Making the headlines: How to create a top bestselling author – Peter May

In 2013 Quercus Publishers invited Midas PR to work with their crime author Peter May. At the time Peter May’s was no.8 in the bestseller charts. Over a period of six years, working closely with Quercus, Midas PR has run a series of brand building PR campaigns for Peter May that propelled him in at No.1 in the bestselling charts in 2018 and at no 3 in January 2019 after just three days of sales for the reissue of ‘The Man With No Face’ after 40 years.

So how did we do it?

Following a successful PR campaign for his stunning photographic travel book, Hebrides in 2013, Midas went on to launch Peter’s 2014 standalone thriller, Entry Island and ran a full media publicity campaign for the book including an author tour for two weeks.  Entry Island went on to win the Specsavers ITV3 Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read Award.  Following the success of Entry Island Midas went on to run the PR for all Peter’s subsequent titles including Runaway (2015), Coffin Road (2016) Cast Iron (2017) and most recently I’ll Keep You Safe (2018) finally achieving the goal of placing Peter May at no. 1 in the bestseller charts. In January this year, Quercus published ‘The Man With No Face’ a novel Peter initially wrote 40 years ago at the time of Britain joining the EU.  This went straight in at no 3 in the bestseller charts after three days of sales with widespread media coverage.

The brief for the overarching PR for Peter from 2013 included raising his brand profile and increasing his position in The Sunday Times top 10 bestseller charts. Each campaign was to include an author tour of the UK focusing on Scotland and chosen regions of the UK.  To date we have covered key regions of Scotland (Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, Aberdeen and The Hebrides) and Manchester, Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Norwich and Sussex.

Using Peter’s meticulous research for each book, Midas positioned Peter as an expert in Scottish and international crime. We also added Peter’s interest in music with Runaway and the environment with Coffin Road to reach a wider audience, returning to the Hebrides for his novel in 2018, I’ll Keep You Safe. For The Man With No Face we tapped into politics in the time that Britain was joining the EU against the background of Brexit today. With a combination of high profile broadcast, national press and online coverage with an author tour incorporating a journalist lunch over the past 6 years Midas has significantly increased Peter’s profile across the media.  This has resulted in him rising steadily to the top of the bestseller charts from no 8 in 2013 to the top slot in 2018 and remaining in the top 3 for 2019.

To date Peter has been interviewed on Radio 4’s Today Programme, Loose Ends, Saturday Live and Front Row. He has also appeared on Radio 2’s Bookclub, Radio 2 Arts Show and Radio 5 Live with a BBC News Channel interview in 2018 and Sky Sunrise in January 2019. For each book campaign Midas PR has achieved blanket review & feature coverage across the national newspapers including The Times, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Sunday Express and The Sunday Mirror and secured significant regional coverage throughout the UK both in print and broadcast. He is also very popular on social media and has done numerous blog tours for each title at publication.  For more information on Peter May visit his website on: or follow him on twitter:  @authorpetermay

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