Saturday, 1 November 2014

Getting the word out by Jenny Harper

Becoming a Mo Sista means that I'm the one with the moustache!
Anyone who calls themselves an author these days knows how hard it is to get your books noticed in the brave new world that is modern publishing. This is true whether you are traditionally published or self published – I've been both, so I talk from experience!

The frustrating thing is just how long promotional work takes. Social media activity sucks up your time and saps your creative energy. I haven't done much in the way of personal appearances so far (just my recent launch in Waterstones), but obviously they take up time too - though I do think there must be something rewarding about actually interacting with real readers instead of hiding behind a computer screen. If real readers turn up to your event, of course!

Last summer, I was contacted by the lovely Janice Horton to ask if I would be interested in joining a pilot group of authors on a new promotional venture. Hit Lit Pro wanted ten authors to sign up for a year, paying a modest (but realistic) fee in return for a significant amount of social media activity on behalf of both individuals and the group and two blog tours (a five-stop tour and a ten-stop tour). Four months in and I'd say it's proving worth every penny. The Hit Lit Pro team have been tireless in their efforts. My first blog tour (five stops) yielded four reviews for my new title within days of it appearing and significant exposure (I have to stress that it is made absolutely clear that reviewers accepting the book for review must be free to be completely honest in their assessment). They ran a Rafflecopter competition for me, which also gained a lot of interest.

But the team at Hit Lit Pro have gone further. They are constantly looking for new ideas to help the group – and their latest is pure genius. We were asked some months ago if we would be prepared to contribute a short story to a Hit Lit Pro anthology in aid of Movember, the men's charity. Most of us agreed, a publisher (Thornberry Press) was found, and a campaign launched.

Today, Let's Hear It For The Boys! is launched. Thanks to the efforts of the promo team, it's already in the charts. It sells at 99p and every penny goes to charity. Please click now and support Movember! As a bonus, if you go to the HLP Facebook page, you can win some fab prizes.

It's a brilliant idea in itself – for a small effort, we get a lot of publicity, but we also raise what I hope will be a significant amount of money for the charity. Win win.

Building an author profile can take years – very few people have instant hits. I am delighted to be a part both of Hit Lit Pro and of the Movember campaign.

Can you think of a better way of getting the word out? If you can, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. It's a great idea, Jenny and I hope the anthology raises lots of dosh for a worthwhile cause.
    I also agree with your comment about how all the necessary social media activity saps your creative energy.

    1. I guess it has to be done, Mary. Though sometimes I wonder if it makes any difference!

  2. The promo takes up soooooo much time. As part of my contract with my publisher I have to be visible. I do my best not to getup people's noses's hard to know what is enough and what is just too much. I've just done a piece for a blog from my 1909 character's pov and that was good.....creative as well as promo-worthy.

    1. Can you post the link, Linda? I'd love to see it!

  3. Will do when it's out, Jenny......:)