This week I received an email from my new publicist inviting me to lunch.
Obviously, this made me happy.
First, I like being taken out for lunch. Who doesn't?
But more importantly, it means that my publishers are taking my next book seriously.
There is nothing more annoying to a writer than spending a year writing a novel, only for their publisher to act like nothing's happened.
Publicity is the lifeblood of any book.
Without it, your hard work languishes and dies. There are a million books out there and readers tend to go for the ones they've heard something about.
This is one of the reasons publishing houses would rather ask established authors for more books, than take a punt on a newbie. At least the readers will have heard of you.
My new publicist, Jamie, and isn't that a great name, the sort of name that belongs to a person who can come up with mind bogglingly ace sales ideas at the drop of a hat, asked me to consider various proposals and also to 'put forward any suggestions [I] might have.'
I mean, I am always banging on about how this is a business, how authors don't take enough ownership of their own work, how they expect everything done for them.
But actual real life suggestions for publicity. That might conceivably work. That's another matter.
So I've been thinking. And thinking. And thinking. And here's my list.
I like doing interviews on the radio. As the saying goes, I have a great face for it, certainly the perfect arse. And I find the presenters terribly accommodating. I suppose if you have hours of time to fill every single day, a ten minute slot with a wittering author seems like a plan.
I've also found that talking about writing in general or the theme of the latest book to be preferable to an all out sales pitch.
Like radio presenters, bloggers have space to fill every day.
As long as you've got more to say than 'please buy my book' they seem happy to have you on board.
I've never really understood if these work or not in terms of sales. They always seem to be full of writers not readers. But I suppose we writer are probably more prolific book buyers than most, so hey ho.
Anyway, they're a laugh and a great place to get pissed with writerly mates.
4. Social media.
Hmmmmmmm. This is very tricky.
I accept absolutely that this is the future and that done in the right way, social networking can put you in touch with thousands of pontential buyers. I read articles about books/songs/games 'going viral'. The trouble is, if I'm honest, I don't really know what that means, or how to go about it.
Twitter, Facebook and the like all call.
But how to make the most of it? How not to end up wasting hours and hours of my time?
I have made a note to ask the lovely Jamie.
In the meantime, does anyone have a clue?