At the beginning of November, I sent a brief press release to the local freebie newspaper about the publication of my latest novel. Just over a week later, I had a phone call from one of the reporters who asked me a lot of questions about my writing and I gave her my (somewhat rambling!) answers in return. A short email ‘conversation’ followed a couple of hours later and I sent her a photo.
The following week, my automatic ‘google alert’ for my name picked up some press releases, and I found the article about me on the newspaper’s website. Okay, that was good - except that I doubt many people actually visit the website. They wait for the freebie paper to be delivered, just as I do.
Two more weeks went by, but the article didn’t appear in the printed edition of the paper, which is delivered every week (either Thursday or Friday) to every house in my local area.
Oh, hold on, did I say it was delivered every week to every house? Yes, that’s usually the case. I get the paper every week - except for last week.
On Friday evening, about 9.30pm, a friend called -“Hey, you’re famous!”
“Am I? Why?”
You’ve guessed it. The one week I don’t get the paper, the article about me appears!
On Saturday, I rush around trying to find a copy (they’re not available in the shops). Daughter’s copy hasn’t arrived, friend who called me is out…I finally tracked one down mid-afternoon.
Here it is:
'Great publicity!’ everyone says.
Yeah? By now everyone will have dropped the paper into their recycling box.
And the effect on sales? Okay, I didn’t expect millions, but one or two would have been good. Instead - zilch, zero, nada, nothing, not a single download and no queries on my website (the link was at the end of the article).
So much for publicity!
The only slightly positive result was that I took the report into the local independent bookstore on Monday (the one that wasn’t interested when I took my first book in, over a year ago). The owner there agreed to take a couple of copies of my latest book on a sale or return basis. A couple – two books! Not to go on display, you understand but ‘just in case anyone asks for them.’
Now I’m wondering how many people I can bribe to go into the shop and ask for my books!