20th September 2011 - Guest Blogs - 2 Comments

Wanna Be a Writer?

We’re going all non-fiction today folks with Jane Wenham-Jones! All writers and authors take note especially!

Jane Wenham-Jones is a novelist, journalist and presenter and the author of the Wannabe Books – two how-to manuals on getting published and becoming well-known. Below is an extract from Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of?, available on Amazon or through all good bookshops. For more on Jane see http://www.janewenham-jones.com.

This entertaining follow-up to the successful Wannabe a Writer? is an essential read for every author and would-be best-seller, whether established or debut, self-published or still dreaming of the limelight. In today s celebrity-driven world, self-confessed media tart Jane Wenham-Jones, takes us on an uproarious ride along the publicity trail from getting the perfect promotional photo to choosing clothes to wear on TV. With anecdotes from Jane s own numerous media exploits, Wannabe a Writer We ve Heard Of? is packed with tips and tricks to help you get yourself noticed, gain maximum column inches and airtime and create online buzz for your books and projects. Offering advice and insights from writers, journalists, publicists and celebrities who ve been there and done that, this is the ultimate guide for anyone longing for fame and success. Includes contributions from Joanna Trollope, Richard Madeley, Tracey Emin, India Knight, Shazia Mirza, Kelvin MacKenzie, Lucy Mangan, Katie Fforde, Joanne Harris, Helen Lederer, Peter James, Carole Blake, Stanley Johnson, Sue Cook, Carole Matthews, John Hegley, Carol Midgley, Sam Leith, Lisa Jewell, Giles Coren, Robert Crampton, Tim Dowling, Mike Gayle, Marina O Loughlin, Suzanne Moore, Sir Roy Strong and Erica Wagner. Foreword by Jill Mansell.

wanna

Here’s some sage advice about promotional postcards for all you wannabe writers!
Postcards & Bookmarks

If you are going to get postcards printed, do shop around as prices can vary hugely. You’ll find lots of companies on the internet – don’t forget to compare like with like in terms of card weight/quantity/size and to check for extras like delivery or artwork charges. And don’t ignore what’s on your doorstep. Sometimes local printing firms can be surprisingly competitive and you can do that quaint old-fashioned thing of actually talking to someone about what you want and being able to see a proof first.

Some publishers will provide you with printed bookmarks too or you can decide to get these done yourself – depending on how much cash you want to splash. The same advice applies. Ask other authors where they got theirs done and get several quotes. If you can only afford to do one or the other, I would personally go for postcards (which can double as bookmarks anyway) as I find them more versatile.

Ten ways to use your postcards
1) Make them into invitations for your launch party. If you’re feeling flush get them over-printed. If you’re feeling technical and have the right equipment, overprint them yourself. Otherwise print up some labels with all the details to be stuck on the cards, or, if you don’t get out much, go for the personal approach and hand-write each one.
2) Keep them for correspondence – every time you have to send a note to anyone, anywhere, either write it on a card or enclose a card with your letter. A friend laughed when he saw me putting one of my postcards into an envelope for the dentist. But why not? Might the receptionist not read books?
3) Leave them on the bus, the train, the tube or plane. If you can stick them up somehow, so much the better (I carry my own blue tack).
5) Leave one on the back seat of every cab you take – you never know who will get in next.
5) Pin them on notice boards – once you start looking, you’ll see boards everywhere – at the doctor’s, the gym, the waiting room at the chiropodist’s. Pop one up when the staff aren’t looking (keep a couple of map pins in your pocket) and it may survive for weeks. Even if it quickly gets taken down again – at least one person will have seen it.
6) Ask to leave a pile on the front desk of establishments you patronise. NB the success of this may depend on how much money you spend. Try asking your hairdresser, local tandoori, garage, computer repair shop or wherever you get your legs waxed.
7) Dot them about the library
8) Hand them out in queues
9) Put one on each chair where you’re going to give a talk
10) Slide them surreptitiously between the pages of rival tomes in bookshops.

For more on the book check out the site: http://www.wannabeawriter.co.uk

To pick up your Copy of Wanna be a writer we’ve heard of? check out any of these places:

Amazon UK (paperback)

Amazon UK (Kindle)

Amazon US (paperback)

Amazon US (Kindle)

The Book Depository

2 responses to “Wanna Be a Writer?”

  1. Misa Buckley says:

    #10 cracked me up! But these are really good ideas that get you thinking about how many places you can use to advertise yourself.

  2. Autumn, season of links and mellow fruitfulness « Becky Black says:

    […] Pros and cons of publishing with small presses. Sound advice to “let your agent be the bad guy”. The art of avoiding burn out Josephine Myles talks about dealing with rejection. Some tips about using promotional postcards. […]

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