I Am No Marketeer

Guest Blog by Rosemary J. Kind

Last time I left you with the question ‘What would I do differently?’ Ah, the benefit of hindsight. I now know I am no marketeer. It is not that I can’t market my book. I can and I do. However, every phone call is nerve racking, every negative response leaves me playing the tragic hero and every success justifies a war dance round the office and a glass of wine. I should perhaps add that the negatives call for a consolatory drink, but I’d hate you to go away with the idea I am an alcoholic!

My book, ‘Lovers Take up Less Space’, is a humorous review of travelling on London Underground. The BBC promptly ran a whole six week series looking at the Underground and naively I thought with this to piggy-back then I couldn’t fail. The BBC showed the serious side of the Tube. It showed the dedicated workers. The true complexity of managing such an impossible infrastructure and instead of providing me with a platform it left me with two thoughts. Firstly, it was the sort of programme watched by geeks and secondly, I felt guilty taking such a light hearted look at something so many other people took so seriously. It was a bit like writing a sit-com based in a crematorium. There were definitely going to be those out there who thought I was being a little irreverent. Is this the best point to tell you about the time I went to the wrong funeral? I should perhaps simply apologise publicly to Elsie’s family for bursting into hysterical laughter at the point I realised I was in the wrong one.

In any case, you can see my problem. There is a time and a place for humour and the BBC programme was neither the time nor the place. I crept away to lick my wounds.

It’s not all bad news. I am selling books. The Evening Standard and Metro may have declined the opportunity to run sections of the book for the edification of their readers, but I have managed to have some pretty decent book reviews in other newspapers and picked up sales on the back of it. I’ve got the book on the shelves of a number of bookshops around London and need to devise a strategy to capitalise on the Olympic rush in the summer. I am finding it always pays to have a book, on your person, available for sale and a pen available for signing and ironically the hard copy has led to a boost in the e-book sales.

Newspaper reviews of a book definitely bring in readers, as long as the reviews are favourable. It is worth being prepared to send a significant number of complimentary copies to reviewers and don’t underestimate the power of the local press. This is no time to be snobbish and think you need to hit the nationals. A good local review, backed up by a local stockist and an internet presence can yield a good volume of sales. However, do research your local press first. Sending a book to a free paper that is almost entirely advertising is not likely to be an investment. Choose papers that do regular book review slots. Their readers will be used to looking out for titles which are worth their while reading.

I’m thinking a stall on Camden Market might be quite good, but I don’t live anywhere near Camden and I think the stalls are probably already taken. I may have to settle for a stall at our village Fun Day, where they are most likely to wonder why I’m trying to sell a book about London while living in North Yorkshire. There really is a time and a place for everything. Now, if only I could get the time and place right at the same time I could make a fortune.

Rosemary J. Kind is the author of ‘Lovers take up less space’ a humorous guide to travelling on the London Underground, it is available through bookshops, Amazon and direct from www.alfiedog.com. She has also written ‘Alfie’s Diary’, ‘Alfie’s Woods’ and ‘Poems for Life’ which are available as e-books. Alfie’s Diary is available on a daily basis at www.alfiedog.me.uk


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maxi
    May 03, 2012 @ 13:33:45

    Good luck with the continuing sales!


  2. Jane Risdon
    May 14, 2012 @ 20:13:51

    Emma, I enjoyed reading your piece and feel for you. Talk about timing! Let us hope the Olympics might help with sales. Guess you could run around London with a stack of books under your arms and hope to way-lay the odd tourist and let them read a little with a view to a purchase. It is hard. good luck with your books and future writing. I wish you well.


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