Monday, 21 September 2009

Seriously Useful


I've had A Seriously Useful Author's Guide to Marketing and Publicising Books for ages - I meant to write about it weeks and months ago, but it hid on the shelf, and somehow it never happened... I have the acclaim of *almost* being included in this book, written by my friend and fellow-Oxfordshire-resident Mary Cavanagh. I wrote a bit about blogging and marketing books, which was nearly included... but the cut at the last minute. Still in the acknowledgments, though! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Mary Cavanagh's first novel was The Crowded Bed, which I wrote about here, and she knows a thing or two about marketing and publicising. More or less single-handedly, she managed to sell a significant number of this novel - published by the apparently erstwhile Transita. She's turned her knowledge to good effect in this Seriously Useful guide.

I'm not an author (not yet!) so I've skim read through this book, but should I ever have a manuscript under my belt, I'll definitely return to Cavanagh's book. She starts off from pre-publication - ideas about the book cover, editing, and generally about the book industry. Then Cavanagh comprehensively looks at all the areas authors can use to promote their books - book launches, using the television, radio, newspaper, literary festivals, superstores, and the internet. Here's where the book bloggers come in - Cornflower, Random Jottings, Dovegreyreader, Vulpes Libris, and Bookwitch have all contributed bits talking about the interaction between bloggers and writers. Certainly, a blogger is far more likely to accept, read, and write about a first-time low-budget author than a national newspaper is, so I think Cavanagh has got the focus just right there.

Though Mary Cavanagh's book will be Seriously Useful to more or less any author, if they don't have a six figure budget for publicity, it is especially handy for self-publishing authors - Cavanagh has published through both an independent publishers and off her own bat, so she knows what she's talking about.

I know most Stuck-in-a-Book visitors are primarily readers, but there might well be a writer or two out there who could use this guide... though, if you're reading this, you've got the blog-reading bit down to a tee already!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to finally hear what the book is about Simon. Having written a piece for it (unpaid), I was offered a copy to 'review' from the publishers only on the understanding that I would agree to write about it on my blog. That actually felt like a marketing ploy too far and as I never accept books under those circumstances, I still haven't seen my bit in print:-(

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