Friday, 6 November 2020
Help me please (& what happened at the launch)
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I need your help. And you need a laugh. So here's the video of the online book launch for Blackwatertown. https://youtu.be/B48me-0EgKg Paul Lewis from BBC Radio 4 Money Box is in it. So is Alabama 1950s crooner Don McDermott (you can buy his album here). Before you watch it, can you help me? It's not about money. But you can boost my sales and chances of another book deal by reviewing Blackwatertown. It's really easy.
The best place is to review it on Amazon - the British site is here and the US version is here. You don't need to have bought Blackwatertown via Amazon to leave a rating or a review. A review is best. Ten words saying that you liked it. Or even better, why you liked it. That will encourage other potential readers to consider it, and increase the chances of Amazon's algorithms suggesting it to users of the website. Even if you hate Amazon, it will really help me.
But there are alternatives - or you can do all of these. If you use Goodreads, you can leave a review for Blackwatertown here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54148358-blackwatertown
And there's a new alternative to Amazon called Bookshop (which gives better terms to independent bookshops) in the UK https://uk.bookshop.org/a/2583/9781783529254
Perhaps you're a Waterstones fan? If so, you can review Blackwatertown on the Waterstones site here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/blackwatertown/paul-waters/9781783529254
A short review is free to leave. No purchase is necessary. And it will help me a lot. Thank you very much in advance.
And thanks also to the bookshops that supported the online launch for Blackwatertown. They are excellent places to get your Christmas presents.
If you're in Northern Ireland, No Alibis on Botanic Avenue in Belfast.
If you in the Republic of Ireland, Alan Hanna's in Dublin.
In Scotland, there's the Ullapool Bookshop.
There's the Marlow Bookshop in England.
And The Bookshop San Pedro in Marbella in Spain - from where Alicia pops up in the launch video.
The live launch had some glitches. If you want to know more about that, here's an explanation. If not skip to the end for a link to a new art website which I think is cool.
Here's what happened technically with the online launch. I used Be Live to host the launch, which sits on top of Facebook. Be Live has some good features, including a split screen with up to four people on screen at once. It meant Paul Lewis of BBC Radio Money box could interview me with us both on screen. I could also bring in Alabama '50s crooner (in keeping with the era of Blackwatertown) Don McDermott (he was v good). And I could bring in Alicia from her bookshop in Spain. (The other shops were shy.) All that worked - pretty much.
But... some parts did not. We had a false start because Be Live started me and Paul Lewis on parallel live streams. That took a few minutes to sort out.
More seriously, the advance link for non-Facebook users developed problems. First of all, it became available only a week in advance. Not really a problem. A week is plenty of time. Then, days before the date, the advance link only became available 20 minutes before the live event. That was a problem - but I just had to live with it. All was set up to let potential non-Facebook viewers know at the last moment. But... you can probably guess this bit... then the non-Facebook link was almost useless, linking only to the Be Live site generically, rather than to my particular event. Disaster! So if you tried the link and got nowhere sensible - not your fault.
The larger explanation, according to Be Live, is that Facebook is changing how it works to retain as much action as it can in-house and squeeze out other operators trying to ride on their coat tails. Which means... it's all Mark Zuckerberg's fault and I'm innocent.
FINAL PARAGRAPH: Thanks for reading this update. Don't worry if you skipped the technical bit above. Please review Blackwatertown on Amazon or elsewhere. And for fun, check out this new art website - We Are All Artists - at https://colganart.blogspot.com/
PS - Looking forward to reading your reviews!