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Ginny Vere Nicoll


About the author

Ginny Vere Nicoll is the author, publisher and creator of Feel Good Books. Also a talented artist, she self illustrates her growing collection of ‘feel-good’ fiction books, and also paints and designs ‘feel good cards’ some of which relate to her writing.

Her latest book The Silence of Snow is a fast-paced romantic thriller, transporting you through scenic locations within Europe and Russia.

 

MARKETING WITH A DIFFERENCE

Aug 3, 2023 | Guest Writers | 0 comments

I don’t pretend to begin to get my head around the many online marketing facilities now available, in every conceivable form, to authors nowadays. The possibilities are mind-boggling and so I leave all of that to those very much better qualified than myself!

Face to face

I am a people person and there is nothing I like more than actually meeting those in the literary business face to face. It’s a real joy walking into a properly stocked bookshop. As a result I enjoy marketing my books in this way, in person.

Keep in contact

I usually phone my retailers and literary contacts with the info of a new book, especially those who have taken my books previously, but of course I use email as well. I can always tell when those in charge are interested. I have found that even if they are not, they will most likely suggest someone else in the area who might be.

Immersed in the Location

I have always been governed by ‘location’. First and foremost, meaning the area in which I live and am known to be a local author. Then of course there is the location in which the book is set. Most works of fiction certainly will have a base in some country, city or real place. For example, I am writing this article high up in the Swiss Alps, where three of my books are partly set. The nearest town here continues to stock my books, because the bookshop says that they attract a different mix of English-speaking tourists each season, who love to read a romantic thriller, actually set where they are on holiday.

The Scottish Highlands and The Isle of Sky also feature very much in my novels. This time marketing my new book has been most interesting. Mainly because after struggling for these last two years, everybody seems genuinely pleased to have direct human contact again! In one particular shop in the far north of the Scottish Highlands, I’d previously met the head of fiction in person, when marketing Loch Island, my fourth novel. She was terrifying! This time a charming lady answered the phone. With some trepidation I asked if I could speak to the appropriate lady.

‘Och and away there’s a voice from the past’ came the answer; This is she, Dorothy, head of fiction.  Let me have a wee look now on Gardners’ site…’ Dorothy couldn’t have been more helpful and promptly ordered in The Silence Of Snow as we talked!

Show yourself off!

Because bookshops in the Highlands are fairly few and far between, there are many extremely good gift centres at the big, ancient historical sites, with excellent displays. It’s great to put your books wherever they can be easily seen.

Marketing this way, you must make absolutely certain that you are in the right frame of mind. When you walk into a shop to sell your book or get on the phone to a big company, which you fear might be unattainable, you need to show a positive and enthusiastic attitude. They can only say no! If you are feeling low or having a bad day – leave it until the next! Life’s full of surprises and none more so than when,  purely by chance, I got to the head buyer of WHSmith Travel.  He was utterly brilliant and even promoted my novels for me in all the mainline stations, airports and channel tunnel shops.

Making a mark

Tools for marketing: I have something unusual, because I also paint and create ‘feel good cards’ which definitely help market the books, in particular, I Can Fly, my illustrated children’s book. I always write a piece on the back of each card which relates to the picture, or to a book.

But, apart from posters etc for events, I would definitely say that my most important marketing tool is without doubt – the bookmark.

Detailed and attractive

A bookmark can include all the necessary details of your books, obvious retailers where people can buy it and your contact info on the back.

On the front it can be designed to attract, perhaps using a part of the newest book cover. I never leave home without my bookmarks. They are the best investment I ever made.

Who needs business cards?

I distribute my bookmarks wherever a conversation or moment arises and becomes suitable: bookshops like them and usually keep them on the counter; I leave them in shops, give them to taxi drivers, to the friendly duty free girls on ferries, to interested people on trains, on aeroplanes; at the hairdressers, at the vet’s reception and in hotels. I even slip them into a package being returned by post. I give them to people who sometimes I meet in restaurants (here in the mountains presently!) also at private parties when people ask for a business card – out comes the bookmark as in my life they have replaced the old business card! I have them designed so they can fit easily even within a man’s upper suit pocket. Anytime and anywhere when people show an interest the bookmark is the very best marketing tool to have available. It’s easy to carry and always to have at hand.

Four- legged collaborators

I must not leave out my other very special marketing help – Nutmeg, my little pint-sized, wire-haired dachshund. She certainly promotes her own book, she is the star and graces the front cover of I Can Fly on her magical rug. She is easily recognizable. We are often stopped when we are out and about near home and even here in the Swiss mountains, where she finds many of her own ilk, but without her own very special beige, golden coloured fluffy coat!

And so…

My conclusion and advice to all those starting on the marketing journey is that online, digital, highly technical facilities must go hand and hand with person-to-person contact. Life both in and outside books is mostly about people. With the right attitude and enthusiasm on both fronts, the world is your oyster in the fascinating compelling literature business.

I wish everybody the very best of luck and the greatest success.

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