What’s in a title?

Pride and prejudice coverWhat you call your book may be one of the most important decisions that an author will ever make. It will be the first thing that readers see on your book page, it will feature on your book cover and hold centre stage in all your advertising efforts. And yet you may never find out how successful or not your choice has been. Once your book is published then the title is what it is. It’s baked into the whole thing.

On the left you can see one of my favourite books, Pride and Prejudice. It’s a great title but it was originally going to be called ‘First Impressions‘. Would we love it so much if it had been called something else? Continue reading

The trouble with book covers…

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that the cover of The Body in the Boot has recently changed, not once but twice. This is why.

This is the original cover and it was one I quite liked. It’s the first book in the series and therefore I’m anxious to advertise it as much as possible on the grounds that if a reader likes it then they might read the other eight.

I told the designer that I wanted something that suggested film noir, those lovely old crime movies from the forties and fifties and I think he did a good job. So what’s the problem then? Well, Amazon have now made it easier for me to get my books featured on the Kindle lockscreen and it’s an advertising opportunity that I felt I couldn’t miss out on. Unfortunately Amazon also have a myriad of rules around what qualifies for a lockscreen ad and 3D lettering in the title is something that they don’t like for some reason. I have the original file but it’s a Photoshop file and, as I’m not proficient on Photoshop, I decided to try making another cover. Continue reading

Seven books now published – so what next?

Book coverTwo Dogs, the sixth Mac Maguire mystery, has just been published in Amazon Books. I’ve also written a book of ghost stories 13 Ghosts of Winter so that makes seven in all. So what’s next?

I started writing seriously just over three years ago as a response to my pain issues. I’d dabbled with writing before but had never been able to stick at it long enough to come up with anything decent. I found that my work as an Audience Analyst gave me some respite during the week as it took my mind off the pain. However I then needed something to do at the weekends and so I started writing. Since then I’ve averaged a book every six months or so. I’ve now got another book nearly completed, The Black Vaults Experiment, which is a paranormal thriller and something of a new departure for me. I’ve also started on Mac 7 as I call it and, although I’ve got four or five chapters written, I’ve no idea where the story is going as yet. I always find this quite exciting as it’s almost as if I’ve got to write the story first so I can see how it all ends. Continue reading

23 Cold Cases – How come my detective is in bed for most of my latest book?

Book coverThroughout most of my latest book 23 Cold Cases the main character, retired murder specialist Mac Maguire, spends virtually all of his time in bed. Why did I write a crime book with this in the plot and what were the challenges?

When I started writing the book I must admit that I had doubts about this plot line and considered scrapping it more than once. Why? Mostly because it was difficult to come up with a sustained story that would keep readers interested and wanting to turn the next page. There’s also the fact that I had to include the details of many crimes, quite a few in some detail, and at times I began to wonder if I’d have any plot lines left for future books!

So why did Mac Maguire have to be in bed? Continue reading