Saturday, 12 April 2014

Alfie Dog Fiction at Realitas

This is me dipping my toe into the big, scary world of book promotion.



I find it very hard to advertise my own work. And that is why I had a big problem with Alfie Dog Fiction.

I’m very proud that Alfie Dog has published a few of my stories as ebooks, but even a modest plug on this blog for one of my Alfie Dog stories seems uncomfortably like showing off. On the other hand, because it specializes in publishing short stories – something many other publishers ignore – I do think the company deserves to be better known by the reading public.

Then I had an idea …

I spend most Saturday mornings with an amateur art group in the Realitas Community Arts Centre in Market Deeping. At the heart of Realitas is a very popular tearoom and I noticed that a lot of customers there use their iPads, laptops and smartphones while enjoying the delicious refreshments on offer. Some people even read ‘real’ books borrowed from Realitas’s art library! It seemed like the perfect place for introducing people to the wide range of Alfie Dog stories.

After getting permission from Neil, who runs Realitas, and Rosemary J. Kind, the owner of Alfie Dog Fiction, I launched a free prize draw with ebook stories as the prizes. It attracted a lot of attention, and I found myself doing a lot of explaining. For example, several people said they didn’t read ebooks because they didn’t have a Kindle. This gave me the chance to explain how easy it is to download ebooks to other devices such as their home computer. Mentioning that the Alfie Dog list includes stories for children also attracted quite a bit of interest – mostly from older people who were concerned about the amount of time their grandchildren spend playing computer games. They thought it was a great idea to have bedtime stories on tablets and laptops.

Spreading the word about Alfie Dog was surprisingly easy and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Perhaps when I get my novel published, and need to boost sales, the trick will be to pretend I’m promoting it for someone else …?

Do you find it difficult to sell your writing?

P.S. If you’re ever in the Peterborough/ South Lincolnshire area, do make a detour into Market Deeping and pop in to Realitas. The people are friendly, there’s always something new to see, and their homemade cakes are amazing!

10 comments:

Henry Mitchell said...

I'm the last to hear about anything, but I just learned there is a free e-pub converter app available for Firefox that allows you to download stories and read them right on your browser. It works.

Suzanne Furness said...

What a great idea. The thought of marketing scares me too! Good luck with your stories.

Linda D said...

Thanks, Suzanne!

You're not the only one, Henry! I thought you had to have a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks, but Amazon provides free software that you can download on to your old fashioned home computer. I would still rather read a full length novel from a 'real' book, but the Kindle software is fine for reading short stories.

Henry Mitchell said...

I'm right partial to paper myself, Linda, but when Phyllis Tingle (my old flip-phone) gave up her digital ghost after faithful years of keeping me connected with folk I'd just as soon have avoided, I was delighted to discover there is a Kindle app for my new Windows phone. Smaller and lighter even than a Kindle, and makes calls, too. But walking on a mountain, I still pack my little notebook (the old fashioned kind one uses with pencils) to write in.

lizy-expat-writer said...

Well done on the promotion thing. I know how you feel about self-publicising, though I have yet to have a published book in need of it, I have had one story on Alfie Dog. Unfortunately nobody bought it, so I've kn=ind of given up on them. Perhaps I should send in some more and see what happens!

sallyjenkins said...

Well done, Linda! I've never done 'real life' promotion like that. It's a shame you can't have a proper book-signing with e-books but it sounds like you did a wonderful job and may be got some e-converts.

Linda D said...

Lizy, you should definitely try to get more stories on Alfie Dog. The bigger the site grows, the more people will discover it. I haven't had many sales on there but I think having stories accepted by a publisher does raise a writer's profile a notch higher than if you only self-publish. (It shows that at least one other person thinks it's good!)
Sally, I'd be very nervous about doing a book-signing! But I have had experience of sales and marketing and don't find it so scary to sell other people's goods and services.

Jean Knill said...

brilliant idea, Linda. But I'm happy to learn about your stories on your blog, along with a link to find them.

Linda D said...

Thanks, Jean!

susanjanejones said...

Amazing Linda, and you look like you're ready to do a book signing there. You will if you have a book of your stories published by Alfie.