I think that the hardest thing about self-publishing is not the writing, or even the publishing – but the promoting. Although I have run my own business for many years, it has succeeded through word of mouth rather than thanks to any spectacular marketing efforts on my part, and so I do struggle when it comes to thinking of ways to promote Plank. But one thing I have found is that the more effort you put in, the more people are willing to help you.
For instance, back in September last year I took part in a “meet the local authors” event at our main city library. I arrived early, smiled a bit manically for several hours, and stayed to help tidy up. Over four hours I sold eight books and (the real delight) was able to talk about Sam and Martha to lots of people. I also told the lovely organiser that any time she wants to trot out a local author to talk about writing or police history or Regency times or self-publishing, I’d be delighted to be involved.
Well, I live in an area of Cambridge called Chesterton, and every June we have a Chesterton Festival. When I saw the 2015 festival being advertised, I contacted my nice library lady and suggested that it might be fun to hold a talk at our local branch library here in Chesterton. And because I made the effort to suggest it, and said that I would talk for free, and because it brings people into the library, she thought that it would work. And so here is my little advert in the festival flyer – top-right of page 3. I don’t expect a huge audience, but I shall go along with a stack of books to sell and the notes on self-publishing that the ladies of the WI enjoyed, and see how it goes. And if no-one turns up, the joy of a library is that I shall have plenty to read while I wait.