Frank English was one of our first authors and has since published four titles through 2QT over the last 2 years. We have been keeping an eye on Frank’s success in attaining book signings – particularly with Waterstones – and so I asked him if he could share some of his experiences and top tips which have helped him to create a solid relationship with Waterstones that now sees him regularly undertaking signings at various branches throughout the UK.
This is his story…..
So you’d like to be a successful author, eh?
You’ve just published the book you’ve been slaving over for the last umpteen months. You are now basking in that comforting after-glow of your success, particularly when you see the book on your home bookshelf. Got that starry tingle at the back of your mind that comes with the promise of literary success? So what do you have to do turn your baby in to sales?
Just five words tell you what happens from here on in.
NOW THE HARD WORK BEGINS
What you need to keep in mind is that people in the world at large don’t know you or your work, unless you tell them – and keep on telling them! No-one knows your work better than you, so you are the one who ultimately decides whether or not your work’s potential translates to a higher profile. There is no such thing as overnight success. It takes an enormous amount of determination, continuous hard work, perseverance, persistence, and sometimes bloody-mindedness to take your work to its audience – and to keep it there.
Advice? Yes, lots.
- Take every opportunity to promote your work. Always be prepared to take whatever comes your way. It might mean taking samples with you (books, flyers, brochures etc which you need to produce in profusion beforehand) to hand out to appropriate people.
- ‘No’ is a word you should never take for an answer. There is always another way.
- Keep persevering, even in the face of what might seem to be insurmountable odds, with huge barriers and obstructions. Be creative in finding other ways.
- Never give up if you want to see your work put in front of a wider audience. You will be surprised how your reputation will grow if you persevere. Tenacity and confidence in the quality of your work in this business are undoubted assets.
- Always keep your options open. Even if certain pathways don’t seem to fit your concept of the best way forward, compromises will often present themselves. Lateral thinking sometimes is the key.
- Always, always, always take even the smallest chance offered. You can always build with whatever you’ve got if you have a will to do it.
- Create your own opportunities. Be creative in approach. Above all else, be consistent, reliable, dependable, and ready to take anything your hosts (bookshops, outlets etc) might ask of you. Although it may not be quite as attractive as you might have wanted initially, with time you will achieve close to what you want.
- Be prepared to do whatever it takes, and remember, if you are not prepared to undertake what is necessary to promote your work, no-one else will. Your work will only be as successful as the amount you are prepared to invest in its development, in financial, physical, and philosophical terms.
You need to develop an absolute confidence in what you are doing.
Don’t forget that the staff members in bookshops such as Waterstones assess your effectiveness in both dealing with the buying public and in how you approach both them and their staff in the stores. The easier you make it for them, the easier they will find it to ask you back. It’s always up to you. You don’t have to be an extrovert, but you do need the passion and belief in your book.
If you would like to discuss any of the things I have undertaken over the last couple of years or so to promote my books, please email me via the 2QT Contact Page.