Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category


I have spent the last twelve months researching ideas about book promotion.

The fruits of my labours (and advice gratefully received from other writers) can be found below.


The number of ideas and links below may look overwhelming, so before you start to use them you need to formulate a structured marketing campaign. To help you do this I have created a free PDF of useful planning tools which can be downloaded from my website by clicking HERE.    

(Much of the content below has already been included in previous blog posts. New additions are marked with a  8))

Another important tip before you set off is to identify your target audience or audiences  8). Often in marketing this will refer to such things as age or social class. Another way of finding where your book will be best received is to make a list of the themes of your book, and work out to whom these will appeal. For instance- if you have written a children’s book starring an animal, how about approaching a zoo or wildlife sanctuary to see if it is the sort of thing they sell in their shop. Does your book have geographical settings or themes which would be of interest to people of a particular area?

Once you have planned your strategy and identified your target audience, try some of the ideas below:

1- Not using the internet…

●Contact local bookshops. They may have a policy or even a budget dedicated to supporting local authors. But remember to avoid visiting on Saturdays or at lunchtimes . 8)

● Investigate local groups who may want you to go along as a speaker.

 Make some promotional bookmarks or cards- hand them out, leave them around, always carry a few in your wallet or purse for when someone asks so what are you up to at the moment? I made my own on my computer, with a picture of the book cover on the front, and the details of where to buy it and my website on the reverse.

 Link up with a charity- this is a win-win situation. Offer the charity a cut of your royalties for inclusion in their magazine or newsletter.

● Always have a copy of your book handy- you’d be surprised how many people will ask if they can buy a ‘signed copy.’ 8)

Read books on marketing.

 Send a press release to local newspaper(s). Make this about yourself- not your book. This may sound like contrary advice, but you are more likely to get your press release published if it has a human interest angle. (One editor told me that the best press release for a new book is something like: local boy, dyslexic, written off by his school, has now published a book.)

●Contact local radio stations. Like your local paper, they are always looking for content- I know several writers who have done this, and they have never been refused.

● Approach your local library and ask them if they will stock/ help promote your work. Get your friends to request it.8)

● Approach local book clubs, offer them a chance to ‘Ask the Author.’  8)

2- Using the Internet…

There is a wealth of information and lists of sites that you can use on a range of Websites and Blogs. Just Google ‘book marketing’ and ‘book promotion’ and you will come up with enough ideas to last a lifetime. 8)

Visit these sites and get advice from authors who have already been down the same route. Some have newsletters which you can subscribe to.

Contribute to writers’ forums– don’t go on there to announce that you have a book to sell- this will just put people off. Go on to ask questions or contribute, and if you have a blog or website then you will get visits from other forum members.

How about making an audio book on YouTube? This is easily done- all you need is a webcam and microphone (I used a Skype set which only cost me £20.) Just follow the upload instructions on YouTube, and leave details of where your book can be bought. Again, you are guaranteed hits from anywhere on the globe, and if people like what they hear this could even lead to sales.

Have you got a blog? This is free and easy to set up. Write about how you wrote your book, your quest to publish and what has happened since. And don’t forget to Ping! Use a service like ‘Ping My Blog’ or ‘Ping 45’ every time you blog.

Put out an online press release. There are sites where you can do this such as the one set up by wordpress.  Write quality articles for ezine articles and leave links to your other sites. If people like what you have to say they will look you up and maybe even buy your book.

  E-mail all of your friends and colleagues with information about your book, and get them to email theirs (Keep it with friends and friends of friends to avoid SPAM!)

 Talk about your book on social networking sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. These sites also have groups that might be relevant to what you have written.

And don’t forget the importance of finding your target audience or audiences.  Find groups on social networking sites and elsewhere on the internet that might have an interest in the themes of your book.  This could include interests and hobbies, but it may also be the case that you have written about a geographical area. Does that area have community pages or a FaceBook group? 8)

And what about  business networking sites such as Ecademy and Naymz? As a writer it may come as a surprise to think of yourself as a business- but you have got a product to sell now, haven’t you? So look up some of these sites, get advice from established members who are in PR, and put details about your book and where to find it in your profile.


3-An alphabetical list of places to market your book, to showcase it or to get ideas on book promotion.

I have tried some but not all of these links- so be discerning, especially if any of them ask you for money, and please let me know if you have any bad, or good, experiences.



B  8)   8)



Is for Confidence coaching…  Work on having a positive mental attitude. Marketing your book will need perseverence- how about getting a confidence coach? I can recommend:






I  8)








P 8)   8)


R   8)  

S  8)

T   8)

V 8)         Added 27th April 09





I’m sure that this list is not exhaustive, and new marketing opportunities are emerging on the internet all of the time. I will be updating this from timw to time and would be grateful for any more ideas. So go for it- put yourself out there, have fun… and maybe sell a few books. 





 Well, it’s actually the Chorley Guardian, but I’ve been working on creating eye-catching headlines.

The best thing about this is that the picture used in this press release was taken by my 13 year old foster-son, and I’m really proud that he has had a photo published in a newspaper. I went to his school yesterday, and they had been looking at my page on Amazon- I’m thinking of employing him as my marketing manager.





 For some reason I’m having a problem making the scan legible, so here is the text:


 A Chorley author whose first novel  had still not appeared two months after the promised launch date is now celebrating.

When his book Tasting the Wind failed to appear at Christmas, Allan Mayer, 48, contacted his publisher YouWriteOn to find that difficulties with reproducing the book’s cover were jeopardising its publication.


‘I was really disappointed,’ said Allan, ‘as my wife and I had designed the cover ourselves. I was offered another one, but I wasn’t very impressed with it. It was also starting to get embarrassing, as people who had seen the Guardian article in December had started to go into W.H. Smiths only to be told that the book wasn’t on their system.’


In the meantime Allan, who is a manager for Brothers of Charity Services, began to submit articles to an online ‘collaborative fiction’ experiment called Greyling Bay.

‘I wasn’t too optimistic about getting my work accepted there,’ said the writer. ‘Many of the contributors are well established novelists with a string of published works.’


But in an upturn of fortunes, Allan received an e-mail saying that his work had been accepted- the same week that he found that Tasting the Wind had surfaced on the Amazon book selling site. And thanks to the painstaking work of YouWriteOn director, Edward Smith, the book now displays the original cover.


Tasting the Wind is  available on, and can be ordered from W.H. Smiths and Waterstone’s bookshops. 50% of the author’s royalties will be donated to Derian House Children’s Hospice.


For further details please visit


When writing a press release it is advisable to keep away from the subject of your book altogether. Talk about yourself, the troubles you have had in trying to get your work published. That way you will have more of a chance of getting press coverage- it’s how newspapers work.

This is the previous press release:


Does it Work?

Well, since my latest press release appeared my rankings on Amazon have shot up from 125,000 to 16,000, so thanks very much to readers of the Chorley Guardian- please let me know what you think, and if you see me round town say hello.


 I’m working on a new promotional photograph. The local newspaper suggested a photo outside of me holding a copy of the book… what do you think?

 Too Serious… would you buy a book from this man?

press-releasew-photos-0022 It’s important that you look as if you know what you’re talking about, but on this one I look like I should be holding a prisoner number.







 Spot the book Competition






 This one is too far away- you’ve got to be able to see the book.






 I decided against a suit and tie, as that would look too formal and academic.








OK, it’s outside, but I think it will look better with more greenery.




Tip: try to look proud to be published, without looking smug…


This is the one… I’ve morphed it to make it look like I live in the middle of some Canadian forest….  much better…







 Now all I have to do is write an interesting press release. It’s got a better chance of being published if it’s got a good ‘human interest’ angle. Perhaps I should write about how I was brought up by bears, was told by my teachers that I would never be able to write and ate nothing but sugar puffs until I was fifteen…


       ‘Tasting the Wind’ is now available!



                       Christmas Eve, 1976: a man dies, tied to his bed in a Victorian Mental Institution…Andrew saw what happened. Eddie saw what happened. But their severe learning disabilities prevent them from communicating what they have seen.

 Ten years later, the hospital is destined for closure and Andrew and Eddie move to a bungalow in the community.

  Enter Martin Peach, who has come into care work for all the wrong reasons. And as if the challenge of helping six severely disabled people settle into a sometimes hostile community is not enough, his new manager, ex-nurse Della Belk, has a deadly secret which links her to the new residents…


 Can Martin and his colleagues put together the fragmented clues about Andrew and Eddie’s  pasts before one of them becomes the next victim?



 Praise for Tasting the Wind


 I immediately cared. I will be reading more…!     Ruth Estevez

compelling reading – couldn’t put it down.     Janet Thompson

 Superb …a real achievement   Lee Morris

Couldn’t put the book down! Hope you sell loads!  Linda Jackson

WOW!! This has got to be a winner… brilliant.  Jane Dunnett


Tasting The Wind is a truly gripping read.  Darren Houghton 
  (You can read these comments and more in my guest book)



               You can buy Tasting the Wind now at:  (free delivery available)  or at over twenty online booksellers. Compare prices here:   Bookbutler  or for free delivery anywhere in the world go to book depository

 Or order from your Local W.H. Smiths or Waterstones bookshops, quoting :   ISBN-10: 1849233802   or   ISBN-13: 978-1849233804


50% of my royalties will  be going to Derian House Children’s Hospice



Posted on: February 18, 2009

coverChristmas Eve, 1976: a man dies, tied to his bed in a Victorian Mental Institution… Andrew saw what happened. Eddie saw what happened. But their severe learning disabilities prevent them from communicating what they have seen. There is an answer… but it can only be found in fragmented clues about the men’s pasts. Can these clues be put together before one of them becomes the next victim?       
 Tasting the Wind…  Available NOW on Amazon  or for
                                               free delivery worldwide go to: Book Depository

Have you ever watched one of those TV programmes which presents the top 50 or one hundred something-or-others in a countdown? You know, 100 best comedy moments, 50 best snogs… that sort of thing.

They may be just another excuse to show repeats, but some of them can be quite entertaining. One thing I can guarantee is that whatever the subject there will come some point in the programme where either my wife or I will question the order of the clips. For instance, ‘how can ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’ possibly come in at number 55 in a list of best Sci-Fi films when ‘Bladerunner’ was 83?

I can’t believe that most of them are in any particular order. Which brings me to my contribution to the great listings scandal:

When I put together my 50 Tips for book marketing, their order was random, which is why, tucked away at number 50, is the ‘Bauu institute.’ I am currently trawling through its vast array of information on how to market your book and attract more traffic to your blog and website, and have realised that I have committed a grave injustice in placing that site at the end.

It is an absolute mine of information which will be of great use to anyone with a book to market.

Take a look at:


In recommending this site, however, I am very aware of one of the problems a writer will encounter when faced with such a vast array of information. You could find the marketing side of things taking over and never have time to write another line. The Bauu Institute site does recognise this and stresses the importance of being methodical and doing something every day. That something could be one submission of your book details to a site, and may only take five minutes, but it is ‘something.’

This week I have added a PDF to my website of simple tools for planning your book marketing strategy. I am using these tools, and hopefully you will find them useful when faced with a list of tasks and websites. You don’t want to be wasting time loading information onto sites that you have already dealt with. You DO need a strategy. You can download these tools at: . I am also going to add a Word.Doc version for anyone who wishes to use them on their PC.

Let me know if you find this useful.

Ever thought about promoting your book in a virtual world?

I didn’t know it was possible until last weekend when I came across Second Life (SL).

SL is easy to access and to load, although I’m sure that some of the more advanced options will take time to learn. All you have to do is register, choose an identity, and you can guide him or her (or ‘it’ in the case of some of the avatars I’ve seen on there) around a vast 3-dimensional world.

SL has locations to cater for every taste. Yes, there is an adult area, although I won’t be venturing there. I think you would have to be of a particular mindset to get sexual kicks in this way. Although not everyone agrees: when my character fell, Mr. Bean-like, out of the SL sky, one of the newbies was being asked by another for a ****.  I suggested that if she did she might pick up a virus…

But on to higher things. If you type ‘books’ into the search function you are presented with a whole menu of virtual places on the subject. I went immediately to ‘Book Publishing Island.’

There is a virtual town there, made up of nothing but bookshops. I was in Heaven.

Of course it wasn’t as simple as that. When I arrived I immediately got caught behind some billboards. I could see rows and rows of bookshops, but couldn’t get to them. I tried the ‘fly’ option, but couldn’t get out, so as it was Saturday night, a night when the brain is traditionally clouded, I gave up and logged off.

When I logged on again a couple of nights later my character was still stuck! Then I had the obvious idea of calling up the menu again and teleporting out and back again- which worked. My virtual imprisonment was over.

I would recommend a visit to SL- I’ve still got a load of places to check out, and I’m sure it has great potential as an online social tool. It is also free, but you can buy SL currency to spend on things like hiring or building ‘properties.’

But it did leave me with one question around my particular interest in the site: I was checking it out as a book marketing tool. Does anyone go on there to buy books?

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has either bought or promoted on there. In the meantime, why not pay it a visit at:



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