Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Archive for November 2008


This is me with authors Lynn Grocott and Dominic Took at ‘Meeting of Minds.’

So you’re trying to promote your book? Make some bookmarks!

All you need is a computer, Printer, coloured ink cartridge, and some photographic paper.

I got a pack of value paper- it goes through my printer more easily.

It’s handy if, at this point, you’ve got a book cover- if not, design one or put something on the shiny side of your paper that represents your book. You will need a program which lets you manipulate photos- I use Ulead PhotoImpact.

Put five copies of your cover/ picture with your book title on one A-4 sheet, and cut them out. (Alternatively you could pay a printer to do it.)

On the back, put the link to your publisher, Amazon, your website, or anywhere else where your book can be found.

Carry your bookmarks with you. If you get speaking appointments, radio interviews,etc., you can give these out if you don’t have any/enough books to hand, and anyone who is interested can track you down… or at least they have got a free bookmark.

I spoke recently at ‘A Meeting of MInds,’ a writers’ forum at Staffordshire university. I left a bookmark on every seat, and noticed the next day that the hits on my YouTube site had risen considerably.

Visit my new website at:

Now I couldn’t be described as ‘technophobic,’ but like most people I do have my blindspots. One of these is website creation. I don’t know why, but I’ve tried and failed to create my own version of this excellent communication, marketing and promotional tool on several occasions.

But one of the themes of my book is synchronicity, and in keeping with this I have somehow acquired a talented and generous ‘marketing manager’ who has had several years experience in the field, including web design.

so rather than rabbiting on….


                                                                     (This One’s for Cate.)

I would like to invite you to look around

Please sign my visitors’ book,

Hope you like it,


Social Bookmarking


                        To buy

 ‘Tasting the Wind’ click:here   


Has anyone else out there come across Alpha 

I got a referral from there yesterday and, out of curiosity, clicked on it.

All you have to do is submit your blog URL and it puts your blog into a reading cycle, displaying it for a short time so that viewers can visit if they like what they see. You can do this as many times as you want, and your blog hits will soar.

I don’t know yet how many of the hits are from people who are likely to return, but it certainly seems to increase traffic just after you’ve submitted.

To see what I’m talking about, visit .


It must be getting to me: the waiting, the constant search for new marketing ideas, the doubts about the quality of POD published books on some of the other blogs.

Last night I had a dream that my book had arrived. It had cost me about £20. The publisher (YWO) had not used my book cover but some insipid torquoise creation, and pages were falling out.

Even worse than that: the title had been changed. Instead of ‘Tasting the Wind’ it was now ‘Tasting the Christmas Carols.’ (OK you Freudians out there, if it had been ‘Tasting the Christmas Parsnips’ fair enough, but ‘Christmas Carols?’)

 But there was still worse to come: When I looked at the back cover I soon realised that it was someone else’s front cover, and that they had bound two books together…

I woke up in a sweat. So I’m taking a day off the usual subject, and today will mainly be blogging about…

                                                                      CUDDLY BUNNIES…



Now if Dean Koontz can write books in the name of his dog, I’m sure I can take time out to tell you about my furry friends.

Unfortunately Tilly (front right) and Snowy (back right) are no longer with us. To my great disappointment neither of them has yet done a Trixie Koontz and written a novel from beyond the grave. (OK, if you don’t believe me check it out at: )

The little one, smudge, is now eighteen months old and has already fathered twenty little smudges- most of them with the nose markings which gave him his name. We decided to draw the line at twenty- or rather the vet did- a sharp line in a very tender place. Since then, Smudge seems to have lost his competitive edge when it comes to priority at the food bowl, but he seems happy enough.

Fact is, when we bought smudge we were told he was a girl. We had bought her/him to provide a friend for snowy when our first rabbit, Bonnie, died from a tumour. Then Snowy went the same way.

One day I looked into the hutch. Smudge was lying on ‘her’ side, and I was shocked at what I saw. Surely we weren’t going to lose a third rabbit to a tumour in such a short time. Then I looked closer, the cogs in my brain began to turn, and I realised that a long fleshy object between a rabbit’s hind legs is not necessarily a tumour.

Next thing, Tilly was pregnant. Unfortunately she died giving birth, and left two babies. The success rate of hand-rearing is miniscule. We tried, but they only lasted a week.

We missed having Tilly in the house, as she was one of the most ‘spirited’ rabbits we had ever known. The house is ‘rabbit proofed’ but one day when Tilly was in the kitchen we heard a large crash. Tilly had jumped onto a chair, from the chair to the table then onto the top of the hutch- where the treats were kept. We got to the kitchen to see a guilty looking Tilly scampering across the table, and a very happy Snowy helping herself to the contents of a packet of bunny-chocs which were scattered across the kitchen floor.

Keeping a succession of house rabbits has taught me that each one has its own distinctive character. We now have Smudge, Dusty, and their baby, Brandy. Each one is  totally unique in character, but as yet not one of them has demonstrated a talent for novel writing.

I live in hope.

                                        From LynnGrocott- Author of ‘Cut the Strings.’  

   Cut the Strings was  published by

They worked on the principle of publishing and setting up my website  and then taking one third of the royalities of each sale. This worked well for me as there was no money in the pot for publishing and allowed someone who had always wanted to write their own story.
In terms of promotion, it was done through local press, emails to databases of contacts and depending on their goodwill to support me. I held a book signing in a local bookstore and also held my own book launch raising money for a well needed mother and baby unit in Cameroon.
I now sell books at the back of the room when I do a speaking gig. I have asked schools to stock books in their libaries. I approached as many forum sites as possible where individuals would be looking for help to overcome challenge.

 Cut the Strings’ was originally written in the hope that it would help other people to face challengcut-the-stringse and adversity with the knowledge that they CAN get through things. Not only can they get through things it is possible to make a decision to get through and come out the other side stronger and more determined than ever.
It has not been written with an intention of gaining sympathy nor to get any negative emotion stirred. It was written to motivate individuals into action. Since writing this outcome has become even more important. I have noticed that once we decide to achieve, we do so more easily if we keep our fingers on the pulse, keep our determination and motivation.
Notice a photograph is developed in the dark and out of the negative comes a beautiful image. This is the same lynn Grocottas us going through any challenge. We do grow, we do get stronger.
So how did I get through this? It was by stepping out of comfort zone and growing in confidence. I am leaving you with ten top tips to achieve with confidence

Ten top Tips to Achieving with Confidence
1) Always ask good “what if “ questions
    Such as “what if it is much easier than I thought?”
2) Overcoming is much healthier for you than overwhelming.
    The next challenge will seem much easier. You will see how
    strong and resourceful you are as you overcome challenges.
3) Wishing things were different doesn’t work.
     Action does.
4) Inspirational action becomes a magnet to draw inspirational people
    into your life. The more you help yourself  the more help you’ll receive
5) Determination is a key factor in any challenging situation.
6) Explore every opportunity, the most challenging circumstances
    hold a gift for you.
7) Control all that can be controlled.
     Influence all that can be influenced and
     Stop worrying about that which is beyond your control.
     You’ll deal with challenges as they occur.
8) Independence does not mean you have to be alone.
9) Don’t be afraid to fail but make sure you hop right back into action.
    It’s not over until it’s over.
10) Embrace challenge. You are going to become
      stronger and even more resourceful as a result.

Just a quickie to update on my marketing campaign.

I emailed the local newspaper during my lunchbreak. I had hardly pressed ‘send’ when my phone rang. It was a very interested editor. He’s asked me to send in a press release with photos. The fact that I was supporting a local charity seemed to go down well. He said it would be even better if I had gone to a local school where I struggled with dyslexia… I have done neither of those, but it does give an idea of the sort of thing that is considered newsworthy.


People have been asking if they should be concerned they have heard nothing yet from YWO. I’m tending to think that this can only mean that everything is in order, and that they will next be contacted once their books are published.

I, on the other hand, must by now be in a file at YWO marked ‘High Maintenance Contributors.’

Firstly, my document had changed in transferring from my computer to theirs, so that my prologue began on an even page. To remedy this I was asked to send it in again on PDF.

A couple of days ago I received an email saying that they hadn’t received my back cover blurb. I knew that I’d sent it, so the same gremlins that mixed my pages up had run off, cackling, with a whole file.

At the same time I read a very good review of ‘Tasting the Wind’ from a YWO member, who spotted a grammatical error. Now I’ve always thought that the grammer wot I ‘ave got to be quite good, and that of many of my proof readers even better. But there it was, and it had escaped us all. And not only was it very basic, it was right at the beginning. And not only was it at the very beginning, but it was in a rhyme which was repeated by a major character at various points throughout the entire length of the book.

I would be getting my new baby in December, and even if others commented favourably I would be aware of nothing but the blemish.

So I emailed YWO, explaining what had happened and attaching a corrected copy.

 I was very surprised the next day to receive an email saying that my new PDF had been passed on to Legend Press. This is very reassuring, in light of the fact that the contract said that there would be no correspondence.

I am now back to looking forward to the arrival- and I vow not to look at it again before it’s in print.

Then again I don’t need to, because now it’s absolutely perfect…

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