I was at Morpeth library last night to talk about my books, and you wouldn’t believe the queues to get in. I mean, they were lining up around the corner, pitching tents, lighting barbecues . . . no, wait, that’s not right.
Actually, the turn out was small, just a handful, but I’m pretty used to that. Publishers use whatever marketing budgets they have to promote certain books/authors, and the rest of us are left to forge our way through the gloom, trying to promote ourselves. I’m lucky and grateful to have the support of New Writing North and Read Regional behind me, but there are many other authors who don’t even have that.
So the reality is that no one knows who I am, and without any kind of national or international promotion, it’s just a case of doing whatever I can to make people aware that my books exist – and then trying to persuade them to pick them up.
I know I’m not alone in this.
Anyway, the library staff at Morpeth were very welcoming – there was even complimentary wine and food which was great – and the handful of people who came along were interested, interesting, and good company. Now there are a few more people out there who have heard of me and who have copies of my books, and if they tell other people . . . well, yesterday Morpeth, tomorrow THE WORLD (*cue evil laughter* Mwa ha ha ha ha).
But you know what? The intimate events are fun and I’d rather have a small group of people who are keen than a large group of people who look like they’d rather be somewhere else.