It was eleven years ago that J McNee first walked the mean streets of Dundee. The permanently angry private detective, grieving for his dead fiance crashed into the Scottish crime scene with... well, a kind of polite "do you know I'm here?" vibe, if we're honest. But he did well enough that I was able to write five books featuring him, which got a lot of nice notices. But things weren't helped by a change in publishers midway through, and a US publisher who, frankly, could have paid more attention to things like getting the book into stores and not not messing around with ebook prices during the height of the e-boom.
But I've always had a soft spot for McNee, and when the rights reverted to me from previous publishers a few months back, I tried to find him a new home. After a few months of weighing up the odds and talking to a lot of people, I made the decision to put him back out there myself in new editions, with covers by one of my favourite indie-cover-designers, the magnificent JT Lindroos, starting with the very first novel: The Good Son
When the book first came out in ebook in the UK, JT designed a lovely cover that we've resurrected here for the new edition, as not too many people got to see it. He'll also be designing covers for the rest in the series (part of the reason its happening over the next few months -- I believe you should always pay the artist, so I'm doing just that, which means making sure I have the money first -- something you can help with by buying any of my currently in print novels, including the new edition of The Good Son, and my first short story collection, The Death of Ronnie Sweets). Not much else has changed, though -- the books will have a little tidy up for typos and errors overlooked in the original editions but otherwise nothing much will change. The third book may be a little different on that score for reasons I'll go into when we come to the reissue, but essentially these reissues are the original books presented by the author in a new format. If you haven't read McNee and thought you'd never get the chance, that's about to chance. If you have read him, but didn't get all his adventures, this is your chance to make that happen. The books will all be reasonably priced, and while they will initially be available on Amazon, I'm going to try and expand to other markets too -- just bear with me on that front, as this is something of a learning curve!
For a long time, with self publishing, I've thought one of the ways that it can benefit readers is if a book goes OOP and rights revert to the author. Unless you're a superstar, its difficult to persuade other publishers that your early books deserve to be reprinted. But I've always worked on the principle that backlist is always new to someone, and to that end just having the books out there for people to discover matters. And more than a few people who loved Ed's Dead have asked about the McNee novels, and why they were a little tricky to find. Well, ask no more, for your prayers have been answered!
I'm hoping to do a little publicity over the coming months for these re-releases. I don't have high expectations, but I hope that if you read the new editions, you'll consider leaving a review on your website of choice, or telling other people about the books. For me, these books are special, because they mark part of my journey as a writer. But for you, the reader, I just hope they continue to be damn good reads!