It's been a busy few weeks. I might have said this before, but when you write a book, the hard part starts when it's in print and on Amazon. This time, I'm working with Summertime publishing, a publisher with many contacts in the expat world. That's great as it means the books gets exposure in far flung places where I know no one.
However, unless you're on the top ten best sellers list, every writer knows that you have to do a lot of your own PR. In my case, because I've written a book for international students interested in studying in the USA, that would mean contacting high schools all over the world. No really! Kids, families and teachers from Australia to Madagascar, Brazil to Norway are my target audience and since most of their daily newspapers aren't interested in my little book, I have to get to them directly.
To do this I usually find a list of high school somewhere on the web (Wikipedia has been great for this), and then I start writing. Obviously the body of the e-mail is the same - describing the book, listing the chapters, and giving links to the Amazon page and my author web site where there's a free download of the Intro and Chapter One. I like to send a more personalized e-mail if I can, which means going to the school's web site, finding out the name of the head/principal or the college advisor, and addressing them by name. As you can imagine, this takes some time.
Last week I hit Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday, Japan and Singapore on Wednesday. In-laws arrived on Thursday so I only managed to do some African countries, Germany and Austria, then yesterday I got side-tracked and started on the international clubs in the Middle East and the UK. (Trying to be more methodical in my approach, but I am writing everything down.)
By the time I've trawl through each web site and edit the standard e-mail, I can maybe hit thirty schools per hour. If I tell you I've sent out about 450 e-mails already, you'll get an idea of the "work" I'm talking about that comes once the book is out. Still.... I have had several enquiries about placing orders, and the book is having to be re-stocked on Amazon, so something's working.
Zzzzzz. (That's the sound of me, ten seconds after my head hits the pillow!)