Like many writers I love the writing bit and sometimes find doing my own marketing and promotion a distraction from my new novel. But what I’ve found on my not very glamorous but successful mini-book tour, is that there are parts of the book selling process that are fun, really stimulating and enrich the writing process.
In attempting to sell Hard Change, I’ve researched how to promote books on-line and benefitted from the wealth of information and advice that’s out there. Thanks especially to Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn and @JaneFriedman, showing me the long game. But while I’m (painfully) slowly building up my author platform and getting my on-line sales act together, I decided to take action, use my other skills and experience, interests and networks, get out there and meet people – and that’s the bit I love. Here are 3 key lessons I’ve learned so far and how it’s working.
Think about what do you do in your day job (or life outside work) that you might build on or twist to provide some new interest /angle?
I’m a professional facilitator and design a range of workshops to help people tackle whatever problems they are facing. I thought about some of the issues at the top of the list of my potential readers and designed a workshop around it. I tested the workshop and found a few takers who loved the session, tweeted about it and bought some books.
What characters are in your book and where might people who recognise those characters hang out?
My novel is a political thriller mainly set in local government and the public sector in the UK. I thought about the conferences I used to go to, when I worked in that world, looked at what was happening and got myself along to them. It felt like a leap but has generated fantastic interest in the book and got me an article in The Guardian – see: http://tinyurl.com/opd5xfu
When you get where your readers are, enjoy it and listen to your readers stories – they are gold dust!
So far on my mini-tour (3 conferences and 3 workshops so far – with another 2 to come) the highlight has been seeing old colleagues, lots of whom have pitched in a bought a book. I’ve made new friends (who’ve likewise bought books) and learned loads including new stories that are inspiring me to crack on and write book 2! Will be interesting to see my sales figures for the month but I’ve sold an average of 25 books a day on my “tour” and fitted it around the day job. Ok it might not be J.K. Rowling –but it feels like a great start and there’s some momentum!