by Daisy White, guest blogger www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk
As an independent bookshop owner and an author, I speak to many writers, who email or turn up in person with copies of their work. I love discovering independent books for the shop (or adding them to the stack by my bed!), but one of the questions I always ask authors is how they will promote their work if I give them an hour for a signing, or buy in some of their titles.
It is at this point that some look bashful and tell me the book is “… only written for friends, and I feel awkward promoting my own work/not sure how social media helps/have limited time.” Others burst forth with a seemingly endless stream of ideas spanning every aspect of their book and themselves. This is not done in a boastful, self-seeking way but simply means they are a) enthusiastic b) can translate that enthusiasm into selling their book.
It isn’t just the marketing that should be approached in a business-like fashion – it is the writing! The most successful writers I know plan their writing year with priority spreadsheets. Short story/poetry competition deadline dates are logged; freelance work is entered into the master plan complete with specific deadlines and requirements; and finally novels-in-progress are given a deadline for submission.
Time is also allowed for PR/marketing existing works, and any work to be launched that year. This includes signings, radio and TV appearances, interviews, social media, blogs and answering all the emails that drop into your inbox! Make sure to accept last minute queries only if you can meet the deadline and have time to research – one specialist publisher I know is regularly called upon to comment on his subject by the BBC and various National publications because as he puts it, “I make a point of being punctual, polite and research the request to the ‘enth degree!”
It can be very daunting to have a schedule to follow, in addition to the hundred-and-one other things you probably have going on in your life, but by approaching your writing with positivity and determination you can achieve far more than you ever hoped. Another of my favourite authors tells me that for every successful pitch/competition entry/submission you must expect at least twenty unsuccessful ones!
In 2014 I decided to follow the advice above, and treat my writing in the same way I treat my business (which has now won several awards). I made my plan and followed it to the letter, fitting around my job, and my family… and it worked! By the end of the year I had a publisher for my new novel (‘Taming Tigers’ is released in summer 2015 by Melange Books LLC), a regular guest slot on a radio show, and a book review column in a magazine.
Of course I am delighted that the hard work has paid off, so I am already searching for the magic markers and the 2015 calendar to plan my next year…
Daisy White – Biog
“Daisy White is a writer, mum, vintage lover, and award-winning literary entrepreneur. As the founder and owner of Daisy White’s Booktique (a pop up independent bookshop with a twist!) she has won business awards, been to speak at Number 10, Downing Street, and continues to support both authors and readers in their creative journeys.
Her writing reflects her years spent travelling, and Daisy has had articles and letters published in various National and local magazines and papers.
Born in the UK, Daisy spent time as child living in Wichita, Kansas, and has fond memories of attending school there (the library was huge!). She now lives in Brighton, on the South coast of England with her husband and two children, but still returns regularly to visit the USA.
In her spare time Daisy competes in ‘mud races’ for charity. These include Hellrunner, Kamikaze, and Downland Devil and if there is a frozen lake to be swum that is just perfect! With her children, Daisy also enjoys browsing the lanes of Brighton for vintage hats and china and taking long family bike rides along the beach.
‘Taming Tigers’ is her YA debut for Fire and Ice (Melange Books).”
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(From March 2015) www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk