The Joys of Self Promotion

August 6, 2011


The title of this blog post is double edged. There is certainly joy to be had when you connect with people and they want to buy their own copy of your book. When you have self-published your book it is even more important to get ‘out there’ and sell copies. Many poets though are quiet people, shy and unaccustomed to tooting their own horn. But these days, even if a publishing company has published your work, you will still be expected to do some book promotion.

Some people are great at this sort of thing, some people do a reasonable job, some are terrible at it. I think I’m OK at it, but I certainly don’t know a lot about how to sell hundreds of copies of a book, when you don’t have lots of money to do it. My new and first poetry collection, ‘damaged children Precious Gems’, was written to a theme, and I feel that may be the thing that will help me to sell copies to people.

When you have a theme for your book, you can market your work to people with an interest in your theme. You can join relevant groups, either online or in the real world, and always be prepared to talk about your book. You must take care not to be too pushy though because that may turn people against you and your work.

One very important point to adhere to is this: always have copies of your book available for people to listen to, see, hold, and read. Once a person has connected with your book it can make it easier to sell them a copy. I will now always have a few copies of my book with me when I go out.

So far, for my book which I got from the printers one week ago, I have done a reasonable amount of marketing. Firstly, I started this blog, talking about the book and its them of child abuse, especially sexual abuse. I used the image that is on the front cover on my book on this blog.

I held a book launch for my book at a venue I am involved with and I invited lots of people I know to the launch. They didn’t all attend the launch, but lots of them did, and that added to the ambience of the event. I was fortunate to have Jenny Richards and Pauline Edmunds present at my book launch. Jenny wrote a wonderful foreword for my book and Pauline is the artist who did the painting that became my cover image. These lovely ladies added something extra special to the book launch.

I was able to sell a good number of books at the launch, and I also gave away some copies as I felt appropriate. Cash in hand is good, but so is having people out there who are able talk about your work in a many that might encourage others to get their own copy.

Making money wasn’t the main aim of putting together this poetry collection anyway. I have been concerned about child abuse for many years both on a personal level, but also on a broader societal level. I want to use this book to raise the profile about child abuse so that we all become more aware of the damage done to people to weak to protect themselves.

My aim is to go to various groups to talk about these issues, offering my thoughts and reading from my collection. I also want to offer my services in facilitating workshops, using creating writing as a form of personal therapy. I have been able to find a serene place in my life thr0ugh creative  writing, and I have the necessary skills to help people with process.

So there is my plan. If you have any thoughts on what I have done so far, or what I plan to do, or if you would like your own copy of my book, please let me know. I would love to hear from you.

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