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04 Jul 2011

Just Writing the Book Isn’t Enough

I’m just back from Winchester, where I shared my views on how to get published with anyone who cared to listen. One of the things I always emphasise is the role of you the author as a selling tool – you have to be prepared to ‘get out there’ and publicise yourself and your work.

Afterwards, I was strolling round the book stall and was accosted – it is really the only word, though she did it in the friendliest way – by a woman doing a signing session. Her name was Bobbie Darbyshire and she had two novels on sale: I bought Love, Revenge and Buttered Scones because I liked the title and because, frankly, it would have been quite awkward just to walk away. She described it as not entirely frivolous, which sounds fine to me. It’s published by Sandstone Press in Scotland, a small publisher with a particular interest in the Highlands. (Her other book is called Truth Games and it’s published by Cinnamon Press, who are based in Wales and less keen on books set in Scotland.)

I discovered that Bobbie had given a talk at the conference about the pros and cons of working with a small publisher and my guess is that she approached the conference organiser and offered her services. She also handed me a flyer on which, among other things, she offers herself as a speaker at book groups. So she is doing her damnedest to sell her books at every opportunity. Her publishers must love her. And I was very chuffed to meet someone who was the incarnation of everything I’m always telling people they have to do.

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