The Best Thing About a New Book

It’s a good feeling to publish a new book.

People in shops want to know about it, readers want to ask where to buy it, fans want to know how to get a signed copy, and all over the place there are happy faces.

First Signing of the Day Waterstone's Roman Gate!

First Signing of the Day Waterstone’s Roman Gate!

There are few people happier than the author – but there are some. No, I don’t mean the family and friends. It’s the people who suddenly discover that they’re on the dedication page.

I know many authors who always sign their books to their wife or husband, and that’s nice. George MacDonald Fraser did so with every book, I think. But personally, I like to mention other people. Friends, colleagues, people who have helped me along the way.

The odd thing is, many of those who really appreciate it are the ones I’d least expect to. After all, I’m guilty of inflicting 32 published titles on the reading public now, so I’m quite used to the idea of dedicating them. But authors and professionals can be as touched as anyone else when it comes to learning a book’s dedicated to them.

Some years ago I had a hardened agent almost in tears when she realised I’d made the latest book for her. I was astonished by the reaction of a good friend, a writer and historian, when he received his surprise copy of the book dedicated to him. It was the first book dedicated to him. My great friend Quintin Jardine was delightfully tongue-tied when I gave him his book.

But for other people there’s a curious bafflement, I think. They tend to be touched when they receive a book with their names inside, but it’s a strange sort of celebration of friendship. Most people have a hug, rather than declaring friendship in a book.

Last week I gave a copy of Templar’s Acre to its dedicatees, and I am glad to say they were very happy. One of their children was heard to loudly proclaim, “We’re famous!” when she saw her name inside the book.

In the last week or two, I’ve been to signings, I’ve spoken to journalists, given interviews, and generally done everything that an author should to help promote his book. It’s been manic, but rewarding.

But for me, I think that the very best part of launching Templar’s Acre was the reaction of my friends when they saw their names inside the cover of the book.

Thanks, Rowlipops!

The new book cover - nice one, Simon & Schuster!

The new book cover – nice one, Simon & Schuster!

One Response to “The Best Thing About a New Book”
  1. Tonya Mathis says:

    Can’t wait to get my copy! I have all of your books, including the Medieval Murders.


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