Friday, December 12, 2014


For the better part of 2014, I've been working with British mystery author Celia Conrad to boost the visibility and sales of her trilogy, "Alicia Allen Investigates," which never had a proper launch when it was originally published. If you find yourself in the re-launch boat, you might want to take advantage of the free Amazon service known as Kindle Direct Publishing for authors, and offer your book as a Kindle-friendly E-Book for a limited number of days. Yes, you might run the "danger" of over-saturating the sales possibilities, and yes, it does make the heart sink a bit when you see thousands of people have downloaded your book for FREE and even if they'd paid a dollar each...well, let's not go there.

Here's the reason Conrad and I decided to run the KDP specials along with the rest of our re--launch PR:

If you use the KDP as a raison d'etre for fresh publicity (meaning press releases), you could be looking at a win-win victory. PR Distribution services are free, but the editors are very strict about not allowing any pure publicity stunts to leak through your press release. It must be:

  • Well written.
  • Newsworthy
  • Timely (e.g., your KDP offer is coming up shortly)

The last book in the trilogy, "Murder in Hand," will be coming up for the free Kindle E-Book Giveaway on Dec. 13 and 14, and we have used this press release (below) not only for PR Distribution pickup (Broadway World Book News and the BBC Record picked it up, just to name a couple media outlets that thrilled us), but we also sent it via e-mails to book clubs, etc. with a personalized note/

Here then is the press release as it was posted on a few days ago, with my best wishes for your success along your novel journey!


Marlan Warren (Book Publicity by Marlan)


For immediate release:
Barcham Books fights “Forces of Evil” with holiday KDP Giveaway (Dec. 13-14) of Celia Conrad’s Italian Crime Romp “Murder in Hand”: Bone up on your Puccini!

“Alicia Allen should be on the top of every woman’s reading list.”
 —Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Award Review

On Dec. 13 through Dec. 14, Barcham Books will gift readers with Book 3 in Celia Conrad’s Alicia Allen Investigates Trilogy (AAI), Murder in Hand (MIH), as a free e-book via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select program. “It’s our way of saying thank you and wishing everyone a happy holiday,” said Barcham Books’ Jane Hall. “Everyone, it seems, just loves Alicia.”

This cerebral legal murder mystery turns on Italian international corruption, Puccini and dead Probate attorneys as it hails the return of Alicia Allen, the potato chip loving half-Italian London lawyer who never lets her thriving relationship with a handsome lawyer cohort stand in the way of fingering a culprit.

“The beauty part is that Murder in Hand can be read as a stand-alone,” Hall added.

Journalist Marlan Warren recently sat down with Celia Conrad to discuss her author’s journey from law to legal crime fiction:

Warren: All the AAI books deal with the darker side of the legal world. Did you draw from your experiences as a London attorney?

Conrad: As a solicitor I met some rather obnoxious people and a few shady/unsavory characters.

Warren: Did you ever find yourself pursuing a murderer in your law practice?

Conrad: My world is far less dangerous than Alicia’s, although we do share love for Italian culture and a crisp that rhymes with “Tingles.” We both like researching and analyzing complex legal issues.

Warren: The Italophile Book Review recommended MIH for “Italophiles, Anglophiles, fans of traditional British mysteries, and fans of cozy-murder-mysteries.” Would you agree?

Conrad: Absolutely. I’ve even gotten some fan mail from readers who like strong but not perfect woman detectives. And they all love the Hepburn-Tracy repartee between Alicia and Alex.

Warren: Book 1 sends Alicia through London’s cosmopolitan urban dangers. Book 2 takes her to Australia, and Book 3 spans New York, London, Italy and Sicily. Italian culture provides color and clues. What inspired you to use Puccini in Book 3?

Conrad: When I first saw Puccini’s opera, Gianni Schicchi, I hoped to use it in a plot of my own, and it did prove most “handy” in Murder in Hand.

Warren: Can you sum up Alicia Allen?

Conrad: She’s a tough little cookie who will stop at nothing.

Warren: And the theme of MIH ?

Conrad: Forces of darkness are everywhere.

Warren: What inspired you?

Conrad: Paul Marsh at the Marsh Agency suggested my experiences could make good novels.

Warren: Clues reside in Shakespeare, Italian opera and art. Why the Classics?

Conrad: I’ve always loved the Classics, thanks to my mother who also loved theater. Before she passed away, we read and acted out scenes from the trilogy.

Warren: This is a re-launch. Why?

Conrad: AAI never had a launch because I was dealing with the losses of my mother and Paul Marsh at the time of publication. Paul told me before he died that Murder in Hand was my best work yet. He believed Alicia Allen deserved to find her audience. That support still sustains me.

"Murder in Hand" Book Review on Open Salon:

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