John Grisham (as if you didn't know) is a hugely successful writer. The first book he wrote (the second to be published) was A Time to Kill, which I consider his best work and a spectacularly good novel by any standards. So I was interested when I saw him writing this:
"When A Time to Kill was published 20 years ago, I soon learned the painful lesson that selling books was far more difficult than writing them. I bought a thousand copies and had trouble giving them away. I hauled them in the trunk of my car and peddled them at libraries, garden clubs, grocery stores, coffee shops and a handful of bookstores."
People keep asking me how The White Rajah is selling and I always feel embarrassed that it's hardly setting the world on fire. It sells slowly but steadily and sales seem to be going up rather than down but it's not about to hit the best seller lists any time soon. I'm probably not nearly aggressive enough in selling it. Yes, I have copies in my car but, being British, I don't get them out and make people buy them. And I've never asked a garden club or coffee shop to sell it. I think that's partly a cultural thing: I've never seen a coffee shop selling novels in the UK.
In the end, John Grisham is right. Selling is awful – and not nearly as much fun as working on the next novel. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know them.
I do write this and I hope that it generates interest. There still seem to be quite a lot of people reading this blog and if they all bought a copy, that would make a big difference. If you do think it looks interesting, could you buy it? Amazon will sell you a Kindle copy for £4.31, which is hardly going to break the bank. Look on it as your personal contribution to arts funding. Admittedly Amazon are now pricing the paperback at a slightly silly £9.10. I'm happy to sell it for the £7.99 most UK paperbacks seem to retail for but that does mean you have to get it from the back of my car. Amazon at least include postage and are probably a more convenient source.
What would make a big difference would be if a bunch of people bought it from Amazon at the same time, thus pushing it up the charts. If people would be interested in this, we could organise a 'Buy The White Rajah at 8.00pm tonight' party online and, briefly, become a best seller, which would be fun. If anyone would be interested in that idea, comment here to let me know.