I'm honored to host to a guest post today from McDroll, the pseudonym for Scottish crime fiction author Fiona Johnson. Take it away, McD!
After a long and painful week I finally managed to get to the podiatrist’s this morning. A searing pain suddenly exploded in my right foot last Thursday while shopping in Asda; there I was pushing my trolley around trying to decide between Lurpak and Asda own brand spreadable butter when this almighty pain suddenly shot through my foot from nowhere, leaving me with a comedy limp!
Well you can’t just abandon your shopping trolley in the middle of the supermarket and food is pretty much essential in my house and lots of it, constantly. The thought of running out of bread, milk, butter and ‘something nice to eat mum’ is quite terrifying and no amount of pain, even if my foot had been hanging on by one skinny tendon, would ever have made me consider abandonment of my duties.
‘OK, very interesting, but what are you on about?’ Well you see, you might have noticed, and frankly if you haven’t you’ve missed such a treat, that my two published collections of short stories are called KICK IT and KICK IT AGAINand have big pictures of boots on the front cover and here I am going on about my sore feet.
Am I a foot fetishist? No, don’t be silly, I just love boots, big muckle flat black Doc Martens and that’s what I wear everyday. So is there some connection between my KICK ITstories and me suddenly getting painful feet I started thinking to myself? Are the writing gods wreaking revenge on me for daring to stick my feet above the parapet and have the cheek to say I can write? Maybe it’s karma…
My next collection of crime/noir tales is going to have the catchy title KICK IT & RUN, maybe it should now be KICK IT & LIMP? The podiatrist said that all I need is a new pair of boots with a bit more support, YIPPEE! I need to go buy boots, as if I needed to be told twice!
How important is a catchy title for your novel or short story collection? My hunch is that it’s very important, perhaps even vital. There is such competition in the market and you, the writer, have to do something to get yourself noticed because at the end of the day, we all need people to read what we write. How does one get noticed? I think everybody would like to know that secret but I’m sure a creative title and great book cover are increasingly important.
As your potential customers scroll through the lists of books you need to make them stop at yours and maybe read the synopsis or a review, maybe then they might buy…but you are not out of the woods yet. If you are lucky enough to get a sale you then need the customer to come back to you again and again and that’s where a brand is so important.
People like to feel comfortable with a product and if you can get them to head your way once, then there is a much higher chance of a repeat visit, hence my internal debate over Lurpak and the Asda value range of butter in the supermarket. I DID chuck the Lurpak into the trolley. KICK ITis a title that can be kept and changed slightly each time I have a new collection published and McDroll is a name that is recognizable and easy to remember.
I’m going to keep putting pictures of muckle black boots on the cover…I’m not superstitious…really.
McDroll writes crime fiction with a strong hint of noir and a pinch of Scottish humour. Her blog is at imeanttoreadthat.blogspot.com.
McDroll lives in Argyll, Scotland.