Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Art of Self-Promotion

Whether you are signed up by a traditional publishing house, a smaller publisher or self-published, it seems that the job of marketing your book falls largely down to you. Publishers have marketing departments who can advise you and provide the initial contacts, but as far as I can see, the agent and the author have to do most of the work.

If you're like my friend Carol McGrath, author of the Daughters of Hastings Trilogy 'The Handfasted Wife', 'The Swan-Daughter' and soon-to-be-released 'The Betrothed Sister', you do a good job of it. Carol works hard at keeping up contacts via Twitter, the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association. She writes reviews of other people's books for magazines and such. She appears frequently on other blogs (and writes her own blog rather more regularly than I do mine!). She does radio and newspaper interviews for the local press. She has a facebook page for readers who are not necessarily friends. In short, she works at it. Her book sales are doing very nicely thank you - though of course it helps that they are great stories and very well written.

I, on the other hand, hate the whole idea of self-promotion. It goes against my personal grain. I try to tweet but it's erratic and I'm very poor at reminding people of my novel that way. I haven't joined any writerly societies. Although I read a lot, I haven't written any reviews and I'm not featured on other people's blogs. The local press have probably never heard of me. And my blog, as you are doubtless aware, is very much unscheduled. Is my book a great story and well written? I like to think so, but my sales are still in double figures (though I was very excited when I first hit the dizzy heights of the teens).

I know what needs to be done if I want to improve my sales figures. Small steps so far include handing in my notice at my all-consuming part-time teaching job and agreeing to be on the committee for the HNS 2016 Conference. Getting on with writing the next book would help too! I guess mentioning the name of my book and including the link occasionally might help.... Moses in Chains, a fictional autobiography of Michelangelo. Available now for kindle, other formats coming at some point.

In other news, we went to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime last night. Absolutely stunning performance piece, especially from the central character played by Joshua Jenkins who was on stage virtually the entire evening, but also from the rest of the cast whose timing was essentially impeccable. It's on tour until the autumn - see it if you can. You won't regret it.

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