Launching a book – the old school way

Honeybee Books - Jim Board

People will often tell you that launching your book needs to involve costly websites, digital marketing and vast networks on facebook, but this isn’t always the case. Of course, there is definitely a real benefit to using online promotion for your work, but it’s not the only way to do things, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee success.

The author Jim Board, now in his eighties, came to Honeybee Books for help putting together his latest set of memoirs, ‘Did I really do all that?’ As a veteran of self-publishing, this being the second book he has published himself, he was confident about how to proceed.

Jim set up a book launch at his local library in Colyton, a tiny library that only survived the recent cuts with the rallying round and fundraising of local volunteers and library users. He told me he would make a short speech to say thanks to all involved, and then sign and sell books, with tea and cake for everyone.

On the morning of the event I turned up to discover a library filled with friends and acquaintances from the town, and a smiling Jim signing books and sharing a folder with photographs of his history, and some of the letters he had received from people all over the world who read his last book and wrote to say how much they loved it. It was a really lovely morning, and everyone who came enjoyed the chance to meet Jim, and chat to each other over their cake.

A couple of days later Jim phoned me to say he had sold over 100 copies of his book so far, and with articles coming out in the local newspaper, and a few other local publications interested, he was certain to sell more. His last book of childhood memoirs sold over 1000 copies.

It just goes to show, launching your book the old fashioned way is still a great way to go, and local libraries and bookshops will usually welcome a local author who wants to arrange a book launch. It’s a great way to meet your audience, and to share all your hard work with friends and family, as well as sell a good amount of books. So why not support your local library and bookshops, get the local paper on board, and promote your book yourself, you might find much more success than you realise!

Copies of Jim Board’s book, ‘Did I really do all that?’ are available from the Archway Bookshop in Axminster (01297 33744) priced £9.99.

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