But unlike, online bingo and fbf stalking, writing often results in feelings of pride and ownership and a product which you want to shout about.
I have been scouring the internet recently looking for ways in which I can market my children's books to the world. I want to know what children think about them! But all the information I have discovered so far involves visiting schools and bookshops, talking to bookshop owners, contacting reviewers and asking them to review my book, going to author conferences, sending out press releases (who to?), and even (gulp!) book tours and signings.
What the heck do all these authors do on these school visits? Well, I know from visiting Amazon that some of them get whole class-fuls of students to post reviews online. Wow. Kudos.
But what if the thought of doing all this makes your guts recoil in horror and rue the day that a book emerged, fully-formed, give or take a few hundred edits, several sleepless nights of agonising over a cover and a very steep learning curve? I was wondering what advice is out there for the mild-mannered amongst us.
When I look up mild-mannered on Google, I get superman. Not even proper Superman actually, just Clark Kent.
- If anyone asks what you do, talk about anything for 5 minutes and then say, 'Oh, and I also write'.
- Talk about your book quietly at lunch with a friend.
- Have several small flyers made and hide them in library books.
- Have business cards made and leave one on every bus you go on.
- Leave a signed copy of your book at a Book Crossing hotspot.
- Give away copies of your book free to Freecycle or Freegle.
- Give your book to a charity shop.
- Leave you book by the fridge at work. If you don't work, leave your book by the fridge of a friend.
- Insert your book secretly into the relevant shelves of a popular bookshop when you think no-one is looking.
- Slip copies of your book into people's shopping trolleys at the supermarket.
- Take out a small classified advert on Gumtree or Craigslist.
Lastly, whatever you decide, good luck with your marketing efforts. If you experience any luck with these or if you have any techniques of your own, please do let me know!
Now, take one last look at Clark, and off you go...