Marketing books

More about self publishing. I have been rereading advice about how to market self published novels and as I don’t do many ebooks I still need to promote my work the old fashioned way, as a publisher, not just the author. Therefore I need to do what a publisher would do for their client.

I need to contact the media, send out information, notify the local and national press and suitable magazines, make up a ‘press pack,’ get in touch with the local radio, organise a book launch and signing and send out review copies. Anything else?

I will advertise on twitter, but only to show I am still active as the two ebooks I have written will appeal more to folk on line than  this new one.

I will remind people that I have a couple of websites, http://www.juliecround.co.uk and http://www.juliecround.com, both of which are linked to this blog and I will put the cover of ‘A Bend in the Lane’ onto every piece of marketing I can, possibly new business cards, although I still have a lot left with ‘Never Pretend’ and ‘A Lesson for the Teacher’ on.

Since Southern Rail have been so unreliable I haven’t been to London so all my marketing, including sending copies to the library, has been local.

One more month and I should have copies for sale. It is said the first three months are the optimum time for sales and I’m hoping to catch the holiday market.

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When to promote?

My next book is with the printer and I have been reading advice about marketing. The general consensus seems to be that one should tell all and sundry that the book is coming out months in advance. However, I don’t feel inclined to do too much until I have the copies in my hand. I know this is different for people who use Print-on -Demand but I sell so many privately that I order 100 at a time.

I will be giving more details in the future but here is the cover.

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Book launches

I’m taking a break from editing my new novel to check emails and I thought I’d write a piece about my book launches.

My first launch, in 2007, was held in our house as I did not expect many people to be interested. The second was held at a local garden centre as one featured in the story and I treated the visitors to free tea and a scone! The next was held at a leisure centre as the girl in the story was a sportswoman and the fourth was held in a local pub/restaurant because, by then,I wanted to make sure everyone could find car parking and, if they wished, stay for lunch after the free coffee.

The fifth book was launched in our favourite pub, which I had also put in the book, although I hadn’t named it and for the sixth I launched with a couple of other writers in the previous hostelry. However, this was not quite as successful for me, probably because I had not initiated the advertising.

Book launches do not seem to attract newspaper reporters unless the proceeds are going to charity. I did get a photographer to the launch in the Leisure Centre although I never did see the write-up (if there was one)

I don’t launch in bookshops as the wholesaler only supplies shops if they are ordered. They will not accept books from me as the publisher.

I hope to sell at least a dozen copies at each launch and do have a few readers who support me every time and one who buys in bulk for Christmas presents.

I am now scouting for somewhere to launch my next book. It must have parking, refreshments and preferably a connection to the story. I think I may go back to the garden centre. I would like somewhere on a bus route but nowhere comes to mind.

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No resolutions

New Years Eve tonight and I refuse to make a resolution. Yesterday we had our belated family get together and it worked very well with our daughter in-law feeding ten of us in their newly furbished living room. I cannot get used to the way this generation have the TV on all the time, even if they are not watching it, but I suppose it is like the way we use the wireless.

Having just discovered that someone follows ninety blogs I am concerned that I haven’t yet reached many, but then I would have no time for writing books. The next novel is taking shape and I am actually doing a little research this time. I haven’t decided which form of self publishing I will use. I am quite happy with the other six books so I don’t feel inclined to change. I write the story and hand it over to the designer and printer to produce, with input from me on the cover pictures, which we find on line. I am up to 5000 words and suppose, if I was pushed, I’d say finishing this would be a resolution but it doesn’t have to happen in 2018.

Booking a summer holiday for the two of us, with the dog, in a Cotswold cottage, has given me something else to look forward to. It might be self-catering but we usually end up having plenty of meals out . If I disappear for a while it means I’m creating elsewhere. Happy New Year.

UK readers

Wow! It seems I am read in the UK, too. I wonder if any of you like easy reading stories based in the past- not the distant past – the 1960’s. I wrote about young love and adventure in the UK in the 60’s when life seemed full of possibilities but people were basically more innocent, when girls hitchhiked alone without fear of consequences and it was possible to afford a flat share.

The book is called “A Lesson for the Teacher” which was probably a mistake as the word ‘teacher’ puts some people off. I called it that because, as a young teacher one tends to think that you know everything and it is only when you are out in the big wide world you discover how ignorant you are, especially about men!

It is probably my last novel (of six) as I have turned to drama and poetry. I’ll try to find a cover picture.

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A lesson for the Teacher cover

anthology success

I have had the books for three days and have almost sold the first 50 copies. Who says poetry doesn’t sell? Mind you, I did target folk who have read our stuff before. Some even thanked me for approaching them! This is so much easier than trying to shift novels. Thanks for all the advertising. Sorry I can’t send any to the States. It would cost more to post than they were worth and I’m not ebooking them. Now to concentrate on the pantomime!

anthology

I now have 50 copies of our anthology, “Reflections, Then and Now” to start distributing. A few will come to the jazz with us tonight. Then I’ll have to get some envelopes for the ones ordered that need posting. I actually sold the first copy in the printers’ while I was collecting them. I showed it to another customer and he bought it on the spot!

“That’s the way to do it!” I never stop feeling excited when I publish a new book and maybe my enthusiasm is catching. The friend who did the cartoons hasn’t seen the finished product yet. She’ll be there tonight so I hope she likes it. I suppose I am a dreaded vanity publisher but the others haven’t contributed any money. They will have to pay for all but the first copy. I should make a small profit which will go to charity.

As long as I see it in print I’m happy, especially as all our other books are listed in the back. I have taken the advice to put contact details inside. I’ll put an example in my next post.