Sunday, 14 September 2014

Promoting the book

You might think that once you have submitted your book to the publishers that the work is over.  If only!  Once the book is written and sent off to be printed you then have to focus on promoting the book.  You want to make sure that once the book is on sale people are talking about it, and will want to buy it.  The publishers do of course promote the book, but if both the author and publishers work together to promote it then you can reach many more people than just leaving it all to the publishers.

I started by building up a list of reviewers, please who would blog about the book or feature it in their magazine and tell their readers about it.  I'm lucky that in the years I've been running The Sewing Directory I've made a lot of friends who volunteered to review the book for me so I quickly built up a big list of reviewers.

SEO series for Craft Business

With the magazines it was a little harder, I wanted to offer them some content to use to promote the book because they are always looking for features.  So by writing for them and giving them free content they are more likely to feature the book. Plus I wanted to have more than just a few lines in a book review section.

The time consuming aspect is that every publication wants something different, and often something that is not just a book excerpt but written especially for them.  So I did spend several days at the start of the summer writing up features which you will see in magazines over the next few months.  They include a 6 part series of SEO for Craft Business which is both in their magazine and on their site (part 1 and part 2), a feature on content marketing and one on free apps to use for your business in Craft Focus, a 2 part feature for Sewing World on selling at craft fairs and some Ask the Expert features for Craftseller.   Plus the CHA-UK will be running some excerpts on their site and have a special discount for their members here.

My first review - in the September issue of Workbox

Review copies of my book have just started being sent out, hopefully I should receive a copy next week, the first time I will have actually seen it as a book and not just a pdf.  My first ever review has just been published in the September issue of Workbox, a needlecraft magazine.

I also got some lovely feedback from freelance journalist Sarah Moolla who writes for several of Immediate Media's craft publications including Craftseller.

She said

'Your book is fantastically useful - informative, clear and well-laid out and right up our readers' street. Very well done to you!'

Which was lovely to hear.  After spending so long writing a book I feel quite nervous about what people will think about it.  After pouring my heart and soul into it I really really want people to not only like it but find it useful.  So I am looking forward to seeing what other people say about it. 

Last but not least on the book PR was planning my launch party! Jenna who runs Exeter Sewing Machine Company kindly offered to host my launch party at her large sewing shop in Exeter.  Through running my sewing group in Exeter I know there is a really vibrant craft community there so I jumped at the chance.

We decided to hold it in mid November.  The book is due to go on sale end of October but just on the very remove off chance that the books arrive in the UK later than expected we wanted to leave a little leaway.  I suggested a Friday evening so we can offer people a drink and they won't have to get up early for work the next day!  I wanted people to be able to come by after work and then have a nice relaxing evening filled with cake, wine and networking with other creatives.   They will have copies of the book available at a discount, plus I can sign them for you.  We will also be having a raffle, and 10% off fabric purchases during the event too so you can stock up whilst you are there.  It would be too tempting to be surrounded by all their lovely fabrics and not be able to buy!

I do hope some of you can make it to the book launch.  If you can it would be great if you could comment below so we can make sure we have enough refreshments for everyone.  Or you can join the Facebook event here.

In the next post I will tell you about the lovely people who have contributed their expert tips to the book, and why I asked them to contribute.

If you'd like to pre-order the book you can find it on Amazon here (with pre-order price guarantee) or on the Search Press website here. 
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