As any author will confirm, the main aim of having a novel published is usually so that readers might enjoy the story we have spent so long bringing to the page. In this age of e-book publication, it is even more difficult to find the right readers as thousands of novels vie for attention on Amazon and such like. Yes, most writers are also readers and many are very good at supporting fellow authors by buying their books, if they suit their tastes. But to find those prolific readers who are not necessarily on Facebook or twitter, we often need other forms of promotion.
So I was delighted to be featured in two quite different publications this week, both of which I imagine will be read by an entirely different set of readers, with the chance that some at least might be interested in the themes and setting of The Highland Lass.
The first, was a great double-page spread in a local newspaper, The Gazette, which covers much of Renfrewshire. The journalist had phoned to quiz me on different aspects of my writing and publication and I was able to mention the local writing group, which I've attended for many years. As journalists do, especially with someone willing to answer questions, she discovered this year will be my fortieth wedding anniversary and she asked for a photo with my husband in it too! This really was invaluable publicity for the novel (as was the piece in the local paper in my home town on the day of release) and I'm sure it had a direct result on the Amazon rankings the next day.
Then yesterday, my article on the research and inspiration behind writing The Highland Lass was published on the Celebrate-Scotland site, which you can read if you wish by clicking on the link. This had been a surprise request from the deputy editor of Scottish Memories, when my name had been passed to her by Writers' News. Needless to say, I was delighted to write the piece as this site celebrates all that is Scottish and my research emphasises the story of Robert Burns and Highland Mary.
The moral of the post is that we need to explore different ways of reaching readers, if the opportunity arises, and two of the best are by word of mouth and personal contact. Hopefully, I'll be able to do more of the latter once the novel comes out in paperback. Watch this space!