Category Archives: marketing

How to Avoid Social Media Overload?

Hide you head in the sand and hope it all goes away?

As an author you sometimes feel like that don’t you! You try and reach out on Twitter, your blog, Facebook and the list goes on, but time is short and there’s no real time for the positive meaningful interaction you need for it to be worthwhile and enjoyable.

Flit from one platform to the other as the new fashion come along?

‘You must try Tick Tock,’ a fellow author cries, ‘It’s great!’

… or whatever the trending platform is at the moment. You spread your precious time more thinly than ever and take hours getting it all set up. It’s called familiarisation! Then you launch it in a big funfair, mentioning it on your other platforms. Your enthusiasm keeps the adrenalin going for a few weeks as you juggle all you were doing, with your new ‘social media pal’ and then what? Burn out!

‘I’m a writer’ I hear you cry, ‘and not a marketeer!’

I’m afraid, all authors have to market their own books unless they sell squillions and can pay for a publicist, even those debut writers with the big publishing houses. Finding a balance between writing, marketing and, well, life too is tough at the best of times.

So, have we a magic bullet here at Eventispress?

Sadly no, but we do offer some sound advice:

  • Once you’ve chosen a platform, take time to establish yourself before moving on.
  • Post regularly, especially if it is your blog and connect with other bloggers by reading and commenting on their posts. That’s essential.
  • Be part of the community. Don’t just dip into it.
  • Make contacts and build relationships with other authors and readers.
  • Share areas of your own personal interest to show yourself as a ‘whole person’ who is engaged in life and interesting to know beyond books.
  • Ask other authors you have got to know as to what worked for them. Remember though, one authors plan to success may not work with you. You need to furrow your own path.
  • Make a marketing plan and try to keep to a loose schedule.
  • Allow a budget per year for paid marketing, for example Amazon ads (and Bryan Cohen gives wonderful free courses on this), blog tours, twitter tours and other marketing platforms.
  • This way you are not alone ~ your reach is far greater as is your presence on the internet. You cannot do it all yourself.

The list goes on and I’m sure you could add to it.

Good luck!

Celebrating Blogging Bookshops!

Diana Jackson’s first ever book-signing event at Horatio’s Ampthill, which sadly is no more!

We love real bookshops here at Eventispress. In fact all authors should make friends with their local bookshops and be a customer. The mutual support is great karma!

It is also a delight to see bookshops blogging about books, giving us updates of releases, events and news. We like the small independent blogs best; those that give an individual and local flavour.

Here are a few independent bookshop blogs we’ve discovered around the UK:

Portobello Bookshop blog in Edinburgh

Book a Blog in Oswestry

The Mad Hatter Bookshop Blog in Burford

The Riverside Bookshop Blog in London

The large chain bookstore blogs

…also give you a fantastic flavour of trends, best sellers and new releases:

Waterstones Book Blog (who have always been supportive of us at Eventispress)

Foyles Book Blog (who have several of our books on their on line site)

Blackwell’s Bookshop Blog (who have certainly been supportive of us in the past, especially up in Edinburgh and down in Cambridge)

How to support your favourite Bookshop from your own armchair:

Just before lock-down we highlighted online bookshops which gave you the opportunity to send a percentage to your favourite local bookshop. Now a few more sites like this have set up, for those still in the ‘buy everything on line’ mode. Here are the ones we know about:

Hive supports indie bookshops

also Bookshop.org

and IndieBookshop.com

Where are the best bookshops in the UK?

says the Guardian

says Skinny! ~ the best bookshops in Scotland

says Books and Bao

Do you have a favourite bookshop, or are you a bookshop owner who blogs? Do let us know and we’ll mention you too.

Why and When is it Valid to Update Fiction, Memoir and Other Genre

In our last post by author Brian Kerr we looked at specific reasons why it is good to revise non fiction. Here we look at our wider publications:

To improve an earlier novel to re-release to a new audience

Author Diana Jackson was one of the founding writers in Eventispress, taking back the rights of her debut novel Riduna and rereleasing it under the Eventispress umbrella.

As Diana says, “You learn so much, the more you write, and by the time I wanted to rerelease Riduna, I had already completed the manuscript for its sequel Ancasta and had begun to write a third novel. When I read it afresh I knew I could improve it, making the story line crisper and deleting some of the waffle ~ well written waffle maybe, but nevertheless I felt some of it had to go!”

To give a book that extra polish if it was once self-published, but it is now being released under the arm of a small publisher

Author Roderick Hart is rereleasing his novel The Ears of a Cat with us shortly, having self published it a few years ago.

Rod writes, “Since The Ears of a Cat is now to be published by Eventispress, which makes sense because it is in the same series as Interleaved Lives, I felt I needed to work on parts I just wasn’t 100% happy with, before the Eventispress team read it for the final edit and approval.

To amend chronological details of dates

As Diana Jackson explains,

When I wrote MURDER, Now and Then to be published in 2014 I was predicting a world in 2019, one hundred years after the first murder took place. Once 2019 came along there were two good reasons to rewrite bits:

  1. Some of the chronological happenings were not synchronized with the real world in 2019 and although I had guessed the future pretty well, I’d got some of it wrong too.
  2. Also, the book takes you through WW1 and bringing it up to date before rereleasing it in 2018 was too good a centenary to miss.

To respond to any constructive criticism in reviews

We are grateful for the positive and enthusiastic reviews for our books and we are not advocates of taking negative reviews too seriously. We believe in the quality of our books, but there are times when constructive criticism should be acted upon if possible.

An example could be “I enjoyed the book but found too many names beginning with ‘H’ quite confusing.”

It is a big thing to revise and rerelease a book but if the effort is to be made, then correcting something like this could be really good to ensure optimum pleasure for the reader.

And finally …

If you are doing a new promotion to reach new audiences or releasing the next one in the series and there’s that one thing that niggles you about your book, then we say go for it!

We are flexible enough at Eventispress to work with authors to achieve their goals. That’s partnership for you.

PUBLISHING A BOOK? ~ IT’S A GAME OF TWO HALVES by Author Brian Kerr

Savour the moment your book is published

So, you have just published your book: possibly your first – and it looks great.  Congratulations!  It is time to savour the moment. You have in your hand – or on your screen – the output from months, or perhaps years, of hard slog.  Sure, there have been some good moments but it mostly has been about gritted teeth and working at it. You deserve to enjoy the moment, but don’t become lost in the euphoria, and not think about how to sell it.

What next?

No matter how often you tell yourself it is not about the sales, or money, or recognition, it would be nice if someone read it, or better still bought a copy or even better lots of copies. Yes of course you have thought about a launch, and you have set aside a pile to pass on to friends and family and those who pitched in and helped along the way.  They deserve a free copy – but not absolutely free.   Perhaps a review could be encouraged.  A beer and sandwich session in a local pub with a book priced at a small mark down on Amazon, will start the process.  Worth the cost of a few beers?

…but remember, you are a new author to the block and you need to reach out to others but how?

Great Marketing Ideas for reaching out

Would your new readers and friends take a small pile of flyers to leave with other friends, or in the pub?  Are they a member of a book club and this is a good time to ask if book clubs are active in your area? Make sure the organiser of the club is aware that there is a published author on the doorstep.  Book clubs will often give an author a few moments if only to have a new voice in the room.

What’s App and other platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn ~ the list goes on

For some people the business of networking is second nature and dropping in a reference to a new book would not seem intrusive.  For others the idea of self-publicity is cringeworthy.  Many neighbourhoods have shared WhatsApp groups and you can be sure that a reference to a new author with an invitation, ‘to look it up on Amazon’, will be more interesting than a moan about the parking of the need to find a plumber.

The list of useful initiatives worth a try is lengthy and can be exhausting.  Do you have presence on LinkedIn for example? This can be like a ripple in a pond?  Worth a try but be aware this will also attract offers of all types of publicity service, at a price. These may be tempting as you may want to move on to a new book or simply playing more golf

There are lots of ideas out there and it is worth making a list and dipping your toe in the water.  Many ideas will not appeal but you may be surprised at how the doors do open.

One final thought …

Before you finish the champagne a few sobering facts.  In 2020 UK book sales rose to exceed 200 million. The figure for new titles is more difficult to pin down:  in 2018 there were 185,000 new ISBN numbers issued. That would mean that, if my calculator copes with all the zeros, you need sell more than 1000 copies to beat the average unit sales.

Time to go and sell!

Eventispress adds: “It’s hard to begin at ground zero without a huge marketing budget from your publisher, but even those authors published by the large companies have to start at the beginning.

Best of luck!

“Improve your life: read a book. Improve your life considerably: write a book!”

The above was author Ian K Pulham’s mantra at the end of his article: ‘Ticket to Eden ~ Three Months on from Publication’

So simple but so true, don’t you think.

We always say to authors, read, read, read, before write, write write.

Why should authors be avid readers?

  • You learn from experienced authors
  • You learn to be more critical of your own writing as you read less well hones novels too.
  • We are part of the world of books ~ libraries, bookshops, charity shops ~ feel totally part of that world to make connections
  • Chris Cribari’s blog post, with the link below, gives his own take on why he is an avid reader. We love the photo Chris!
Photo from Chris Cribari’s blog ~ Link below

Why should writers write reviews?

  • Writers are readers too.
  • To actively support your community of authors.
  • It’s good Karma ~ the more you give to an enterprise and those part of it, the more you receive.
  • How can you expect others to review your books if you don’t do reviews yourself?

Why should authors celebrate other authors’ novels on social media?

  • Easier to trumpet someone else’s work than your own.
  • It makes you a rounded person, telling your readers what you do and don’t like in the world of books, but be careful if you’re writing a negative review. Author Diana Jackson says ~ personally I don’t give less than 3 stars, otherwise I just don’t review. Occasionally I get in touch with the author to explain why ~ D Jackson.
  • Shout about the great books you read on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blog post ~ it may provoke comments from like minded folks or even make contact with the author. Write their Twitter handle in the post if they have one.

Sometimes it is tough to promote your own books, but if it is, have a break from it. A positive attitude and promoting the works of others will in the least give you a feel good factor and at best bring good will back to you!

Don’t forget ~ Enjoy the ride!

Publishing your debut novel ~ What a new author needs to know

Out of tiny acorns!

Introduction

On reading debut author Ian K Pulham’s post ‘Three Months on’ last week, many key thoughts a new author ‘on the block’ needs to be prepared for leapt from the print.

Reviews on Amazon

Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Waterstones and elsewhere are vital for the success of a book, whether self published, main stream or hybrid such as ourselves at Eventispress. The advantage with Goodreads is that folks can review your book, whatever platform they bought it from, whether they borrowed it from the library, found it in a charity shop or were given it by a friend who loved the book.

‘Such an effort to’ market the book

No-one can prepare you for the highs and lows of marketing your book, however your book is published. And yes, don’t kid yourself that you won’t be self marketing if you get a deal from one of the big publishing companies. You will.

As highly successful indie author Adam Croft says,

‘If you’re in front of their eyes (that’s the reader) less than other authors, you’re going to be forgotten about, no matter how much they enjoyed your book(s).’

Celebrate each victory

Author Ian K Pulham writes:

So grateful to those people for taking time out to support me in that way. It is a real confidence boost.

Each time you are aware of a new review of a reader who makes a positive comment, or there’s been a spike in your sales, celebrate! If people you know are going to read your novel on holiday, ask them to take a photo of themselves reading it; the idea might take off on Facebook with other readers posting similar selfies! Who knows. Use good reviews in your promotional posts. Marketing is too big a subject to cover effectively here, but try to create a buzz of positivity.

Know your target audience

For Ian this was a bit of an eye opener. He has found that his main target audience is women, which was a surprise to him. (women, allegedly, account for 80% of fiction sales)

Know your genre

In Ian’s case this has been baffling for him too, since many women who have read and reviewed, or given him good feedback on his novel, have said they don’t usually read Sci-fi or Dystopian novels, even though they really enjoyed his. Why did they buy it then? The novel was recommended by someone.

A question here: Should Ian be finding ways of reaching out to more readers of Dystopian or Sci’fi novels? If yes, how?

More about this and categories in another post.

Ian writes of characterization being important. Now that is a topic close to the heart of all Eventispress fiction writers so far and will also be a future topic to explore here.

In it for the log haul

This will be a post on its own too, but a debut author needs to remember that the best audience is one they grow gradually, reader by reader, step by step, because those are the readers who will be loyal and remain with them.

Very few novels, if any, gain immediate success overnight. Fifty Shades of Grey is one which comes to mind, (within one year of being self published on Amazon it was snapped up by a main stream publisher) and we’ll leave you with that thought … or maybe not!

THE IMPORTANCE OF BOOK SIGNINGS

Signing books for the public in bookshops is not the reserve for just rich and famous authors. In this post we will look at the ‘how to organise’ and also ‘how to be at the event.’

Of course, the cost of petrol can make events far and wide not viable which is a shame but, nevertheless, supporting and building a positive repartee with your local bookshop is essential in the life of an author, as well as the opportunity to meet new readers.

A) How to organise a book-signing

  • Visit your local bookstore regularly.
  • Choose a quieter time to visit and discuss your book with the manager (in the case of Waterstones they usually have a designated person who arranges events. You may have to make an appointment by email first)
  • Offer them a free copy to read.
  • Negotiate a discounted price. (40 – 60 % is usual)
  • If it is an Indie Bookshop they may be willing to buy books directly from your stock, in which case it is more worthwhile to you both. Be prepared to be flexible.
  • If it is a large book company then they are likely to order from a main distributor, such as Gardners. Your discount will then be set by your publisher and negotiated by them.
  • Your enthusiasm will bring you rewards. Don’t forget it is a two way thing. Both should benefit.
  • Try if you can to organise the date to coincide with an event related to your book ~ eg the date Queen Victoria came to the throne, the opening of the London Underground etc

How to be on the day

  • Publicise the event beforehand on your website, blog on Twitter or Facebook. (You could encourage a few friends to come in to make a buzz and spark interest)
  • Don’t be pushy. Make eye contact and smile, but certainly don’t follow readers around the store.
  • Readers are only too willing to chat. Be open and friendly and enjoy the banter, even if it is about their own writing project. Be enthusiastic for them and make suggestions if appropriate.
  • Have a giveaway of a bookmark or business card to give to those buying the book, but also to other folks. They might go home and check you up on Amazon or your website first.
  • Ask if they would like a personal message and make sure to spell their name correctly.
  • Have a sheet for folks to sign up for your newsletter.
  • Practice your signature, especially if it is a pen name.
  • Be courteous to the book sales people and thank them.

Author Diana Jackson writes:

“When my Riduna Series was first published I travelled up and down the country from Alderney in the Channel Islands to Southampton, throughout Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, not to mention more unusual events at the Shuttleworth Collection bookshop, who also stocked my second book ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home,’ where I gained so much support when researching the aviation aspects of the novel.

I enjoyed the events because, not only did I sell books but I had the chance to meet and talk to readers. I had a special relationship with our local indie bookshop in Ampthill called Horatio’s, which, sadly to say, is no more, but Waterstones were extremely supportive too.

You say to encourage a few friends to come in. At Luton, Waterstones, so many folks I knew popped in from Barnfield College where I worked, that I hardly had time to talk to the public. It was quite a party atmosphere and the store loved it!”

Everyone Likes Free Short Story

Continuing with marketing tips here on Eventispress, three of our authors are giving away short stories and encouraging readers to sign up for their newsletters:

Ian K Pulham’s Radical Action, is a standalone prequel to Ian’s debut novel Ticket to Eden:

Roderick Hart’s Back to the Wall, which includes some of the characters in his recent novel Interleaved Lives:

Author Diana Jackson’s short story is unrelated to her novels but has a quirky title, A Very Yellow Memory and like much of Diana’s work is fiction but has fragments of truth much in the flavour of The Healing Paths of Fife:

Ticket to Eden Now Available Through Bookshops

Ian K Pulham’s novel Ticket to Eden’ is now available in paperback on the Waterstones website and can be ordered through any good bookshop. If you do, then please mention us here at Eventispress.

Here’s the link: WATERSTONES

ISBN: 978-1-8381526-4-2

We realise that every bookshop cannot hold every book in stock and therefore would like to thank Waterstones for their support over the years:

  • Stocking a variety of our books at key location stores
  • Hosting author book-signings
  • and making all of our books available for order.

Note from author Diana Jackson re the last post:

Many thanks for the warm and positive response to her author talk to Kirkcaldy Probus last week. Much appreciated!