Tag Archives: marketing

April Fool, book or $50 gift card winner?

APRIL-FOOLS-POSTER IToday and only until 4 April, you could win a signed paperback copy of Annie’s Story, the first book in The Voyagers trilogy. You can also  enter a grand draw for a $50 Amazon gift card. IndieBRAG, who award the prestigious B.R.A.G. Medallion to the top 10% of indie published fiction, are celebrating this special day of day of spring fun.

You have two chances to win. Firstly, to win a copy of my book, read the following journal extract from Annie’s Story and leave a comment saying whether you think it’s genuine or not. If you’re correct, you’ll go into the draw for my book. If not, then it’s April Fool! Good luck!

Secondly, a chance to win a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card! Be sure to visit the IndieBRAG April Fools event page to enter. The winner will be announced on 5 April on the indieBRAG website.
Please note:
–         You must be 18 years or older to participate in the prize & giveaway.
–         Giveaway is open internationally.
–         Winner has 48 hours to claim prize and giveaway or a new winner is chosen.

On to the giveaway draw for Annie’s Story – true or false?
24th April 1921
How can Ferguson do this to me? If I’d had any suspicion about his wandering eye I never would have married him, let alone agreed to go all that way to Australia with him. He promised me we would better ourselves from a life in service. We still ended up in service although I admit I was happy at the beginning. But it was my great mistake when I invited Ruby my sister to visit us. She made eyes at Ferguson right away and he was too weak to refuse her. A grand betrayal, if ever there was one because she had his baby. She said she’d always loved him and it was her chance of happiness. As if that wasn’t cruel enough, now it’s Ethel my youngest sister who I always thought was so innocent, so loving, so loyal. But she’s turned out even worse. She says she’s also having his child and is sailing to America with him next month.
My heart which I thought had already broken is now smashed to pieces. Even my children are not bringing me any joy. I just sit and cry all day. There’s no one who I can talk to, only my journal.
I have only just been able to comfort Ruby because she knows how I feel now that it’s happened to her. Ferguson has left two sisters looking after his three children and plans to go off to America with the third sister. You, Ethel. He even had the cheek to say to me, ‘Third time lucky, Annie.’
Ethel, how could you do this to me?

I’ll be back on 4 April to let you know who’s guessed correctly and who wins a FREE signed paperback of Annie’s Story! See you then!

Media interviews? Yes, please!

golden_mikeIf you’re ever invited to be interviewed by a journalist, TV or radio presenter, my advice is always to say “yes, please”. I think it was Oscar Wilde who said it’s better to be talked about than ignored. And it is rare that the interviewer is out to trip you up, though be prepared for the personal angle. They love to know why you wrote the book you did and what has happened as a consequence, rather than you rabbiting on about the story.

Lately, I’ve given two radio interviews. The first was for my non-fiction book: Seller Beware: How Not To Sell Your Business. The presenter was the lovely Sian Murphy, and the programme is called Women in Business Radio Show. Sian’s aim is not for me to sell lots of books (darn it!) but to give businesswomen as much information as possible about every aspect of running a business. However, she kindly repeated the title of my book a couple of times. It was an hour’s live show which might sound nerve-wracking but was the greatest fun. These presenters know how to put you at your ease.

Denise on Women in Business radio showThe bonus for me was that she was very interested in my novel, Annie’s Story (published 2015) and the way it had saved my sanity whilst writing it, when I was going through the nightmare of having sold my precious business to a couple of charlatans. I explained the reason I sold the business was to write full-time, and my dream was to write the novel.

She has since asked me to write a blogpost about growing a business, and would I give another talk about self-publishing but using a professional service provider (I used SilverWood Books) as opposed to DIY. She says so many people in business are writing non-fiction, and if the book is published it gives them real credibility for their knowledge.

Of course I said yes, I’d be pleased to.

My second interview was on Talk Radio Europe by another charming presenter, Hannah Murray. The listeners are ex-pats over the whole of Europe. The conversation was conducted on the telephone in my writing cabin – subject: Annie’s Story. It lasted 25 minutes where she wanted to know the reason why I chose the period (1913), and loved the story of my grandparents emigrating to Australia that inspired me to write this trilogy. She also asked what research I’d done to ensure the accuracy, and I was able to tell her I’d gone to Australia where my heroine went, and had come across an authentic journal of a family who had made the same trip as my grandparents only months before on the same ship, the Orsova.

Talk RadioEuropeHannah wants to invite me back when Juliet’s Story, Book 2 of The Voyagers trilogy is out (25th January 2016).

So you see, interviews are a wonderful opportunity to bring your books to the public’s attention, and the audience can often be wider than you might normally reach through the ‘normal’ channels. Do give it a go and please let me know how you get on. I always love to hear.

Now where are all those TV presenters?










Brief Encounters with London taxi drivers

taxi_bigbenTaxi drivers are a pretty diverse lot. Most of them enjoy a friendly chat. Some of them are really interesting with the added bonus of having a wry sense of humour, and I often learn useful snippets of information. But some drivers can be quite morose.

I use London taxis frequently and always make an effort to make some contact with each one. If they look sulky or uninterested in me and where I’m going, it becomes a challenge to change their mood. Take last week. I gave the driver a big smile as I asked him to take me to Mayfair and he just nodded. As I stepped into the taxi I said a cheerful ‘Good morning’, and didn’t even receive a reply. So I added, ‘Now what’s made you so grumpy today, when the sun’s shining?’

Yes, I know I take the risk that I will receive a short sharp retort but it’s a risk worth taking. This taxi driver immediately gave me a wide grin and said, ‘Sorry, love. I didn’t mean to be.’ We proceeded to have a stimulating talk about setting the world to rights – often their favourite subject.

When they ask me what I do and I say I’m a writer they are almost always impressed. One said, ‘I had one of you romantic writers in the back of my cab the other week.’ I asked who it was. ‘Katie Fforde,’ came the unexpected reply. ‘I know her,’ I said, delighted. ‘She’s lovely. And a best-selling writer, too.’ He was very pleased he’d met someone so famous!

I always ask very politely if I may leave one of my bookmarks on the back seat. (You never know who might climb in after you’ve vacated.) This would be awkward if I’d remained silent until I got to my destination. But by now we’re old friends and without fail they say, ‘’Course you can, love.’ If I haven’t already told them what it’s about they usually ask me, and have occasionally ended up buying a book there and then. (Every published writer should carry a copy of her latest book at all times.) If I really like them and they seem genuinely interested, I give them a book instead of a tip. By the time I’ve done the honours and signed, there’s a good chance I’ve missed my train. But I’m not grumbling.

At the moment I’m promoting Seller Beware: How Not To Sell Your Business, which is probably more appropriate than handing them a romantic novel, as taxi drivers still tend to be male. But this is what happened the other day when the driver dropped me off at Charing Cross station.

‘May I leave a bookmark of a book I wrote which was recently published?’ I asked.

‘Not this one, is it?’ he swung round in his seat and held up my Seller Beware bookmark. I was astounded. ‘Out of all the 22,000 cabs in London,’ he parodied in a dreadful Bogey accent, ‘you have to ride in the back of mine.’

We burst out laughing.

‘I’ve given away about 30 Seller Beware bookmarks to London taxi drivers in the last year,’ I said, ‘so what are the chances of that happening?’

He drove off, still chuckling.

I love these brief encounters. Now all I have to do is make sure I get a smut in my eye before I step into the next taxi and hope the driver’s got a clean hankie, ready to whisk it out! Who knows where that might lead me!