The quiet launch of TROTMH

The Stirling readingWell, The Return of the Mullet Hunter is out.

It’s an odd feeling, launching a book on Kindle. You just press a button, and it’s there.

Well, you press quite a few buttons, faff around with various technicalities,  wait a while and then it’s there. And not just “there”, but there in different Amazon sites across the world.

No launch event. No razzmatazz. Just quietness.

It’s a far cry from February 2010, when my first book was launched. I had a traditional publisher, there was an event, to which around fifty people (mostly, but pleasingly not entirely, friends and family) turned up, and at which loads of books were sold, and it was a hugely enjoyable, if emotionally exhausing, experience.

What followed were a series of interviews, book readings around the country (including the one on the right), and lots of interaction with real people which made it a really lively, human process.

It was also a physical process: that first book was in paper first, then ebook, and so there were opportunities to physically give people copies, sign their copies, and get them to sign mine.

20131202-042038 pm.jpgThat was a fun thing to do: people would think it odd, when they handed me their book and a pen at an event, that I would do likewise with my increasingly scrawled copy (left). I did that because I always felt the relationship between writer and reader should be an equitable partnership and therefore never really “got” the idea of the signature only going one way.

I loved doing it, because I can now look at my battered paperback and see the signatures and messages of people I’d met over those first months of the book’s life. Many are illegible and corresponding faces forgotten, but it’s lovely to see the messages of support and good wishes.

With this second book, however, things are different on both counts: no events, and no physical copies (at least not for now). When I uploaded the book yesterday to Amazon I sat there at my desk, staring at my computer screen, wondering what to do next.

The silence in the room was strange. But it was also compelling and empowering – a silence that I would need to fill myself with my actions. And to be honest, I didn’t really wonder what to do next. I knew fine well what to do: tell people about it. And that’s what I’m trying to do as much as possible this week, in a targeted way – emailing people, digging up old contacts, telling friends, and getting the word out to those who would be interested to hear.

One of the things I did, for instance, was post a tweet, and I was very glad for all the retweets and responses it got.

I’m also grateful for friends and contacts who have helped to spread the word by writing reviews (I’ve seen a couple of lovely ones already, such as here or directly on Amazon) and posting links online to the book.

I may not be signing their copies, and indeed they’ll be glad I’m not carving my initials into their Kindles or other devices.

But interaction online or offline about the new book is proving to be a lovely process, and the feedback and kind messages have been most welcome. It is a great equivalent to the human interaction I enjoyed around the first book, and with any luck it will continue for a while yet.

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