Allan Mayer’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘YouTube


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:






I  8)








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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. 




 Here are ideas and links that I have compiled and had sent to my blog over the last couple of months about how to promote your POD or small press published book. Each subject has been dealt with in greater detail on previous postings, but I thought it would be useful to bring them all together here.

So, let’s start at the beginning:

Plan your marketing strategy


(Be methodical: You might want to make a marketing pyramid like the one described in this post, and add the ideas below to it, crossing off each one as you achieve it.)

Work on having a positive mental attitude

Marketing your book will need perseverence- how about getting a confidence coach? I can recommend:


 Book promotion/ showcasing  sites




 6) Speaking appointments- local writers’ groups, round tables, etc.

 hints from published authors/ professionals


8)    (C.F.Jackson)








16) Contact local bookshops

 17) Make some promotional bookmarks- hand them out, leave them around.

Subscribe to Writers’ newsletters:



make an ‘audiobook’ on YouTube


21) Link up with a charity.

22)  Talk About it…  (without getting boring!) friends and acquaintances will buy your book and will sell more through word of mouth.

Read books on marketing

 (and follow their advice:)


24) Highly recommended by publishing professionals is Alison Baverstock’s ‘Marketing Your Book.’  (Used copies are currently available on Amazon at 44p plus p&p):

25)  Send a press release to local newspaper(s)

Put out an online press release 


27) Contact local radio stations

28) Write a blog


increase your blog hits




33) .

34)  Build a Website

35) email your friends

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




and business networking sites such as:








Other online places:



48) College Allumni sites

49) Local community sites

 For an absolute treasure trove of online bookmarketing look at:



And remember:

Do Something every day…

Book marketing is for life, not just for Christmas.






So what other ways are there to increase your internet presence?


I’ve mentioned social networking, business networking, blogs and forums, but what about sites like ? Make an announcement on there: you’ve published a book! There will be people who knew you years ago who will be curious. Hint that some of the scenes are based on childhood/school experiences and some people may want to see if they appear (N.B. as long as you have kept within the law and not libeled a recognisable person- like the one who stole your catapult when you were 5!)

 Have you got a YouTube channel? ( See my post:  on how to do this.) Put your information and links on there .

Write short articles for  . You can’t advertise your work in the body of your article- which can be about anything- but you are allowed two self-serving links, and you can mention your work in your profile. There are also lots of articles on writing.


As Featured On Ezine Articles


It’s easy, and it’s free. Go for it.

 Earlier this year David Hyner  suggested that I record excerpts of ‘Tasting the Wind’ and upload them onto YouTube. The idea was that by putting on two or three chapters it would create some interest and awareness of my, at that time, unpublished novel. Now that the novel will soon be available, my YouTube channel can be a marketing platform.

 You don’t need, as I first thought, a complicated camcorder, to add videos to YouTube. I used a Skype set, (a webcam and microphone) which I bought from Argos for about £20.

The software which comes with the Skype set allows you either to show yourself reading or a still- which in my case is my book cover:

Click on the cover to go to my YouTube channel

Click on the cover to go to my YouTube channel


All you have to do now is to get a YouTube account, which is free, and upload your video- or in this case talking book.

For a fuller account of how I put excerpts from ‘Tasting the Wind’ onto YouTube, see my earlier post

It has been said that if you put anything onto YouTube it will get 100 views in a short time through passing traffic. There are other ways of increasing your views. For instance, let Google know it’s there by adding your URL here: (for those of you who are new to this, as I was at the beginning of this year, your URL is the address in the box at the top of your page which begins http://.) You can also copy your YouTube URL onto your blog, social networking site or website, or send it in emails.

Another way to spread the word is through ‘Stumbleupon.’ Just download the ‘Stumbleupon’ toolbar  and add your YouTube channel. People looking for that sort of thing will find it at random and, who knows, some may like it and even buy the book.


I have had a decent number of hits and some very nice comments.  You will, of course, need to put a link to where the book can be bought, and hopefully some of those comments will turn to sales.

To see, and hear, what it’s all about, go to:

The benefits of Blogging

I’m using this one for a little reflection. I’ve been blogging and promoting my novel on the internet now for less than three months, which makes me a veritable blog infant, but already I have had some amazing experiences which bode well for the future.

Firstly, a wonderful thing about the experience is that total strangers from all over the world have been so encouraging. Thanks, Heidi, for just taking the time to say ‘Good Luck with your book,’ and for Daz:

‘Fantastic blog Allan. Keep up the good work things WILL happen for you.’
Thanks Travis, for your comment on my blog about generating web traffic: Whassup? Very good tips man. Keep on bloggin. Peace. Travis.

And to Supercalafragilistic for your encouragement at the same time as gently pointing out my cardinal sin: Great post. Only one M in Hemingway though. Revision time!
One result of sending out my blogs through such services as Pingoat means that it crops up in all sorts of places. Not quite sure how it got onto ‘Great Railway Journeys’ but no publicity is bad publicity
One of the loveliest examples of my blog popping up somewhere I’d never heard of, and getting a response from someone I’d never met was this: 


Hi. I’ve just read your message on blackboard.The girl who used to live next door to me has written 2 books and also set up her own publishing company – Doghorn publishing. She has now gone travelling and one of her friends who has been involved with the company from the beginning has taken over the business. Their website is . It may be under reconstruction at the mo. If that’s the case and you’re interested in getting in touch with them let me know and i’ll forward you their address. You can tell them it’s Rebecca and James’s old neighbour that’s put you in touch. I’ve actually bought their house to rent out !!Good luck Debbie Harris

Unfortunately this did not lead to publication but I was just blown over by someone taking the trouble to contact me.
‘Dog Horn’ publishers, as it turned out, sent me another rejection slip with which to paper my wall. I though I’d be onto something there because they specialise in the more bizarre type of novel. I told tham that I had one character who had half a beard and another with an invisible dog, but obviously it wasn’t bizarre enough.

One observation was that they didn’t ask, as is always the case, for a large stamped addressed envelope for the return of a manuscript. When it was returned they had paid the £1.80 postage- which was very kind. It did make me wonder however about the standard rejection letter claim that they had a large number of submissions- paying for the return of all of these could prove to be very pricey for a small press.

Through networking I was contacted by Dominic Took, author of ‘The Storms of Acias’ Dominic invited me to speak, with my friend Lynn Grocott, at his ‘Writers’ Forum (Since renamed ‘Meeting of Minds’) at the film theatre at the University of Stoke-on-Trent. We had a wonderful evening, talking about our work and meeting like-minded people. One of them, a publishing consultant, gave me her card, and I sent on my synopsis and sample chapters. Again, nothing yet, but it’s another example of how through the internet I am coming into contact with the right circles.

I have also learned which sites to avoid, i.e. those that ask for money, whether as themselves or under a pseudonym! I never did hear back from the Writer’s Book Agency (See my blog ‘Vanity… Vanity… etc.)
Finally- the response to my YouTube contributions has been far better than I had expected with several people following it through. So far the number of hits has reached… well maybe you could look for yourself, and add a few more. I would love to see more comments too. 


My Zimbio

So how do you get people to listen to your talking book on your YouTube channel?
Firstly, you need to add the right ‘tags.’ These are the key words which describe what your video is about- the sorts of words that someone might use to search for such a channel.

One site that I read suggested that as the greatest number of searches are to do with sex, adding phrases such as MILF and BBW to your tags could increase your traffic (if you don’t know, I’m not telling.) The problem is that as it’s the biggest search, due to the laws of supply and demand you would therefore be competing with a large number of websites. You might attract the odd viewer (some of them very odd viewers,) but I would imagine that once they find that it’s you reading your novel and not some buxom dominatrix they will probably leave and never come back. I know I would.

One idea I had which generated immediate hits was to send an email to everyone in my contacts list, explaining what I was doing, asking them to pass the message on to all of their contacts, and so on. You can see the email at:
and if you feel well disposed toward me you might want to cut and paste it into an email and send it on. (you don’t get anywhere if you don’t ask.)

Another way to get noticed on the net is a blog. You’re reading this, aren’t you? So you’ve noticed me. So give it a go. Apparently search engines love blogs.

Once you’ve got the blog out there link it to other sites including social networking sites such as: facebook myspace bebo and wayn. You can also put your vids on these.

To get your blog out use Bloggupp and Zimbio. Paste your URL (The address of your page ) onto Pingoat whenever you add a new Blog, and this will send it out to Blog search engines, including Technorati, which you can join for free.

Set up a Squidoo lens. Also try Diggit and stumbleupon where your page will come up randomly for anyone who has registered an interest in the subject you are writing about.

If any of this is like a foreign language to you, it was to me a couple of months ago. Just Google any of these names to find out more. There is also a list of sites and instructions about how to submit your Blog dirctly to Google and Yahoo at just don’t leave your Blog, webpage, or YouTube contribution sitting there- feed the flames, it will be worth it.

I’ve probably bombarded you with too much information already- I’ll leave ezine articles for next time.

As Featured On Ezine Articles

It was a guy called David Hyner that came up with the suggestion that I record excerpts of ‘Tasting the Wind’ and upload them onto YouTube.

The idea was that I put several chapters on to the site, and that this would eventually generate sales. These could be hard copy (once I’d got some hard copies) or ebooks.

My first thought was that I hadn’t got a camera and couldn’t afford one. So I sat on the idea for a couple of weeks. Then it occurred to me that I did have a Skype set, which consisted of a webcam and microphone.

Until that point I didn’t know if a skype set could record- but it can. And it was inexpensive: I had purchased mine at Argos for £20.

You can choose what you want to show on YouTube- a film of you reading, or something else. For two good reasons I chose something else.

Firstly, YouTube made me look like a fat, bearded slaphead. Which is strange, because in real life I actually look like Brad Pitt.Secondly, the still which people have to click onto to see your video is taken at random from your submission, so you can guarantee that you will have been caught at the split second when your expression was that of a mentally deranged axe murderer.


So I opted for my videos to show a single screen, which is different versions of my book cover. As the book is not published yet I had to design my own (something you will have to do anyway if you publish through a Print on Demand site such as

Think what would represent your book. You can use your own artwork or photography, if you’re that way inclined, or get pictures from Google images. You will need a photo imaging programme which allows you to cut, paste and merge images- as long as you are creative and avoid anything with a copyright.

I chose to have a grey victorian instituion as the backdrop for a bright red balloon, which has some symbolic significance in the novel.

Not appearing on the ‘video’ can also be an advantage in that it can improve your voice. As no one can see you you can act it out- pull faces, throw your arms around- whateverer it takes to get some drama and changes of tone into your reading. (If you have written your book using a word processor it is useful to read from the screen to free up your hands and to avoid rustling paper.)

All you have to do now is to get a YouTube account, which is free, and upload your video- or in this case talking book.

Simple as that. Well not quite…

It’s no use having parts of your book sitting on YouTube if no one’s going to look at it.

Next: generating web traffic.

My Zimbio

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