Friday, 15 April 2011

Many hands make light work! Marketing and distribution of an independent book

It's now one week since the launch of the group anthology Original Sins. I have 29 copies of the first 500 left in a box in my dining room and folks will be fighting to the death over them this weekend. Hopefully Tim will bring down another 500 from Dublin!

If this had been solely my own book then I would be umming and ahhing about where to push it, who to ask and trying to deal in advance with the inevitable rejection from bookstores, reluctantly confessing to friends and family that I had published a book and expecting the world to discover my greatness in its own time. (Case in point with PERIL, although readers love the book once they do discover it.)

However, Original Sins is a group effort and that group has every kind of character within it. We have, amongst others, journalists, marketing folk, busy bees, on the road sales types, a relative of Obama and then there's a fella who gives funny speeches. It feels like Legion in the Bible but there's no curing this multiple personality disorder, and just as well! Because the book is now in ten bookshops and available on three websites. It's appeared in four newspapers and has a radio slot planned for readings. 'Splinter launches' are scheduled at different locations e.g. nudefood café in Dungarvan, Co Waterford on May 6th (please dress appropriately because you know I will) and large quantities of wine will be consumed by authors and readers alike. I certainly need a lot of wine to read out my serial killer contribution from THE BAPTIST. No-one will leave empty handed and we'll soon be out of copies.

The book is published through NUI Maynooth's MACE imprint, which is how it has worked its way onto Amazon and Waterstones, but the rest is pure graft by the author team. Take a look:

Original Sins is available to buy at:


The Book Centre, 10 High Street, Kilkenny 056-7762117
The Book Centre, 25 John Roberts Square, Waterford 051-873823
The Book Centre, 5 South Main Street, Wexford 053-9123543
Barker & Jones Book Shop, 2 Poplar Square, Naas, Co. Kildare 045-856130
Maynooth University Bookshop, John Hume Building, NUIM, Maynooth, Co. Kildare 01-6285629
Dubrays Book Shop, Market Cross Shopping Centre Kilkenny 056-7752800
Stonehouse Books, MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny 056-7790780
The Blessington Book Store, Main Street, Blessington, Co. Wicklow 045-857730
The Bookworm, Liberty Square, Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Easons, Thurles Shopping Centre, Co. Tipperary
Nolan’s Book Shop, New Ross, Co. Wexford


You can order copies from any of the 22 authors who will organise purchase from the distribution team.

IN LIBRARIES (lending)
Kilkenny Library
Carlow Library
Kildare Library (Naas & Newbridge)
Waterford Library
Tipperary Library

So, what's the secret to this distribution? Shamelessness. Each author might be a bit embarrassed by their own contribution and self-promotion but they firmly believe in the worthiness of the anthology contributions from the other authors. This is a highly talented bunch and each of us feels honoured in the company of the others. We have no problem promoting each other in ways that we would shy away from if solo.

So what next? I know that I should print colour handouts of PERIL and shamelessly promote it at all the anthology events, but that would be embarrassing. What if it offends? I shall wear a disguise. Wait, I already have a beard and a woman's name. Jane Alexander please post me that all-in-one body suit and Mark / Saffy I'll be ready for the blog interview in a jiffy.


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  1. No Kindle version for us poor souls on the Dark Continent?

  2. Yep, we're going to Kindle it as soon as the printed copies are running out. The plan was September but I think it'll be sooner.