When my book Star Struck became live as a paperback in September, I opened a Facebook launch group to spread the word.
(I’ve since revamped it and you can read why in Cover Story)
From there, I wrote a post for my Books & Reviews site and also recruited as many bloggers as I could and people who would post on all Social Media sites.
A timetable came in useful and each of the bloggers had a set day to post. On that day, everyone else also posted on Social Media using the hastag #starstruck.
It went live on Sunday 13 September 2015 and for that week, my face and the book cover was showing everywhere. (Although I was beginning to regret posting my picture by the end of the week – lol) Great exposure for the book, though. For each of the blogs I wrote something different, after all we didn’t want them all to say the same thing.
Interviews and spotlights from the bloggers began appearing over the week and can still be seen on these sites: (My social media helpers, posted out these links too.)
Proof Positive a site dedicated to the meticulous proofreading, beta reading, and editing of your works, so if you are an author, it’s worth checking it out.
Claire Plaisted of Plaisted Publishing hosted me on her personal blog.
Whispering Stories – On a Facebook group for my old school, I posted details and Stacey, who hosts Whispering Stories said she would like to feature me. So check out her other book spotlights as well because there are some good reads on there.
Marnie Cate’s blog – Marnie features books and authors and much more.
Author Stewart Bint’s Page This one was a nice surprise, as I didn’t know I was going to be featured. While you are there, check out Stewart’s book.
(Two of the sites I was originally featured on have since been taken down)
Each day of the week, I posted photographs relating to the Star Struck storyline., which is set in Manchester. The main character, Joanna lives in Didsbury in a large Victorian property converted into flats. During that time many of them, were split into flats to accommodate students during the 80s. Today many seem to been converted back to houses and it’s nice to see them returning to their former glory.
This photographs shows Victorian Houses from Withington, which is just down the road from Didsbury. These are the kind of house I had in mind when I described Clyebank where Joanna lives. There is a road in Didsbury called Clyde Road and the name came from that.
Joanna’s step sister makes an appearance, and she is a punk rocker. In the late 1970s I recall my friend and I lying on the floor of her lounge with a newspaper stretched open in front of us. We were reading about the new era of Punk Rockers, a trend that was coming to this country very soon. There were photos of people with brightly coloured hair sticking up. They had safety pins through they noses and eyebrows. They looked ridiculous. It would never catch on, we said. How wrong could you be?
Photographs courtesy of Karen Bentley
I met Karen Bentley through work. She was the quiet girl working at end desk. Little did we realise that back in the day she was a punk rocker.
She also appeared in our local paper as her iconic image used in an exhibition, For the launch they set out to trace her and it was a really interesting article that you can read here.
Joanna often went to her local pub called The Winston. I based it on a pub called The Talbot in Withington, a couple of miles away from Didsbury. Here are some photographs of typically English pubs and their interiors.
This is from 1970s as you can see from what people are wearing. In the 1980s it was still a time where people could enjoy a smoke with their pints and tables still looked like the ones shown with beer mats and ashtrays upon them.
This is me standing at a bar waiting to be served. Notice the ashtrays on the bar. A time when smoking in pubs and clubs was legal. Certainly a strange sight today.
The ice bucket stands on the bar so customers could help themselves. It was the only place we ever saw ice. We certainly never had it at home and you couldn’t buy it. The tables behind are covered with glasses and drinks and seems to have a rather nice wall paper to match.
The price is list is on a frame hanging on the wall of the bar and its a pity we can’t get close enough to see how much the drinks would have cost. The barmaid, or barman would have calculated the cost in their heads as they were serving.
This pub above is similar to what The Winston would look like on the outside. This particular one is the outskirts of Manchester.
Joanna travelled to London on a train and because it was full of football supporters, the guard took her to first class and she ended up sharing with a good looking stranger. This is what the carriage might have looked like.
Once she got to London, it was a much quieter place than it is now. Traffic, as in every city nowadays filled every road making it hard to get anywhere quickly. When I visited London during the early 80s, traffic wasn’t an issue.
Today you can’t get near the front door of 10 Downing Street, but back then you could walk straight up there. This MP was on his way inside.
80s was a time of big hair and everyone had perms.
These girls on a night out always reminded us of Bananarama
Me sporting my perm
My sister’s had their hair curled, too.
I also took out a Facebook advertisement by boosting a post from my Facebook Author Page and I attended other book launches offering Star Struck as a prize.
The competition was simply – What Was Your Best Song of the 80s and Why? The winner was chosen at random. Of course I was able to include a link to my book, so that anyone else who didn’t win had the opportunity of purchasing a copy. I ran the same competition for a book club.
Goodreads enable authors to offer books as a giveway, I’ve entered many myself and I have won once. Those people who don’t win add it to their bookshelves, thus highlighting it and hopefully they will read it eventually, too.
I finished the promotion with a book trailer. It’s the first one I have done and I used iMovie from the Apple store and am pleased with the results.
So how did I do at the end of this? Did my book sales increase? Yes they did.
Star Struck is now called Joanna’s Journey and although I have done a re-write, the story line is basically the same. These are some buy links.