Monday 30 July 2012

Pounding the streets

Following on from my earlier post (Spreading the word) a good friend of mine printed some small posters and business cards. So this morning I wandered around the nearest town to see if there was anywhere I could display the posters or leave cards. My first stop was the library and for a small fee they'll display the poster on their notice board for two months.

Unfortunately that good start wasn't an omen, most of the town centre was less than keen to help out. Thankfully the local book shop agreed to place a poster behind the counter and a small sandwich shop will put it in their front window. So not the greatest start, but the book's title and cover is now being seen in some places it wasn't before.

This afternoon I did the same thing, only this time in my local village. Everyone calls it a village, but it has some 3,500 households, so it is a reasonably sized one :-) Again I started with the local library and once again it proved a good place to start - they will display the poster and hand out cards to anyone interested. Some of the local businesses also agreed to display the poster and hand out a few cars.

A local charity: Young People Littleport also agreed to help. They provide a variety of useful local support and services. I've included a link to their site in the useful links section to the right.

On a not so local scale my good friend has volunteered to hand out some of the cards and flyers in London, where he works.

So all in all, not a bad day of shameless self promotion :-)

Saturday 28 July 2012

Spreading the word

Objectively I knew that after releasing the book there would be considerable effort needed to promote the book, after all I am a new author whose work is known only to a few people. I think at the back of my mind though there was the naive hope that releasing the book would instantly enjoy some success. That of course was a silly hope, in almost any endeavour success needs to be worked and earned.

So how do I go about letting the world know I have something wonderful for them to look at?

The first step is with people I already know. I got in touch with friends, colleagues and contacts and individually let them know that I released a book and encouraged them to check it out. This inevitably leads to people saying they don't have a Kindle, I then point out that Kindle viewers are available for free download on many different platforms. Of course some people don't like reading on screens or just prefer reading printed books, so I now have a task to look at putting a print edition together. I shall start doing so over the next few weeks.

Friends can also provide ideas of their own to help spread the word, one good friend Dave (everyone should have a mate Dave) has some guerilla marketing thoughts that we're looking into.

With everyone I also asked if they can promote the book in any way, either through personal recommendation or by their social networks. Again some people will, others won't but some support is much better than none. It also highlights the fact that I don't really have a social network presence of my own. I've always shied away from the likes of Twitter and Facebook, primarily because I've never had anything to share. Well now I have, so there is another avenue I need to explore.

The next step was the communities I was already involved with. For me that is primarily two communities, online the Eurogamer forums and offline Littleport Life. I've been a regular at Eurogamer for a while and there is also a small writing discussion group, all of whom have been very supportive of my writing and just as much so now it is released. My friends at Littleport Life (we are all volunteers who put together a community magazine every 3 months) are also helping so in the next edition I'm getting space to promote the book and in the next edition I'll be writing an article about how and why I wrote the book.

As well as communities I'm already involved in, there are a number of communities who specialise in the arena I have entered. One such community is the Kindle Users forum ( I've joined the community and received a warm welcome. I'm trying to keep my promotion to a minimum and just taking part in discussion. I've also had a number of other communities like Good Reads recommended to me.

And the results of these different strategies? So far slim, but I have sold a few books and even had my first few sales in the US. It's something I can build on.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

A slow, but positive start

Sales have trickled in, which is nice. I'm not going to be retiring soon, but that's hardly surprising as I'm a new and more importantly, unknown author. A few sales in the UK and Europe, but nothing in the US so far.

I have received my first Amazon review, a glowing recommendation - and no I didn't write it!

Naturally I'm now spending my time pressing F5 tosee if the numbers go up and was pleasantly surprised to see my book in the top ten Fantasy --> Horror category. It didn't stay there for long, but it's still quite a morale booster :-)

I'm dedicating time to help promote the book, if anyone has any suggestions then feel free to share. I'm also helping at my local community magazine (see the Littleport Life link in the panel to the right), we have a print deadline soon so that'll keep me busy as well. When things calm down a little I'lllook into putting together a short story or two that I'll put on this blog. I have a few ideas I want to play with before starting on the next novel.

And most importantly, it's my birthday on Sunday, so looking forward to that :-)

Tuesday 24 July 2012

My first novel is now available

Welcome to the first post of my new blog. The blog has been started to accompany the release of my first novel - no prizes for guessing its title! As well as posting about the book and any news as it happens, I'll also post about generally interesting and useful - that's the plan anyway :-)

But today's big news is that The Cult of Me is available from Amazon for Kindle and the related viewers. Not having a Kindle is no excuse not to pick up my (or anyone else's) book, there is a free viewer available for most major platforms.

The book itself is horror thriller, with a paranormal bent. For years a killer with the ability to enter people's minds has inflicted terrible acts upon the passing public. No-one has ever suspected he was the cause. But now the game has grown stale and he has decided to end it all with a public last stand. While in prison putting  the plan for his final battle in action he discovers that he isn't as unique as he thought.

So there's the basic premise, hopefully it sounds interesting, if so check out the sample with the link to the right. If you have any questions then feel free to add a comment.

Thanks for reading.