As regular readers will know, I try to put regular energy into marketing initiatives. Which is a grand way of saying that I sit there with a bit of paper headed “How to sell Sam” and try to think of ideas. Of course – as in most areas of life – the having of the idea is the easy bit. Where I usually come to grief is actually doing it. It’s not through laziness, but through knowing that I don’t earn nearly enough from my writing to indulge in all the marketing wheezes I would like to try.
For instance, last week I travelled down to London on the train from Cambridge – a journey of about an hour. I looked around the carriage and nearly everyone was reading. A-ha, thought I: wouldn’t it be good to give them all a sample chapter of one of the Sam books – just enough to fill a bit of their journey and pique their interest, so that they rush to their computer or bookshop and order the entire book. I could hand them out on the train, or stand by the stack of Metro newspapers – after all, people who pick up a paper are self-declared readers. But I wouldn’t want to give out scrappy photocopies – they would need to look nice. Perhaps a book-sized leaflet, with stiff covers… And this would, of course, cost quite a bit. Back to the drawing board.
It’s not that I do nothing. After all, I have my monthly Sam updates for subscribers – feel free to join us by signing up here. We are a small band but a merry one – just today we have been enjoying an overview of the history of barbering (Sam was an apprentice barber before he was a constable). And I have just persuaded Hart’s Books in Saffron Walden to hold an author event for me on the evening of Wednesday 10 October 2018 – so if you’re local (or even if you’re not – Saffron Walden is a delight to discover) please do come and join us. (It’s not on the Hart’s website yet, but you can be sure that I won’t be keeping quiet about it once it is featured.)
But I will admit that marketing – unsuccessful marketing, which seems to be my specialism – can be rather depressing. And so I have decided that for the next month I am going to stop thinking about selling the books and instead spend all those thoughts on writing the next one. Hopefully this will remind me that I do this writing thing because I love writing. Writing, not marketing or selling. So let’s see how that goes.
Roy McCarthy said:
Hurrah Susan. There would be precious few writers or books if pecuniary reward were the motivator.
Ain’t that the truth, Roy! I am also resolved not to say, for one entire month, “But s/he’s practically illiterate! Just because s/he’s a model/footballer/reality TV ‘star’ publishers are throttling each other to get to him/her – it’s so UNFAIR!”
Graham Thomas said:
As one of the small band of subscribers to your separate monthly Sam update, just to say thank you very much for the latest fact packed edition, received safe and sound into my email inbox today.
I’m delighted you enjoyed it, Graham – I just love doing them! After all, it’s an excuse to do yet more research… and you know how I cannot say no to research. The September update is already on the starting blocks.
Best wishes from Susan
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