March: the Month of Merch.

Over the last eight months or so I’ve been casually promoting my two collections, You Could Make a Killing and Basement Tales. This site is part of that, albeit in a ‘grab bag’ of everything else included too.

I’ve decided I’m going to use March as a full-on promotional assault.

Why?

Well, it would be nice to sell more books – duh.

But it seemed an opportune time to do it for several reasons:

  1. I will be publishing my third collection in early March. It’s a very different piece, and I’ll write more about that soon, but it does open itself up to a potentially new audience and is very different from my first two collections.
  2. March sees the occurrence of London International Book Fair. While I’m not intending to ‘tout my tat’ there, it did seem a good opportunity to see what’s new in the publishing world.
  3. I’m going to be spending a bit of time in coffee shops over the month, for reasons that may be explained at some point – but given that I produced, long ago, some flyers for my first title ‘Basement Tales’ I thought it might make sense to see how receptive some of these coffee cafes are to taking them…and whether in this online day and age anyone is interested in them. (This is it here:

    Basement Tales promotional leaflet.
    Basement Tales Leaflet: feel free to distribute!
  4. I’ve discovered a few new (to me) sites which claim to offer support for authors through their various promotions.
  5. I have two new bookshops who have expressed interest in stocking my titles and one more I’m waiting to hear back from.
  6. I have an overseas publisher who has expressed interest in translating one of my titles…still early days, but hey, we can hope, can’t we?
  7. I’m meeting this month with a festival organiser to discuss what I’m going to be doing at their fine event coming up in the next few months (very exciting, but still under NDA at the moment…)
  8. And…as Barry Norman never said, Why not?¬†

I was in sales and marketing for over 25 years working for a major global publisher. Promoting other people’s materials is second nature to me.¬†Promoting my own stuff is…still something I’m getting acquainted with.

I thought it might be of interest to keep a note of what works, and what doesn’t and what I don’t have a clue about as to whether it worked or not – the below the line advertising is easier to track, the above the line stuff – you know, the more expensive stuff, not so much.

I’ll keep you up-to-date with my experiments – if any of you are authors it may be of some interest: and you can decide whether to invest your time and effort based on my successes or failures. I’ll try to be as honest as I can about the whole thing.

How can you help in this ‘vitally important experiment’?

Well, reading this is a start.

You can follow me – on this blog, on Twitter at @simonbewick or via my Facebook author page (@bewbob).

If you’ve read either of my books or the anthology my story The Five Votive Candles of Joe Wray appeared in – Burning, you can leave a review on Amazon – they really do help.

You can also recommend the books to any acquaintances you might have who you don’t mind losing a friendship with through dodgy recommendations. (I still have memories of being held up against a bar in Newcastle by an irate drinking companion who demanded the money back he’d ‘wasted’ on renting a movie I’d evangelised on..Angel Heart, if you’re interested.)

Let the flogging commence. (Although not in THAT way…)

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