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.