Murder at Cleeve Abbey are done, the cover art is lovely and the release date is three weeks away. It's about this point that I realise I'm still not working hard enough, because as every author will tell you, books don't sell themselves - they need help and lots of promotion.
But promotion is like advertising, some works, some doesn't - and no one knows which part!
To a talented minority, promoting themselves and their work comes naturally; to the easily embarrassed like me - it really doesn’t. It's awkward to keep pushing your book in front of people, becoming a walking advertisement that makes people duck into doorways when they see you coming. It's not - well English.
Social media is, of course, the cheapest and one of the most direct ways to tell the world you have a book out there, but if like me you are reluctant to bombard all your friends, even internet ones, with hundreds of pre-publication FB posts and Tweets encouraging them to buy your book, this can be embarrassing - I have e-mailed a list of my closest friends this week apologising for the over exposure of my book ad! Counterproductive? Possibly but I don't want them to block me because I'm nagging them. I tend to think that I've told them once -they know - if they want to read the book they will buy it - no need for obsession.
But that ain't how it works apparently....
On the expert advice of my agent and publisher, [well more like prompting, reminding, insisting, all the 'ing' words] - and I admit they know more about these things than I do, I have succumbed and organised a programme of regular Tweets and posts to generate interest in my Flora Maguire Cosy Mystery Series, cue sales pitch - the second of which is being released on December 1st with books three, four and five following over the coming year.
I've also joined my local branch of Alli, who have been wonderful to a cowardly author like me without the confidence to go it alone and been put on their list of guest authors at the next literary festival, which is very popular in my part of the world. I have also persuaded other authors to read and review the book, because the average reader does not review books, and authors are the best critics - if it's rubbish they will let you know!
I hold my hands up and say I was sceptical about the effects of social media when there are so many authors clamouring for an audience - and there are thousands - but even I have to admit that after only a week, my personal 'virtual' audience has grown considerably with the tweets and posts circulating through a far wider sphere than I could have imagined.
So the Tweets will continue.....