Selling My Books: David Ebsworth’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

Every week, for Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares a favourite book promotion tip here on Debbie Young’s Off The Shelf Book Promotions blog

I first met historical novelist David Ebsworth via our mutual publisher, SilverWood Books, and soon realised this British indie author, living in England and Spain, is a prolific and gifted author whose enthusiasm for the many periods he studies is infectious. He’s also highly regarded in historical fiction circles, being a finalist in the Historical Novel Society’s first ever awards for indie authors.

I’m delighted to be able to pin him down in one place for a moment to share his top tips for book marketing, as part of his blog tour to promote his latest novel, The Kraals of Ulundi.

Head shot of David Ebsworth

The historical novelist David Ebsworth

Debbie Young: What’s your favourite book promotion tip? It doesn’t need to be the one that sells the most books – it could just be the one you most enjoy.

David Ebsworth: Hi Debbie. That’s a really difficult question because, to be honest, I enjoy almost every aspect of book promotion. In general though. I agree with a comment that Helen Hollick made on your blog a while ago – that you mustn’t promote the book. As Helen says, you can always promote yourself as the person who wrote it but, personally, I prefer to focus on promoting the background, those things that sparked the story. And that lends itself very nicely to author events that are something massively better than the normal signings.

Debbie Young: How do you do it? Please give brief instructions!

David Ebsworth: Plan ahead. First, look for relevant venues. That can be your favourite friendly bookstore, of course. But it might also be a library, a university, a pub/hotel with some link to the story. You’ll need to make a decent pitch to the venue, so a snappy message – a bit like a short press release – that will grab their attention.

Next, your potential audience. If you’ve got a newsletter list, for example, it helps to make a note on your contact details, if possible, of whereabouts people live, so you can target them when the event is going to be in their area.

Use all your social media to advertise the event. Google all the words associated with the event – the town, subject matter, etc – and compile a further list of possible contact details. Think laterally about this.

Prepare your presentation. Maybe some Powerpoint slides – but check that you’ve got access to the necessary equipment (and always be prepared for the technology to let you down!) Relevant props, like a pull-up banner or objects that might be talking points. And work on your script until it’s as polished as the book itself.

Once you know how the presentation will work, you can start to think about a press release. Make this as snappy as the original venue pitch. It’s massively easier to grab the attention of journalists if you’ve got a good story and you’re approaching them by name. A bit of research is usually enough to find this out, so think about phoning the newspaper or radio station.

Make sure that you have some way of verifying how many people are likely to attend. That way you can always “pull the plug” if it looks like being a flop. Finally, make sure to arrange some light refreshments if that’s appropriate and, when the event takes place, try to use the event not only to sell and sign, but also to gather contact details from any “new” folk who might turn up. Lots of thank yous to all involved, naturally.

Debbie Young: Why do you particularly enjoy this activity?

David Ebsworth: It’s the response of the audience really, I think. The buzz. Always great when they go away “surprised” and thoroughly entertained by the two or three untold stories that inspired your book. This is real contact with your readers. And there’s something very reassuring about being able to speak with confidence about those back-stories.

Debbie Young: Which book(s) have you used it for and when?

Cover of The Kraals of Ulundi

David Ebsworth’s latest novel

David Ebsworth: As examples, and apart from bookstores, I gave some presentations about the background to The Jacobites’ Apprentice in the Manchester pub where, in 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s English supporters gathered to plot their rebellion and, as it happens, where one of the main characters had his lodgings.

For The Assassin’s Mark, I’ve spoken at several meetings of the Co-operative Movement since the book, in part, involves a character who was a journalist for the Co-op’s weekly newspaper during the Spanish Civil War. I gave my presentation to several audiences in Spain itself, too.

And the story behind my third book, The Kraals of Ulundi: A Novel of the Zulu War, has been told at a library near the site where one of the main protagonists is buried, with extra invitations extended to local history groups, students, a South African restaurant and the French/South African Honorary Consuls. The presentations about Kraals have gone down wonderfully well since this year also marks 50 years since the release of that iconic move, Zulu, and the book has been widely marketed as “picking up the story of the Zulu War where Michael Caine left off.” So it’s got loads of “things you didn’t know about the film” elements and similar little-known facts. I also always make sure that I find some “local” link to the story.

Debbie Young: If you were doing it for another book tomorrow, would you do it any differently?

David Ebsworth: Yes, I’d start earlier and be even more inventive about locations. As it happens, my next book, The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour, is set around the Battle of Waterloo, and I’ve already started to think about venues, particularly since next year is the 200th anniversary of this legendary conflict.

Debbie Young: Which part of the book promotion process do you like least?

David Ebsworth: As I said, I like most of the promotional work, but I have to confess that the social media stuff is the thing with which I struggle most. It’s the time that it takes, I think, and the difficulty of working out whether it’s actually achieved anything. But recently I’ve been concentrating much more just on Twitter and Goodreads. A focus on just one or two bits of social media is, I think, better than a scattergun approach.

Debbie Young: Can you name one promotional activity that you’d like to try that you haven’t tried yet – or tried but not yet perfected?

David Ebsworth: I’m in the middle of completely revising my website www.davidebsworth.com,but I want it to be much more interactive. So I’ve started looking at the use of audio-clips for book extracts. Or better video book trailers.

Debbie Young: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers now? e.g. news of your next book or event.

David Ebsworth: The current “big thing” is a series of Virtual Book Tours for The Kraals of Ulundi. I had a really successful tour for Assassins back in January. But I was surprised how many people thought that I was really in Colorado one day and Bristol the next. It gave me the idea of organising blog tours that were a bit more “realistic” – hence I spent one week in August writing posts for bloggers in South Africa, scheduled and pitched as though I was actually in their locations. Then there’s this present week in the UK. And, finally, next week, a blog tour of the United States and Canada. Naturally, Debbie, I’ll keep you posted, and thanks for giving me this slot.

Debbie: Thank you so much for joining me here today, David, and bon voyage for the rest of your travels, whether virtual or otherwise!

You might also like to read the posts at the other stops on Dave’s tour – you’ll find links to all of them on his website, but here are his previous three stops on the British part of the tour:

If you’d like to support this prolific author’s next project, check out his crowdfunding project for The Last Battle of Marianne Tambour, set around the Battle of Waterloo, for which there will be 300th anniversary celebrations in 2015.

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Reach New Readers By Sharing Stories on Wattpad

Wattpad logoHere’s a quick and easy way to reach out to new readers for your published books – or to get constructive feedback for your work-in-progress. Simply post free samples on Wattpad – the hugely popular social media site for readers.

It will take you only a few minutes to open a free account, set up your profile and add your first sample – and you can keep adding as much and as often as you like. And don’t worry, the copyright remains with you.

As with all social media sites, there’s an element of building up followers and friends – but your work will also be discoverable via keywords, so new readers may find you who you might not reach in any other way.

I’ve been a member of Wattpad for a while but have not used it much to date, but as with any of these sites, you don’t have to use it all the time to make it worthwhile. Conversely, the more time you spend on it, the more useful (or not!) it might turn out to be.

  • Your ultimate goal, if you’re trying to sell books rather than gain feedback for work-in-progress, is that readers who discover you will like your work so much that they’ll go on to buy your book.
  • If you’re simply seeking feedback, then this is a great way of getting beta-reader-style objective responses from strangers.

Low res coverI know some authors who have had hundreds of thousands of “reads” this way, but even a small number will be worthwhile. If you write in a popular genre – thrillers, scifi, fantasy, romance – you’re more likely to get more readers, but that’s the way of the book world…

For more information and a link to see my work on Wattpad, hop over to the post I’ve just written on my author blog. This is a case study demonstrating me using Wattpad to gain extra attention for my new flash fiction collection, Quick Change, using a topical theme: as it’s a very autumnal day where I live today, I’ve added a story to Wattpad called “Autumn Leaves”.

To start using Wattpad now, head over to www.wattpad.com. Good luck and have fun!

OVER TO YOU

Have you used Wattpad? What did you think of it? If you’re on Wattpad already, let me know and I’ll look you up!

Like to join the Off The Shelf mailing list for a free monthly summary of top book promotion tips for authors? Just click here to sign up! 

Selling My Books: Paul Connolly’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

Every Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares a favourite book promotion tip here on Debbie Young’s Off The Shelf blog

Headshot of Paul Connolly

Novelist Paul Connolly. author of “The Fifth Voice”

I first met novelist Paul Connolly over dinner after a SilverWood Books Open Day and was very interested to learn about his debut novel as is publication date approached. Listening to Paul, I could tell he is a natural storyteller, and I’ve downloaded The Fifth Voice to read on my Kindle on holiday this summer. In the meantime, I’m delighted to welcome Paul here today to share his favourite way of promoting his new book. 

Debbie Young: What’s your favourite book promotion tip? It doesn’t need to be the one that sells the most books – it could just be the one you most enjoy.

Paul Connolly: Seek out opportunities to talk about your book, and target relevant special interest groups. Contact groups to whom your subject matter should be of interest. In my case, The Fifth Voice is set in the world of a cappella choral and quartet singing, and there are lots of relevant associations and groups you can say hello to and even write articles for.

Also, keep adding to your email list and reaching out to new people, as well as contacting book groups and independent bookshops. I don’t believe that social media has all the answers, and I think that Facebook and Twitter are wildly overrated in terms of their ability to deliver results for the average author. So much of it seems like whistling in the wind to me. I prefer the personal approach.

Debbie Young: How do you do it? Please give brief instructions!

Paul Connolly: Wherever I go I’m armed with my book’s ‘elevator pitch’ in my head and a few calling cards in my back pocket (a tip here: create double-sided business cards, where one side is the front cover of your book, for maximum impact). Then, a couple of times a week I reach out via email or telephone to specific targets, be it named individuals, singing associations around the world, or indie bookshops.

Debbie Young: Why do you particularly enjoy this activity?

Cover of The Fifth Voice

Such a stunning cover

Paul Connolly: Once you get over the hurdle of thinking nobody will be interested in listening to yet another self-promoting author, you realise that there are people out there who are fascinated by your story, your journey as a writer, and are willing to give you their attention. The enjoyment comes from making connections person-by-person, group-by-group, hopefully building your readership steadily as you go.

You yourself (Debbie) said that marketing an indie book is a marathon not a sprint, and that’s a key lesson to take on board. You’re not shackled by the unrealistic and time-limited expectations of a royalty-hungry publisher who’ll drop you like a stone as soon as your title starts selling less than they would like. Just keep plugging away. With your e-book just a click away, and your paperback always available on demand, there’s no big hurry. Enjoy the ride, but keep working at it (no-one else will!)

Debbie Young: Which book(s) have you used it for and when?

Paul Connolly: The Fifth Voice is my first novel, so I can’t claim masses of experience! One thing I would say is that if you can afford to hire a publicist, even for a short time, it helps to build awareness early on, and I have had some success with local press and radio as a result. This then gives you some ‘marketing collateral’ that you can use when approaching bookshops, etc.

Debbie Young: If you were doing it again for another book tomorrow, would you do it any differently?

Paul Connolly in a suit

Paul Connolly getting into the zone for the National Barbership finals in Harrogate

Paul Connolly: As The Fifth Voice is my first novel, I’m finding out what works and what doesn’t as I go. I would definitely approach things in a similar way, but maybe with a few more tricks up my sleeve. While I don’t think you should rely on social media for your marketing, I’d be keen to squeeze as much juice out of those channels as possible in future. And I’d like to get my head around e-book promotional campaigns and adopt ‘industry best practice’ to maximise sales (if such exists).

Debbie Young: Which part of the book promotion process do you like least?

Paul Connolly: Despite being comfortable appearing in public (I’m a singer, and have done many a business presentation in my time), the thought of sitting in a room signing copies of my book like some wannabe literary star makes me cringe slightly. Also, I feel that the traditional book launch is overrated and is often done because it’s seen as the thing to do rather than because it has major marketing impact.

Debbie Young: Can you name one promotional activity that you’d like to try that you haven’t tried yet – or tried but not yet perfected?

Paul Connolly: I’d really like to speak at a literary event of some sort, where I can talk about the book, the writing process, and share what (little) I know. That may sound like a contradiction to the previous answer, but it’s not really. I don’t mind talking about my book if it means that the book is the centre of attention; I’m far less comfortable with the cult of the author!

Debbie Young: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers now? e.g. news of your next book or event.

Paul Connolly: When this blog article appears, I’ll be on my way back from a 10-day holiday on my favourite little island. If all has gone to plan, I’ll have the synopsis for my next novel, a sequel to The Fifth Voice, well and truly mapped out. I already know the arc of the story, and the working title, and it’s great to be planning an answer to a question I’ve been asked many times since The Fifth Voice was published: when’s the next one?

Debbie Young: Enjoy your holiday, Paul, and best of luck with book two!

For more information about Paul Connolly, visit his author website here: www.paulconnollyauthor.com

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Selling My Books: Bobbie Coelho’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

Every Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares a favourite book promotion tip here on Debbie Young’s Off The Shelf blog

Photo of Bobbie Coelho at book signing table

Getting ready to meet new readers

I first met the poet Bobbie Coelho at a SilverWood Books Open Day and was pleased to be invited to read and review her latest book, Reflecting the Light.

I was interested to learn that one of Bobbie’s reasons for publishing her poetry was to benefit the charity Parkinson’s UK, because she’d taken up poetry to help her come to terms with her own diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.

Bobbie’s poetry is very personal and touching, and her books look beautiful, with stunning cover photography of flowers exuding optimism and hope. I’m delighted to welcome Bobbie to the blog today to share her top tip for book promotion. 

Debbie Young: What’s your favourite book promotion tip? It doesn’t need to be the one that sells the most books – it could just be the one you most enjoy.

Bobbie Coelho: My favourite way of promoting my books has always been to talk about them to groups of people, to read some of them, and explain the thinking behind them. This is especially true now,since neither Waterstones or W H Smith will stock my book because they lose money on local authors.

Debbie Young: How do you do it? Please give brief instructions!

Cover of Finding the Light by Bobbie CoelhoBobbie Coelho:  I gauge the audience and pick poems that I think they will like and a couple of challenging ones. I am very passionate about them. Most people have been impressed by the covers of my two books.

Debbie Young: Why do you particularly enjoy this activity?

Bobbie Coelho: I like meeting people and listening to their stories too. My books are different in that they are being published for charity, in this case, Parkinson’s UK. I particularly like speaking to non-Parkinson’s groups because I can promote understanding of the condition.

Debbie Young: Which part of the book promotion process do you like least?

Bobbie Coelho: I really hate it when I ask if someone will consider putting a review on Amazon or the Silverwood site. They say yes, but don’t do it. If they don’t want to do it – be honest!

Debbie Young: Can you name one promotional activity that you’d like to try that you haven’t tried yet – or tried but not yet perfected?

Bobbie Coelho: I haven’t given books away yet as a promotional gesture, perhaps I will try that.

Debbie Young: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers now? e.g. news of your next book or event.

cover of Reflecting the Light by Bobbie CoelhoBobbie Coelho: Reflecting the Light will be my last book. It has had mixed reviews, most people liking it. some not. Whatever, I am very proud of the book and I found it a good way to raise money for Parkinson’s. Some of my poems make you think and lots of people need to be reminded that it is always later than you think, so don’t put off telling the ones you love how much you care – and life is to be enjoyed.

Debbie Young: What a lovely positive note to end this interview – thank you very much, Bobbie.

For more information about Bobbie Coelho and her poetry, visit her page on the SilverWood Books online shop.Her books are available from SilverWood, Amazon and other online retailers.

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Selling My Books: Carol Cooper’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

Every Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares a favourite book promotion tip here on Debbie Young’s Off The Shelf blog

Carol Cooper headshot

The multi-talented, multi-tasking author Carol Cooper

I first met Carol Cooper via the Alliance of Independent Authors, of which we’re both Author Members, and soon discovered that as well as writing novels, she has a busy and successful career as a GP, a medical journalist for the UK’s top-selling newspaper, and lecturer to medical students at the prestigious Imperial College London. Oh, and she’s had lots of medical and healthcare books published too – phew! I thought I was busy till I met Carol…

Back to her burgeoning career as a novelistI really enjoyed her debut novel One Night at the Jacaranda (which I’ve reviewed here).

I’ve been very grateful to her for the support she’s given to my own book about diabetes, Coming to Terms With Type 1 Diabetes, (she’s given me permission to quote her review: “It’s a lovely uplifting little book, full of insight, wit, and practical know-how. I think it will appeal to anyone with Type 1 Diabetes and their family. Health professionals would also find it useful. The book is beautifully written. A little treasure as well as a ray of hope.”

She also beta-read a short story of mine about a GP, helping me get my facts right about an important plot point. “The Art of Medicine” is published in my new collection of flash fiction, Quick Change.

I’m therefore delighted that Carol’s somehow managed to find time in her busy life to stop by Off The Shelf to share her top tip for book marketing.

Cover of One Night at the Jacaranda

The new cover for Carol Cooper’s debut novel

Debbie Young: What’s your favourite book promotion tip? It doesn’t need to be the one that sells the most books – it could just be the one you most enjoy.

Carol Cooper: My favourite tip is based on exploring the world around my novel, which I think is advice I first heard from writer Jonathan Gunson.

So on my blog Pills & Pillow-Talk, I write occasional posts in which I let characters out of One Night at the Jacaranda to have new adventures.  Dan, Sanjay, Karen, and the rest of them are all fictional, but I know them pretty well by now so they’re friends.  It would be rude not to invite them round occasionally.

The posts are like some of the extra material you might get when you buy a DVD.  I can’t tell you how well they work to sell books, if at all, but I believe that as I’m selling almost exclusively online, then online is where I should concentrate my efforts.

Debbie Young: How do you do it? Please give brief instructions!

Carol Cooper:  I write each post from a character’s point of view, in the third person.  Using the present tense makes the text feel more like a blog post and helps distinguish it from events in the book itself.  I’ll add some photos, which usually also find their way onto my novel’s Pinterest page (http://www.pinterest.com/drcarolcooper/one-night-at-the-jacaranda/).   As each one is a mini-chapter in that character’s life, it’s short like most of my posts. And I try not to let the characters interact too much. There’s no point giving the plot away!

Debbie Young: Why do you particularly enjoy this activity?

Carol Cooper: I enjoy it because it’s creative and it’s directly about the material in the book, so I don’t feel I’m giving up writing time for promotional activities.   It also means I can add a few topical touches.  There’s one post where GP Geoff visits his grandmother, who’s now so dotty that she’s put up Christmas decorations in the bathroom (it’s not Christmas).  He muses about a new online cognitive test, so I included a link to that test.  And in a post last September called Female, 38, Seeks Altruistic Single Male, Laure has read new research showing that men who do charitable deeds make more desirable partners.

Debbie Young: Which book(s) have you used it for and when?

Carol Cooper: So far I’ve only used it for Night at the Jacaranda, but I’m looking forward to doing the same for the follow-up novel once I’ve finished it.  I don’t want to write any scenes that might end up in the story, or, even worse, contradict the story.  Of course, one can do much the same for non-fiction.  Say you’ve written a parenting title.  You could write a post on, for instance, keeping your toddler amused on a car journey.  As it happens, I have authored childcare books, but I wouldn’t actually do this on Pills & Pillow-Talk as I wouldn’t want my fiction and non-fiction sitting cheek by jowl on the same site.

Debbie Young: If you were doing it again for another book tomorrow, would you do it any differently?

Photo of large ornate outdoor clock

The clock in Marylebone, London, where the action kicks off at the opening of “One Night At The Jacaranda”

Carol Cooper: I suspect I would do much the same.  A friend of mine includes interviews with some of the characters, which is a good idea too.

Debbie Young: Which part of the book promotion process do you like least?

Carol Cooper: It eats into precious writing time (bet you’ve never heard that one before!).  I usually say I also dislike acting cold-calling or acting in any way like a salesperson as it’s far too brash, but the truth is that I’m not averse to stopping a woman I see in red heels, telling her that her shoes are just like the ones on the cover of my novel, and giving her a promotional postcard to prove it.  I think promoting a book is all about using and creating opportunities whenever you can, as long as it doesn’t feel icky.

Debbie Young: Can you name one promotional activity that you’d like to try that you haven’t tried yet – or tried but not yet perfected?

Carol Cooper: There are many activities that I haven’t perfected!   Next time I’d like a book launch.  As a traditionally published author, I never got book launches either.  Publishers tend to save their resources for books from big names – do I sound bitter?  Anyway I’ve seen the fun they can be, and of course you can post photos and blog and tweet about your launch, which all helps create a buzz.

Debbie Young: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers now? e.g. news of your next book or event.

Carol Cooper: I’m working on the follow-up to One Night at the Jacaranda, which will also be set in London.  Then there’s the prequel crying out for attention too.  It will go back about 15 years, to when Geoff was a medical student.  I also have plans for a novel partly set in Alexandria, where I grew up, and it probably won’t be chick-lit.

Debbie Young: I’ll look forward to reading both of those, Carol. I never knew you grew up in Alexandria – how interesting! Thanks for sharing your favourite book marketing advice here today, and good luck with all of your many books.

Carol Cooper: Thank you so much, Debbie, for inviting me onto your blog to share my thoughts.  I’ve really enjoyed your questions.

Debbie Young: I’m sure you’ll want to find out more about Carol Cooper and her work – so here’s a link to her website again so you can hop straight over there: www.pillsandpillowtalk.com

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Selling My Books: Alison Morton’s Top Tip for Book Promotion

Every Writers’ Wednesday, a successful self-published author shares a favourite book promotion tip here on Debbie Young’s Off The Shelf blog

Headshot of Alison Morton

Alison Morton, thriller writer

I first met thriller writer Alison Morton online via our mutual publisher, SilverWood Books, and soon realised this British indie author, living in France, is a veritable whirlwind.

With endless energy and self-belief, she tirelessly promotes her fast-expanding Roma Nova alternative history series. I’ve read all three books in the series and am looking forward to the fourth.

I’m delighted that she’s somehow managed to find time in between launching book three and finishing book four to stop by Off The Shelf to share her top tip for book marketing.

Debbie Young: What’s your favourite book promotion tip? It doesn’t need to be the one that sells the most books – it could just be the one you most enjoy.

Alison Morton: Talking to real people. Although I’m a full-on social media enthusiast, and adore making book trailers on YouTube or blogging about Roman life, I love face-to-face contact at launches, fairs, fetes, libraries, conferences or in the airport lounge!

Debbie Young: How do you do it? Please give brief instructions!

Alison Morton: I carry Roma Nova – the imaginary country where my books are set – in my head so I’m ready to talk about it, and its heroines and heroes, at the drop of a sestertius. I was often told off at school for being a chatterbox…

Array of three of her postcards

Alison’s promotional postcards – collect the set!

On the practical side, I carry A6 size postcards with me for each book in my handbag. They carry the shiny front cover image on one side and the book blurb with publisher details and prices on the plain matt reverse.

The cards were produced by my publisher, SilverWood Books, and I’m already on my second thousand for Inceptio, my first book. I give them out freely so that people have a tangible reminder of my book well after they have stopped talking with me. I’ve heard at business seminar that 62% of people retain paper-based information about a product they’re interested in. I also use the postcards in goody bags for conferences, to put on chairs at a talk venue, to leave at reception desks. But I like handing them to people best.

Talking to people, I keep to the same basic information, but tailor it to the audience. For instance, a group of romantic novelists generally wants more about personal and emotional relationships, and a history group will be looking for research and the alternative historical development of Roma Nova.

Debbie Young: Why do you particularly enjoy this activity?

Alison Morton: The instant feedback! It’s still a source of wonderment to me that people are happy to let me burble on about my books, but I’ve been told that they love my enthusiasm. I’ve had wonderful conversations about the Roma Nova school system, religion, characterisation, how do I know all about special forces procedures, how did I make Carina and Conrad so complex, and are the Roma Nova books feminist? (Of course!)

So far, and I stress the ‘so far’, I haven’t met anyone who’s been rude or cross at these personal meetings…

As a reader, I love author talks and nearly always buy the book!

Debbie Young: Which book(s) have you used it for and when?

Alison and Sue in armchairs discussing Successio

Sue Cook interviews Alison Morton about her latest novel, “Successio”

Alison Morton: All three books.

None of my books is going to be the Great British Novel; I write speculative thrillers that appeal to many different types of reader from 17 to 85.

I think it’s important to show yourself to your readers and the book-buying public. If you have confidence in your story and have produced a top-notch physical book, then it’s so much easier. I launched Inceptio and Perfiditas at Waterstones in Tunbridge Wells and gave a talk about Inceptio at the library in the village where I lived for 24 years.

For Successio, I launched in London just three weeks ago with the broadcaster Sue Cook interviewing me and followed up with a talk at the main Tunbridge Wells library.

Debbie Young: If you were doing it again for another book tomorrow, would you do it any differently?

Alison Morton: That’s easy – no!

Debbie Young: Which part of the book promotion process do you like least?

Alison Morton: The time it eats up when I could be writing the next adventure, but that’s a little precious of me because I have to let people know about the book I’m promoting.

Debbie Young: Can you name one promotional activity that you’d like to try that you haven’t tried yet – or tried but not yet perfected?

Alison Morton: The one is guaranteed to work. Seriously, book promotion is about trying all kinds of things. Some readers want more hard information, others love to hear about motivation. Some love collecting cards, pens, badges and bookmarks from a ‘live’ event, others enjoy interacting on social media. And they buy a book for as many different reasons.

Debbie Young: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers now? e.g. news of your next book or event.

Alison talking to a group of readers, all seated, theatre-style

Alison Morton speaking at Tunbridge Wells public library

Alison Morton: Giving talks and chatting face-to-face is also about giving back to your readers, undiscovered readers and other writers. This is why I’m doing talks at two conferences this summer: the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Historical Novel Society Conference.

Now that Successio is out, I need to step back from strong promotion and get on with writing book four, working title Aurelia, featuring the early years of one of the main secondary characters form the first three books. She’s tough and resilient when we meet her in Inceptio, but she had a pretty rough ride when younger with a particularly nasty traitor targeting her…

Debbie Young: I can’t wait to read this one – Aurelia is my favourite character! Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to take part in this interview, Alison, it is a joy to share your enthusiasm and commitment with my readers.

I’ve reviewed all three of Alison Morton’s novels, and you’ll find links to them and many other book reviews on my author website here: http://authordebbieyoung.com/reviews/directory-of-book-reviews/.

The books are quickly gaining a huge and enthusiastic audience around the world. The first two have just been awarded the prestigious Indie Brag Medallion and were shortlisted for Writing Magazine’s 2014 Self-Published Book of the Year Award. Wow!

For more information about Alison Morton, visit her author website here: http://www.alison-morton.com.

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