The release of The Dress Thief, some PR thoughts and my tallest tale of SW19.
Yes, I am launching a book, and I’d love you all to say ‘Really? Wow!’ but I totally get that nobody wants marketing lobbed at them. So as an upfront ‘thank you’ for your attention, I’m throwing my best ever anecdote into this blog, and sharing some marketing thoughts. The anecdote happened to me in London SW19 some years back. It won’t get me onto Graham Norton’s red chair but it makes some kind of existentialist point about expecting the unexpected. Read it, keep it, pass it off as your own. I have released it into Bloggosphere Commons.
OK, I need to publicise my book. The ebook release date is only two days away. I’m excited but nervous, telling myself I haven’t done enough publicising. Nowhere near.
All writers have to get behind their book. No longer can we fire a novel out into the world and say, ‘Fly little fella’ and go back to what we were doing before. We must fly with it, holding its wing and guiding it through the impenetrable flock of other ‘little fellas’ that have been launched at the same time.
But there’s a real dilemma if you have a pressured writing schedule. How to give your new book the best chance, without ending up rocking in a corner because you can’t get on with writing book 2? How can you do your share of PR activity, while also remaining creatively focussed so your follow-up book doesn’t come over like a 1950s public service broadcast?
A scatter-gun PR campaign is not the way, unless you can afford somebody to do it for you. It’s why I’m coming to the conclusion that I have to narrow the focus. Building a bigger social network platform, getting online reviews and guest blogspots. As far as traditional PR goes – magazine articles, newspaper announcements – I’m keeping it local because in your own backyard there will be people who will read your book because you are local. When I say local, I actually mean everywhere you’ve ever lived or studied, or rocked the boat. The other day, I wrote a blog for a newspaper in SW19, Tennis-Wimbledon, where I lived in my early twenties. I shoe-horned in my best after dinner fable about the day I was working in a quaint old bakery in Wimbledon Village and a group of unbelievably tall African American men came in asking for doughnuts. Or should that be donuts? In they came, stooping to get through the doorway and filling the shop with their singlet-ed presence. I nearly cricked my neck making eye-contact but I knew who they were because I’d watched their cartoon show as a kid. They were the Harlem Globetrotters, doing what it says on the tin, globe-trotting. So weirdly out of context, they had come and gone before I could properly tune in to the reality of their being there. Know what they said? ‘Can we have some donuts please.’ I know. I’ve always held that reality is basically mundane, and that’s why we need fiction.
To re-link to my earlier point about PR, if somebody reads that a girl who once lived in their town is launching a novel, and sold jam impregnated baked goods to superstars, they’ll think, ‘Did I know her?’ and you have their attention, if only for a moment.
And so now . . . drum roll, here it is, my baby. Published in ebook May 29th 2014 and as a paperback on June 5th.
http://bit.ly/1jcla3O The Book Depository
http://bit.ly/1g5bjwH – Quercus Books
If you are tempted, please consider writing an Amazon review. Every algorithm counts these days. Thank you for reading.
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