Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday interview: Margaret Muir

Promotion is a lonely and often unrewarded road, says Margaret Muir, in today's Sunday interview. But you can get results if you set your sights at an attainable level.

Margaret Muir grew up in Yorkshire but now lives in Western Australia Her second novel, The Twisting Vine, was published in August.

1. What kinds of marketing have you done as an author? Mainly Internet marketing via website, blog and Squidoo, plus networking on Yahoo groups. Through a press release package, I have announced my publications to the writing organisations in Western Australia, local papers and specific magazines. I have also given a number of talks.

2. What marketing did your publisher do? Hale circulated their brochure to UK libraries and their distributor in Australia. They notified the major online stores – Amazon, Smith and Borders, sent out review copies as requested and supplied bookmarks and flyers for promotional purposes. Finally, they participated in a book competition by supplying free copies.

3. What essential things about marketing did you learn that you wish you'd known from the start? A book’s life is short – only 2 to 4 months. Marketing a UK-published book when you live in Australia isn’t easy. Postage costs are high and the British media are not particularly interested in overseas authors. Even at home, marketing is expensive – postage, printing etc. It’s a lonely and often unrewarded road.

4. What did you learn during your experiences of trying to market your books? I learned that you are a very small fish in a very large ocean. Rather than focusing on the major media outlets it's better to set your sights at an attainable level. I also discovered the need for a unique selling point.

5. What's the most successful piece of marketing you've done?

Firstly, achieving feature articles in two glossy doll magazines - due out shortly. Secondly, seeing a major travel article I wrote published in the national Australian broadsheet with a link to my first book, Sea Dust.

6. What advice would give for authors starting out with marketing their books?

Find an angle for marketing your book. When you discover the unique selling point, promote accordingly. Make use of the full range of media outlets and make best use of the internet – websites, blogs etc, and networking groups. I firmly believe, time spent on marketing is more effective than money.


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