I met the author Michelle Woollacott at the writing group I attend and she has recently independently published her first novel, All That You Want. She has kindly agreed to be interviewed for my blog
You have shown yourself to be the Queen of marketing can I talk you into sharing a few tips?
Hi Eric – thanks for having me today. I love your blog. You have a vast following – I think it must be down to your witty musings -we could all learn a lot from you.
Thanks for your kind remark, although I’m not sure I’m the Queen of Marketing – I haven’t given up the day job yet!
I am happy, however, to share what I have learned along the way.
1. Talk yourself up. Many writers find this the hardest thing to do. But no one is going to hand you a successful writing career. If you don’t shout about your book, no one else will. Present yourself professionally and be proud of your achievements. #fakeittilyoumakeit
2. Be humble. A contradiction in terms, I know, but it is important to juxtapose these two. Talk about your struggle, your rejections – endear yourself to your audience, and get them routing for you! Let them know you are human and you achieved your goals through hard work and perseverance.
3. Research and create a marketing strategy. Two web articles I found helpful were bookbaby.com’s 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-Published Book and WikiHow’s How to Market a Self Published Book. (I know – I would never site Wiki for an academic essay!) I printed these two articles and developed them into a marketing plan. Using an Office calendar template, I compiled a strategy for one month in the lead up to the launch and for the three months following the release. (This timeframe is a tip I picked up somewhere along the way…) My strategy included ideas such as: Author website, blogging, book launch, contests, blog articles, radio interviews, book clubs, bookstores, press releases, readings and market stalls.
4. Read. I was fortunate enough to receive a subscription to a writers’ magazine as a Christmas present. These magazines are filled with articles, tips and ideas. If you don’t have access to writers’ magazines, follow writers’ blogs and/or research online for free advice.
5. NETWORK. This is probably the most important marketing strategy I have employed. Join a writers’ group, make contact online, attend book launches, write positive reviews. Getting to know other writers has proved invaluable in my journey. Help each other out for mutually beneficial outcomes. Working together can help increase visibility online and offline. Word-of-mouth, of course, is a fabulous thing, but blog-sharing and social media sharing can lead to a wider audience and higher visibility. WORK TOGETHER.
This is your first go at self-publishing, what the most unexpected aspect of it?
The reception, the positive support has been immense and vastly unexpected. I feel like I can achieve anything now.
What is the hardest thing you have had to do to sell your book?
The technical side of things! Luckily I have a husband who is a pro at html coding!
Since launching your book on the world, what has been you proudest moment?
Wow, there have been many… from holding the book in print to seeing the turnout at my booklaunch… Then there’s all my family and friends have done to support me – poof-reading, funding Amazon and Facebook advertising for my birthday present, making posters, taking time off work, pitching in with every area of the process… that has been humbling. And there have been all the positive reviews on Amazon, the full-page article in the paper… To top it all, All That You Want recently made it across the Atlantic to one reader in Florida! #proudmoments…
With your next book what are you going to do differently? Will you go straight to self-publish or try your luck with traditional publishing?
I will take all I have learnt from this experience. I will begin by showcasing my success to traditional publishers and agents. One piece of advice I received along my journey of rejection was to publish independently the first time and show the world what you can do. If I can sell five hundred copies of All That You Want, I will be in a good position for publishers to take a gamble on me. The world of traditional publishing is changing; big companies do not like to take risks on unknown writers with no way to prove themselves. They have their top authors comfortably bringing in the profits. I need to prove they should invest in me. If that doesn’t work, I will happily take the indie route again.
What book has influenced you most as a writer?
I like to read YA/Woman’s Fiction, particularly Cecelia Ahern. I read Love, Rosie when travelling around the USA at the age of twenty-one and, apart from the epic love story that took my breath away, I was drawn to the narrative style – short chapters told in first person from alternating points of view. My first encounter of this technique was Abomination by Robert Swindles, which I read for the first time when I was twelve. This book haunted me and stuck with me throughout my teenage years. I plan to use this narrative technique in my second novel.
What books do you like to read in your spare time? Did you have a favorite as a child?
I’m trying to get through books by local authors at the moment – I have read recently read Street Girl by Rozana McGrattan and have How to Find Love in A Book Shop by Veronica Henry next on my list.
As a child, I loved Shirley Hughes, AA Milne, and of course moved on to Roald Dahl – The BFG was one of my favourites – and as a teen, as I said, Robert Swindles.
I have a reading bucket-list to last a lifetime!
Thanks so much for having me, again, Eric, and I look forward to your future posts!
Thank for agree to the interview. Links to Michelle’s blog and book are bellow. Please go and check them out and buy the book.
Michelle is an author of women’s fiction as well as a freelance content writer.
Michelle grew up in North Devon before completing a BA (Hons) degree in Creative Writing with Film at The University of Gloucestershire and went on to study Community Journalism with Cardiff University. She has recently published her debut novel, All That You Want.
ALL THAT YOU WANT
Imagine if you were presented with
ALL THAT YOU WANT.
Shy student, Amy Minor, is suffering the curse of unrequited love.
When the object of her desires moves away, she wonders how she will ever move on.
Her luck changes when she meets up-and-coming Hollywood star, Lenny Hunter.
But what starts as an exciting love affair soon transcends into an agonising struggle as Amy’s past catches up with her –
and she is faced with a life-changing dilemma.
Would you truly be happy if you could have marketing
ALL THAT YOU WANT?