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Ten New Ways to Promote Your Book

November 18, 2017

Your family, workmates and an elderly neighbour have bought your book. Next step? Maybe, pay an organisation to promote and sell for you? Two phrases spring to mind - ‘you get what you pay for’ and ‘caveat emptor’.

Here are ten alternative steps if you want a cheaper way of selling your book. Two of them will give you success. Please let me know when the others work.

One, in this season of Christmas lights, design a masterpiece in flashing lights for the front of your house with your book as the centrepiece. Go with the nativity and Father Christmas themes. Plonk your book in the manger or show Father Christmas with a sleigh stacked with your books racing through the sky across the front of your house in lights. Commandeer your neighbours’ houses to give a continuous flashing display of your book along the whole street. A surge of visitors will entice local TV to film your show giving you a slot on the evening news as one of the outstanding wasters of electricity in this years displays.

Two, pack a suitcase full of your books and sell them door-to-door, like those young men claiming to be recently released from prison who knock on my door selling me dusters, cleaning cloths and other items that already fill my kitchen cupboards.

Three, negotiate with your local supermarket for a stall in the entrance foyer. Your book display will make a welcome change for shoppers frequently ambushed by the RAC or the AA membership sellers.

Four, rent a stall in your local farmers market and sell your books to the bored visitors wandering through stalls of vegetables, hand-made sausages, artisan bread, farm-cooked pigs feet and bangles made from seaweed.

Five, hire a loudspeaker van (redundant between elections) or an ice cream van and tour the streets between 6 o'clock and 8 o'clock each evening promoting your book. Do not blast out your contact details during these broadcasts as this may invite retribution close to home.

Six, photoshop a royal investiture with your book being used instead of a sword. This will appeal to republicans as well as to those who like an unusual promotional strategy.

Seven, ask a Cabinet minister to openly carry your book on the way into Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting where the future of the country is being demolished.

Eight, find a lucrative day job that will support you and give you time to write creatively, if that is what you want to do. If, on the other hand, your intention is to be mega-rich, take up an occupation other than writing books.

Nine, give away as much of your writing as you can, for free. Readers will come back and pay for the commercial product if your freely available writing is good enough. This may remind you of the promotion ladies in the supermarket aisles tempting you to taste food or drink in the hope that you will buy the actual product. It is known as ‘see - taste - buy’ (if you do not throw up at the taste of what is on offer).

Ten, write such stonkingly powerful books that your writing promotes itself and sells itself so well that you will have to live in a large mansion surrounded by high walls, electronic gates and guard dogs as a way of preserving your privacy to write.

You could pray to be discovered but that is giving away the initiative and shirking your responsibility.


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