Book marketing – grow your own readership

Well that’s what I’m hoping. I knew that I would have to do some of that scary stuff called marketing, and I knew I would find it difficult.

The really difficult bit is calling in favours and asking for endorsements – it’s absolutely cringe-making to go out there and request that people you admire or love (or both in some cases) come up with a promotional phrase or two that can be used on a book jacket. Once I’d done that bit, and the first generous and lovely sentences had come back to me (and my hopefully happy publishers!) it was time to think creatively.

I have some files lurking on my computer with names like ’15 ways to market your novel using bookmarks’ or ‘100 ways to sell your book’ – they are, to be honest, horrifying. I cannot imagine what dire change in my circumstances could ever cause me to litter my GP’s waiting room with bookmarks exhorting people to buy my book. The idea that I might wander round bookshops, accosting people who are looking at similar books to mine and then force a business card on them offering a 10% discount on my own effort is just mental. As for hiring a stall at a local craft market to flog my words … I’d rather sell a kidney, should such a thing be possible.

Undoubtedly there are people in the world for whom these techniques work. I am not one of them.

Postcards and flyers and bookmarks struck me as a little pedestrian. I wanted to do something to thank people who’d already bought Minding My Peas And Cucumbers, and encourage those who might buy, so I’ve invested in some seed packets, a rubber stamp and a vast number of bowls and saucers containing seed saved from my allotment.

Grown your own, anyone?


  1. Sara Crowley
    4th November 2010

    Looks great, is unusual, and promotes your book in a way you feel comfortable doing. What a fabulous idea, Kay.

  2. Vanessa Gebbie
    4th November 2010

    But some peeps dont grow things, or want to, but still can’t wait to read the book because it will be terrific, witty, and multifariously useful.

    Loads of good luck as it gets closer!

  3. pierre l
    5th November 2010

    I have just pre-ordered my copy. I also don’t grow things. But it’s nice to be with such lovely commentors. Also, I really like Summersdale as a publisher.

  4. Karen L. Alaniz
    24th November 2010

    What a great idea. Very creative!


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