Well, the other day I promised to let you know how it went when I appeared (is that what you do when it’s audio only?) on our local radio station, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. As we self-published authors know, the trickiest part of the whole process (well, the second trickiest, after writing the blooming thing) is getting publicity. If you are lucky enough to go the traditional publishing route, you have the heft of a publishing company behind you: they can tout your book to shops, highlight it in their catalogue, shoehorn it into a “three-for-two” offer, feature you on their website, and countless other things. But if it’s just you, well, it’s just you, and you have to fight hard for every scrap of attention.
I am fortunate in that I have been able to manufacture several “hooks” for my novel – in other words, there are several reasons why people might be interested. There is the subject itself – financial crime, police, capital punishment, etc. Then there is the location – I’ve been able to get quite a bit of media interest in Gibraltar because “Fatal Forgery” is in part set there, and not many books are. There is the cross-over with my day job: by day, anti-money laundering crimefighter; by night, writer of historical financial crime fiction. And – hence the interest of the local Beeb – I am already a weekly columnist in our local newspaper, so we have the “columnist finally writes something of a decent length” angle. I feel sure that I am not unique in being able to see these hooks – every writer must be able to do this too. I can also recommend getting friends and family involved – they might be better at spotting links than you are, as they have a bit more objectivity about your book.
So, how did the radio piece go? I can report that it was great fun, and I was only sorry that it didn’t last longer, as it is such a treat to talk about my book. I simply sat in front of a giant microphone and chatted to the radio host – no headphones, no scary silences, just a really friendly talk. She very kindly mentioned the title of the book about a dozen times, and I managed to name the two local bookshops that are selling it, so we shall see if there is a stampede of dedicated listeners and readers. If you’re curious about how it actually sounds, you can listen to it for the next six days via this link (my bit is scattered between the music and weather from 17:40 to 37:25, although the whole show is three hours long): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01fxc0m I just hope I don’t hear from Rod Stewart’s lawyers…