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A week in the life...

I get asked by my not-yet-published writing friends, ‘how much is it, really, this promotion thing?’ So, I thought I’d track the last week and give an idea of just how much goes on.

The background: my debut book, the first in a traditionally published Space Opera trilogy, came out in March 2015. Since then, I’ve been building networks on twitter and facebook, various online communities as well as face to face. I’ve had some reviews and they’ve been good enough for me to decide not to throw in the writing towel.

Last Friday, my second book, Inish Carraig was released on Kindle. For various reasons, I chose to self-publish this one. Here, then, is what I’ve spent the last week doing. If I don’t make you feel tired just looking at this little list, then I’m worried, because I’ve been fairly exhausted at my end.

Bear in mind, this has all been done around family life (I have kids), work (I’ve had a busy week with meetings, reports, office work and driving), and, you know… living.

Here goes. Deep breath.

On the Friday the book was released I decided to host a Virtual book launch party. I turned up on Facebook and chatted for an hour about my book. To be honest, I thought this one would be low key and fully expected to watch Bake Off: An Extra Slice whilst typing.

I missed the whole show, spent the hour frantically typing, and it had a great buzz.

Effective? I’m not sure – most of the people there were people who already knew me and the book. Fun? Absolutely. Challenging? Yep. The questions were good. So, worth it.

Also on the Friday, two blog posts went up – one on my site, one hosted by another writer, Stephen Palmer. I had some nice comments on them, one from someone new to me, so that makes it reasonably effective. Plus, I like writing blogs. (Hence why I’m writing a blog now.)

Saturday into Sunday, I did the sort of promo stuff I do every day. I was on a couple of sci fi forums, in some facebook groups, did some twittering about the book, responded to some blog comments, thanked everyone for Friday night and followed up anything from then. I also picked up the first reviews and facebooked and tweeted those. Let’s take it as a given from now onwards that I’ve been doing some of this every day.

Monday, I researched possible outlets for promo and followed up some dead leads. Tuesday, though, was a busy day. I wanted to go on a bit of a push, for both my books.


Contacted 2 local radio stations, contacted two blog/fb pages, joined 3 new fb groups and had a nice chat with their members, and liked lots of geek-style posts. I especially liked the dalek-toilet picture, which I can now leave to your imagination.

I also contacted a reviewer and responded to their response.

Wednesday night was fun – I went to a local writers’ group and spent a couple of hours talking about the books and writing. All in all it took about 4 hours from leaving the house to coming home, and required watching Bake Off on Catch Up, but it was really worth it. As well as the craic, useful networks were made (hopefully going both ways, I like to give back), and some copies were sold. (Big thanks to all!)

Thursday, I followed up on some promo leads from Wed night, and sent out a couple of emails to local media (no response to date.) I also contacted a convention I’m guesting at next month to catch up.

Someone kindly sent some photos from Cannes and Monte Carlo for a world tour album for Abendau’s Heir, so I saved those and then posted them in the thread, plus facebooked and tweeted those.

Today, Friday, a week on, I’ve met another writer for coffee (not onerous at all, and very nice), and I’m blogging. I’m in the mood, but not ready to write today – been too tiring a couple of days – so I think I’ll draft another after this (a masterclass on torture writing, anyone?) and then knock off.

I also researched book marketing sites for an hour and joined two that looked good and not too expensive.

Tonight, I’ll spend some of my evening on social media, following up on a great review up today (I’ve been lucky to have a lot of reviews this week, all of which get a facebook and tweet at least), chatting on communities and, in between, watching some telly and chilling with my family.

For this, will I get many sales? Honestly – probably not. But, if I didn’t do it? Then, I think I’ll have written a book that sits on Amazon’s shelves and never gets any sales.

And that’s what it’s like. Graft. Lots of it. J

My books, what it’s all for, can be found here:


Prizzley said…
I finished reading Inish Carraig today today and loved it. While it was fresh in my mind I posted a review on Amazon. I hope all your your marketing efforts pay off!
Joanne Zebedee said…
You are fabulous, thank you. I didn't respond because I was, believe it or not, sitting with Joe Abercrombie at a literature night. ;) But I still did a happy dance!

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