Allan Mayer’s Weblog


Posted on: November 7, 2008

4-week old bunnies

4-week old bunnies

 Glascot asked:

 Any good sites on book promotion for our YWO books? I read somewhere that flyers and approaching local bookstores would be a good idea. I did not design my own cover so that might be a problem.

I have come across a site that helps published authors set up websites to promote their work:

They ask you to supply your ISBN number, which you will have if you have taken that option at YouWriteOn.

I will be trying authortree, but if you get there before I do you will need to check out the following:

1) the site talks about providing a ‘cost effective’ service, so find out where the cost comes in, and

2) One of their conditions says: 

From time to time, you may be required to agree to additional terms and conditions governing certain services or certain portions of the Site. To the extent there is a conflict between the provisions of this Agreement and the terms and conditions posted for a specific service or portion of the Site, the latter will govern, but only with respect to your use of that particular service or portion of the Site.


Presumably this means that certain areas of the site are free, others are not. I will be checking it out further when I’ve got my ISBN. For now it looks like there may be costs, so be careful when investigating and if you find out more please report back.

Flyers- where are you going to distribute them?

Bookstores- the word is that you will get nowhere with your local Waterstones. Having said that, a couple of years ago a local author had a stand in Smiths. I think they had help from the town’s newspaper.

It should be OK to contact independent bookshops.

Cover design- I would not think that this would be a problem. Do youwriteon have copywrite over these? May be worth checking out with them or, when you get your first copy, inside will be the copyright notice.

I’ll be blogging soon on my own ideas about how to get your book noticed, but from the comments that are coming in I’ll probably find that I’ve already been anticipated on most of them.

Watch this space,

Best wishes,


4 Responses to "Authortree"

Thanks Allan I’ll check out authortree and take heed of your advice re costs.

This is exciting an venture. From YWO site forum, I noted that our books would be out around 9th December. Fantastic!

Authortree doesn’t look particularly good to me. I wouldn’t bother–I doubt there’s anything there you can’t work out for yourself if you’re reasonably computer-literate.

To promote your books you’re going to have to think carefully about where your biggest markets are. Bearing in mind that right now you don’t know how much (if any) author discounts you’re going to get on copies you buy yourselves, you’re going to find it difficult to sell into bookshops: so where else might your customers be?

Think about that carefully; and work out how you can get those people to visit the YWO website to buy your books.

If you’ve gone for the ISBN option then your books SHOULD be listed with Amazon and so on, so you can work a little more widely. Can you write articles that will lead people to your blog? Or lead them to click on an Amazon link? Are you an expert on anything that’s related to your book’s topic, and therefore are you qualified to give talks on those subjects? It’s a difficult thing, selling books without retail placement, and you’ve got your work cut out for you: but there’s little point producing flyers for books which aren’t available on shelves.

PS: as soon as I’ve got Fujitsu Siemens to mend my computer (do see my latest blog post, Allan–you’ll like it) I should be able to start getting a few posts up about marketing and promotion. It’s frustrating: I’ve got them written, I just can’t get them on-screen. Meanwhile, I’d advise you to buy Alison Baverstock’s book about marketing your book–ISBN 9780713673838 (and while you’re at it, you might as well buy her book about getting a job in publishing– 9780713685039). I’ll review it (them!) properly on my blog as soon as I can but the marketing book is extremely useful: Alison worked for years as a publicist for a major publisher and gives all sorts of useful inside information that self-publishers and YWO-published writers should find very useful.

Flyers are one way to get into stores. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth, and never stop using your imagination to think of new ways of getting peoples “attention”.

Think of all the ways that’s been done over the decades and see if one will work well for book stores.

That’s all I’m going to really say on that front. Flyers will work, but you will need a pitchfork with many many prongs to get those sales up.

As I said in my post, DO NOT forget the press, a key one in any campaign, even if the pickup can sometimes be slow. Remember that for every ten people you ask, 2 will actually do what they say, or be interested, or buy a book. That’s a low number, so now, with your flyers in mind, if you distributed 1000, you may only get 200 people interested, of those 200 how many may buy a book? It can be as low as 50 I’m afraid. But knowing the scale of the job to be tackled and FINDING a way to tackle it, is crucial after you have that all important first or send or third book in your hands.


Dominic Took

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

My Latest Twitterings

%d bloggers like this: