The ebook revolution has given us many wonderful things. The freedom to write in micro-genres. The ultimate expression of artistic liberation. The ability to sidestep pernickety editors and publishers. Fifty Shades of Grey.
Okay, so not everything about ebooks has been positive …
But there is one awful thing that the ebook revolution has given the world – the dreadful sight of an author begging: “Buy my book, please buy my book.”
Those of us who frequent reading and writing websites know this phenomenon all too well. We see new authors joining a forum, dropping a BMB (buy my book) bomb, and then disappearing, never to be seen again.
It’s the literary equivalent of a one night stand, a sweaty drunken grope up against a wall. They don’t write, they don’t phone. And it leaves you feeling used. A little bit grubby, and not in a nice way.
So I made myself a promise. I wasn’t going to be one of those authors. Oh sure, I’d like you to buy my books. That’s the biggest kick that you can get out of writing. But I don’t want to fill this blog with BMB, BMB, BMB! And that’s why this blog burbles along talking about Elvis’s ugly ears, the meaning of life and what it felt like to be a bigamist in a computer game. And is it two spaces after a full stop (period) or only one?
That’s the plan. And I still think it’s a good plan. Call it a house rule.
But – forgive me – I need to break my own rule. You see, I have a new book coming out. If you don’t mind, I will be doing a little of the BMB stuff that I really don’t like. Readers aren’t going to buy a book if they don’t know it exists.
Maybe it’s a British stiff upper lip. A natural shyness. A dislike of marketing. I don’t want to brag or draw attention to myself. Not the done thing, don’t you know, old bean?
So here’s the plan…
From Thursday 8 October to Monday 12 October, I am going to run a five day free promotion of my first book – Love, Death and Tea. The difference is that this time I am going to get it featured on book promotion websites. The theory is that these websites will send details of your free book to their email subscribers, in return for a fee.
Up to now, I have avoided these websites because I was not sure how genuine they were. But in my last five day promotion of “Global Domination for Beginners” one of these websites featured my book without being asked (or being paid). That one websites generated more a third of my giveaways from the free promotion. It wasn’t a website that I would have thought of – it was aimed at German readers who wanted a book in English.
So the plan is to publicise the book on a number of these websites. As a little “thank you”, I will include the German website on the list.
Then I will see how many sales it generates. I will post a blog after it is finished to give an update. Might be a waste of money, might be a roaring success or – more likely – it will be something in the middle. Let’s find out.
Then on 24 October, I will be publishing a new book. It is a science fiction fantasy called “To know the dark”, and for once (!!) it is deadly serious. I’m putting comedy to one side for a while.
And that means that between now and 24 October I will be getting the news out there about the new book. I will be offering free review copies for anyone who wants to read it ahead of publication.
Oh yes – doing some more of that marketing and BMB stuff that I really don’t like. Wish me luck. It feels like I am signing up for a month’s worth of dentist appointments.
Then, probably in November or December, we will be bringing out two new chess books. These will be aimed at people who know the moves but want to know how to win more often. They won’t appeal to everyone. It’s a niche market.
The books are written and my long-suffering wife is now proof-reading and editing them.
Beyond that (#1), I am working on the sequel to Love, Death and Tea. It has the working title of “Love, Death and Words” and it tells Libby’s story. Realistically, that book will be finished towards the end of the year.
Beyond that (#2), I have the beginnings of a sequel to Global Domination. This will take the same characters as Global Domination and the same narrator, and will give their story a science fiction twist. For now I am calling it “First Contact for Beginners.” We are talking aliens, spaceships, Lump with a ray-gun and a new wannabe global dominator. That one is looking like spring 2016.
But as ever with these projects, life has a funny way of throwing obstacles your way. We had hoped to be much further ahead than we are, but writing has had to take a back seat while we have been dealing with some family stuff. Nothing too major, just time consuming.
Please, please bear with me as I go through this BMB malarkey. If I could find a different way of doing things, then I would.
In the meantime, if you would like a free review copy of “To Know the Dark”, feel free to drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
And please do forgive me while I pull on this mask and go into Buy My Book mode. It’s not me, you understand. It’s just this thing I have to do. It’s an alter ego, a character, a little spot of dressing up.