It’s two years since I published TITO’S DEAD, my first novel. I didn’t know what to expect and yes, if I had it all to do again, I’d do it different. The good thing I can draw from its relatively dismal sales is, it’s still out there to be discovered.

Blogger Napoleon Nalcot reminded me of this when he sent me this wonderful comment, having read this post, Words of Mouth, which I wrote about two years ago. Anyway, Napoleon’s simple message told me everything about why I write. This is what he wrote, I guess Tito’s not dead. Because he lives in every word of the story you’re telling. I’m very grateful, Napoleon, for those words. I write because I want people to read.

So, here it is, unexpurgated.I think it’s my third or fourth WordPress blog. If you enjoy my writing, believe me, you’ll enjoy Tito’s Dead, where you can buy it for a knock down price that’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee or, you can order it in paperback, for a price that befits its ‘rare’ status.



My eternal thanks to those who took the time and bother to buy TITO’S DEAD. It appears Irish readers are among the last of the Literary Luddites, who appear to believe language is communicated through paper, rather than words, hence, an apparent reluctance to grasp the notion of reading a book on their phones.
Undeterred, though, I am a firm believer in TITO’S DEAD. It is, and not just in my estimation, a well written and exciting crime thriller.
The intention I had, in publishing it myself, was, apart from my own resolute stubbornness and lifelong desire for independence, a combination of disillusion and disbelief in the priorities of conventional publishing. It’s cheap, too, or rather, low cost.

What they don’t tell you about are the hidden costs, particularly marketing. Now I’ve never been a ‘joiner’, so I’ve an innate reluctance to parade my wares through the countless promotional social sites and blogs and twits. So that’s been a disadvantage.
I’ve no axe to grind, no bone to pick and no song to sing. I’ve only got my words and the stories they tell. I’ll go on telling them.
I got my first ‘royalty’ from Amazon, recently. It wasn’t, by any stretch, an impressive sum and it will never defray my costs. But it did afford me some measure of recognition, at least for the path I’ve chosen.
By day, I work as a waiter. All the time, I’m a writer. I was a journalist for more than twenty years. Sadly, my creative writing activities have not warranted much support from my former colleagues – with the sole exception of my old mate, Mark Kavanagh, deputy editor of the Irish Daily Star.
I’ve started writing a new book and I’m feeling good about it.
Tito’s Dead deals with a world where the roots of every motive are underpinned by others that can be secret and evil. But humanity holds itself together.
Words, language and communication are the three things in my life that remain constant. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times. I was born in the ’50s and moved, through transistor radios, stereo phonics, Walkmen, eight tracks, cassettes, DAT, CDs, microwave to broadband and smart phones.
But the one common thread is language, almost a living, breathing organism, however abused, it adapts, shifts shape and meaning.
That’s what I wanted to tap in to by self publishing TITO’S DEAD, word of mouth. Perhaps naively, I believe good, will out and people will seek and find quality. So, if you’ve read TITO’S DEAD, ‘Share’ this and let someone else know.
And, if you haven’t read it, please do. Then, tell your friends.



16 thoughts on “Words of Mouth

  1. Hello.I actually found this post very moving. So this is how I am going to proceed. (1) I am going to follow Napoleon because anyone who writes a comment like that is well worth following. (2) Go to Amazon and download a sample of TITO’S DEAD and probably follow that with a full download. (3) Reblog your post on Routine Matters.
    I was moved by the post because of its honesty and dogged positivity … plus the overwhelming sense of hope and desire to succeed.
    He was born in the 1950s and yet his writing is as fresh as new born.
    Whatever you do … read every word of his post. Be impressed. Be humbled even. But above all, BE INSPIRED.

  2. Morning Dermott.
    Oh welcome brother-in-low-sales, I know the feeling. (3 volumes written and 1 book sold, and that was to a grateful bank worker who had just signed me up for an investment package….you gotta laugh)
    Now, the important thing to remember is that the book is out there and ever more shall be so. Thus you have taken your place in the pantheon of literature. Tito’s Dead is there, part of the culture of literary works. The fact it hasn’t sold much….yet…well remember the sage of “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist”. In short, you have written book, bottom line. It’s there.
    I will get around to reading this (WordPress is opening up my horizons to no end); trouble is I am currently one of the least diligent of readers (IN my defence, there are WordPress Blogs to read; Two blog projects to work on, one fantasy novel to craft, 50 years worth of graphic novels & comics to catch up on, and WWII in Europe/Russia/Middle East to fight- large board game, very large board game). However I have enjoyed your short stories, so the novel is drawing me on. Goes on my List To Get on Amazon; be patient.
    And….Keep on keeping on
    All the best

    • Roger, thank you very much for your good wishes. The novel, though, was not my first venture in publishing. I wrote a biography of Sinead O’Connor once that briefly flourished as a best seller and was translated into three languages, besides English. Since then, I’ve published one book of short stories and there’s another on the way. I began the novel in 2004 and it was picked up by a London agent who told me I was the Irish Harlan Coben, even the new Ian Rankin. I took all this with a grain of salt and soon fell out with him. The book got its own shoebox and some prime real estate in my wardrobe. I picked it out after the obligatory five years and vowed to finish it before my father died. Of course, he lived for another five years and the book wasn’t a best seller. Not to worry, it’s a learning experience. I did everything on Tito’s Dead – cover design, editing, proof reading, publication. Now I have all the mechanical requirements, software, hardware etc. The next time I do it, I’ll do it right and, as you say, Tito’s Dead is out there. One of the smart moves was to design a paperback edition through CreateSpace, then I threw a launch party. Before the party I bought 200 paperback copies @$5 each and sold all of them at the launch for €15 each, so I wasn’t out of pocket. I’ve also sold a couple of hundred more in the past two years, via iTunes, Amazon and Smashwords. What I didn’t have though was the nous to push it to another level and the truck here is pre-orders and reviews. But that’s for the future, an unfortunately diminishing resource for people like us. There’s two novels in preparation, a screenplay doing the rounds, another in the making and a book of short.stories and poetry, a vanity project, you might say. But there’s method in the madness, the first 1000 sales of the novel will get a free short story book. The marketing is exhausting and time consuming. I just want to write.

      • Exactly, Roger, and I don’t want to waste time with regrets. Learn from
        I stakes and move on. Today, though, I’m taking the sun and reading Amber Wakes. What’s the name of your own book. I have a feeling I might’ve bought it.

      • “Betcha havn’t” (I was the cheapest source)
        On Amazon you will find “An Annoying Trace of Integrity” by R J Llewellyn; this was part I of trilogy of less than serious fantasy adventures. This and its ‘sisters’ remain examples of how not to self-publish and expect to be noticed. I was happy with the humour (Amazon let you read bits of them), but as for its editing; proof-reading, plot construction….’Woe and Thrice Woe’!…there was no marketing to speak of.
        I had a lot of fun with the work(s) and they form a basis for a more serious and structured work.
        For once I can use a politician’s phrase ‘Mistakes were made but lessons have been learnt’.
        All good fun.

      • No, I don’t have it but I remembered, when I first made your acquaintance, visiting your blog to find a link for your book. Couldn’t find it. Now I know. Thank you. If you don’t learn lessons, you’re lost. I agree with that. If you need guidance, don’t hesitate to ask.

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