I don’t remember any buzz around my non-fiction books. Rather expensive lunches with my old-established publishers and a smart party with no books for sale certainly did nothing much for promotion. There were some reviews in the journals, and they appeared in bookshops and libraries, and that was the extent of it.
Now I have a novel to promote and a new, lively, go-ahead ‘small global’ publisher, Driven Press, who have told me one should ‘create a buzz’ ahead of publication day. I’ve attended a couple of workshops on marketing and I like this new challenge. But it certainly is a challenge if you have been brought up not to show off, have spent your working life among people who feel the same, who rarely read novels except the classics, and who do not respect (or understand!) Twitter or FaceBook.
This blog is part of promotion of course, but I hope my musings on the subject will be some use to anyone who like me is technically unskilled and afraid of showing off. At least you will know you are not alone.
And by the way, congratulations on finding your way your way to this blog.
So far I have managed to put the cover and a sort of lovely banner provided by Driven Press on Facebook and Twitter and tried to think of interesting things to say apart from ‘Aren’t I a clever girl?’. And I have shared and retweeted others’ kind words of congratulation alongside repeats of the images.
Driven Press have made up a ‘media kit’ and I have sent that to people who might invite me to speak at festivals or book shop events.
Another bit of advice given on marketing courses is ‘Talk to people about your book.’ Well, this week at our formal college dinner I did a some of that, and showed off my book cover on my smartphone. I know we always remember the negatives, and of course there were compliments and good wishes. But most vivid in my mind are these:
‘Is this you when you were younger?’
‘Who’s the woman on the cover?’
‘So it’s a soppy romance, is it?’
And finally: I learned my lesson about speaking to clever reporters. I said things I later regretted in a press interview and could not get them cut… Ah well, they say all publicity is good publicity.