Joe Darling Book Review

A book we designed last year has come to the attention of a popular cricket site. In addition to saying many positive things about the content, the writer also touches upon the design:

Joe Darling, lived a full life, not just in a cricketing sense, and his story is a fascinating one. Thankfully it is told thoroughly and entertainingly by Whimpress and Ryan. Add to this some great production values and this is a great read. It should be in the book collection of all cricket fans.
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Public Relations and Authors

If you are one of those independent authors to whom selling does not come easily, you might want to consider a publicist. Local publicist Phillip Anderson offers reasonably priced six week campaigns. Such campaigns typically feature the following:

  • Author interviews and reviews in relevant newspapers
  • Author interviews with key online news sources
  • Book reviews across national and regional newspapers and online publications
  • National and local author radio interviews (where possible)

Phillip can be contacted via email: phillip@phillipandersonpublicity.com.au. Before engaging in such campaigns, authors will need to get their ducks in a row:

  • Make sure their books are easily available in the areas reached by the publicity
  • Ensure that they have spare stock in case sales go well (though this does not apply to print on demand and ebook sales online)
  • Rehearse the points they want to get across in interviews, the key selling strengths of their book, the so-called 'elevator pitch'. And have some kind of idea of potential customers and what kind of angles might appeal to them

These might seem obvious points, but we have seen a remarkable number of authors who weren't really across any of them before initiating publicity efforts. Remember: bookstores will be much better disposed to independent authors who are making a clear and sustained effort to promote their work.

If You Build It, They Might Not Come — Promotional Realities Part 3

Guest Post by Jo Ettles

Public speaking and networking
I often speak at events both big and small. Some events are local and some of late have been interstate. This is an amazing way to get your books and your message out into the world. It takes a lot of energy to do this though so I tend to really only participate in events and networking opportunities where I know there will be genuine interest in my work. For obvious reasons, if you are asked to speak at an event to showcase your book, make sure it is a good fit!

Website
Invest in a good website. Create a beautiful website or blog and sell signed copies of your books from it. My website is actually a Wordpress blog combined with website design. I am lucky my husband is trained in this area so I can add and subtract information at any time. I post articles to my blog, I sell my books from my blog, I recommend other authors books from my blog and I also obviously promote my other services.

Your book is important and your website/blog should capture the essence of your work as well as who you are so invest some time and energy into this platform.

Keep going   
Recently, my publisher went into receivership. This was a devastating blow for not only me but also around 200 other authors, editors and talented designers. It would have been very easy to just call it quits but I decided that quitting would have been too easy. 

My thing is to write short, easy to read books that will inspire people to make positive life changes instantly. That desire has been so strong that I am now starting my third book. Imagine if I let my first publisher take that dream away from me through their miss management?

I was lucky enough to get picked up by another publisher recently and so the journey to get my work out into the world continues. 

Here is the thing though...

If you believe you can, you are halfway there. There are always going to be challenges, obstructions and hurdles that will set you back. If success was easy, well then everyone would be successful! 

Henry Rollins said, “You must do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t”. For that reason I am relentless when it comes to marketing my books. I make the time every-day to find a way to reach another reader, to connect with another person who may want to hear my message or share it with someone else.

If you have created a beautiful book that you are proud of, take steps every day to get it out into the world.  Think outside the square, take action and be consistent. Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen.

If You Build It, They Might Not Come — Promotional Realities Part 2

Guest Post by Jo Ettles

Social media
I love social media and it has worked well for me. There are so many options though, so my best advice is pick one or two social media platforms and then do them really well. I use Facebook and Twitter only.

Facebook – I have a personal Facebook account but I keep this for family and friends and a few colleagues that I have connected with. Off to the side of my personal account, I have a business/ author page which I post on daily.  Because I write self- help books, I post quotes and tips, wellness information that I hope will encourage people to take action towards having a better day.  To me, it is fantastic a way to instantly connect with people and it also reflects the way I write.  

I have used Facebook adds as a way of selling books, and I have had good results. If you are not familiar with marketing using Facebook advertising, the guidelines are strict and you need to be mindful on how to do it well to make it work.  It is trial and error and maybe that is another post down the track if anyone wants to know more about that as a way to market their books.

Twitter
You can actually connect your Facebook page to Twitter and when you post on Facebook, it automatically reposts it on Twitter- killing 2 birds with one stone (no pun intended!!!). Twitter is a phenomenal way to connect with the world.  I once connected with two amazing coaches in London via Twitter and I sent them a copy of my first book. When they received it, they took a photo of it and then shared the photo and some information about my book with all of their followers. It definitely generated interest in my work and resulted in an increase in sales.

Here is another way to look at Twitter. If you follow someone on Twitter, they automatically receive notification via email that you are following them. It is a perfect way to connect and introduce yourself to all sorts of amazing people who might want to follow you, connect with you and even share your work.

Review copies   
When my first book was released, I had a publicist that actually got me a few radio interviews and a couple of good reviews in magazines. For my latest book, I have no publicist. I am my own publicist! 

I wrote my own press release and sent a copy of my latest book to a few media publications. So far, I have had a few radio interviews, a great full page write up in a newspaper magazine and it is early days. I have only just started doing this.

I don’t have any real influential media connections so this method is a bit hit and miss for me, but I have nothing to lose. I think if you want to really get your work out there, be fearless. What is the worst thing that can happen?  They don’t respond?  Take a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised. 

Send review copies to journalists in your local paper or any papers and magazines for that matter. There is a great website called Sourcebottle and it is a free online service that connects journalists with sources so if you sign up, you get daily emails of upcoming opportunities to quote or feature in stories. I have found a couple of great opportunities via this website to promote myself and my books.