Saturday, 24 March 2012

Guest blog - Convictions, Heartbreaker and the power of ‘free’

Time for a guest post here at More News From Nowhere. Long-time readers will know Julie Morrigan well, not least from her interview here a little while back. She's been having great success with both short stories and novels, and hit an amazing run when she made her first novel, Convictions, free for a little while on Amazon. Not only did it do incredibly well while the offer was on, that continued when it went back to its usual price, and it's still doing very well now. 

As of today, Julie's making her second novel, Heartbreaker, free for just this weekend. But I'll let her tell you about that.

Over to you, Julie.

You’d think the last way an author would go about boosting sales would be to give their books away. And yet, that’s exactly what I did with my debut novel Convictions three weeks ago.

The book went from barely noticed to bestseller within days. (And when I say ‘bestseller’, that’s after it stopped being free.)

If I’d known all I had to do to get a book into the top 100 on Amazon UK and to keep it there for a couple of weeks was give away several thousand copies, I’d have done it months ago!

Still, I catch on quickly, and so I’m trying it again. This weekend it’s novel number two, Heartbreaker, that is free.

Unlike Convictions, it’s not a straight crime novel. This one’s about music. Loud, blues-based rock, to be precise, and it tells the tale of fictional band Heartbreaker all the way from the 60s to the present day. The deaths are tragic, the riffs are magic, and the party rolls on despite the drama, secrets and lies.

As much as I’m fond of Convictions and its characters (and I really am), it’s probably fair to say that the Heartbreaker crew are closer to my heart. Even the band name (and book title) is driven by two of my favourite bands: both Led Zeppelin and Free have songs titled Heartbreaker. And the story gives me the chance to drop various little references and snippets in there for other people to spot and hopefully enjoy.

Don’t think that if you aren’t a devoted music fan that you won’t ‘get’ it, though. At its heart, the book is about people: who they are, what makes them tick, and how they react when the chips are down.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what some other people have to say.

‘Julie Morrigan’s book explores probably the deepest desire of all music fans: spending time with your idol and getting to be their friends. It also explores the price to pay for fame and how prejudices and a touch of jealousy can twist even those you love the most. Morrigan’s writing is fluent, filled with twists and humanity.’ — Alessia Matteoli, AAA Music

'With Heartbreaker, Morrigan has taken a completely fictional band and brought them to life more realistically than many actual rock biographies I've read managed to do. Her obvious knowledge and love of rock and blues is infused throughout the book, adding little details, references and layers of realism that makes Heartbreaker a pleasure to read on several levels. You not only get a great story, you get a mini history of classic rock along the way. Heartbreaker is the best new band I've discovered in a while ... and a hell of a book.' Book reviewer Elizabeth A. White

'Morrigan has taken a myth, a myth that applies to many rock bands, and made it her own. In her tight structured prose, her razor dialogue, her observed humour and her strong evocation of what the price of fame is, she has written a story full of human drama. The title fits the novel perfectly. I cannot recommend this highly enough.' Richard Godwin, author of Apostle Rising and Mr Glamour

Heartbreaker is free on Amazon (UK | US) all weekend. If you grab a copy, thanks, and I hope you enjoy it. Let’s see if we can make this one a bestseller, too!

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