Susan Grossey

Plank plans

Apologies for the radio silence: I have been away on holiday for a week.  But I do have plenty of updates for you.

Just before I went away, I placed my “author order” of fifty copies of “Portraits of Pretence” with CreateSpace.  I chose one of the slower delivery speeds, so they are probably on the back of giant turtle making its leisurely way across the sea as we speak, but they’re coming.  Fifty is a rather optimistic number, isn’t it?  I have pre-sold about twenty to various bookshops, and I have a few promotional ideas for a handful more, but the rest was perhaps rather reckless.  It’s always a funny, limbo period, between finalising the book and officially publishing it.

However, things are moving on elsewhere.  My lovely narrator Guy has already started work on the next instalment of AudioSam by completing the first chapter of “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”.  As I’ve been away I haven’t listened to it yet, but I will do that tomorrow.  We have been buoyed and encouraged by good reviews for the “Fatal Forgery” audiobook that have started appearing on Goodreads.

But perhaps the most important development is that I have made a big decision about “Plank 5”.  I am not going to write it next year – or, more accurately, I am not going to plan to publish it next year.  I always said that, once I had three books out there, I would have a good idea about whether the Sam Plank series would be a success.  And here I am, about to send the fourth one out, and it turns out that I don’t have a good idea at all.  People who read them love them, to be sure, but then not that many people read them.  It’s such a crowded marketplace now – poor old Sam is up against millions of other books.  So my plan is this: “Plank 5” will come out in October 2018.  This will give me more time to write it – or, more realistically, the same amount of time but stretched over a longer period, so that I’m not writing in every moment that I’m not working.  And the time that is freed up will be spent on marketing and promotion of the Sam Plank series.  I often have ideas of things I could do to promote them, but then I don’t have the time – and now I will.  Of course all of these deadlines and timetables are entirely made up by me, so if I get bored with promotion, I’ll start writing again.  And there is absolutely no need to worry that this is my gentle way of saying that “Plank 5” (and “Plank 6” and “Plank 7”) will not happen – I can promise that they will.  After all, I’ve got their plots all ready to go…



  1. Roy McCarthy Avatar
    Roy McCarthy

    I hope it’s Guy narrating Susan 🙂 Not sure my tone would do the job. Good plan to devote a bit of extra time to marketing though personally I avoid it (and reap the inevitable consequences).

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      Well, that was bound to happen at some point, wasn’t it! I have changed the blog post. I’m often called Sarah, so I do sympathise. But sorry anyway – it was only the names that I muddled, not the men!

  2. Nadine Avatar

    I am waiting for the book to come on Amazon, so I can send it off to my kids! Present for mom 😉 It’s a good idea to take some time to promote your book series. I’m guessing book publishing has a lot to do with luck. Meeting the right kind of person who can do a great promotion. Having a famous person read your book and rave about it. Because your books are definitely worth reading!

    1. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

      And the encouragement of friends does help enormously – keeps the spirits up! My husband says the same: all I need is that one stroke of luck, that one influential person to like and mention my books. I daresay David Cameron has a bit of time on his hands these days…!

  3. Graham Avatar

    Dear Susan

    Welcome back and I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

    That is a big decision on the Plank 5 publication timetable but I can certainly understand the thinking. I’m a big fan of getting the right work – life balance and I hope the new balance and timetable works well for you.

    I do agree that a little bit of luck is one of the things that makes a real difference. I may have said previously that some friends are in a band that has been going for around 15 years. Their music is excellent and they have had various rave reviews Unfortunately, it hasn’t translated into commercial success yet but they are still together as the main thing is that they enjoy the music. Hopefully a bit of luck will go their way one day, and I hope it will find the Plank series at the same time.

    Best wishes


  4. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    The holiday is actually what prompted the decision, Graham. For the past four years, I have worked full-time from September to July, and then used July and August to finish off a Sam Plank novel that has been bubbling along all year, taking up every weekend. This means that I get no time off, and I’m just very tired! I don’t want the Plank work to start feeling like a chore, so I thought a little break might work. Of course, I might get very bored indeed and start again, but it’s good to feel that I have a little breathing room. And if I can use that time to let my mind wander around marketing possibilities, so much the better.
    Best wishes from Susan

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