Saturday, 27 August 2016

So You've Published A Book?



In a couple of weeks, the fourth Victorian Detectives novel will hit cyberspace. It's called Murder & Mayhem (I'm into linked titles) and if you cast your eyes to the right sidebar and down a bit, you can see it. I'm into linked covers too. If you click on the 3 previous covers, you can read a free sample and get an idea of what I write about. It would be easy now to sit back and preen. Many writers do. The book is soon out. Let the sales start.

Oh no they won't!

Writing a book and getting it published, by whatever conduit you use, is only the start. To get any sales, you have to make people aware of your masterpiece. In this blog, I'm exploring some of the ways I use to promote my work, because unless you are out there, loud and proud, nobody will notice you.

1. Social Media: There are loads of blogs about how to use Twitter to enhance your digital presence . Suffice to say that most of my sales come from Twitter. And practically all come from people recommending the books to other readers, and that comes from me chatting, interacting and posting funny stuff and reciprocating favours. In other words, I'm a friend first, an online character second, and a writer selling books third.

2. Press Releases: The local press are (usually) delighted to receive a press release, a publicity pic and a free copy to review.

2a. Press Releases: Anywhere your book is set will be delighted also.

3. Local Radio: Contact them via Twitter, phone them up, arrange to do a studio interview. Listen, I sound like a 15 year old mainlining helium, but I still do it.

4.National Press: Will be interested if you have a brilliant backstory, particularly if it involves abuse, or hardship. Also if you earned shedloads of advance shekels or you are very very photogenic. I haven't cracked this one yet. Maybe you will.

5. Literary Festivals: Everybody's doing it. Local library will have contacts of yours. Get in touch. I've done the St Albans Literary Festival twice. I ran a workshop on how to get published ... ooh, and I had some books on a side-table. Next year I hope to extend my range a bit and do some further afield.

6. Signings: Local bookshop is worth approaching. Also local gift shops and Oxfam.

7.Talks: WI ~ you have to audition and be approved, but it's worth it. Local book clubs/writers' groups, libraries are also worth contacting. If you write YA or children's fiction, schools are always keen to have a visiting writer. Make sure you get paid ~ the Society of Authors has recommended fees.

As you now see, there is a lot more to being a writer than merely writing. Writing is the ''easy'' bit! And lest you should eye your mainstream published brethren and mutter 'bet they don't have to do all this' ~ YES THEY DO! Big publishers are very selective about who they spend their publicity budgets promoting. If it ain't you, you will still have to do the legwork. I've spoken to some ''famous'' names, and it is so.

Finally: make sure you are registered for PLR - Public Lending Rights: that's the money paid by libraries every time your book is borrowed. You can register at www.plr.uk.com. Every little helps.

If I've missed out your favourite publicity medium, then please mention it in the comments. Congratulations on being a published author, welcome to the club.  Now get out there and sell!

20 comments:

  1. My goodness, there's a lot to think about, isn't there?

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    1. There is! And you can, as many do, ignore it all. But if you want to have fun & dell, you'd be advised not to!

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  2. I know you love the marketing, Carol - I find it really hard work (I'd rather read, or write, or travel!) - so I admire your persistence with it. You deserve your success!

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    1. Thanks Jo ~ funnily enough, I actually LIKE doing this stuff , though I have great sympathy for those who find it not 'them'

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  3. As always, a great post, Carol, I'm studying, and trying to implement, a few marketing techniques, and I have to say, (as someone more on the introverted side of the personality scale) it makes my head hurt! Nonetheless, perseverance is the name of the game!

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  4. Great post, Carol. How interesting that speakers have to audition for the WI. Love the line about you sounding like a 15-year-old on helium!

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  5. I love supporting other writers on Twitter, but with my work hours, I find it very difficult to spend the time interacting as much as I should to be a success there. I know it works, and have seen the results but I need to do more. As Jo says, you deserve your success! The signings and radio slots are a bit difficult here in NL, so social media is vital for me.

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    1. isn't it nice how you meet such lovely people on it!!

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  6. If only your blogging platform would have a 'Like' button

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  7. Excellent advice here. I do wish some people on Twitter would heed it. I now unfollow those who only promote their work and never chat. As well at Twitter, there's your blog and Facebook which I don't think you mentioned. For children's writers there are school assemblies/school visits. First of all arrange with the school to let parents know that they need to send money in on that day and then sell your book (at a discount if poss) at the end of the assembly. This is what I did and it was much harder and far more daunting than writing the books in the first place!

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    1. I shall be diving back into this again next year, when the Spy Girl books get re-published by Accent Press....eeep.

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  8. Great post, Carol. One I've bookmarked in the hope that I need it one day! And good luck with Murder & Mayhem x

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  9. I always forget about radio - it's the one avenue I never explore! But you have prompted me to contact my local station :)

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    1. They usually have an afternoon 'chat show'...either you go in, or they interview you over the phone.

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  10. Enlightening post Carol! All good things to bear in mind should I ever even finish my novel let alone publish it... 😂 xx

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    1. oooh....finish and publish! Come on in, the water's lovely!

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  11. Good post. Promoting is actually fun, rewarding but can be hard work. Radio was terrifying but what a buzz when you come out of the studio! I'd also recommend giving away signed books to charities - they can raise money from it and will probably give you some promotion as gratitude. It's a win-win all round!

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    1. Thanks for that, Andrew and welcome to the blog. Did you scroll down and feed the fish? I hope so.

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  12. Wot she said. Just wish I was as good at it as you are!

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