Today we're closing out the virtual tour for Charlie Cochrane and
Lessons For Sleeping Dogs
Cambridge Fellows # 12
When amateur sleuth Jonty Stewart comes home with a new case to investigate, his partner Orlando Coppersmith always feels his day has been made. Although, can there be anything to solve in the apparent mercy killing of a disabled man by a doctor who then kills himself, especially when everything takes place in a locked room?
But things are never straightforward where the Cambridge fellows are concerned, so when they discover that more than one person has a motive to kill the dead men—motives linked to another double death—their wits get stretched to the breaking point.
And when the case disinters long buried memories for Jonty, memories about a promise he made and hasn’t kept, their emotions get pulled apart as well. This time, Jonty and Orlando will have to separate fact from fiction—and truth from emotion—to get to the bottom of things.
Get the book:
Building Loyalty, by Charlie Cochrane
A while back, as part of my non-writing life, I attended a development day where one of the speakers discussed the steps in “Relationship Marketing” and the increasing loyalty as someone moves from being a prospective customer to a brand advocate. It struck me at the time that there was an obvious connection to authors and their readership.
The first rung on the ladder is the “likely future purchaser”. I guess authors probably regard everybody as a likely purchaser, although reality tells us that not every potential reader likes our genre or our style or our title. All we can do is get our works in front of as many people as possible, especially those who are more likely to give our stories a try, perhaps because they’ve bought similar things or maybe they hang out at blogs/groups where such books are discussed. I have to say, with my reader hat on, that I don’t like being relentlessly treated as a potential customer. I know there’s a viewpoint that says every interaction is a possible selling interaction, but when people friend me on social media just to sell to me, or friends send me e-mails directly asking me to buy their latest, I make a conscious decision not to!
The second step is when somebody buys one of your books for the first time. When I have my reader hat on, I find it really exciting to discover a new (at least, new to me) author whose works I can plough my way through. Recent joyous finds have included Christopher Fowler and Len Tyler. With my author hat, I have to ensure that a reader’s first encounter with my story is so good that (like me and the aforementioned boys) they keep coming back for more. I wish I could go back and rewrite some of my early stuff in the catalogue...
I’ve gone to the third step – repeat purchaser, or I guess you could include repeat library borrower – for plenty of authors and clearly plenty of my readers have done the same for me. It’s comfort, I suppose, that lovely sense of knowing you’ll be happy with whatever the author has written. Although, as a reader, I’ve occasionally find that I love one series by an author, yet find another of his or her series just so-so. I have a couple of mainstream cosy mystery authors in mind here but no names, no pack drill. Different setting for the stories, maybe, that just doesn’t work as well for me? That aspect of readers not always liking change makes it hard for authors, because we don’t want to just be typecast to a certain era or genre. We have to run the risk of spreading our wings. Which leads us to...
The fourth step, which is someone who’ll try new products. So, in this setting, readers might try one of my contemporaries if they’ve read my historicals, or vice versa. They might hate it, but at least they’re willing to take a punt. All an author can do is ensure the same quality of writing across all genres, eras, and styles. If the reader finds something hard edged instead of the humour they’re expecting, then at least they find well written hard edged stuff. And, clearly, making sure the blurb and excerpts accurately reflect the story as a whole is invaluable to a reader, because if the author is presenting a different type of story, readers need to know. Am I the only one to have been taken in by a blurb that bears no resemblance to the book?
At the top of the “relationship marketing” ladder there’s the brand champion, who tells everyone to buy your books. (Rather like I’ve was championing Messrs Fowler and Tyler earlier in the piece.) I know from experience what a great effect it can have on sales when a well respected author says, “Buy this person’s books. She’s good!” But it’s more than sales which are affected positively. It does wonders for a girl’s (or boy’s!) ego to come across those sorts of things.
About the author:
As Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for your choice of an a ebook from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Lessons for Sleeping Dogs.) Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 17, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your contact information so we can reach you if you win!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.