Thursday, July 26, 2007

SCARROW vs JK ROWLING

Isn't it typical?

My big break-out novel LAST LIGHT... a thriller touching on a HUGE issue that affects everyone - an issue that literally is right round the corner from us...came out in the same bleedin' fortnight as Harry Potter. Not just any Potter book of course, but the last one, the one everyone will want to buy.

You go into any book shop now, and you'll find atleast 25% of the table space that would otherwise have been devoted to new books coming out, filled with Potter books. And of course, my book, the one that I had hoped would be the Big Issue novel of the summer, the one that would stimulate debate in every living room across the country, will quietly vanish to the anonymity of A-Z in bookstores around the country.

*sigh*

Sadly in this business you only really get one bite at the cherry; a window of about 12-16 weeks where the book gets a chance to sit up front in the store on one of those center tables and hopefully grab the attention of browsing customers with a wonderfully eye-catching cover.

Well, that window was lost to Harry Potter. Marvelous.

I never stood a chance.

Well, I'm not a quitter. LAST LIGHT will come out in paperback next year. I'm hoping it won't coincide with the paperback release of HP7...I really am. But, sheeesh, let's think positive. It won't coincide. And LAST LIGHT will have a chance - on those center tables - to attract the attention of tens of thousands of customers casually grazing for a summer read.

And then of course, whilst I may not have a marketing campaign, there's always word of mouth. I stumbled upon this page of reviews for LL the other day. None of these people are my mum. None of them my best mate. None of them are me reviewing under a pseudonym. These reviews have come from total strangers who picked the book up because something in the cover attracted their gaze.

Here....take a look for yourself: Waterstones Page

There's hope yet. Word-of-mouth....it really is the lifeblood of unknown authors. Without people prepared to take the time and stick a few words of review up on the net, newbie authors like me would be wholly screwed.

13 comments:

knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

AndyC said...

Now that is what i call a set of glowing reviews!

All along we've been telling you it's bloody good you going to believe us now...hehe :-D

There is always hope that LL will be the sleeper hit of the summer! as not everyone will buy HP7, and those will buy LL (we hope).

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I hope your next book will be REVENGE of the LAST LIGHT and will hit number one because Harry Potter is officially asleep and because it deserves it. :D

What a great blog!!! I'm pleased to have run into you.

JJ

Alex Scarrow said...

Hi Nature nut,

thanks for those words of encouragement. Yup...I fancy my chances against HP. Pffft...no competition.

Doriz Jeltzin said...

Ha ha, ironic. You still got a shot in the undergroundmarked.

Jon Baines said...

I picked your book up because the cover looked good lol, and im glad i did because it was a brilliant read. Im just sad that ive finished it now, only brought it wednesday night.

Whilst i was reading it i kept thinking 'this would make a brilliant movie' not one of those over hyped american types ala Da Vinci Code, but would make a brilliant Independent British Movie.

Anyway i jabbering on lol, ive recommended this to as many of my friends that bother to read, unfortunatly there aren't a whole lot of 18 year olds that read which is a sad state of affairs to be honest it seems that people think its cool to be illiterate and ignorant when it comes to reading But thats for another day lol.

Thanks for writing such a wonderful book on such a possible subject.

Alex Scarrow said...

Hi Jon

thanks for your very kind words. If you can reccomend Last Light to 2 people who actually...ahem...read, then that'll help me.

At the moment I'm getting naff all marketing, so I'm begging everybody who's read the book and enjoyed it to spread the word.

Word-of-mouth is literally all I have.

Jon Baines said...

Well two people ive recommended it to have brought it already so its worked :D

The whole HP thing is getting on my nerves abit, i did buy it and it was a cracking read but when you look at various book charts (especially Waterstones)the various versions of the one book appear 4 times. Sick of seeing it lol.

Thanks for your reply btw :)

Alex Scarrow said...

Not at all Jon, your support is what'll keep me going, keep the trickle of income coming in.

One day, hopefully, I'll be up there with the bigger names, and humbly thanking the likes of you, Jon Baines.

best

AL

jasonomahony said...

Just finished A Thousand Suns, and have bought Last Light on the back of it.

You'll be delighted to know that I'm one of those annoying bastards who buys copies of books he enjoys for his friends, so you'll flog a few in Dublin.

Am always surprised what little marketing goes into books. Given the topic of Last Light, surprised you haven't got a teensy ad in The Daily Telegraph!

Still, can't do your ego any harm that there is now a little band of us who will now keep an eye open for "the new Alex Scarrow novel".

All the best.

Alex Scarrow said...

Thanks Jason,

Stuff it...who needs marketing anyway.

Glad you enjoyed SUNS. This next book hopefully will give you the heebie-jeebies.

best

Alex

scotthm said...

hi Alex
Just bought and read Last Light. Have to say ...great book - didn't put it down until I had finished, something I haven't done with a book for a while - and I buy a lot of books!
A very topical read, a real progress on the BBC docu-drama 'when the lights go out' with just the right amount of conspiracy theory and political intrigue.
As for your final sentiments in your authors notes, that,s just good old fashioned post Warsaw Pact "waiting for it to happen" syndrome that any of us who were raised during the end of the Cold-War have experienced.
Keep up the good work
Scott.

Alex Scarrow said...

Hi Scott,

thanks for your kind words...and for giving an unknown author a read! It's bleedin' hard breaking into this business these days, swamped as we are with sodding footballer biographies and celebrities having a go at writing their own novels. *sigh*