Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Book Marketing Tips From Published Authors (1)

Posted on: November 7, 2008

                                       

 

 

 

 

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              Self Publishing

       How I achieved 400 sales

               with dyslexia

            at the age of 18.

 

Back in 2005 when I was just eighteen I had finished College and I said to myself “I’m going to self publish my book.” I’d already written and finished The Storms of Acias that year so I was well poised to get to grips with the publishing process. Through pure initiative I started to contact people who I knew had self published and done well at it, I did a few school trips (Not many) and that was about it, back then I was just a baby at the publishing lark, especially its many areas of knowledge and operation. I knew nothing of how it functioned, I just knew I had a novel and I was going to publish it. At that time, nothing at all could stop me, I was dogged I was extremely focussed and totally dedicated.

 

One of the first people I contacted or as I now like to say, through the words of a friend “Looked into” was G.P Taylor the author of Shadowmancer. I contacted Graham and told him that I’d published my book and I’d done a few things, but I wasn’t sure how to market and promote it effectively. I didn’t really understand ANY of it and it’s only in the past year that I’ve understood how to market and sell at all. Graham sent a few emails back and from then on he became a good friend and a great help to me in my quest to get published and be successful. He told me a few things, most of which were simple and none of which went into any great detail. He told me to keep writing, he told me to get on the radio, go into schools and get the papers interested at every single event I did and above all else he told me to keep at it.

 

I took these on board and managed over the course of a year to sell 200 copies of my book, the first edition of The Storms of Acias. At that time I still didn’t understand how to sell to a wider base, it had been friends, family and then extended friends as well as schools, etc. It was only in 2007 that I began a proper campaign. What I did was to have a vision, like any good entrepreneur, I wanted to do things in a big way and so I looked at the big picture. My goal was to get into all the schools in the country nationally, to talk to the children, to educate them and to sell books at the same time. I would put on book signings in all the libraries in the country and I’d make sure that I got the press involved in every single one of those events. (With this big picture, the sky IS the limit) Did I do this? In the end no, but if I hadn’t attempted to aspire to do it there is no way I’d have gone on to do what I actually did.

I set up a publishing company called Transient Innovations Ltd, I went through all the steps to self publish (Which would take me too long to list here) and then when I had the book I went round all the libraries in Cheshire, who still know my name by word of mouth fairly well and I went round some of the libraries in north Staffordshire. I went into schools in Manchester, Cheshire and Staffordshire and I went to reading and writing groups in those same areas. I got my book into Waterstones, I got it onto Amazon.co.uk I got it in independent book stores and I got libraries to buy copies as well. I worked with managers of stores and with head librarians to make these events work. The combined effort of all this, as well as my website www.dominictook.com achieved the sales figures below. I tried to cover as many different places as I possibly could and I still know now that there are more I can cover with the sequel “The Path of Gracious.” In the past six months I’ve also worked with a PR consultant to achieve even wider press and if you can afford this, it certainly helps. I’d like to point out that all my costs were paid for by part time jobs, I worked very hard to get where I am today and I know it is just down to finding a way, being positive and not allowing yourself to say “I can’t.”

 

So how many sales did I achieve? Roughly 300 to 400 overall. The one other thing that GP Taylor has, is self belief, belief that what he was doing was I guess right and also that what he was doing could help children and could later on break the JK Rowling mould they were so used to. He also uses all the weapons in his own arsenal very well when it comes to self publicity, he knows his brand intimately and now I do not hesitate in mentioning my dyslexia, my age of 22 or the fact that I have a vision of my own.

 

So I say, know your brand, look at the big picture and look into those you respect. Then I know you will gladly break the 400 book sale very easily and achieve GP Taylors success.

 

Good Luck,

 

Dominic Took

 

(amazon link) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Storms-Acias-Dominic-Took/dp/0955612306

 

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