Today we have a guest post from Mel Sherratt of High Heels and Book Deals who, after long pursuing traditional publication, finally decided to go it alone—and with fantastic results. Welcome (back), Mel!
“One question I’ve been asked a lot recently is did I have a well defined publicity campaign for my ebook, TAUNTING THE DEAD. So I thought I’d tell you what I did. Last December, I had a ‘launch’ day on twitter when I tweeted about it as often as I could and lots of people kindly retweeted about it for me. I also did a few guest posts on book blogs during that same week. Over the next few weeks, momentum slowly built up and sales increased daily until five weeks after its release and then things went crazy. TAUNTING THE DEAD went to number three in the overall fiction chart and number one in police procedurals, mysteries and thrillers. It stayed in the top ten for four weeks and has sold in excess of 50,000 copies. So is it social media or my ‘voice’ on Twitter or is it TAUNTING THE DEAD itself that was instrumental in getting me noticed?
I’m not sure if there is any wrong or right way for a writer to approach Twitter. I don’t see anything wrong with authors tweeting about their book – we all need to do it – as long as it isn’t incessantly in my timeline. But I use twitter as my virtual office. It’s my place to go and ‘chat’ when I need a break so I don’t want to alienate people who I enjoy chatting to. I don’t promote my book in the sense of putting a link into several tweets a day but I do tweet out if someone has been kind enough to say something good about my book, out of pure delight that they’ve done so. I’m only human – I want to share. But then I get fearful that I might annoy someone in their timeline too!
I also think book bloggers, as well as people who follow me on twitter, played an instrumental part in promoting TAUNTING THE DEAD. It’s the only thing I can think of, apart from possibly, word of mouth. Before I uploaded my ebook, I had a few crime bloggers/reviewers review it for me and I think because they were well known and respected, it had a good effect on my sales. People were extremely kind as I do my fair share of retweeting too. My followers on Twitter also tweet out things without asking and often do ‘tweet outs’ for me when I have news, for instance when I first went into #100 in the overall Kindle charts.
Now I’ve just released another ebook. SOMEWHERE TO HIDE is the first in a new series, The Estate. It’s an emotional thriller – think Shameless meets Bad Girls with the odd murder or two. Am I scared? Hell, yes. This time I haven’t asked anyone I know to review it. I’m looking to see how readers react to it. So far after two weeks, I’ve had nine excellent reviews and only two of them are from people I ‘know.’ Most of these reviewers have read TAUNTING THE DEAD first and then downloaded SOMEWHERE TO HIDE. I’m also getting new reviews for TAUNTING THE DEAD that say the reader is going to download SOMEWHERE TO HIDE too. That for me is incredible – and I think the ultimate test.”
Ever since she can remember, Mel Sherratt has been a meddler of words. Right from those early childhood scribbles when she won her first and only writing competition at the age of 12, she was rarely without a pen in her hand or her nose in a book. Born and raised in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, Mel used her beloved city as a backdrop for her first novel, Taunting the Dead, and it went on to be a Kindle #1 best seller.
Mel’s new series, The Estate, is set in the fictional place of Stockleigh because she wanted to create a sense of place on the estate itself. She also believes that the Mitchell Estate can be found a few miles from anywhere in any town or city…
You can find out more at www.melsherratt.co.uk and on twitter as @writermels
About Somewhere to Hide:
With the death of her husband and a tragic secret she’s desperate to bury, Cathy Mason opens her home to young women who need a roof over their head and a sympathetic ear. From victims of domestic violence to drug addicts, no woman is beyond Cathy’s helping hand. The only problem? She lives on the notorious Mitchell Estate, where temptation and trouble lurk on every corner.
When precious things go missing, her belongings are vandalised, and a homeless teenager is found murdered, Cathy reckons it’s just part of daily life on the estate. But when those she cares about most fall prey to violence, she begins to suspect her past mistakes are catching up with her. Can Cathy finally confront her own troubled history before it engulfs not only her, but also the women struggling to rebuild their lives?
Welcome to the Estate – Real life. Real problems. Real crime.