Category Archives: Mystery inspired by history series

Two extremely positive ways to launch a novel

Hi folks

Since launching my new mystery novel ‘MISSING Past and Present’ on line on 28th February I have enjoyed two events:

  1. Celebration of the Book Launch in Kinghorn Station Gallery on Sunday 15th March and
  2. A Coffee Pot Book Shop Blog Tour organised by the capable Mary Ann Yarde.

DSCN6388[1]Little did I know that, as my friend and distinguished author Hamish Brown said on the phone after the event,

“We will fondly remember your book launch, Diana, as the last social gathering in Kinghorn and Burntisland before the lock down.”

Once my novel had been released on line I worked towards the book launch, ever watchful of events on the other side of the world in China; creeping relentlessly across Europe towards the UK. Should I shouldn’t I go ahead as planned? I asked for advice and most folks said, ‘yes, go for it,’ only a couple rang and explained why they sadly decided they should not attend.

All who attended were greeted with a glass of Prosecco and nibbles, in separate little glass dishes if they wished, but I also made everyone,  about thirty in all sign in with contact details, telephone or email.

Invitation to launchcopy-page-001It was a wonderful social gathering. A blether was enjoyed and time sped by. I said a few words half way through and sold a good few books, but that wasn’t the main aim of the event. I spoke of the collective creativity of the folks in the area from writers, to Douglas and Lynette Gray who had kindly loaned my their lovely art gallery for the afternoon, to a friend Ulrika who had knitted the beautiful Shetland cardigan I was wearing to mark the occasion. We also had musician’s among us and gardeners too, with many from Kinghorn in Bloom represented, but also my friend Ann who works so hard organising areas of the Foodbank where I volunteer.

It was certainly a celebration of my achievement too, with friends and neighbours. There was a fantastic buzz and it was difficult to send the last few home at 5 pm!

It was the next day, in fact, that we knew a shut down was imminent. I have kept in touch with everyone to check all are OK, and thankfully they are. I have no regrets. Happy memories!

Three weeks followed to acclimatize to the new norm in our everyday lives and then was time for the blog tour. At first I found it hard to build enthusiasm, with so much gloom and doom in the world, but the event had been carefully planned and organised by since the end of 2019 and as Mary Ann pointed out,’

‘Diana, we have a livelihood to think about too!’

I’m so glad it went ahead. It was such a positive event, or series of events over the course of five days, which was a distracting time from our everyday lives but above all it was fun. I met several bloggers, hundreds of authors and readers who were prepared to reblog or retweet and the five days built another, very different, feel good factor around my launch. An on line way of achieving what my celebration at Kinghorn Gallery had done a few weeks before.

coffee pot book blog

The tour was varied, so much that only later, on reflection, I realised the full scope of the posts:

The whole week certainly caused a buzz on Twitter and Facebook. Great fun and I can’t thank Mary Ann Yarde enough!

Thinking back over these two events fills me with Joy and I would like to thank everyone involved, took part or attended in person.

Keep safe and well everyone!





Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Blogs, Book reading, Book reviews, Events, Fife, MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series, Research

Announcing ~ MISSING Past and Present Coffee Pot Blog Tour

Many many thanks to Mary Anne Yarde for organsing:



MISSING Past and Present by Diana Jackson

(Links to the actual blog posts will be updated here each day next week)

MONDAY 6th APRIL 2020 ~ Derek Birks presents a book review on                       

TUESDAY 7th APRIL 2020 ~ Beatrice Rivers hosts a book and bio post on

                    and Diana Rubino where you will read an account of my research and planning on

WEDNESDAY 8th APRIL 2020 ~ Mary Ann Bernal where you will find out facts about me that very few people know!

THURSDAY 9th APRIL 2020 ~ Mercedes Rochelle hosts extracts ~ the Prologue and first chapter on

Also on THURSDAY Mary Morgan hosts an author interview ~ a background to my writing and other thoughts

FRIDAY 9th APRIL 2020 ~ Emma Lombard hosts a spotlight ~ an extract of Millie’s story set back in 18th century:

Many thanks to all of the authors who are participating. I am looking forward to the tour!


Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Blogs, Book reading, Book reviews, Events, Marketing your novel, MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series, Social Media Networking

Review of Organising a book launch

What on earth is an on line book launch:

This is what I wrote last Thursday, a day before my on line book launch:

“I’ve wracked my brains as to what to do for a launch day for my new novel. I’ve read posts of advice until I’m on overload.

What other folks say:

Some folks swear by quizzes, giveaways and rafflecopters. One day I will maybe get around to find out what rafflecopters are and how they work but, you see, I’m a bit long in the tooth for all of these new ideas.

A Steep Learning Curve to get ready:

You need photos for on line promotions but often you have  a PDF instead:

  • I think I’ve grasped such things as how to change a PDF into a JPEG and visa versa (There’s PDF2JPEG which is great. They even plant trees. Are they virtual ones? I dare not ask.)

You need to be able to convert manuscripts from word to various ebook versions:

  • Calibre is a library I wonder how I lived without all those years. You can download it for free and you seem to be able to convert anything to anything. (WORD to e pub or to Mobi, even PDF back to WORD)

You need links to your books:

  • Recently I’ve been introduced to Universal Links ~ great things which magically give you a link to any amazon page in the world. Mind boggling really! (I was pointed to Booklinker by a helpful author) They even update themselves if Amazon changes anything.

You need reviews:

  • Then there are ARC’s ~ now, I knew these were preview books, but thought they were for those huge publishing companies to send out to hundreds of readers ~ plop, they land on the door mat in time to give those hundreds of book reviews as soon as the book is launched. Isn’t that right? When I was asked for one, an ARC that is, I googled it and found a site called Booksprout. Where do they get these names from? Well, lo and behold I can put my book on the site for a few days pre publication for a few readers to download for free and give an honest but free review. So I did! I have not had a look to see what has happened as yet but I’ll let you know. No time…

You need an elevator pitch:

  • A very new expression for me stopped me in my tracks. I was asked for ‘An Elevator Pitch’ Do you remember the episode in Only Fools and Horses when Del and Rodney were caught in the lift? That’s what popped into my mind. Here’s what good old Google says: ‘An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does. You can also use them to create interest in a project, idea, or product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride of 20 to 30 seconds, hence the name.’ …so now you know too. Now I’ve written one I’ll pop it on Facebook and Twitter occasionally.

You need publicity:

It’s OK to publicize yourself but to find others to help you is even better.

  • I have several bloggers I know on line and follow so initially I contacted them
  • There are lots of options on FIVERR for publicity on Facebook and Twitter
  • I was recommended and she has done a tremendous amount of work to orgnise a blog tour for me in April.

This is a lot of fun but it requires a great deal of time though, answering questions for interviews, writing guest posts including ‘five things you don’t know about me’ and extracting bits of my new book. It’s good to have all of the above to hand before you are asked for them.

Prepare a newsletter:

There’s many articles on line about the need for having an email list. I suggest googling it. For newsletters I use Mailchimp. It has a fairly easy interface to use. Getting a list of subscribers is another matter, but there’s lots of advice on line too.

A Giveaway Story maybe:

I’ve used Smashwords to launch a free short story to offer to new subscribers. We’ll see how it goes.

What did I do on the day?

This was my plan. I kept it manageable and fairly low key because I felt it important to be on Twitter and Facebook in real time to respond to folks who kindly made comments or RT (retweeted.)

  • I’ll be on line on Twitter and Facebook between 7.30am and 8.30 am to announce the day! (as long as my alarm goes off) I’ll attempt to use my first ever GIF or maybe two. I’ll let you look that up. Emoticons are old hat now apparently!
  • I’ll send an announcement to my subscribers to my newsletter on Mailchimp
  • I’ll be back on line for various frivolities between 12 and 1pm GMT when I’ll have a little quiz for a signed paperback and an ebook too (on Twitter and Facebook)
  • At 3 pm I’ll explain how folks can download my free story (if they sign up for my newsletter that is!)
  • At 4 pm I’ll be having tea and cake to celebrate with hubby (I’ll post a photo of it and you can post one back. That would be great. You could join me in a virtual tea party!)
  • At 6pm I’ll be in The Crown in Kinghorn celebrating with the usual Friday crowd of friends!

How did it go?

Firstly, it was manageable and I had a wonderful response on Twitter and a gentle number of comments and likes on Facebook. I enjoyed the day and felt positive at the end, even though it is six years since the launch of my last novel. MURDER, Now and Then

I’m not sure if all of my posts got through to people on Fcebook. I’m not sure how it works now but maybe I should have scheduled an event like I did six years ago.

I felt quite a buzz nevertheless, especially on Twitter.

What do you think?

Have you other ideas to share?


MISSING Past and Present was launched on Friday 28th february on line.

My second ‘Mystery Inspired by History’

Available on Amazon

It can be ordered from bookshops in the UK from the end of March 2020


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Filed under Author Diana Jackson, Book reviews, Events, Marketing your novel, MISSING Past and Present, Mystery inspired by history series