Planning a Book Launch

It's crunch time for the new biography, which hopefully is rolling off the printer's machines and into boxes in the next couple of days.   The E-book is also ready to roll at the end of the week.  But how are we going to sell it?

Getting visibility is one of the big problems for a small press and for indie authors generally.  The Norman Nicholson biography is being produced for the centenary of his birth in January and we hope that the publicity for that event will help to sell the book.  We've decided that we're going to pay someone to do the promotion for us. Not only will this give The Book Mill a more professional profile, but it will take a big weight off my back - publicity isn't my strong point. I hate selling myself!

First, find your publicist - someone used to writing press releases and tackling newspapers and other periodicals - someone who isn't afraid to pick up the phone and promote the book.  Then you have to make lists of possible review sources - perhaps people who've reviewed your work before?  Then there are the lists of literature festivals and book shops who may be willing to host events. I'm lucky to have a friend, Jean, who is happy to take on the job of promoting the book.  We're planning a couple of bookshop and library events and already have bookings for two literature festivals who've done events for my previous books.  Jean is going to send off fliers and press releases and see what else what she can get.  This is the first time we've done both print and e-book publication together and it's all an experiment.

I've had one very lucky break - Norman Nicholson did quite a lot of work for the BBC who have decided to do a Radio 4 documentary on his life to be broadcast for his birthday in January.  The producer requested a copy of my biography and I've just been to London to record some interviews for the programme.  Fingers crossed they use some of it!

It's all a big learning curve, but I will pass on any useful information that comes my way.  Publishing without the resources of a big international organisation behind you isn't easy.


  1. Kathleen, I would be honored to let my now 100,000 plus readers know about your new book.

    1. Thanks Mel. I'd be happy to send you a copy. Either paper or e-book? Just email me and I'll send.
      Have really enjoyed your short story blogs!

  2. How exciting and nerve-wracking.

    Good luck with the BBC,
    hopefully Mel can help too

    1. Thanks Al - yes it's a bit nerve-wracking. Have already found one typo I missed on the proof-reading!

  3. Hi Kathleen,

    We'd love to stock this at Sam Read's in Grasmere. Could you email us with how to order? We are on:



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