I know that many of you, like me, are self-published authors (or planning to self-publish) and I do like to update you on what is working and what is not when it comes to promotion and marketing. This week I did a talk at a local library which was terrifically well-attended (35 people on a Wednesday evening); there were lots of interesting questions, and I sold an amazing twelve books – and came home with a beautiful bunch of flowers and some charming compliments about how adorable Sam is. Equally lovely were the people who came up to me after the talk with ideas of how to promote my books. Two suggestions I have acted on already – contacting the tutors of local creative writing courses (whose students might want to know about self-publishing and how she is done) and emailing the agent of book-mad Mariella Frostrup (to ask if MF would like a copy of one or all of Sam’s outings) – and I will let you know if anything happens. It’s a bit demoralising when you send out emails and hear nothing back, but that’s the reality in most cases, and I just remind myself that I definitely won’t hear anything if I don’t email at all, and do my best not to take it personally – these people receive hundreds of approaches from strangers.
Tomorrow I’m going to Bristol for the day – accompanying husband who is going to a cycle show – and am wracking my brains to think of how I could squeeze some Sam-relevant learning from the day, apart from the usual looking-for-late-Regency-portraits in the museum. But I really don’t think that “Plank 4” can take a detour to Bristol. Sadly, these days – and particularly while in the writing phase of a book – I tend to think that a visit that doesn’t help with Sam is a wasted visit.