Book marketing – grow your own readership

Well that’s what I’m hoping. I knew that I would have to do some of that scary stuff called marketing, and I knew I would find it difficult.

The really difficult bit is calling in favours and asking for endorsements – it’s absolutely cringe-making to go out there and request that people you admire or love (or both in some cases) come up with a promotional phrase or two that can be used on a book jacket. Once I’d done that bit, and the first generous and lovely sentences had come back to me (and my hopefully happy publishers!) it was time to think creatively.

I have some files lurking on my computer with names like ’15 ways to market your novel using bookmarks’ or ‘100 ways to sell your book’ – they are, to be honest, horrifying. I cannot imagine what dire change in my circumstances could ever cause me to litter my GP’s waiting room with bookmarks exhorting people to buy my book. The idea that I might wander round bookshops, accosting people who are looking at similar books to mine and then force a business card on them offering a 10% discount on my own effort is just mental. As for hiring a stall at a local craft market to flog my words … I’d rather sell a kidney, should such a thing be possible.

Undoubtedly there are people in the world for whom these techniques work. I am not one of them.

Postcards and flyers and bookmarks struck me as a little pedestrian. I wanted to do something to thank people who’d already bought Minding My Peas And Cucumbers, and encourage those who might buy, so I’ve invested in some seed packets, a rubber stamp and a vast number of bowls and saucers containing seed saved from my allotment.

Grown your own, anyone?

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