Make the Most of Promotional Tools

Adrian Churchward offers some helpful hints on raising your book's profile using promotional postcards.

By Moscow Bound author Adrian Churchward

When I first heard about SilverWood's promotional postcards I wasn't sure how best to use them. Then I read some useful comments put out by Alison Morton and thought I may as well have a go.

My American agents told me that to get the most from the cards I must shed my innate British reserve and "get into people's faces".

In this respect, I am lucky for two reasons. First, in my semi-retirement I spend three days a week as a consultant solicitor to a group of companies in Canary Wharf, where I mix with over 200 employees. Secondly, I live just 30 minutes from London's crowded West End and frequently travel there.

Effectively, therefore, I have two captive audiences.

The promotion methods that I am most comfortable with are as follows:

  • Handing the cards to everybody I see reading a book on the tube (including on the escalators), in Starbucks etc, in pubs and in restaurants. I have distributed 100s in this way and have only ever had one refusal. Often the recipients engage me in conversation, as they are excited to meet a "real life author". The younger element of my work colleagues are more than keen to help me and similarly distribute the cards on their way to and from work. I reward them with signed copies of the book.
  • I have left the cards on appropriate (crime and thriller) bookshelves in Waterstones, Daunt, Foyles and probably every other bookstore in Central London and Budapest. Friends of mine have distributed them in Scotland, Wales, Moscow, New York, Boston, Tuscon, Seattle, Portland, Spain, Malta, the Czech Republic, South Africa and Australia.
  • I have left them in WH Smiths at Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton Airport and wherever the store is located in London's mainline railway stations. (Goodness knows how many times I have appeared on CCTV - not stealing, but "putting back"!)
  • Frequently, Jehovah's witnesses stand at Oxford Street and Bond Street tube stations, handing out "The Watchtower" publication. I always take one on condition that they take one of my cards, which they do - with a pleasant smile.

It's early days yet and I have no idea what percentage, if any, of these hand-outs will eventually convert to sales. But I am certain that if I don't do it, none will. In any event, it's another good way (in addition to social media) of getting my name and the book's title into the public domain.

Want to know more...?

Find out about Adrian Churchward and his writing here. Follow him on Twitter @abchurchward, and browse his website

SilverWood postcards are professionally designed to be "your book in 2D miniature", with the front cover on one side and a brief synopsis, ISBN, RRP and other metadata on the reverse. That way you can use your postcard in a range of venues, or send them out to reviewers with a carefully crafted letter of introduction; this showcases your book without going to the expense of posting a full copy before it's requested by the reviewer.

Contact us to chat with a member of the Publishing Team about promoting your SilverWood-produced book.

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