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  • Portland Jones

I've published a book. What next?

So, having no real idea of how to market my book, and no real budget to do it with, I fell back on Facebook, a place I felt comfortable with. I posted on my newsfeed to let people know what I had done.

‘What do you do when you’ve had a stroke, your husband dies, and the world descends into a pandemic that holds you captive in your own home? Well, I wrote a novel, and today I am holding a copy in my hands.’


A bit stark but true. I suppose I’m one of those people that tell it like it is. I added a link to my book on Amazon with that strange lady staring out from the cover. That strange lady, by the way, is my grandmother. I never met her as she died before I was born, but I’ve heard lots of tales about her.


89 people responded to my post. It was wonderful. People were not only purchasing my book, they were also saying lovely things. Some were people who knew me well, but others I hadn’t heard from for years. It was inspiring. Even if I hadn’t sold any copies, it would have been worth it to hear their kind words. Hmm, there’s me with my marketing hat lying firmly on the floor. Let’s pick it up, put it back on.


My family shared my post, adding comments that made me well up inside.


‘My beautiful momma never fails to amaze me.’

‘The woman is a machine and never gives up.’

‘What an achievement after the really shitty few years you’ve had.’


This meant a lot to me, even if potential readers may have wondered what on earth had been going on.


Who is likely to be interested in my book? Well, it’s set in Birmingham, where I live. I thought people who live in Birmingham might be interested in reading it. So I considered Facebook groups in Birmingham. There’s a group for people living in my road, so I shared it there. And there is also one for the suburb where I live, so I shared it there as well. Again, people were great and were letting me know they had bought my book. And amazingly there is a web site that keeps a list of books about Birmingham or set in the city. I am now on that list.


https://www.mappit.net/bookmap/books/161273/the-face-in-the-bathroom-floor/


And most magical of all, I went to the local shops for the first time since my book was released. ‘It’s you,’ she said. ‘I have your book.’ And the lady in the shop asked me to sign her copy. Most amazing feeling ever.


So at the end of one week after setting my baby out there, my Amazon report shows 14 e-books on pre-order, and 19 paperback copies delivered to hopefully happy readers. I’m happy with that. What I would really love now is to get feedback from those readers, to see if they like it or not. Fingers crossed.

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