Generating Publicity

It’s a universal truth that marketing and publicity are difficult skills to master. If an author constantly shouts ‘Buy my book! Buy my book!’ then people get irritated and start pressing ‘unfollow’ or ‘unsubscribe’ (No! Don’t all rush to do that now!). But if the same author says virtually nothing at all then very few people know that he has a book available or how good that book is.

The key is subtlety. And in my own subtle fashion I have been popping up in different places this week. is the smart woman’s guide to tech, style and life.  Because I am a smart woman, I was invited to give them 6 Easy (and free!) Steps to Publishing Your First Ebook. It’s only a two-minute read and worth it if you want to find out what this e-publishing lark is all about.

Kobo Writing Life is the self-publishing arm of Kobo (similar to Kindle Direct Publishing) and has a very useful blog. As many of you know, Bedsit Three was shortlisted for a competition partly organised by Kobo, so when the novel was published they invited me to do a blog post for them. Bedsit Three by Sally Jenkins
Birth of a Novel explains how Bedsit Three emerged from NaNoWriMo 2013. If you’re struggling with last few days of this year’s NaNo, you might find some encouragement in this post.

Readers’ Favorite is a US book review website. It’s readers review books for free (sometimes there is a long wait). The review isn’t posted on Amazon but it can be quoted from in book descriptions and it appears on the Readers’ Favorite website. Here’s the Readers’ Favorite verdict on Bedsit Three.

I hope I haven’t irritated you too much – and keep your finger OFF that unsubscribe button!


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  1. #1 by Keith Havers on November 24, 2015 - 2:34 pm

    Some great links again. Thanks, Sally.

  2. #3 by susanjanejones on November 24, 2015 - 3:50 pm

    You’d be the last person I’d unsub from, Sally. And you are right about it being a balance. I veer towards the lazy side, but I have a few ideas brewing for when my paperbacks arrive shortly. Your book signing sounds like fun, and I’ll have a look at those links later.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on November 24, 2015 - 6:11 pm

      Thanks, Susan. Looking forward to your book – will it be Kindle too or just paperback?

      • #5 by susanjanejones on November 26, 2015 - 5:10 pm

        Both, Sally. About to blog about it now.

  3. #6 by juliathorley on November 24, 2015 - 5:42 pm

    Anyone can self-publish a book, but the trick is selling the darn thng. I’ve worked for a couple of packagers and it doesn’t matter how often you tell authors that the hard work is yet to come, they often think that customers will seek them out. As for ‘buy my book’, posts. I’m happy with them as long as there’s also something interesting and/or useful in the post. Don’t worry: I’m sticking with you!

    • #7 by Sally Jenkins on November 24, 2015 - 6:13 pm

      Thanks, Julia. I always try to include something that readers can ‘take away’ and possibly use themselves. People only read blog posts if they get something out of it.

  4. #8 by Maria Smith (@mariaAsmith) on November 24, 2015 - 9:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing Sally, lots of useful links there, and I agree, getting the balance is tricky.

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on November 25, 2015 - 7:25 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Maria. I think it’s a bit like walking a tightrope.

  5. #10 by Susan A Eames on November 26, 2015 - 7:49 pm

    Don’t worry – I won’t unsubscribe you!

  6. #12 by Linda Daunter on November 27, 2015 - 6:49 pm

    I’m not planning on self-publishing yet, but even authors who are lucky enough to have a book accepted by a traditional publisher are expected to help market their books these days. I’ve noticed that a lot of smaller companies state in their submission guidelines that their authors should be willing and able to generate their own publicity – especially on social media. So, yes, we do all need to understand how it works.
    But it is difficult!
    In the past, I’ve enjoyed working in sales and have also written advertising copy. I have no problem with promoting other people’s goods and services, but when it comes to selling my own wares … 😦 I suppose it feels too much like showing off!

    • #13 by Sally Jenkins on December 1, 2015 - 8:45 am

      Linda, you are so right about marketing your own book feeling like ‘showing off’. All our lives we are told not to show-off or be big-headed and it’s very hard to switch out of that mindset. A writer I spoke to recently told me that it’s essential to get over that ‘showing-off’ embarrassment and treat selling the book like any other business. No one thinks a window cleaner is showing off when he markets his services, do they? We need to be the same.

  7. #14 by hilarycustancegreen on November 27, 2015 - 9:54 pm

    You work so hard at it you deserve success. I was wondering today whether to bother spending a cold day outside selling copies of my two novels at a (very) local Christmas market. I think most of the people who might buy them locally already have. I haven’t done any marketing or publicity (on the novels) for nine months…

    • #15 by Sally Jenkins on December 1, 2015 - 8:48 am

      I hope you’re still writing, at least, Hilary. It’s easy to lose that initial ‘launch’ excitement and I wish I knew the secret of keeping book publicity bubbling away. Maybe you could ease your way slowly back into the publicity by playing with your Amazon key words or tweaking the description – then other ideas might come to you. Fingers crossed!

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