Category Archives: Marketing Ideas

Dammit…

I liked these people, MCA… but despite being listed on querytracker.net as looking for my genre, the agent mentioned in the listing is not actually looking for sci-fi or fantasy.

So… querytracker.net gets a big thumbs down from me… one to avoid unless you’re in the US I suspect.

Looking for a new agency to submit to but not doing too well… many, when asked, express an aversion to fantasy… maybe I should pitch it as a comedy and forget to add the word ‘fantasy’, that’s a bit cheeky though.  Better to be straight.  And although it’s crap that there are so few agents dealing with my genre in some respects, on the up side, the fewer there are, the sooner I’ll know if I’m stuffed.

I really would love to find an agent though.  You know, a real one.  Someone who could help me hone my work, somebody who could open my eyes and turn me from a reasonable writer into a really good one… But at the same time, I’m kind of intimidated… the more agency websites I research, the more Oxbridge  English graduates, with MAs I find… I can’t see these literary rocket scientists going for an eccentric middle-aged, middle-class Mum with a bad Art History degree and a huge pussy* cat.  Hmm… it’s going to be a long search.

Never mind.  My submission to Snow books is good to go… what a pity my book isn’t (guffaw).  No, I’m not that disorganised, I just need to finish the last chunk of editing which is marked up already.  Then I can send it.

Perhaps it’s time to write another free e-short.  I have had 39 downloads in a month… not going to set the world on fire but not bad and I suspect it won’t get much better unless I keep up some momentum… wondering if I can manage one a month… or perhaps I should do a reading and sell it as an aural book.  That would be a scream.  I am a massive ham!

On that subject… the speaky thing, I mean not being a monster ham; since there’s a lot of speech in my novel ( “is it a play?” one agent asked me) I’m toying with adapting Few are Chosen for radio… just following the models of people who have succeeded at writing varietals of the stuff I do.

Well… it’s a thought.

* This joke was brought to you by the Mrs Slocombe appreciation society.

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Ta da..!

I start my quest for self-publication – or at least my quest to sell loads of e-books and then get a publisher on the back of my “proven track record” by giving away a short story.  It’s called Is this Heaven?

If anything it’s a demonstration of why I write novels… and not short stories.  But anyone who wades though it, I hope you have fun.

And of course, if you enjoyed the story you can help ensure your future halo is shiny (and help a struggling author) by writing a review saying how smashing you think it is and posting it on Smashwords.

You can find it here.

Enjoy.

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Options…

Thinking about how to get my weighty tome into print.

Should I try to find a small publisher who’ll print a handful of copies and then aim to get a bigger one to take it on afterwards if the first book takes off…

Should I buy and ISBN and publish it myself?  Yeh with a one year old, like I really have the time… even so… should I?  There’s the internet, this blog might help if I knuckled down and wrote on it regularly – needs to be about more than submitting to agents then or there’ll be one post every seven or eight weeks.  Perhaps, then…when he goes to school maybe?

Should I wait until I finish the trilogy and publish it electronically?  That way I can give away the first volume, only charging for the other two.  I picked up a copy of Writer’s Forum magazine recently which cited a chap called Dave Moody who did just that – giving away his second book free he ended up with 500,000 readers, most of whom bought the book anyway.  He now has a contract at Orion.

If I’ve already developed a readership with the first free download then presumably they are more likely to pay to read about the second series of adventures.  However, if my readers turn out to want a hard copy, too, like Dave Moody’s then I am guessing it would be smart to sort out a reasonably professional hard copy before I make the download available.

Other authors have given away a couple of chapters free…

Then there’s the whole podcast thing.  Think Radio 4 play for today – as I understand it – except you do it yourself.  What a scream, I wonder if my brother and some mates would be prepared to spend a weekend making podcasts of my book.

Check this chap out – J C Hutchins the page this link takes you to explains it better than I could.  Again, he gave away his book as a podcast and now he has a publishing contract.

Hmm… it’s a thought…  and bearing these things in mind I have contacted a friend, Rodney Dale.

Rodney used to attend the same writer’s group as I did and runs Fern House Publishing .  Reading his website, I discover he set up Fern House to publish his own work but went on to publish the work of others – or as he puts it.

Following his long experience in the trade as a writer, editor and producer, Rodney Dale set up Fern House in 1995, initially to publish his own work of fiction About Time before going into hospital – in case it was the last thing he did! However, it wasn’t, and Fern House has gone on to publish another dozen or so titles .

He has kindly agreed to meet me to help out and discuss the pros and cons of self publishing with me… I do get the feeling it is much trickier for people who write fiction but at the same time, though I would love to earn some money, all I really want is for people to enjoy my book.

More on this story as it unfolds..

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Marketing my book

Hmm… well on the advice of my sister in-law who is wise in the ways of publishing, I have set up a blog to go with my novel.

She also suggested myspace and facebook pages would be good and they would, my target audience is young adults and they love all that stuff.  However,  Myspace and Facebook are not intuitive things to me so will take hours I don’t have to set up.  A blog on the other hand… well, yeh, that comes naturally to me!

So… in order to cover as many aspects of the world in which my characters live as I possibly can, in one place, I have set up a blog as the Free Yarthian Broadcasting Corporation.  That allows plenty of scope for geography, history (an education area), religion, politics and even competitions.

I’m thinking maybe it should be Yarthan, now, after writing a book and calling it Yarthian to myself for about 10 years!  Never mind, this is an experiment, the blog was named in a hurry and it’s far too long winded to use long term.

So far you’ll find a handful of posts.  Pictures are tricky with a 10 month old I have very little of the right creative drive for art… never mind, it’ll come back eventually.  In the meantime the blog is there to do three things.

  1. Pique the interest of my target market in a Lilly Allen kind of way but without plot spoilers (yeh, I know but you know what they say about the lottery, you have to be in it to win it).
  2. Amuse me and keep my brain wired into my writing project and writing, even when it’s coddled like a hide n’ squeak egg.
  3. Show publishers that I am willing to put in work marketing my book.

Well there you go.  Let me know what you think.  You can find it here.

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