Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Absolute Write


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.



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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:






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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. 




My week so far…


 Went to see ‘Mary Poppins’ at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. Although we took our foster child with us it was actually a late fortieth birthday present for my brother-in-law, who is now at that age and secure enough in his sexuality to feel able to ask for whatever he wants.

Karen, my sister-in-law is due to have a baby in May, and I couldn’t help wondering how live musical theatre is perceived in the womb. According to Karen the baby has already mastered ‘Riverdance.’

The show was brilliantly executed, the climax being where Mary flies right over the stalls and up into the gods.


Went to see some newly acquired friends who we met through the fostering network. The kids played, the women talked about the kids and the men compared the sizes of their sub-woofers.


Got the promised e-mail from Ted Smith, saying that the book matches the cover at Lightning Source, so there is a problem at Amazon which should sort out within a couple of weeks.

Although I don’t want to steam ahead with marketing until the correct cover is appearing and I have a copy in my hand, I have started to ‘dabble’ a little. I have registered for the Amazon ‘Search Inside’ facility. I’ve also signed up for ‘Author’s Den.’  This is a site which showcases new novels. It has had mixed reviews, but the good ones are very very good.

And I’ve contacted a site which is keeping alive the tradition of the Staffordshire oatcake. I was born in Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, where the oatcake is a local delicacy. The Kidsgrove oatcake shop features in the first chapter of ‘Tasting the Wind’ so I wondered if the current owners of the shop would be interested in knowing about this. Who knows- it could lead to a joint marketing venture: a free bag of oatcakes with every copy bought? (or a free book with every bag of oatcakes…)

Monday- Wednesday…

The day job. It’s Winter, which means viruses, which means short staffing. When this happens I stand in and do ‘hands-on.’ I manage a service for people with profound disabilities, so today I accompanied a lovely lady to ‘Wheelchair aerobics’ at the local leisure centre.


Things have started to get nasty on the Absolute Write/ YouWriteOn thread. Which is sad. Several posts have been deleted.

Which brings me to tonight…

Dropped our foster son off at scouts. He’s had a great day. I can’t name him or say much about him because of confidentiality, but today we have been very proud of him. Before he came we made up a name when we tried to imagine how our lives would change with a child around, so from now on I will call him ‘Duane.’ Today we were proud of Duane because he did a sponsored swim to raise money for his school. He told us he thought he could do 3-4 lengths, so we sponsored him for £1.00 per length.

He did twenty six lengths… perhaps I should recruit him to sell my book.

If you want to visit a top class writers’ site then you will do no better than ‘Absolute Write.’
AW covers every aspect of writing and is frequented by contributors from the entire spectrum of writing and publishing.
And yes, there is even a thread about YouWriteOn. Most of the contributors have a negative view of YWO ( at least of the latest publishing venture.) Some YWO members, including myself, have posted there with our reasons for choosing to publish as we have, but the dominant voices have been those of  experienced publishing types who have employed a vast arsenal of experience to attempt to discredit YWO, and young pretenders who, with somewhat less expertise and grace, are cutting their milk teeth on the subject.
Until now….
Enter (from stage right, or left, depending upon your perspective) champion of YWO, Kevin Crabbe.
Kevin has been putting up a staunch defence of Ted Smith which has created a very entertaining dialogue over several pages of AW.
I won’t give too much away, but contributors to the thread have had good reason to suspect that ‘Kevin Crabbe’ might even be Ted Smith himself.
In  my view, there are certain stylistic pointers in Kevin’s contributions which make his relationship to Ted quite clear- but look at the thread and decide for yourself.
I have been corresponding with Ted Smith this weekend about the wrong cover appearing on Amazon. He assures me that the right cover is with the right book at Lightning Source, and that the ISBN on Amazon is mine. I mentioned Kevin Crabbe, but he was typically ambiguous on this point.
He has my enquiry at the top of his ‘to do’ list for Monday.
So watch this space…




YouWriteOn have been coming in for some criticism recently about their lack of response to e-mails, amongst other things*.   People who have written to Legend Press seem to be having a bit more luck, so on Monday I sent the following e-mail to 


Just a quick enquiry re my book ‘Tasting the Wind’ by Allan Mayer. It is appearing on Amazon with someone else’s cover. I have heard that this gets sorted eventually, but the length is also wrong, so I am not sure if the ISBN is mine or not- can you shed any light? I could do with knowing, because I am soon to have a press release and need to know that people can buy my book through the link to Amazon, and not end up with someone else’s,

This morning I received the following reply:

 Hi Allan,

Thanks for your email. I have sent your query through to Edward at YWO, who deals with covers, who will look into it asap to clarify correct cover being displayed.
Best wishes,
I am inclined to think, however, that despite so many other things being blamed on Ted Smith, this may be more to do with Amazon’s processes. Other authors who did not publish through YWO have written to me to say that their books appeared at first with the wrong information attached.
Hopefully this will soon be remedied- it’s starting to get a little embarrassing when people who were told that the book would be available before Christmas are asking where it is.
*A masterful understatement, I know. For those ‘other things’ see the post for 3rd Feb on


Just a quickie to say that after posting this I e-mailed legend back and asked them when I would get payment details for my order of last week and, lo and behold, they arrived soon after.

I have been submitting comments to ‘Absolute Write’ about the reason why I and other writers are publishing through YouWriteOn. The debate can be followed here:

Thanks to ‘Momento Mori’ who drew my attention to a forum on AW about POD and self-publishing, which may be useful to readers of this blog who wish to know about marketing.

I would be interested to hear from anyone else out there about the reasons why you chose POD, self-publishing, or the YouWriteOn route, and your experiences of marketing. I know that there is a lot of interest in the blogosphere, as even my humble blog got 54 hits in one day last week. I’m still hoping for 5000!

Well, I can dream. Peace and Love,


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