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Paul FitzSimons

This week, it’s the rather un-sexy but important subject of marketing your book.

As the published writer that you’ll soon be, you will have the task of helping to make all those readers out there want to buy your novel. Even if you’re going with a traditional publisher, you’ll still be expected to do some of what’s needed to get that novel of yours flying off the shelf. And, of course, if you’ve decided to head down the self-publishing route (click here to see my column from two weeks ago for more on that), all the marketing and advertising endeavours will be yours to do.

Thankfully, there are lots of exciting, original and fun ways to make your book stand out from the crowd.

One thing that is required for all books on the market is the ‘blurb’. Also known as the ‘jacket-copy’ or ‘flap-copy’, this is the 50-100 word teaser designed to get your potential reader salivating and dying to get their hands on your novel. Even if you’re expecting the blurb for your book to be done by your publisher, BPS Books advises us to also write one ourselves. This will help us remain focussed on the book’s ‘premise and promise’.
And explains how Jacket Copy can make or break the success of our novel.

With the growing use of video websites like Youtube, one of the new trends in publishing now is the book trailer. The same as a movie trailer essentially, this is a short film (30 seconds to 2 minutes) designed to whet the collective appetite of the book-buying community.

The book trailer is a  great opportunity but, unfortunately, a lot of them out there now are fairly poor. The moral of the story– don’t do it on the cheap. If you don’t have the money to produce a hugely cinematic all-guns-blazing trailer, then go for a simpler concept, don’t cut corners on production. And keep in mind that the book trailer needs to evoke the same romance, thrill or laughter  as your book does.

I came across one excellent example, for Zoran Drvenkar’s novel ‘Sorry’ – definitely worth a look if you’re thinking of ‘trailer-ing’ your own novel.

When it comes to bringing your novel to market, we writers all have that one dream – the book launch. That one night in a book shop or a fancy bar when all the attention, all the celebration, is on us and our story. But when you’re deciding when to have your launch, it shouldn’t just be ‘as-soon-as-possible-after-the-book-is-available’.  Consultant editor Alan Rinzler tells us how the strategic timing of our launch could be the thing that rockets us to the top of that best-sellers list.

And lastly, Twitter is now one of the most powerful marketing tools in the world now and we should all be using it to tell the world that our brilliant novels are on the way. Writer and publisher Michael Hyatt has some great advice when it comes to getting the most out of Twitter for marketing your book.


Stay focussed.

BPS Books’ advice on why we should write a blurb for our own novels.

“Authors should write their own blurb about their book in progress, to see if that helps them focus on what I call their book’s premise and promise, whence they can build a clearer structure overall.”  


Jacket copy sells books. view on the importance of quality ‘Jacket-Copy’.

“The job of writing jacket copy shouldn’t be foisted off on editorial assistants—it is the second most important book purchase factor.”


How it should be done.

A great book trailer, for ‘Sorry’ by Zoran Drvenkar.

“When four friends in Berlin set up an agency called Sorry, they believe everyone has a price. What they didn’t expect was that their next client would be a killer.”


You are cordially invited…

Alan Rinzler’s advice on the careful planning that should go into a book launch.

“Strategic timing of your book’s publication date can give it a jet-propelled boost and have a major impact on its long-term success.”


Tweet tweet.

Michael Hyatt tells us how to maximise Twitter to successfully market our novel.

“Twitter can be a key marketing tool for driving sales and the bestseller lists. But this only works if you take Twitter into account early enough in the product design and marketing process.”


And lastly-lastly, there’s this.

The heart wrenching ultimatum that we tweeters live with every day.



About the author

Paul FitzSimons has been a writer for seven years and has written the novel ‘Burning Matches’  and the start of two others. He has worked as a storyline writer on RTE’s ‘Fair City’ and has developed a number of TV dramas. His short stories are published in ‘Who Brought The Biscuits’ by The Naas Harbour Writers.Paul likes crime thrillers, good coffee and Cadbury’s chocolate. He does not like country-and-western music or people who don’t know how to indicate on roundabouts.

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