Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Celebrity or Privacy

Having sold out in just one week in January, ordered 500 copies of CUT SHORT. I should be pleased... but you're getting to know me and my 'What if' questions. So despite all the great reviews this week (links on my earlier post) I started wondering... what happens if no one else buys it?
Then I read this lovely comment on my blog (
"In all honesty, even as a woman myself, I have never been a follower of women writing crime. They never seem to go for the jugular, and always hold back. That was until I heard crime writer Sam Millar praising the hell out of this debut novel, Cut Short. I immediately bought it on Amazon, and was delighted with it. Really great writing, and terrific story. Can’t wait until your new book hits the shelves."
I know some authors are only interested in sales of 1,000s, but I'm still genuinely thrilled when one person enjoys CUT SHORT. I don't think that will ever change.

Matt Lynn asks, should authors remain obscure. Just as there are celebrities who become writers so there are authors who gain celebrity status. Is this a good idea?

A book, like any other creative work, must stand on its own merits. What difference if Melville hunted whales, or Robert Louis Stevenson sailed the seas with pirates. It may be helpfull, but it’s not necessary to experience something before writing about it. I, for one, have never killed anyone.

In this modern world authors need to promote sales of books. This is particularly so when writing for a smaller, independent publisher. CUT SHORT has not benefitted from the 3for2 tables in bookstores, or had a place bought for it on the bestseller lists. It has not been promoted on amazon’s home page or reviewed in the national press. Nevertheless, it has somehow received many excellent reviews and, mainly through word of mouth recommendation, has been reprinted twice in six months. It has sold out repeatedly on amazon, most recently within a week of restocking.

CUT SHORT is out there, in the public domain where people can buy it, read it, and review it. I post links to reviews of CUT SHORT and blog and tweet every time it sells out. I blog about the vicissitudes of CUT SHORT, about the edits for ROAD CLOSED and the concept for DEAD END.

But my own life - dull and irrelevant as it is - my own life is private. And it's really not that interesting to anyone outside my family. (Members of my family are not to comment!)

Leigh Russell

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