After answering a tweet in the autumn of 2009, I agreed to assist Graham Storrs’ virtual book tour (blog tour), on the release of his new book “TimeSplash”. At that time I also asked for two interviews with Graham; one to cover his feelings and findings before the start of the tour, and the second one after the tour to ask how, for him, the tour went.
As is the nature of things, we quickly realised that a single after-the-event interview, could not do justice to what was occurring during the tour. So we chatted together after each event, whilst the tour was running, and this has resulted in a post of seven and a half thousand words.
This is now too big, so to help the weary reader I have serialised it over a few days. I hope you keep coming back to see what Graham did next.
Today we join Graham as his tour draws to a close. (Click here for yesterday’s post.)
At the next stop, you are back to the Lyrical press blog and you are talking about easing up on the marketing gas for TimeSplash and allow your head to dive more into the new book. Now writers are not normally marketers, if we were then we would be out there marketing, earning a generous living and not be huddled in darkened rooms, bent double over our keyboards. So it’s not surprising that at the end of weeks and weeks of continuous promotion, that an author can catch a dose of tail end fatigue. Especially if there is another wondrous world clamouring for our undivided attention, one that has no boring marketing requirement at present. Can you tell us a bit about how you perceived the drag of the last days of the tour, and about the discipline to maintain a working promotion?
I’m glad I booked all the dates and made firm commitments to the hosts, otherwise I think I might have been tempted to say, “That’s enough. We’re all tired of hearing from me now.” After the tour, I shall definitely give it a rest for a while. I won’t refuse any opportunity to promote the book, and I’ll probably still seek them out – especially in places where I’ve had no exposure yet – but I think one or two pieces about myself and my book each week for almost ten weeks has exhausted everyone’s interest in both subjects.
In the penultimate post, An agent would be nice or a therapist on Kerry Schafer’s blog, you consider the pro’s and cons of eBooks and the key functions that an agent performs for an author. In the final point you mention “I’m all caught up in the craziness of book promotion and have little head-space for anything else”, so looking back, if you could change anything with the promotion of TimeSplash what would it be?
I would have started earlier – long before the book was released – not with a blog tour (that would still happen and I still think I timed it right) but with a bombardment of press releases and review requests. It’s something I expected the publisher to do, but what they did was quite ineffective. I shouldn’t have been so relaxed about it happening. I should have done it myself.
And do you regret not publishing a printed version?
Yes, and for this single reason; today, it is just not possible to get the publicity you need for a successful book if you only publish electronic editions. That is my only regret. I might even consider publishing my next novel ebook-only – the publishing world is changing dramatically all the time – but I would need guarantees about effective publicity before doing so. The mechanisms and infrastructure that exist to promote paper books do not yet exist for ebooks. They will, and fairly soon, but, until they do, I will be very wary about electronic-only publishing.
I was a bit surprised that during your tour nearly all of the hosts posted on the scheduled day. This is something that other authors have quietly moaned about to me, citing sites that forget or post at the “wrong” time. You seemed free from all that and even had the odd impromptu host added to the tour as it went along. Did you have the jitters each day, watching the internet and getting ready to tweet as each deadline arrived? Or did you just throw another rib on the Barbie and enjoy the Australian sunshine?
I kept track of what was coming up and sent out gentle reminders but, really, just about everyone was very good and professional about it. I did watch carefully for the post to appear – mainly because I wanted to grab the URL and start promoting it as soon as possible. What with time zone differences and such, it was a little bit fraught, but I think if someone is kind enough to host you, you should at least tell everyone to go and read it as soon as it comes out.
And the final host site on the tour was Sonya Clark’s blog of the same name. In that post you revealed your true feelings towards your heroine Sandra, which did explain the fit of that borrowed Jumpsuit. Will she or elements of Sandra be coming back in a new novel?
A reviewer recently criticised me for making Sandra so beautiful, saying it was some kind of salacious self-gratification on my part. He was so far off the mark! I’ve written a number of stories that feature unusually attractive women. The psychological impact of physical beauty is something that fascinates me. Attractive people do better in life, they are more often promoted, they get better salaries, they have more friends, and so on. So many books and films feature beautiful women with whom the hero is instantly smitten and for whom he will risk everything – although we are given no other clue as to her worth as a human being. I suspect that, at the extreme end of the scale, breathtakingly beautiful women must actually suffer this effect as a burden and become quite bitter and cynical about the world – especially about the shallowness of men. In Sandra, I wanted to create a character whose life really is blighted by her physical beauty. Although she is an amazingly strong, intelligent and good person, that isn’t at all what the men around her see. Even the hero, Jay, is guilty of it to some extent. I worked quite hard on crafting Sandra to try to bring out these issues, so it is quite upsetting when reviewers just don’t get it. They say we are a generation that has only learned to read shallowly. Perhaps it is true. Or perhaps writers of thrillers shouldn’t try to write too deeply!
Thank you Graham for spending the time with us to discuss the TimeSplash Blog Tour. And I would just like to personally thank you for letting me help you with tour, I have helped a little and learned far more than I expected. It has been one of those win-win situations that rarely occur in everyday life.
Thanks, Andy. As I’ve said before, your help has been invaluable. It’s been great to have you as a companion on this little adventure
Not continued tomorrow, because Andy and Graham are writing.
TimeSplash Virtual Book Tour (Blog Tour)
This interview is part of the virtual book tour running from 16th of February to the 5th of May. To find out more about the book, characters, Graham, publication and inside information about writing the story, go to the virtual book tour schedule page at “TimeSplash – The Blog Tour 2010″
About Graham Storrs
Graham Storrs is someone who thinks a lot about the future. It’s a place we’re all going, whether we like it or not, a place where we, our children and their children will have to deal with changes we can barely imagine. Some of us can’t wait to get there, to see what it’s like, and how we will cope. That’s why Graham writes science fiction – he wants to know what happens next in this amazing story we’re all living.
After a career in research and software design, Graham has turned his gaze firmly to the far horizons and now lives and writes on a remote mountain-top in rural Australia. Surrounded by gum forests and wild animals, he relies on his wife, Christine, and their Airedale terrier, Bertie, to keep him anchored in the present.
Released: February 15, 2010 · Lyrical Press Inc.
Purchase: TimeSplash can be bought as an eBook direct from the publisher, by clicking on “Buy now”.
e-Book: All six popular formats supplied with each purchase
Price: US $ 5.50,