Thank goodness bookshops are back! After months of the pandemic, when there were zero bookshop sales, now bookshops are open though not entirely back to normal. My paperback sales are rising again with the sniff of future royalties in the wind. Although people were ordering online, both paperbacks and ebooks, and some authors made a big bonanza, my sales for the last four months reflect the downturn. My third title, Oblivion’s Ghost, launched online on 29 May, suffered because I had to cancel my proposed book tour and as my sales have always broadly been two or three paperbacks to each ebook sold, overall sales are down. Some good news on the bookshop front however is that a brand new bookshop has opened in my small town of Broughty Ferry! I wish The Bookhouse and all involved well and thanks for stocking my books too!
During the crisis, newspaper book reviewers have been working from home and this has caused me difficulties. Copies sent to feature editors have disappeared and in one case, repeat copies sent after phone calls never made it to a reviewer, although Oblivion’s Ghost has now been reviewed in the excellent Courier’s feature ‘Scottish Book of the Week’ and reviewed in brief in the Scots Magazine, Independence Magazine and the Scots Independent. I’m pleased to say, the review are very positive. Author interviews have also appeared in the Courier with another scheduled to appear in the Press & Journal soon. No response from Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, Herald, Sunday Herald or the National. I had high hopes of the Irish Times but their reviewer seem to have decided not to review it after his initial willingness to look at it. I’ve been pleased to get some high ratings on Amazon and strong reviews by readers. If you’ve read and enjoyed the books, a review on Amazon or Goodreads really helps!
Modern Dundee is Book of the Week in today’s Courier, with a 9/10 review. Here’s some comments from it: “…pays tribute to generations of Dundonians and their restless spirit… perfect Christmas gift… unique insight into the changing faces of Dundee from the 1940s, an unparalleled account of how the people of Dundee have come to define the city’s culture and heritage over the past few generations… remarkable images and written accounts… a real interactive adventure into Dundee’s recent history.” https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Dundee-Andrew-Murray-Scott/dp/1780916000
Looking forward to this year’s Book Week Scotland programme, funded by Book Trust Scotland. I will be attending other writers’ events but also speaking at two of my own. My events this year will feature the Willie Morton thriller series that I write as Andrew Scott. I’ll be at Coldside Community Library, 150 Strathmartine Road, Dundee, on Wednesday 20th November at 2pm. Then Banff Library, High Street, Banff, on Thursday 21st November at 7pm. I’ll be reading extracts from the first two titles in the series, Deadly Secrecy and Scotched Nation. https://andrewmurrayscott.scot/home/novels/And discussing the pitfalls and pains of creating a contemporary thriller series set mainly in locations around Scotland. I hope to field some interesting questions from the audience and get a good blether going! Blether is the theme of this year’s BWS programme. It’s great that we have this annual celebration of books, reading and writing just at the start of the winter. There is nothing more pleasurable than staying in and enjoying a good book! My events are free but ticketed. Tickets and more information about the Banff event can be obtained from Live Life Aberdeenshire website / Events… Tickets for the Dundee event can be obtained from Eventbrite Andrew Scott – the Willie Morton series. The full BWS programme: https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cH-YSvj6eE Video 2: Scotched Nation. I created these brief videos as publicity tools to explain, as concisely as possible, the purpose and scope of my new series of political thriller fiction. The Willie Morton mystery thriller series, rooted in Edinburgh, is set around some of the most wonderful landscapes that Scotland has to offer, in many locations that are off the beaten track. An early comment on the visual quality of the writing, by (strangely enough) a Scottish publisher interested in publishing the first book, referred to the immersive nature of the writing. I decided against accepting their offer, preferring to retain, for the moment, my artistic independence, in order to establish the series. I believe the books would make excellent films as they have three of the essential ingredients: strong conflict embedded in compelling narratives about an emerging Scotland, wonderfully scenic locations for action sequences and topical themes as relevant and urgent as today’s headlines. And all of this within the structure of an ongoing fiction series involving a cast of believable characters and a quite flawed but likeable protagonist, struggling freelance journalist, Willie Morton.
October is the busiest month! At least for me. I have two new books out. Firstly, Scotched Nation, the second Willie Morton political conspiracy thriller, which is now on general release after a month of pre-orders. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scotched-Nation-Willie-Morton-mystery/dp/0993384056Thanks to those who pre-ordered. It is now available in paperback and on Kindle and an audiobook is in preparation. Secondly, the fourth edition of my local bestseller, Modern Dundee: Life in the city since World War Two, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Dundee-Andrew-Murray-Scott/dp/1780916000is now available in paperback. This popular social history is fully revised and has approximately fifty new photographs and additional material bringing the story bang up to date. It is the perfect Christmas present for Scots here and abroad with a Dundee connection. Details and more information on the relevant page here and quick links to buy direct are also included on ‘Buy Andrew’s books’ home page. Thanks for your interest!
This two minute video gives a brief insight into the concept behind my new political thriller series and the first title, Deadly Secrecy and forthcoming second title, Scotched Nation, due out in October. I’d welcome invites to give talks, including brief readings from the novels, at groups, bookgroups, branches, libraries and Yes hubs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-lp-KBXQzM&feature=youtu.be
Here’s a random selection of images from my book signing tour of bookshops in the north-east. It was a lot of fun and the weather was great. I signed copies in every store and met some real book enthusiasts. I hope to get invited to several book festivals in the area in the future and would like to thank all the bookshop staff who helped to make it such a pleasant experience. It wasn’t a sellout but I took a cardboard box of books and came back with just ten books. On the other hand, my wife and I also bought a lot of books!
As many authors and publishers would admit, it’s more difficult to get magazines and newspapers to review your books. Space is so limited these days and there are so many books out there. But you try not to think of that and send your book off for review, and of course try to get online reviews too.
But Deadly Secrecy has been lucky so far, we’ve had some great reviews and mentions in the press. The book has even been mentioned in The Times and read by the Daily Record‘s political editor who found it entertaining. This is a summary of the reviews so far:
‘Comprehensive and satisfying… from the opening pages I was immediately drawn into the intriguing plotline… a complex, multi-layered novel that demands the reader’s undivided attention… riveting… tension-filled from start to finish… very impressive’ – Dundee Courier
‘Loosely-based on the Willie McRae killing, a fast-moving novel… keeps you involved right to the end… a very good read’ – Scots Independent
‘This former press officer’s debut mystery, set in Scotland, is a page-turner’ – Evening Telegraph
‘Scott cleverly weave this politically-charged story together through journalist Willie Morton’s journey across Scotland’ – Scottish Field
‘Real page-turner… keeps up the tension throughout’ – Lesley Riddoch
‘Entertaining conspiracy fiction with the Brits as the baddies’ – David Clegg, Political Editor, Daily Record
‘a pacy read and an enjoyable story… the tension is maintained’ – Retired Reader, Amazon.co.uk
‘real page-turner and kept me engrossed throughout… very evocative. I really recommend it’ – Busy Bookworm, Waterstones.com