- Be active on social media. Don’t just endlessly spam your book, engage with different conversations. Make book marketing personal!
- Get a professional to design your cover. If the book is a romance novel, make sure they include archaic runes, a dragon, headshots of the cast of Saved by the Bell: The New Class and kittens. If it’s a fantasy novel, add two dragons.
- Know your audience. Know who they are, what things they like to read and watch. Know the bars they hang out at. Know where they live. Know what their diary says, the one they keep in the locked drawer. Know the sound their breathing makes in the darkened room as you stand in the shadows, watching them. You need this information for marketing!
- Seek out the old woman who roams the moor at night, moaning to herself in a strange tongue unlike any other language you have ever heard, ancient words not heard on the earth for millennia. Others claim to be deaf to her guttural groans, but you hear her every night, don’t you? Seek her out. You where to find her. Cross her palm with silver but do not look her directly into her eyes. She’s a PR manager and can probably help you out.
- Give up and start drinking. Drink heavily for most of the evening. Meet a man who claims he knows some people in a newspaper and he can get you a cheap advert for your book. Be suspicious, but go along with it because you’re drunk. Go to an ATM. Get out most of your life savings for ‘advertising’. Wake up the next day and regret what you have done. Call the number he has given you over and over, only for it to go to voicemail every time. Check the newspaper every day, hoping that an advert for your book will appear. It never does. Keep checking for weeks. Gradually stop buying the newspaper. Gradually lose hope. Avoid social situations. Retreat into yourself. Spend your days cursing your stupidity. Vow never to drink again. Drink anyway. See that same man in a different bar, years later. He’s happy. He’s laughing. Feel the rage boil in your veins, uncontrollable, like the hurt was only yesterday. Start a fight with him. Realise, too late, it’s the wrong person. Run as he is much stronger than you. Exit into the night, into the cold, into the unknown future.
- Have you tried advertising online? It’s cheap and effective!
Previously published on Pure Slush January 2017
My debut chapbook, Our Voices in the Chaos, is out now through Selcouth Station.