I’m lucky enough to be friends with Marsha Moore, author of the new travel book “24 Hours London” (Available from Amazon USA or in the UK). I love the concept of this book, because Marsha talks includes hidden gems that other guidebooks won’t tell you about.
About the book: An around-the-clock guide from 5 a.m. fishing to midnight swimming. Fancy a hearty English breakfast with East End artists, South Bank skateboarding, or a late night Tower of London lock-up? Perhaps dining in total darkness, drinking in an Edwardian loo, then hitting the floor starkers at a naked disco? There’s always something on, somewhere in London.
So today we have a guest post in which Marsha talks about her promoting the new book:
Ask and You Might Receive
A Guest Post by Marsha Moore
I’ve never been good at asking people for things. I’d rather do something myself than bother others. But when it came time to marketing my book, I didn’t really have much of a choice. What was I going to do, stand on top of my roof with a megaphone and shout out the news (I did consider this, actually, but it’s cold up there!)? No, I needed to swallow my pride and ask everyone from friends and family to strangers to help me spread the word (and thank you, India; your cheque is in the post).
I started my marketing campaign by asking the Mayor of London to endorse my book. Why not aim high, I thought, so when he doesn’t answer at least I don’t have to take it personally. But he (or his press office) did answer, and I managed to get a quote. Buoyed by the success, I asked two other expat authors – the lovely Toni Hargis and Michael Harling – for quotes, and they agreed too! Although I did get knocked down by a few who will remain nameless – but who will burn in hell forever – for the most part everyone I approached was responsive and willing to help. Just by asking, I built up a pretty good list of reviewers. I even managed to get some newspaper coverage.
But all that was done in the virtual world, where it’s pretty easy to brush off rejection – or worse, deafening silence. When it came time to hit up London bookstores, I was terrified. Now I’d have to actually look people in the eye and ask them to stock my book! How mortifying.
I decided to start local. Surely they couldn’t reject a local author, could they? OK, I rarely went in to buy books (I can get them for free at the library!) but I did visit regularly to envision my lovely book on the shelf. I practised my pitch, practically hyperventilating as I walked over to the counter. Then, I did it. I asked them to stock my book.
And they said yes!
I should have known that wouldn’t be the end. The next week, I did the rounds of about 15 London bookstores, repeating my pitch (this time with a rep by my side for moral support). And while we did get some gruff ‘I’m busy’ responses, we also got a few positive replies. And I have to say, nothing beats walking into a store and seeing my book on the shelf. Except making the New York Times best seller’s list, of course.
So it never hurts to ask – except your pride, maybe. But if the answer’s a yes, it’s definitely worth it.
Visit Marsha’s Blog
Look out for 24 Hours Paris by Marsha Moore next year!
Congratulations, Marsha, on your success with the book!