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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.