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Making Sure You’re ‘High Vis’!

September 19th, 2014

LOOK!-BLOGFirst, thanks to Emily for last week’s blog. It was great to hear that she feels her own writing has improved while she has been working with us. We wish her all the best for both her new career and her novel – and hope that one day we’ll see her name on the Amazon best seller list.

But, as Phil pointed out in his Wednesday post – once you’ve written your book, you’ve got to get it out to your potential readers.  He mentioned three good ways of promoting your book, but what about personal appearances and readings.  I can’t do that… I’m shy…I hate speaking in public… I hear you cry.  But you can’t use that as an excuse these days – whether you go with a conventional publisher or self-publish you’ll be expected to do a lot of promotion for your book. And it’s really not as bad as it sounds.

People always like to meet local authors (especially if they think you may be famous in the future) – so take advantage of this to promote your book. If you think about it, there are lots of places you can make a personal appearance. The most obvious ones are:

* Bookshops: You can approach both large chains and independent bookstores. The large chains might take more convincing but once you’re ‘in’ it opens up a huge number of outlets. For smaller independents you need to convince the owner that it will bring more custom to the shop.

* Libraries: There are over 4500 public libraries in the UK so there should be a fair number within travelling distance. They’re always looking for ways to draw people in and if you’re a hit you will get people asking the library to buy your book so that they can borrow it. You’ll then be eligible to join the Public Lending Right scheme.

* Local literature festival. OK you probably won’t make it to Hay or Cheltenham as a novice writer. But there are now more and more small festivals around the country (we even have one in Rochdale!) where local authors would be more than welcome.

But it doesn’t stop there. In fact there are dozens of other places you could try, depending on what type of book you’ve written. You could approach reading/writing circles; local schools (if you’ve written a children’s book ) and Women’s Institutes (they are always on the look-out for guest speakers).

The list is endless – it just needs a bit of creative thinking. And, as a writer, who could be better at that than you?

My guest next Friday is Kathryn Clark who won 2nd Prize in our 2014 short story competition with ‘The Delivery Man’ . She classes herself as an ‘extreme introvert’ but still manages to promote her writing successfully.

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