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Launching a Book

Launching a book is a big deal.

More than that, it's humungous! Think about the millions of books to have been printed since those very first books which were, fittingly, bound in India around the 2nd century BC when religious scriptures were copied onto palm leaves and bound together with twine.

Every single one of those books had an author who spent hours, days, weeks, months, years writing, rewriting and editing their stories or knowledge. The process of printing, binding, finding a suitable cover and then finally...launching. Except that it's not final. The launch is just the start of the next process which, for writers, is the most difficult part: the marketing.

Writers are not necessarily the most outgoing people. In fact, many of them are introverted and prefer to spend time alone with their thoughts and words. "You have to focus!" my husband says. The problem is, what should you focus on? I could happily sit for hours writing my stories, but there doesn't seem much point if nobody is going to read them. Whether you're traditionally or self-published, you have to put yourself out there. You need a blog, an email list of people who will read your books and your blogs, you need to do all sorts of uncomfortable and time-consuming social media, advertising and a lot more besides. If you don't, nobody will read your books.

When I looked up the first evidence of book marketing, I was taken to none other than Jeremiah (605 BC), which is also fitting, as I quote him in both my "Secret Children of India" books.

“Tell us now,” they asked Baruch, “how did you write all these words? Was it at Jeremiah’s dictation?”

“It was at his dictation,” Baruch replied. “He recited all these words to me and I wrote them in ink on the scroll.” Jeremiah 36 v17-18

The only marketing I truly enjoy is when I go into schools. To be able to share what I have learnt about the whole book process with young people is a magical experience. Of course, not all children want to write, but if I can inspire just a few, I will be happy. Later this month I will be visiting Northwood College, my alma mater, and next week I'm visiting Parmiter's School in Watford, the school the 'real' Shreya attends. Shreya is one of my original Book Club attendees who allowed me to use her name for one of the main characters in "The Secret Children of Mumbai". The real Shreya has no idea what adventures her namesake is going to encounter and I can't wait to present her with her book.

Writing, publishing and marketing have been going on for a long time and although those early writers didn't have the ease and convenience of modern printing, nor did they have so much competition. Today, as "The Secret Children of Mumbai" is launched into the world, it will be one of approximately 11,000. Tomorrow another 11,000 will be launched.

I've experienced the Herculean effort of writing, launching, and marketing a book and I bow down to my fellow authors and offer a hearty "good luck!" Because let's be honest, even with the blood, sweat, and tears, a sprinkle of fairy dust never hurts. And maybe a boost from the odd celebrity if anybody knows one...

I hope you enjoy "The Secret Children of Mumbai.", written to raise awareness of homeless children in India. Although I say it myself, it's very exciting!

Available today on Amazon or you can order it in your local bookshop.


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