You can judge a book by its cover
There's very little more exciting for a writer, than holding the first printed copy of a new book. You've spent getting on for a year, sitting at the keyboard, shaping and crafting prose into a form that you hope will engage readers for 300 hundred pages or so. Then you go over the first draft, chopping out chunks, adding new bits and generally honing it. Next, you give it to an editor, and hope they won't want to change it too much. (I'm lucky as my better half was a sub-editor on The Daily Telegraph for 25 years.) We discuss changes and improvements, which I might or might not agree with. After all it is my book. Then you pass it on to a Beta Reader, a trusted friend who will be honest and also find mistakes that we've missed.
A friend, another journalist, pointed out, when you write 80,000+ words, you wouldn't be human if you missed some errors. (He also said: What I thought was amazin’ was the punctuation of conversation. Never seen so many apostrophes, and all spot on.)
Next, it goes to the printer, who sets it out then sends you a draft copy which you go over yet again, making a note of changes which need to be made before the final print run.
Once the words are sorted out, getting the cover right is the next task, and probably the most important for sales in bookshops and online. As a designer, I like to try out ideas for the cover, as shown above. I thought mine were quite good but, I realise my limitations, I am not a book cover designer. Luckily, I have a neighbour, with many years experience in graphics, working on magazines. Plus, he is an avid reader and I trust his judgement. He has been happy to produce the covers for all three of my books. And when he showed me the cover he'd come up with for BLOOD ON THE STRAND I couldn't have been happier. Although he had only read the synopsis his image captured the atmosphere of the book perfectly.
So, the book is written and edited, the cover is designed and finally it's printed. But does it stop there? No, of course it doesn't. Now comes the hard graft of publicity and promotion: social media, forums, public appearances, talks, book launches etc etc. You have to be proactive and engage in as many different ways to get readers to buy your baby - there's a mountain of competition out there. Hence, this blogpost which may, or may not result in a sale or two. So over to you, dear reader.