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News < Back

THE KEY (to big prizes)

Wednesday 4th April 2012


The Key is about to hit America and Canada (19th June), continuing the story of Sanctus. So – carried away on a wave of euphoria – I thought I’d give some stuff away to those of you kind enough to actually pre-order it.

But first a word on pre-ordering. One of the nicest things you can do for a writer is pre-order their books. This is because the print run of a book is determined, in part, by pre-orders and they also have a direct influence on booksellers. Pre-orders help authors by sending a message to retailers that the book has a waiting readership. This helps persuade the buyers to increase their order and then display the book in a better position in their shop.

With online retailers like Amazon, high preorders push the book up the rankings. Again this persuades them to order more, and the more they order, the better price they get from the publisher and the cheaper they sell it on to you. And the lowest price it reaches on pre-order (sometimes as much as 60% off) is passed on to all readers, irrespective of when they ordered it. Also, if you pre-order on an e-reader, it appears like magic on the day of release, ready for you to read.

If you collect an author’s work you want a first edition and the only sure way to get one is to pre-order. Last year when Sanctus came out they had underestimated the advance orders and so the book had already gone to a second printing on the day of launch. Consequently a few days later I was already signing 2nd editions: good news for me, not so great if you are a collector.

And most crucially, all pre-orders count towards the crucial first week of sales, giving a book the best possible chance of hitting the bestseller list. And if it hits the list it gets better promotion in store and on-line, which affects sales for the second week etc. etc…

And so to business.  THE KEY will be published on June 19th.  To show some love for everyone who pre-orders it I’m going to be give some stuff away. The ‘Pre-order Prizes’ (as I like to call them) are as follows:

Me – in the virtual flesh  (Or in the flesh if you can wait until October when I’ll be touring.)  If you are part of a book group or creative writing class or library or school or anything else then I will will appear in person or via the miracle of Skype and talk about being a writer, the craft of writing, read some extracts from my books and talk to you about either Sanctus or The Key (or both if you’re nice). I cannot promise to look quite as floppy haired and authorial as this, but I’ll try my best.

Personally signed 1st editions  I have four of these to give way, taken from my own private stash – two copies ofSanctus and two copies of  The Key (both in hardcover). Winners will be contacted by email so you can tell me exactly what you want me to write, and to whom if you want to gift them, and I will do it with my special 1970’s Parker pen with a wide nib for added flourish.

It doesn’t matter whether you pre-order the book at a bookshop or online, just Email a copy of your pre-order receipt, along with your email and postal address, to simontoyneauthor AT gmail DOT com with PREORDER as the subject line. To be eligible for a prize, you must have an address in the US or Canada and it’s for pre-orders in all formats — hardcover, eBook, and audiobook!

If you pre-order more than one copy of the book not only will you have my undying gratitude, but you’ll get a contest entry for each copy you pre-order. And if you’ve already pre-ordered then you get a special virtual hug from me and you can still enter, of course by sending a copy of your receipt to simontoyneauthor AT gmail DOT com with PREORDER as the subject line.

Thank you for listening.

Good luck.


I’ll shut up now. (But have a quick look at this trailer – just so I can end this post with a dramatic flourish)


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