Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Guest: Seumas Gallacher

Today I kick off an occasional series of posts written by fellow writers.

Who better to launch this new venture than friend

Seumas Gallacher

Seumas and I share three things in common: We are both long-term Ex-Pats, we both write thrillers, and we both wear skirts! But enough said about that! Without further ado, I leave you in the capable hands of Seumas:

…throwing a spammer in the works…(or, letting it all hang out there…) 

My pal and fellow scribbler, Eric Gates, him what’s let me loose on his virtual space without so much as an Interpol disclaimer or an Alsatian dog-handler present, has asked me to give some insight into life as an author in the Middle East, given that many of *us/we/us (*delete whichever you can’t grammatically handle) professional expatriate souls ply our trade in similar far-flung foreign fiefdoms (try saying that six times swiftly with a dram or three aboard.) Specifically what, if any, restrictive impact there may be creating a marketing presence for our books.

Let’s bear in mind the motto ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’. This applies to every part of our lives when we choose to live in someone else’s country (we are still guests, after all), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to understand that any material which would prove offensive in local terms should be avoided. Here in Abu Dhabi I presented each of my two crime thrillers to the National Media Council for pre-approval prior to publication. I found the process simple enough, and was pleasantly surprised by the courtesy and professionalism I met. Suffice to say that one small bedroom scene (three tiny paragraphs) had to be removed, altering my story line not one iota.

Then I was set to go.

What next then for the swashbuckling author-y pioneer?

I decided to invest a modest financial outlay as part of my business campaign of creating reader interest, in pretty much the same way that any of us might do in Weymouth, Peebles, or Swansea. I hired a hotel banquet area to formally launch my masterpieces (both at once---get me, Mama!) and invited anybody daft enough to accept my free wine, beer and finger foods. (Amazing how that little word ‘free’ does help). Having local magazine columnists at the ‘freebie’ was a given, and Hey Presto! print inches appear, bedecked with pictures of my kilted frame (Braveheart, eat your heart out!)

Next on the agenda was bugging the ears off the local large book distributors to carry the tomes (which I’ve had printed myself), letting them know that these two have attracted an aggregate of 40,000+ downloads on Kindle in the last year. Clincher! They smell money. They’re now smelling my books on their shelves. The first lot was delivered to them yesterday, courtesy of Master Gallacher’s Delivery Haulage Service. So, fingers and all other digits and pieces crossed, they’ll haunt the local best-seller charts in sharp course.

Short summary of all of the above is quite simple for me…if you wanna see your books out there, get yourself out there, do talks, guest speaking engagements, signings, push, push, push. It’s no longer appropriate for authors merely to write, If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

Seumas' crime thriller novels:

UPDATE: Seumas has been named 'BLOGGER OF THE YEAR' - this is his first step to World Domination, of that I'm sure. Soon we will all have to wear skirts; not sure if I've got the legs for it! He's also published a collection of his fantastic blog posts, humourous and entertaining even if you are not a Blogger:

When Seumas isn't writing great thrillers, he can also be found here:

See you next time.  Click for Interpol Disclaimer

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