Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘FaceBook


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. 




I received a very apologetic letter from Legend Press yesterday. Apparently my order for ten books never went through (although the money was taken from my account) so it will be another seven days before I receive anything. So not happy- and I know that there are other authors who have experienced similar problems- but at least I got an apology and promise of action.

This means that I have been unable to send out any review copies, which is the next stage of my marketing plan.

Over the past couple of days my Amazon rankings have been falling,  then today they suddenly shot from 167,000th to 19,000th. Either my forage into facebook has worked, or there is a ‘word of mouth’ going on.

Thanks to everyone who has bought ‘Tasting the Wind’ so far (and that’s not just friends and family but people from the States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.) And thanks for the positive feedback.

If  you go onto the Amazon or Book Depository sites and where you are asked for book title enter ‘YouWriteOn’ you will get a list of YWO published books in order of sales. At the moment ‘Tasting the Wind’ is at position 6 (out of about 350) in both.

Anyone wishing to track the progress of their (or anyone else’s) Amazon rankings can get them e-mailed every hour by going to :

BUT BE WARNED: it can brcome addictive.

Tasting the Wind on Amazon and Book Depository.

Wow, I’m suddenly in the middle of a price war…

I checked my pages on Amazon and Book Depository on Friday to discover that not only had I now been given a Book Depository sales ranking, but that ‘Tasting the Wind’ had now been reduced in price on there and is 50p cheaper than Amazon! (To check this out click on the link which appears above this posting.)

I also found that if I searched for books published by YouWriteOn on Amazon, ‘Tasting the Wind’ is now at sixth place. Thanks to everyone who is buying it. Hope you enjoy it and hopefully feel moved to write a review on Amazon.

Tasting the Wind on FaceBook

As I mentioned before I have set up a FaceBook group. This weekend I set my mind to other ways in which FaceBook can be used.

An interesting spin-off has been finding other writers on there, and inbetween marketing forays communicating with them about what we are up to and swapping marketing ideas. It’s been a bit like being in a virtual office with Wally Rabbani, Gwenda Fox and Leela Soma… I’m doing this… what do you think about… how do I…

I’ve also put Tasting the Wind onto FaceBook marketplace. It appeared at first not to accept my ad. but I then got a confirmation e-mail saying that it had.

And I’ve been trying some targeted marketing. It occurred to me that there are themes in the book which certain groups on FaceBook might find interesting. So I went into the ‘Groups’ function and searched for ‘Learning Disabilities.’ This came up with 500 groups, some of them with several hundred members.

I also found a group with over a thousand members, devoted to the delights of the Staffordshire Oatcake. I have left a message on there because  when we first meet Martin, our hero in Tasting the Wind, he is living in a flat above an oatcake shop- based on the one in my birthplace, Kidsgrove.

The one thing not to do is to paste the same message onto several sites- FaceBook won’t let you- so you need to write an individual message each time.

It’s a bit like doing a leaflet drop, without leaving your home, and targeted at people you know may already have some interest.


1: I’ve started up a ‘Tasting the Wind’ group on FaceBook
2: I got this from Ted at YouWriteOn…
Hi Allan
 This is to give you an update on the issue that the majority of our book titles are appearing as normal on leading bookseller sites such as Waterstones, but a number, including yours, have not being listed for display. This was due to a data input issue at Nielsens that they have resolved.

 How booksellers receive information is that Lightning Source, our printers, provide all the necessary information to Nielsens and Gardners  for each book published so that each book can appear on bookseller sites and be ordered through book stores. This is the basic info including ISBN, publisher, etc. Lightning Source assured us all this information was correct and sent information to us to verify which appeared all correct and in place. So we looked into this further with Nielsen and they report that for a number of titles there was a temporary blip in their Trade Data and that their Trade Data Team have fixed the problem to resolve this.

 Nielsen have reported to YouWriteOn that this was due to the omission of a publisher link in their trade data information for the affected titles. They report, “We manage this via a prefix mapping process. I believe that the titles that were missing the publisher link had a prefix which we had not mapped to the YouWrite publisher name. This has now been recitifed, and any new titles supplied by Lightning Source in their ONIX file to us for YouWrite titles with your prefix will automatically be given a YouWrite imprint name.”

 Nielsen’s have worked very hard to identify and rectify this issue.

 We are pleased this has now been resolved by Nielsen’s Trade Data team so that the affected books, including yours, can go forward to appear on the wide range of leading booksellers sites that our books appear on.

 Best wishes



3:I had already uploaded my cover to Amazon, as the page was looking sad with no image.

4:I’ve also sent in a synopsis now, so that people looking at the page can tell what ‘Tasting the Wind’ is about.

5: Submitted another press release to the local paper.


I’ve also been chasing up the copies I ordered a month ago from Legend Press. I wanted to send some of them out as review copies, so that side of the marketing campaign is on hold. I do know that from now on I will order from Amazon or Book Depository, as they do free delivery and I get royalties which aren’t swallowed up in postage.


Oh Well, you live and learn…


Well I  just had to do it. On Thursday I looked on Amazon and the ranking of  ‘Tasting the Wind’ had soared to 17,000 and something. People were buying it.

My order from Legend Press still hadn’t arrived and it occurred to me that other people would see the book before I had.

So I ordered an Express Delivery. It was 11a.m., and I was assured that I would receive a copy by 1p.m. the next day. So I went for it.

The following day it arrived. It had been ordered, printed and posted within twenty- four hours.

I opened the package, and as I did the horror stories started to go through my mind: Some people have received POD books which have fallen apart in their hands. One person who used YouWriteOn received copies of their book with a blue line across the cover…

Then there it was, in my hand. It was a sturdy, solid tome- all  408 pages of it.

I flicked through it- it looked like any book from the shelves at Smiths or Waterstones. But 408 pages?  Surely Tasting the Wind is 364 pages.

Well it was. Originally I had just run one chapter on from another to keep the length and the price down. Tom Chalmers of Legend Press had worked on the manuscript to make every chapter start on a new page. And you know what- it looks far more professional for it. And the price is still comparable with any other 408 page book, at £8.99.

So I have a hard copy novel. Now I have to sell it. Last night I set up a group on FaceBook, and I have been receiving enquiries from all corners of the globe. Now I will be learning  just how effective are the marketing strategies that I have been learning about over the last few months. 

The real fun is just beginning…

There has been an explosion of social networking sites on the internet. I will not be providing an exhaustive list- this can be done by googling the subject.

Best known at one time was ‘MySpace.’  You can link with a vast network of people through it, upload pictures and videos, and you can blog. It’s easy to join, and is a good way of getting your info out there if you haven’t got a website.


Recently, ‘MySpace’ seems to have been supplanted by ‘FaceBook.’ ‘FaceBook’ has more of a fun feel about it, and (correct me if I’m wrong,) probably attracts a younger membership. Again, you can get your details out there, and some authors are already setting up ‘groups’ around there books.


Others I have tried include ‘WAYN’ (Where Are You Now)  which is orientated around travel and locations, so may be of use to writers who have written works with a local interest.


I did sign up to BEBO,  but most of the contacts I get through that seem to be scantily clad girls wanting to be my friend.


If they agree to buy my novel I may consider it….

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