Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Lynn Grocott

Does it help to sell a book if comes with a ‘Celebrity’ recommendation?

I suppose it depends upon in which form the recommendation comes and how visible it is to the target audience. For instance, you might be attracted to a book which claims to be by ‘the new Stephen King,’ but if you look at the back cover of a book and find that Stephen King himself is praising it, you would (if you are a fan of that sort of thing) be more likely to part with your money than if the recommendation were not there.

The point is  that in order for a potential bookbuyer to see the famous name attached to your cover it has to be on the shelves. If you have self-published or published a POD book the only way that you can really make the connection work for you is to mention it in your marketing.

 I have a friend who self-published an excellent little self help/ positive thinking book. In his office is a poster containing the photographs of one hundred celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, sport, erc. who recommend it.

I hadn’t featured anything on my blog about this aspect of promotion, but when I invited him to contribute to my ‘Tips From Published Authors’ series he declined- because in his view as a marketing exercise it just  hadn’t worked. He felt that too much of his time had been taken up by getting hold of the endorsements.

He didn’t tell me if he had sent each of those people a copy of the book.

Another writer friend of mine, Lynn Grocott, did a very clever thing. She had written a book called ‘Cut the Strings,’ which is about her triumph over a whole string of adversities.

She was at a speaking appointment with mountaineer Chris Bonnington, who agreed to write the foreward to her book- after all, in their own very different ways, they had both climbed mountains.

Chris Bonnington’s name on the cover and recommendation inside is impressive, and is used in Lynn’s marketing.

Perhaps the most famous foreword ever was that of T.S. Eliot on a collection of Kipling’s verse. Eliot is attributed with rehabilitating Kipling, who at the time was viewed as nothing more than a jingoistic rhymster. The foreword was so successful that it became forever linked with the verse and is regarded as a piece of literature in its own right.

Surely it goes without saying that a celebrity assessment of your work will have far more authority if it comes from someone who has some relationship to what you are doing. I once interviewed a man for a care job, and at the end he proudly produced a letter of commendation from a celebrity. The celebrity was the star of a current Science Fiction film. His protegee may have been a dab-hand with a sonic screwdriver or lightsabre, but would he be able to assist someone having an epileptic seizure without panicking?

He didn’t get the job.

 There must be a lesson in that somewhere. For job hunting and book marketing… and for life, I suppose.

                                        From LynnGrocott- Author of ‘Cut the Strings.’  

   Cut the Strings was  published by

They worked on the principle of publishing and setting up my website  and then taking one third of the royalities of each sale. This worked well for me as there was no money in the pot for publishing and allowed someone who had always wanted to write their own story.
In terms of promotion, it was done through local press, emails to databases of contacts and depending on their goodwill to support me. I held a book signing in a local bookstore and also held my own book launch raising money for a well needed mother and baby unit in Cameroon.
I now sell books at the back of the room when I do a speaking gig. I have asked schools to stock books in their libaries. I approached as many forum sites as possible where individuals would be looking for help to overcome challenge.

 Cut the Strings’ was originally written in the hope that it would help other people to face challengcut-the-stringse and adversity with the knowledge that they CAN get through things. Not only can they get through things it is possible to make a decision to get through and come out the other side stronger and more determined than ever.
It has not been written with an intention of gaining sympathy nor to get any negative emotion stirred. It was written to motivate individuals into action. Since writing this outcome has become even more important. I have noticed that once we decide to achieve, we do so more easily if we keep our fingers on the pulse, keep our determination and motivation.
Notice a photograph is developed in the dark and out of the negative comes a beautiful image. This is the same lynn Grocottas us going through any challenge. We do grow, we do get stronger.
So how did I get through this? It was by stepping out of comfort zone and growing in confidence. I am leaving you with ten top tips to achieve with confidence

Ten top Tips to Achieving with Confidence
1) Always ask good “what if “ questions
    Such as “what if it is much easier than I thought?”
2) Overcoming is much healthier for you than overwhelming.
    The next challenge will seem much easier. You will see how
    strong and resourceful you are as you overcome challenges.
3) Wishing things were different doesn’t work.
     Action does.
4) Inspirational action becomes a magnet to draw inspirational people
    into your life. The more you help yourself  the more help you’ll receive
5) Determination is a key factor in any challenging situation.
6) Explore every opportunity, the most challenging circumstances
    hold a gift for you.
7) Control all that can be controlled.
     Influence all that can be influenced and
     Stop worrying about that which is beyond your control.
     You’ll deal with challenges as they occur.
8) Independence does not mean you have to be alone.
9) Don’t be afraid to fail but make sure you hop right back into action.
    It’s not over until it’s over.
10) Embrace challenge. You are going to become
      stronger and even more resourceful as a result.

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PREVIOUSLY ON ‘ONE WAY OR AN AUTHOR…’Allan is having a lousy year, when suddenly he receives a message: ‘Can We Join Forces.’


I wrote back. It turned out that Lynn Grocott was someone I had known quite well through both school and church, but hadn’t seen for over thirty years.

Lynn had written a book called ‘Cut the Strings.’ I was shocked to discover that it was about, amongst other things, the horrific abuse she suffered as a child. I was shocked because I remembered this bright, happy go lucky girl in her early teens, and never suspected that her tears at the end of Church camp were not only because a good time was ending, but because she now had to return to a house of horrors.

I thought that writing my book and trying to get it published had been a difficult task. Lynn’s apprenticeship as an author had been a life of suffering.

But that wasn’t her only reason for writing. Despite all of the cards being stacked against her (her parents committed suicide, she contracted MS,) she is now one of the most positive and life-affirming people you could ever meet.

Lynn’s life was turned around through confidence coaching. Now I have always maintained a fair share of cynicism regarding this sort of system, but I was suddenly confronted by someone I knew, someone who had been through so much, but who was positive, hopeful, and could still experience joy in abundance.

We started to exchange regular emails, catching up and reminiscing about our shared background. For weeks I either forgot to mention that I had written a novel, or when I did think to say I felt guilty that I had originally accepted the contact because I thought it might further my ambitions.

Then came the day that I did mention it, and Lynn asked if she could be of any help. From that point my approach to getting my novel out there has taken me in so many new and interesting directions. These will be the subject of my next blogs.

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