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    • Hayley

      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
Michelle

Questions FROM the authors..

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:lol:  Brilliant :D

 

Okay then, can I ask:  is The Unquiet Grave a good place to start? :smile:

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I've only got 4 so far Karsa so take your pick. If you're on kindle, The Reaper and The Disciple are cheaper and are a pair but Deity and The Unquiet Grave have drawn the highest critical average on Amazon. Thanks for considering me. You won't regret it.

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I've read Deity, and it was fine as a stand-alone, but it left wanting to go back and read the 1st two (which I haven't yet!  :lurker: ).

 

Steven, do you know why the paperback of The Reaper is so expensive on amazon?

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Thanks, Steve, I've got The Unquiet Grave winging its way to my Kindle  :smile:

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Steven I shall buy all of your books..oops I already have! You know that means I require another one soon. Kidnap plot for Glasgow is on!@

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Seeing as I like to begin at the beginning, I'm going to download The Reaper to my kindle.  The series looks very interesting.

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I'm very flattered by all your kind comments but hand on heart I don't think you'll be disappointed whichever book you read of mine. I put a lot into them and I always try to link my plots to social reality so I can explore issues, however briefly. In Deity that issue is teenage suicide, something that stems from the disaffection and outright confusion that some young people feel about their lives.

 

The high cost of The Reaper paperback on Amazon, Michelle, represents the cost of printing one copy on demand. It's absurd I know. My first publisher, Harper Collins, did a large print run and the book was so successful that they ran out but their business model didn't allow for a reprint so when the sequel, The Disciple, came out the first book in the pair was out of print. Needless to say, Disciple, though critically acclaimed, did not do good business - how many new readers am I going to get for a sequel if the first book is unavailable? - and shortly after "Harper Collins left me under a cloud" as I like to say.

 

The daft thing is word of mouth keeps The Reaper selling, even at that price, and the kindle version is never far from the top 10,000 - not bad for a 5 year old debut novel. But having left HC, they're not minded to reprint. Hey ho.

Edited by SteveDunne

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The question I would like to ask is why don't more of you read non fiction ?

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The question I would like to ask is why don't more of you read non fiction ?

How many books have you had published, June, and are they all non-fiction?  If not, have you written any crime novels?

 

I read nine non-fiction last year and 13 the year before.  I've read two so far this year.  

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Maybe because this is in our crime and thriller month section? ;)

 

Sorry, I must learn to read a bit better - I thought it was a general question aimed at all authors - I usually just look at the subject header rather than the forum it is posted in !

 

In answer to your question though Janet - I have only written the one book, which is most definitely not crime fiction.   

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I'd like to ask readers what value they place on book covers? (Obviously crime and thriller covers in this case.) What draws you to pick up a book in a shop (if it's not by a favourite author)? Would you be put off buying a book because it has a hideous cover? Do you judge a book by its cover before you've even read a word - and by that, I mean do you size up if the book is your kind of thing before you read the blurb on the back?

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Thanks Alexi, Michelle and everyone buying or checking out my work. I'm confident you won't be disappointed but either way you can send comments and a review to www.stevendunne.co.uk I'll put up all feedback, positive or negative, if spoiler-free. :)

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I'd like to ask readers what value they place on book covers? (Obviously crime and thriller covers in this case.) What draws you to pick up a book in a shop (if it's not by a favourite author)? Would you be put off buying a book because it has a hideous cover? Do you judge a book by its cover before you've even read a word - and by that, I mean do you size up if the book is your kind of thing before you read the blurb on the back?

x

For me the cover is important. It's one of the things that first attracks me to a new book I haven't heard of before (if I'm in a shop or something..). If I like the look of the cover or I'm intruiged somehow (because something on the cover says this is a story you might like or it's something I've not seen before etc.) I'll read the synopsis on the back (I have a strong preference for smaller paperbacks so it'd have to be a paperback preferably).

 

The synopsis is even more important than the cover, it depends if it sounds like a book I'd like to read. Recommendations from people I know (such as the people on this forum) are also important, if I've heard good things of it anywhere. Lastly the price does play a part too.

 

At full-price I'm less likely to pick up a book that I don't know if I'll like. In that case I will generally read reviews first online to see if it sounds like a book for me, if I hadn't heard of it before I came across it. If the book has a good price or is on sale I'm more likely to buy it. That might sound silly perhaps :blush2:, but there are many genres and books I'm interested in. Crime and thrillers are not on the top of the list so I don't tend to buy them that often, since there are other genres I like more. I used to really like thrillers but not so much anymore, I have enough stress in real life that I don't want too much tension in my books, if that makes sense. I own quite a few thrillers, most of which were bought many years ago (most of which are Dutch-translated thrillers). More recently I got interested in crime again and started to buy more crime books (I had read some when I was a teenager but not since a while), some of which are written by Dutch authors and some of which are written by non-Dutch authors.

 

I hope this helps you in any way. I'm probably not really your target audience since I only read crime and thrillers now and then and mainly read other genres, but maybe it helps nonetheless a bit.

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Athena the covers are so important and as an author, although we don't have enormous control over what is suggested, after four novels, I'm beginning to get the hang of what's required. My third novel, DEITY, is about the vulnerability of teenagers and explores the ease with which a so-minded individual can push them towards self-harm or suicide. I quite liked the cover when shown to me, it was moody and mysterious, but I've since realised that it did not shout "Crime Thriller" at customers. With The Unquiet Grave, I was able to mention this and was rewarded with a cover that corrected that omission as well as intriguing the reader.

 

I know the blurb is important, though I personally don't read more than two lines. I am now in a position to write my own blurbs thankfully but at my previous publisher I didn't have that power. Having strived for a year or more to conjure up half a dozen seriously good shocks I found it galling to have three of them given away on the back cover. Probably why I don't read them. :)

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Sorry, I must learn to read a bit better - I thought it was a general question aimed at all authors - I usually just look at the subject header rather than the forum it is posted in !

 

In answer to your question though Janet - I have only written the one book, which is most definitely not crime fiction.   

I've just had a look at your book on Amazon.  :)  It looks interesting, although not something that I feel I would read.  Are you planning to write any more books?  :)

 

I'd like to ask readers what value they place on book covers? (Obviously crime and thriller covers in this case.) What draws you to pick up a book in a shop (if it's not by a favourite author)? Would you be put off buying a book because it has a hideous cover? Do you judge a book by its cover before you've even read a word - and by that, I mean do you size up if the book is your kind of thing before you read the blurb on the back?

I think covers are important.  I certainly wouldn't let a hideous cover put me off reading something - but I do gravitate to what I deem as attractive or interesting looking covers whist wandering through a book/charity shop, and pick them up in order to read the blurb and see what they're about.  Of course, an attractive cover doesn't always = a good book.

 

I don't particularly enjoy 'chick lit', so I tend not to pick up pastel/pink/lilac-coloured books that look like they might be that type of book - similarly I avoid those books that look like they might be 'misery memoirs'.   I guess I might miss out on some books this way, but I have no shortage of books to read, so it doesn't worry me!  :D

 

My reading mix is reasonably eclectic though - I don't read one genre of book to the exclusion of others. 

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I generally do not judge a book by its cover, even if I admit that a striking one can catch your attention. I read the blurb and try to read a page or two to judge if I would read the book in its full. Some styles do put me off and get left behind in the bookstore.

Once you caught my attention I will really buy all you have.

 

With John Connolly I bought all of his books within a year and have caught up with his work.

With Tana French I have bought her 4 novels while I am only halfway the first.

With Phillip Kerr I have found his later Gunther novels. the 1st three are hard to find.

 

These are 3 of the recent thriller/detective writers I found to my liking and am always looking for more.

 

John Irving, Donna Tartt, Preston & Child & Jo Nesbo are blind buys with each release

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The question I would like to ask is why don't more of you read non fiction ?

I find reading fiction so much more rewarding, it engages me in a different way than non fiction as I imagine being the characters, being in that situation and also I relish the use of language in good prose.  Personally I find it hard to concentrate on non fiction - I manage to read a few features in the newspaper once a week and that's it.  Finally there are so many novels out there I want to read - and so little time - so that's my priority.

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I'd like to ask readers what value they place on book covers? (Obviously crime and thriller covers in this case.) What draws you to pick up a book in a shop (if it's not by a favourite author)? Would you be put off buying a book because it has a hideous cover? Do you judge a book by its cover before you've even read a word - and by that, I mean do you size up if the book is your kind of thing before you read the blurb on the back?

 

I don't feel that the book covers influence me much any more, although they used to when I was younger.  If I have not heard of the author I am always persuaded or not by the blurb.

If I have read and liked another book by an author I am much more likely to just take a chance on it though. 

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I'd like to ask readers what value they place on book covers? (Obviously crime and thriller covers in this case.) What draws you to pick up a book in a shop (if it's not by a favourite author)? Would you be put off buying a book because it has a hideous cover? Do you judge a book by its cover before you've even read a word - and by that, I mean do you size up if the book is your kind of thing before you read the blurb on the back?

 

Being a (mostly solely, now) Kindle reader, covers aren't very important to me. However, if I'm in a bookstore, often a cover can catch my attention from a distance and I will pick up the book to read the blurb. If I like the blurb, then I would either buy the book, or make a note of it to read up about it more.

 

I don't think I would ever be put off buying a book due to a hideous cover....then again, I don't recall seeing too many hideous covers, though I generally don't like movie-tie-in covers.

 

 

Athena the covers are so important and as an author, although we don't have enormous control over what is suggested, after four novels, I'm beginning to get the hang of what's required.

 

I'm surprised to hear that you don't have much control over the cover. :o Surely it's a very important part of the whole package? I take it then, that it's down to the publishers to choose the cover. Is that because they feel they have a better idea about what catches a readers' eye?

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I don't think I would ever be put off buying a book due to a hideous cover....then again, I don't recall seeing too many hideous covers, though I generally don't like movie-tie-in covers.

Yes, that's a good point - I avoid those too where I can!  :)

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