Thursday, 7 June 2012

Second time around...

My marketing strategy  for my first book, Demon's Daughter, was to press the 'Send' button and smile a lot!

Strangely this approach didn't work very well.

Since those first few heady months of 'oh-my-God-someone-might-be-reading-my-story' (they weren't!) reality has definitely set in and the fact that a book release is neither the be all nor the end all of the self publishing journey has finally made it past all the rest of my brain clutter.

I was lucky with Demon's Daughter - I had incredibly enthusiastic family and friends who spread the word and kept telling me that self-publishing my wee story had been a great idea (Bless them!). I was also very lucky that I began to get invited into local schools to read and do short creative writing presentations - these scare the living daylights out of me and I'm often attempting to read from a book held in hands shaking so much  that the print seems to dance all over the page; but I also LOVE the experience once I get going and settle down a bit. Talking to children about books is just brilliant and although it may not necessarily be 100% effective as a marketing tool, it's 1000% effective as a 'connecting-to-my-target-audience' tool. The feedback from these meetings is invaluable in letting me know what the content of my next book should be. And it's FUN!!

All that, as I said, was pure luck! So what SHOULD I have done?

Thank goodness for all the self-publishing bloggers out there who are sharing their tried and tested (or tried and failed) methods of marketing with those of us who really, really need some guidance. My favourites at the moment are:
Catherine Ryan Howard whose blog isn't just informative but also very, very funny - well worth a read even if you have no interest in learning about self-publishing and pretty much required reading if you do. At the moment I'm reading her collection of self-publishing blog posts called 'The Best of Catherine Caffeinated' which is excellent!
Then there's Aaron Shepard, whose book 'POD For Profit' guided me through getting my eBook into paperback (I didn't agree with his strategy of ignoring bookshops - I use to work in one and couldn't manage without 'proper' books so ignore them? No, thank you!) which would otherwise have been more than my tiny brain could ever have coped with - if you're looking for a step-by-step manual on POD publishing then I recommend it.
And Molly Greene whose blog is a treasure trove of good, solid information and honest admissions about self-publishing that have me nodding in agreement as I read. If you enjoy her straightforward, inclusive and friendly style of blogging as much as I do then I recommend following her on Twitter too since she guides her followers to loads of fabulous blog posts that I'd never have found otherwise.

So, now that book 2, Demon's Revenge, is on the way what have I gleaned from these wise ones?

I've learned that you need to make your book VISIBLE. (If you've just made a 'Duh' face at your computer then just quit it - there's more!) In order for your book to be visible, you need to have a PLATFORM - this doesn't require the use of power tools or even a hammer but is the building of a solid foundation on the likes of Twitter, Facebook etc. etc. I'm still learning about social networking sites and the like but if it's all just about 'connecting', chatting and making new friends then yep, count me in! Next you need to BUILD ANTICIPATION for the launch of your book - in my case I'm going to be posting excerpts of Demon's Revenge on this blog for the 6 weeks before publication and having a cover reveal (oh, dear Lord it's glorious!) the week before. I'll also run a competition during publication week to win copies, have booked to have Demon's Daughter as a 'Read To Review' title on Goodreads about a week after publication of Demon's Revenge and have been invited to launch the paperback of Demon's Revenge in my local Waterstones towards the end of the month. There'll be a blog interview in early September 2 on An Avid Reader's Haven blog and then I'll take a breath and see if all this has managed to give Demon's Revenge a little nudge in the right direction. Phew!

Of course, I'll still smile a lot as I press the 'Send' button ... just in case!
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  1. Ohhhh my! I can't wait to get a peek at some succulent excerpts! :P

    1. Can't wait to hear what you think of them, Sara :-)

  2. I'm fortunate to have a well paid and fulfilling job that subsidises my writing habit and allows me to be lazy about marketing. However, if some of the blood on the carpet in the next round of NHS cuts is mine, i'll be glued to all of these as i try to turn a hobby into a living

    1. Fortunate indeed, Peter. Will keep my fingers, toes, eyes etc. crossed for you - looking forward to reading more about Echo. :-)