Category Archives: Margaret Cullingford
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 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:
www.the-pool.com –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.
She 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.
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.
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
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.
What Christmas means to us . . .
click on each photo to put a face to a name !
First up – June
My grandma would make 100 mince pies and 100 lemon curd and jam tarts every year at this time, before giving the house a thorough bottoming! Here the toaster has just exploded and I already have hurricane hair.
Soon though, every room will be full, every bed occupied, and like most of us, shutting myself away to write won’t be an option. I’m bound to be inspired enough by chat and conversation though, to keep scribbling notes on scraps of paper. (Must remember to keep them safe – not risk finding one stuck to the bottom of a Piccalilli jar in February, like last year.) One son recently met a person who studied photography as I did, in the ‘60s, then worked for BBC (and on Evita) as a make-up artist in ‘70s and ‘80s. Great background for my novel, so there’ll be some surreptitious scribbling about that!
Take it away – Adrienne
I love Christmas, always have. Luckily we live in a village with a church and a pub so we make the most of it. And with two cocker spaniels, there’s always a great excuse to trudge off excesses across fields, rewarding ourselves with a nice glass of mulled wine and mince pies in front of a roaring log fire. I do all of it! We’re going to visit family in Dublin too, which will be really special, the lights in the city are fabulous and we’ll head to the coast and then into the mountains for lunch, wonderful.
I’m completing the edits of my new novel Scandal of the Seahorse Hotel currently which will take me through to New Year, when we will be in sunny South Devon. I always start a new novel, fresh notebook, coloured pens at the ready while I’m there. The walks on the beach, steaming seafood chowder and local cider help get the brain cells working again – it’s all rather inspirational, so Christmas and New Year is a time of thanksgiving for me, I know how lucky we are.
How about you, Mags?
Mags is working on her third novel which features ‘heroine in jeopardy’ as its central theme. She will be spending Christmas at the beck and call of her cat, Tina – no change there – who deserves to have a novel written just about her.
And, finally, Lizzie
I’m dreaming about hitting the road in 2016 with our caravan, computer, parrot and husband to research number four. Highlands of Scotland, here I come. For me, Christmas is all about being with friends and family and taking time to do those things which the madness of modern life seems to push to the back of the queue – loving, laughter and sharing experiences. I’m very enthused about #4 which I’m currently writing and which features a wayward laird who is at odds with his son, an eccentric family of cousins and a missing ‘treasure.’ Hopefully you’ll be able to download it by the end of 2016.
It simply remains for us to thank you all for your continued support – whether it be downloading our novels, reviewing them, subscribing to newsletters or just chatting to us on Facebook. Have a great Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. Soon the shortest day will have passed and we will start journeying towards the light.
Here are the links to our amazon pages if you would like to download one of our novels . . .