I love writing but confess when it comes to marketing and promoting the two novels I’ve published so far . . .  This post about Hazel Gaynor’s excellent talk at last year’s RNA Conference is very much a case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’

hazel gaynorHAZEL GAYNOR began with the lesson of E.L. James’s runaway success. ALL publicity is good publicity. What followed was effervescent.

As a reader Hazel needed to be told three things:

  • Tell me the book exists
  • Give me a reason to care
  • Convince me to buy it

She showed how to go about doing this by quoting from the Bookseller Marketing and Publicity Conference using the link #mpconf15, reminding us the author knows their book the best, and is, therefore, the ideal publicist.

All that followed made perfect sense. Hazel emphasised be nice to everyone, engage rather than sell, keep engaging and interacting. Social media is to entertain, to inform, and to connect.

What not to do – #buymybook #buymybook #buymybook.

Her advice: focus on fluid media, Twitter, Facebook and be a user not a promoter. Be visual on Pinterest, use video – You Tube, Book Tube, Facebook Virtual Events – plus look at two new mediums for ideas: –for podcasts, sample chapters, interviews [billed on Google as a platform for women too busy to browse], and Periscope #whereiwrite [launched by Twitter March 2015] where authors give live tours around writing spaces.

social media signpost 300She recommended, chat and engage with people, support other writers, tag a relevant hashtag, share quotes from books, do a Twitter chat (be prepared), run a giveaway promotion/competition share interesting, relevant book-related content on your Author Central profile on Amazon, share milestones.

Who are you online? She emphasised the importance of photographs on Websites and Blog Posts, on Twitter, create a mailing list. Keep changing your Facebook Profile, and, more importantly, your FB Author Page.

She advised three to six months pre-publication, start sharing progress, cover reveal, look into Goodreads giveaways, and invite reviews.

Launch – quote from book. Make use of your Pinterest Notice Board, make it lively and interesting re-pinning from other Notice Boards but cave Copyright.

Engage with readers through your Goodreads Author Profile and Dashboard.

Our guests arrive . . .Be a real person in your locality, at writing festivals and events, book clubs and libraries. Run Workshops, attend conferences and festivals.

Skype – now there’s something to consider. Write articles online and in print. Write Blog posts. Review other authors’ books. Be interviewed.

Be creative like Joan Hessayon’ Award Winner Brigid Coady, photographed as “Writer in Residence” on her commuter train from Maidstone, and check out Matt Haig, author of The Humans.

Pitch a press release – what is your book? Research radio, TV, events, and don’t forget business cards, and book markers.

Finally, CELEBRATE.2015-10-21 11.35.53

But a note of caution, what if, after all this, it goes bad? Low attendance sucks. Mistakes happen.

Hazel’s personal observation, get over it like you do rejection of your precious manuscript(s). No resting on your laurels nowadays when you’ve written and published a book. That is just the beginning.

Thank you Hazel Gaynor for detailing what needs to happen next. Hazel ended with a Woody Allen quote “Eighty percent of success is showing up”.

First published in Romance Matters Autumn 2015

STEVE HODGKIN / Credit - CHADWICKS -Mags Cullingford
Independent Author Last Bite of the Cherry (2012) and
Twins of a Gazelle (2015)

Mags is currently completing and polishing her as yet untitled third novel – After her mother’s fatal car accident, Lexie Neave receives threatening anonymous letters. Private investigator Forbes’s brief is to identify the writer and discover what it is Lexie has that’s “valuable, very valuable which by rights is mine”. Lexie hasn’t a clue, and she’s in danger.





Posted on February 27, 2016, in Margaret Cullingford and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Some great tips here from a professional. I certainly learned something after reading this blog post. Thanks, Mags.

  2. Mags Cullingford

    Thanks for commenting, Lizzie.I learned so much from Hazel’s presentation. Now, I have to knuckle down and try more of her suggestions.

  3. Great post to share, Mags. Well timed for me too. I’ve been taking note. 🙂 X

    • Mags Cullingford

      Glad you find it helpful, Jan. These days, writers can’t afford to relax even though they’ve just written The End. That’s a whole new beginning!

  4. Excellent post, Mags – with lots to think about (and even more to take on board!)
    Thanks for putting it all together.

  5. Reblogged this on Alison Williams Writing and commented:
    Some excellent advice here – a must read for writers.

  6. Good advice. I haven’t come across so will check it out and Periscope.

    • Mags Cullingford

      Quite a few sites were new to me, Mary. Must admit my head was reeling by the time Hazel had finished. No faulting her dynamism or enthusiasm.

  7. Mags Cullingford

    Many thanks for your comments June and Alison.In my opinion, excellent if daunting advise. More hours in a day would help.

  8. Mags Cullingford

    P.S. Thanks for the re-blog Alison.

  9. Reblogged this on Lizzie Lamb and commented:

    Some great tips in this blog by Mags Cullingford

  10. Mags Cullingford

    Thanks Lizzie👍

  11. Excellent summary of what was a superb presentation by Hazel, good work Mags. Having worked closely with my NRP colleagues on promotion and profiling, I’m continually surprised by what works and what doesn’t. I’m always happy to try something new too, and I’ve been in marketing and PR for 30 years!

  12. Mags Cullingford

    “It’s a whole new ball game” Adrienne – Apologies for cliche, been hearing too much football commentary.

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