Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Best Things In Life Are Free … Books

It’s been a turbulent old week for EIGHTBALL BOOGIE. As most of the Three Regular Readers will be aware, EIGHTBALL went live as an ebook on Kindle UK, Kindle US and many other formats on Monday, at the knockdown, recession-friendly price of €0.99c. That was a buzz in itself, not least because the book got a brand spanking new cover for itself; I am by no means sartorially inclined, but I do love a nice new jacket once in a while. Nicer still was the fact that the book picked up a couple of five-star readers’ reviews in its first days, and that sales appear to be steady if not earth-shattering.
  Behind the scenes, meanwhile, the cogs and gears were whirring at a furious rate. When I got in touch with the publisher of the hard copy EIGHTBALL to tell them about the impending ebook odyssey, I was offered the opportunity to buy up the existing stock of the book at a scandalously low price. Now, the alternative to me buying up the stock was that the books would end up pulped at some point, and the idea of all my little babies being orphaned and crushed was simply unbearable. And so we agreed a reasonable price, and now I own the rights to EIGHTBALL.
  Behind the scenes, meanwhile, the cogs and gears of the universe were whirring at a furious rate. I got up the following morning to find an email from my agent waiting for me, saying that a well known and very respected UK production company had been in touch with him enquiring about - dum-dum-DUM! - EIGHTBALL. Now, I’ve been in this position before, both with EIGHTBALL and THE BIG O, and nothing has ever come of it; still, it was a nicely serendipitous validation of my decision to buy out the rights to the book.
  Anyway, the cogs and gears, etc., and the stock was delivered, and very nice it was too to see all those orphan-type rascals home again. Trouble is, we don’t have room for them all here at our modest orphanage. So we had a chat, me and the orphans, and I’ve agreed to find them all a good home; and because I managed to buy them back at a very reasonable rate, I’m in a position to give them away, free, gratis and for nothing - although, the postal people being who and what they are, I’ll need to charge for the post-and-packing, which comes to €4.50 / £3.80 / $6.20.
If you’re wondering whether or not the book is worth the post-and-packaging, here’s what a selection of generous people had to say about it:
“I have seen the future of Irish crime fiction and it’s called Declan Burke. Here is talent writ large - mesmerizing, literate, smart and gripping. If there is such an animal as the literary crime novel, then this is it. But as a compelling crime novel, it is so far ahead of anything being produced, that at last my hopes for crime fiction are renewed. I can’t wait to read his next novel.” - Ken Bruen, author of THE GUARDS

“Burke writes in a staccato prose that ideally suits his purpose, and his narrative booms along as attention grippingly as a Harley Davidson with the silencer missing. Downbeat but exhilarating.” - The Irish Times

“Harry Rigby resembles the gin-soaked love child of Rosalind Russell and William Powell ... a wild ride worth taking.” - Booklist

“A manic, edgy tone that owes much to Elmore Leonard … could be the start of something big.” - The Sunday Times

“One of the sharpest, wittiest books I’ve read for ages.” - The Sunday Independent

“EIGHTBALL BOOGIE proves to be that rare commodity, a first novel that reads as if it were penned by a writer in mid-career ... [it] marks the arrival of a new master of suspense on the literary scene.” - Hank Wagner, Mystery Scene

“The comedy keeps the story rolling along between the sudden eruptions of violence … Burke’s novel is not just a pulp revival, it’s genuine neo-noir.” - International Noir
  So there it is. EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, at $0.99c / £86p on ebook; or free, not including post-and-packaging, in its original dead tree incarnation. Anyone interested in picking up a copy of the latter should email me at dbrodb(at) And make haste, people - those orphan-type rascals are eating me out of house and home …


bookwitch said...

I seem to have reviewed it saying something stupid like 'The plot is pure Mills & Boon', and at the time you didn't kill me for it.
Oops, you will now, though, won't you?
I need an orphan, and please don't point out that my children will be orphans once you've killed me.

Eoin Hennigan said...

Declan, I'd be delighted to adopt one and cover the postage to Ozzieland, however much An Post charge for that these days. I'll email you in a couple of days with the details.

Declan Burke said...

Ms Witch - I suppose it is a bit Mills & Boon, so long as it's the kind of Mills & Boon in which Boon tries to murder Mills ...

Eoin - Much obliged, sir. As far as I know, posting to Oz isn't much more expensive than posting to the UK or to the US, so hopefully it'll work out okay.

Cheers, Dec

Dorte H said...

If I hadn´t just bought it via Smashwords...

Well, I am sure it is more environmentally friendly to send an e-book to Denmark anyway.

adrian mckinty said...


Its great to have 8Ball as an ebook as it'll reach a wider audience. Its a brilliant book and a must have for anyone who's interested in crime fiction or contemporary Irish fiction in general.

Marjorie said...

Ooh, I am always keen to adopt books, and I like the sound of yours (I came here via bookwitch's blog, so thankyou, Witchy!)
Shall you sign them, as you send them out to meet their new families?

Naomi Johnson said...

I have my own dead-tree copy, but I'd like a couple more for the local libraries. How best to get the money to you (and how much to send two to the US)?

Marjorie said...

My copy arrived in the post this morning. This makes me h happy :-) thanks again.