Saturday, 16 November 2013

Pain-free Publicity


Excitement grows at Hedges Towers. The Diamonds & Dust, A Victorian Murder Mystery launch date is just over 2 weeks away. All over the UK and further afield, crinolines are being aired, etiquette books consulted and Ralph the Marvellous Performing Dog is practising his tricks for the BIG Party on December 3rd. If you follow me on Facebook, you are invited. If not, feel free to press your nose to the digital plate-glass window and one of the hired staff will endeavour to slip you a glass of mulled wine and a slice of cake.

Last week's blog debunked some of the popular misconceptions about publicity. Now I'm going to share some of the ways I intend to create a ''buzz'' around the new book. Hopefully then you'll see it coming and be able to duck! The first port of call for me is always local: we have a great local paper, The Herts Advertiser, and I hope to have at least one article on the book. Local papers love local stuff, so a well prepared Press Release emailed with a polite note and a good pic to the editor always gets results. It also helps if you have a ''story'' to tell - as most of you know, I am a well-known local activist and pain in the council's backside, so that should endear me to a few readers!

I'm also going to get myself onto local radio: Radio Verulam and 3 Counties. I have the perfect face for radio, as you can see, and again, the same ''local criteria'' applies. In a similar vein: the book is set in and around St John's Wood and Hampstead, where I lived and studied ... so I shall use the settings to generate interest and a press release will be winging its way to the Ham & High. I have already persuaded Hertfordshire Libraries to stock the book; a similar charm offensive will be launched on Camden Libraries. Libraries are always worth considering as you get PLR -  Public Lending Rights: the money paid every time someone borrows your book. It will probably only buy me half a brick in the Tuscan villa, but half a brick is better than no brick at all. And I shall visit every branch of Waterstones and small Independent Bookshops with a copy of the book to show them and smile. A lot.

I also intend to use this blog. Look out for some great posts on the Victorians and food ... sex ... clothes .... houses .... poverty .... manners .... did I say sex? The blogs will be a mash-up of pictures of actual locations, bits from the book, and original/modern interpretations. It seems a shame, having done all this research, that 90% of it will be wasted. I shall be doing some guest blogs. If you asked me, please remind me: the memory is not what it was.

I will also post some links on Twitter and my Facebook page - both to the book, and to the blogs and any other interesting Victorian stuff I think you might like to read or see. Recently, a couple of people on Twitter have introduced me to hashtags ## and if you are also intending to publicize a new book, I recommend you check them out. #bookplugs #writing and #ebooks are good. And there are many more; some will be specific to your genre. If you use them, make sure you retweet other people though. It's only polite. I have also learned a lot from studying other writers' promo tweets: how they set them out, make them eye-catching, so I hope to follow their example.

What I'm not going to do is inundate total strangers, or you with 'buy my book' tweets or Facebook messages. If you want to read it, great. If not, hey. I won't be constantly checking my sales figures or Amazon ratings either and informing you every hour of the day. That way madness lies. And somehow I am going to try to find time to get on with the sequel, so that IF you bought, read and enjoyed Diamonds & Dust, there will be another book in the pipeline for you to read very soon.





37 comments:

  1. Fantastic advice and tips, Carol. Your run-ins with the local powers that be might even have a spin-off benefit! And that Tuscan villa will have a full four walls on it in no time - not just half a brick - mark my words. You are so professional, so supportive and such a star. I found you on Wikipedia too! I've never known anyone on Wikipedia before, so you are already famous :-)))

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    1. thanks Val. I have to say, any old idiot can get an entry in Wikipedia - as I am living proof!!

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  2. Good luck, Carol - sounds hugely exciting! I'll be looking out for it - and the Victorian sex, of course ... (did they do it differently?)

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    1. Hahah not really - it's the fact that they DID it that's interesting!!! People always assume they didn't!!

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    2. Best of luck with it Carol. Don't know about you but I've found social media and online works better for me in terms of sales than any 'offline' method. I've newspaper articles and I've been on the radio - but for me it's hard to beat the way you reach potential readers through facebook, blogging and of course the wonderful communications tool which is Twitter.

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    3. Thanks for the tips, Carol. Wonder if my local paper will tolerate a deserter! Good luck - you will be successful, I know it!

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    4. Of course it helps that both you and I come from a journalistic background, and enjoy communicating! You have done spectacularly well with your book!

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  3. Excellent, sound advice here Hedges!!!! Most informative and you're certainly helping this ignoramus in getting her head around the labyrinthine mind-melt that is all things publishing and promotional! I am extremely excited about your book...genuinely so...the energy and enthusiasm you exude is bound to have permeated the pages thus providing the reader with one hell of an adventure to enjoy...of this I have no doubt...so good luck!!...you deserve the success that's bound to be coming your way.
    Oh btw...in honour of the occasion I have decided to wear a much favoured dress of my dearly departed little old Granny...of course this will involve my exhuming the body but ..hell woman!...you're worth it!....

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    1. I would expect nothing else.... we can prop her up in a corner. At least she won't want feeding.

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  4. great info Carol, much obliged!
    Wikipedia ? Wow, I'm impressed, but not surprised. Way to go...

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  5. I'm so excited for you Carol. I know the new book will be a success. After all, there's victorian sex involved! :) *wonders if it involved the removal of clothing* I look forward to having it in my hands. (the book, not the victorian) Nothing like the feel of a book in one's hands!

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    1. thanks Hap. I already have a pre-publication copy. It is great, as you say, to have an actual book. Ebooks are OK, but not the same!!

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  6. Best of luck with the book, Carol.

    I was born in Hampstead and went to school there - we lived in Belsize Park. It's the area in which Patricia lived in The Road Back. It's a lovely part of the world that (happily) is relatively unknown to tourists.

    I used to work in Camden Libraries in my uni holidays.

    What a small world it is!

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    1. My first job was at Swiss Cottage Library as a Children's Librarian. Moved to Holborn...

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  7. I think you should send an auto tweet to every single one of your followers, asking them to check your book out. When they respond to it that this is spam, ignore their message and send them another. Also, auto DM everyone telling them to 'check it out'. Oh, and don't forget asking complete strangers to read and review it, especially the ones who aren't reviewers. That should work.

    HAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

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    1. Do the words: sarky person resonate!!! equally Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Seriously, I am amazed at how often people DO this!!! How can they possibly think it will work? I recall one of our college lecturers sating :''you don't learn from those you don't like; (this was at teaching college,btw). Apart from the Big and Famous, I really prefer tom read books from people I know and like... and anyway, in the end, the book will sell upon personal recommendation....whatever you/I do to push it!

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    2. Carol, I get at least three read requests a week.... I alway just say to them, what part of my bio says 'book reviewer'? I then suggest they submit to book reviewers on the way set out on their blogs. Or use a bit of nous and get to know them a bit before asking, like I do..... it's amazing how many people don't see this at all!

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    3. True .... my friend Lynn (see above) gets requests to look over poems. As if she was a professional critic! I am amazed that, having put this blog out there, I have people (soz it's usually Americans) who have read the blog - and instantly sent me a link to their book/promo. As in: which part of this blog did you not get? Hahaha.

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  8. Best of luck, Carol. The local angle is always worth exploiting in the local media, and in local shops too. The PLR, alas, applies only to British books. Some countries have something similar, but many don't.

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    1. thanks Rayne. And Irish..who have just paid out for last year..forgot to add themmm

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  9. Hey Hedge!!!! Did you really use the term "mash-up"???? Where's your baseball cap? Sideways on; of course! :-) Oh, by the way... great post! :-)

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    1. haha, listen, Holmsey, I can get down wiv da kidz, innit!!

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  10. Sounds like a great plan, and I love your enthusiasm. Your description of the Big Party was terrific. I'll be pressing my nose to the glass and looking for a sip of that mulled wine!

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  11. I miss your letters in the local paper! But I'll look out for the centrefold on Diamonds and Dust and Victorian sex (there's probably still a lot of that in Harpenden). Great blog as always - I've just voted for you.

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  12. I can't believe you are just discovering hashtags, missus! What are you like? I had thought of doing local papers, but quite frankly I haven't had time. It has all crept up on me. There will be much RTing going on, though. Mutual parties, kind of like a double wedding! Good luck with it all.

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    1. *hangs head in shame* In my defence, I have only been on Twitter for 15 months....have only just learned to load Buffer...

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  13. Sounds like a good plan, Carol! Best of luck to you.

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  14. Great advice, Carole, and I've already bookmarked it for future reference. (Thanks for the inadvertent tip re Buffer - don't know what it is, but I'll Google it!)

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    1. Thanks ladies: Teagan ..it makes your links shorter so you can write more on the Tweet...

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  15. I do love that cover. I suppose it's all about getting the right balance... a bit like life really.

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  16. I'll look forward to your Victorian posts. Good luck with your book!

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    1. Ros: you are a philosopher!! And Anne, I hope you will enjoy them.

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  17. May the pages in your book whisper fine words to discerning eyes.

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    1. I fervently hope this will be the case!!

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    2. Fervently?? That sounds a bit passionate. Lovely word though

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  18. Wishing you lots of luck with your local promo. Exciting times! I think I've replied to the book launch on Facebook but my activity there is intermittent.

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  19. Really good advice Carol. I shall be acting on it :)

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