in two days: The Curzon Group and the local ladies. It's official. I'm networking.

Tomorrow I will be giving my first proper author talk and I'm very excited. Yesterday I read my notes aloud to check if I was going to fill my hour slot. I finished in about five minutes . . . since when I've not had time to work on my talk at all. I've got some ideas, that's all. So if anyone reading this is coming along to my first talk (Pinner Library 1.15pm) please ask me lots of questions! Easy ones if you don't mind. And you may add some flattery. (I wish)

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Curzon Group

WATFORD 4th July Borders from 10.30
HATFIELD 5th July Waterstones Galleria from 2 (probably earlier)

Today I decided to accept an invitation to join the Curzon Group, a group of British crime writers who want to orchestrate a renaissance of British crime fiction. It's an exciting movement, which kicks off with a tour of English airports this summer. I'm thrilled to be on board. The only downside is that they all have far more prominent profiles than me. I appreciate that is really an advantage, but my review in the local paper - which is very cool - doesn't look quite so impressive next to their reviews in the national press. I feel like a gauche country cousin. I have to say they were all really lovely people and said nothing to make me feel this way.

I'm just feeling a little dejected. My sales rating on amazon has gone down from 5,100 to over 50,000 and although lots of people (well, a few) have emailed me fantastic comments about Cut Short, no one has written a review on amazon (hint!). The only one is the one I put on there myself, from the Watford Observer.

Do I sound grumpy today?