Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Book Review: The Sketching Detective

I've written before about publishing a book. It's a tough go. You can go the co-publishing route, or self-publishing. Getting a contract with a reputable publisher ensures that you will get publicity, but it is very, very difficult to do so –with millions people who want to publish a book. This one was self-published with Xlibris.

Many go to on-demand publishers. This is fine, except many do not use an excellent editor. After they publish, they will find a publicity firm, who send me 3 - 4 emails a day to read their client's books. I do accept them, as I know how difficult it is to find any PR, even if the book is great.

This book is a good example of self-publishing. The author has a lot of money for promotion, and has sunk it for PR. The editor of this book, niece of the author, isn't too bad –but not quite perfection. You also need to be in a writer's group, or take a few courses, and read a lot.

The plot is not so bad, but the characterization, setting, and tone is typical of self-published male writers. He's a bit weak on developing characters, especially the female. He does love his self-depracating humour, but it gets old after a time. The main character, a 30-something man, just pissed me off after I made it halfway through! He is very shallow creature, without any real emotions, who belies the glowing comments as quoted. There is much about the Scots, golfing, golf clubs, and other pet topics about which the author shares his in-depth knowledge. It is a series, but I really wouldn't recommend it.

Almost thought it a YA novel
2nd clue: typo on the back cover
There is a promotional video on YouTube, which far outshines his cover art.

"The Sketching Detective, by Jack McCormac, is a detective novel for the twenty-first century, full of surprises, wit, and intelligence. Jack McKay, a university professor, is going to put his unlikely detective skills to use once again after solving the case of the murdered showgirl—and almost ending his marriage. "


William Kendall said...

A good review, Jennifer.

Red said...

You're pretty tough on these wanna be writers! I think the tougher we are the better for as you say some pathetic story telling would take place.

Powell River Books said...

Self publishing (or as a class we just took calls it, independent publishing) is tough. I've heard that traditional publishers have really cut back on book promotions. That would be quite a disappointment if you did get a contract. - Margy