Blog Archives

Where to buy ‘Mental’; the importance of positive reviews


‘Mental’ has been out for over a month now. So far, the reception has been very positive and sales have been good. I even got my first royalties! (Miniscule, but still.)

Here’s where you can buy the book online:

As for bricks and mortar, the book is on sale in The Book Centre, Waterford, and will be in stock as of next week in The Book Centre shops in Wexford and Kilkenny, and Barker and Jones in Naas (all in Ireland – I’m working my way towards book stores abroad.)

If you have read the book and enjoyed it, I would be delighted if you would post a review of it on Amazon. Your review can be as short as you like – one sentence is perfectly acceptable.

There are already some lovely reviews, like this one:

Screenshot 2017-05-09 11.16.32

Have a look at the full list of reviews so far and do consider writing one yourself. The book needs to reach ten reviews in order to qualify for inclusion in Amazon’s “Also bought” listings, as well as the “You might like” recommendations. Being included in these promotions gains the book more exposure and, hopefully, more sales.

Positive Amazon reviews are valuable to writers also because they help the book move higher up in Amazon’s rankings. And this creates – yes you guessed it – more exposure and more sales.

Tumbleweed, crickets and other launch day terrors


Back in the heady days of early 2017, when March 24th was months away, I had no nerves at all about my launch day. I was breezily looking forward to a nice relaxed evening, chatting to friends and family, in a place that I love.

Now that launch day is the day after tomorrow, all breeziness is gone and I am a bundle of fears and self-doubt. The following thoughts are on an ever-repeating reel in my head:

  • What if only a handful of people turn up? (Cue images of tumbleweed rolling through and the sound of crickets in the background.)
  • What if a reasonable number of people turn up but hardly anyone buys the book? (Cue image of stacks of unsold books on the floor of my bedroom forever more.)
  • What if lots of people buy the book but hate it and demand their money back? (Image: me crying while handing back bank notes to an angry mob.)
  • What if online trolls get wind of the book and flame me on Twitter to the degree that I have to quit social media and become a hermit?

I’ll stop there before the fantasies get even more ludicrous. I’m sure Twitter trolls have better things to be doing with their time than picking on a virtually unknown self-published author. Right?!

To switch back to positive mode, a window display for ‘Mental’ and a poster advertising the launch are currently in situ in the window of The Book Centre, Waterford, where the launch takes place on Friday evening.

To my surprise, I had to set up the display myself. My surprise was not that a self-published author would do their own window display (who else would do it?), but that The Book Centre were willing to let me loose on their window. I have zero experience of doing displays of any kind. Here is the result of my attempt:

mental book centre window display

‘Mental’ in the window of The Book Centre independent book store, Waterford, Ireland.

Lesson learned: window dressing is a lot more difficult than it looks. Kind friends have assured me that it looks ‘minimalist’ and fitting to the theme of the book (rather than ‘bare’ and ‘bland’ as I (still) suspect).

My next post will be a report on the launch itself. Fingers crossed for no tumbleweed or crickets.

What are you reading?


I love asking people that question, don’t you? The answer can sometimes give you a glimpse into someone’s inner world. Other times, it’s a glimpse into their everyday life. 

This week, I’m reading three books: Roald Dahl’s Collected Short Stories Vol. 2, Mia Gallagher’s Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (see my previous post) and Lucy Caldwell’s short story collection Multitudes


I would love to be able to claim that this shows what a wide, eclectic and voracious reader I am. Sadly, what it really means is that I have trouble focusing!

On the positive side, all three books are truly wonderful. I’ll be posting more about them in the near future.

Last week, I finished Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard, a thriller that held my attention from start to finish. 


I’ll post a review of that soon, too. 

Am I over-committing myself again?

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