Philip Whiteley's Blog

August 19, 2015

Eyes on the prize(s)

Filed under: Uncategorized — felipewh @ 1:13 pm

In my editorial consultancy work, I sometimes advise clients that: ‘A successful book is a marketing project with a printed product attached.’ Usually, the context is business publishing, but of course the same applies to fiction, as I’ve learned in my first four months as a published novelist, after the launch of Close of Play.

It’s easy for authors to bemoan the time spent on self-promotion, when we’d rather be penning the new opus, but it’s more realistic to just get on with it. No one can buy a product they haven’t heard of. So here’s another self-promoting blog. Well, I’m a writer, I can do it.

We’ve just reached a little milestone: the 20th Amazon review within four months of publishing. All have been of four or five stars – and no, I don’t know all the people, maybe three or four of them!

Sometimes I refer to ‘we’ with regards to Close of Play because publishing it has been a collaborative effort. The most notable contribution is obviously that of Matthew Smith, my publisher at Urbane, but the support from many family and friends, fellow authors at Urbane Publications, other writers in my local group in Ampthill Bedfordshire, combine to make it feel like a team effort.

Writing can be a lonely job – just you and the screen, some days – so to join together and feel part of a bigger enterprise has been uplifting. I’ve read a few of the other Urbane titles and found them utterly compelling reads. One of us will become a best-seller, before long…

One of the most rewarding features of much of the feedback and reviews so far has been when people said that they laughed out loud/snorted through their tea. I thought some of the comic touches would work well but you can never be sure until it reaches an audience. Close of Play is deliberately a light and easy read, while hopefully a thoughtful one, but it is the result of many years of learning, crafting, editing and rewriting.

Some of my favourite comments from the many reviews include:

“I was surprised to enjoy the gentle rhythm and pace as I usually read fast paced, violent Swedish murders or psychological thrillers. I really enjoyed the light touches of humour underlying and running through it all. Can’t recommend it highly enough for an award.”

“There is a warmth and humour in the writing so often missing from life as Brian finds himself trying to work out Elizabeth’s intentions as well as his own. Brian made me smile and frequently laugh aloud.”

The marketing project is starting to produce results. It’s a process of building discoverability and profile, that we’re all busy doing at Urbane. So, if you’ve loved a book, take out five minutes to write a review. To review Close of Play, click here for the Amazon link. Click on this link for GoodReads.

In other developments…

  • There’s still time to vote for Close of Play in the People’s Book Prize, Summer Showcase 2015. Link is here: http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1282
  • I had a successful book-signing session at Waterstones Bedford on Saturday 1st August.
  • Close of Play has also been entered in to the Romantic Comedy of the Year award at the Romantic Novelists Association awards for 2015.
  • Serious discussions have begun with regards to producing a screenplay for adaptation of Close of Play for British TV. I hope for a positive update in September.
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