29. Meeting the public

THERE are some who say I shouldn’t be allowed out in public. On Saturday, though, I will put my best-foot forward and step out in the heart of the Rhondda as a published author.

I will be one of 30 creative souls engaging with readers, discussing our work and, hopefully, selling a few copies at the Rhondda Book Fair in Penygraig.

I’ve never been to Penygraig but am looking forward to a unique experience and hope I might pick up some tips and tricks from some old hands more versed in the business of book marketing than myself.

My wife Liz and daughter Olivia will be with me, holding my hand and keeping me out of trouble as I take this big step into the great unknown.

Marketing is obviously a key strategy in the process of attempting to become established and getting your book out into the wide world. After doing a few interviews on radio and for newspapers, from which I saw a decent result, sales have stalled a bit so I am looking at a way to bump them up.

I haven’t gone down the free book route yet because I wanted to see exactly what I could do before taking such a step. Maybe after the Rugby World Cup will be the time to try a more radical approach.

Meanwhile, I am experimenting with Facebook ads at the moment and was very pleased with the response I got to my before and after carousel ads that I put up last weekend.

As any rugby buff will tell you England played Wales at Twickenham on Saturday night in a World Cup “Group of Death” match. It had created a real buzz and I piggybacked on it with an ad asking: “Are you ready for a REAL thriller?”

I’d like to give you an example but it seems I’ve over-written it with the follow-up idea, but it was a strip of five pictures, a face painted with a St George Cross, a superhero ripping open a shirt to reveal a Wales flag, Twickenham, a Rugby World Cup graphic and finally a picture of the book cover.

The captions went “Passions will ignite, heroes will be needed, as the tension builds, in a massive sporting event… will you brave: Crossing The Whitewash?” There was then an option to click to my website and I managed something like 68 at a rate of 13p per click, which I was pretty pleased about.

You can target the people who see the ad, too. I went for sports lovers in England and Wales with a love of reading, thrillers, suspense, novels and a few other things.

When it was all over I tweaked it to look like this and targeted just Wales. After all, they did win…

AFTER

I am now working on an ad to send people straight to Amazon for the book and will see how it goes. Meanwhile, I’ve changed the name of my Facebook page. I can’t call it I’m going to Publish, when I already HAVE published. Why not like Crossing the Whitewash/Rugby World Cup thriller?

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