Monday, 29 May 2017

The Launch

I very much enjoyed the launch of Taking Detective Stories Seriously last Wednesday evening. The Dorothy L. Sayers Society did a very good job of organising the event, and Hatchards in Piccadilly was an excellent venue. The turn-out was excellent, especially since there was another crime book launch nearby that same night. And I admit to being chuffed when one of the Hatchards folk recommended me to a book about the Sayers era - which proved to be The Golden Age of Murder...

A book of reviews that were written more than 80 years ago is never going to disturb Paula Hawkins and all the celebrity chefs on the bestseller lists, but this is a project that has been dear to my heart for years, and it's so good to see it come to fruition. And there was a "feelgood" atmosphere at the launch, which was gratifying.

Other writers sometimes ask me about whether it is worthwhile to hold a book launch. I often regale them with an anecdote from my early days as a published novelist. At that time, I was published by Transworld in paperback, and one day I travelled to London to have lunch with my editor to celebrate the appearance of my second book, Suspicious Minds.

But my editor was unwell, and in her place was her boss, a very pleasant guy called Tony Mott. In my enthusiastic way, I asked him what advice he would give to writers hoping to improve their sales. He simply said, "Just remember that book launches don't sell books. They may be fun, but in the overall scheme of things, they don't make much difference."

He was a smart guy, and I'm sure he was right. The real question, though, is whether a launch can be arranged which is a truly enjoyable event. If it's possible, as with Taking Detective Stories Seriously, then it's well worth doing. I've launched a couple of books at Gladstone's Library, for instance, and found that was a delightful experience. But as Tony Mott said, when it comes to marketing a book, a launch is not an end in itself. It's merly the beginning.,


4 comments:

Jonathan Maxfield said...

Hi Martin - I have read this book and as an avid reader & collector of Classical Crime Novels this book will be a great reference book for anyone with similar interests. I hope at some point in the future that someone (people) can get together and find out and published other crime fiction reviews (I don't mind helping out). I have written a review of the book and it is now showing on Amazon. I really appreciate your enthusiasm & championing of Classical Crime which for decades was left entirely to a few devoted fans but which has now become fashionable/mainstream reading material.

J said...

U.S. Amazon is listing this title new for $64.50! I do hope Book Depository will get it in stock soon...

Martin Edwards said...

Jonathan, great to hear from you and thanks very much. Greatly appreciated, and do keep in touch.

Martin Edwards said...

J, I anticipate that buying direct from the DLS Society is a lot cheaper!