Our Journal of news and articles on Books

If you’re interested in the world of books and the Arts, then please take a look and sign up for our (free) Journal of curated articles and news from local and international sources, refreshed daily.

We have added a ‘taster’ of the content below.

Book promotion

Local Publicity

Many authors are private and solitary people by nature and thoroughly detest marketing or promotion that requires them to be physically present. Despite this it is well worth getting out there in the local community to promote their books.

1: Readers want to connect to the author as well as their book.

As tempting as it is to fire off emails, launch advertising campaigns and chat on social media from the safety of your home – while these tactics definitely have a place in marketing your book – it is far more important to get out and into the real world.

2: Every interaction you have is an opportunity to market.

Wherever you go and with whoever you meet in your daily job or life try to bring the conversation round to start chatting about books and be sure to mention your own.

3: Always have copies of your book in your car or other marketing material available for your ebook.

Because the Internet affords us a global reach, we tend to dismiss our immediate community and environment. It can be a rich source of exposure for your book.

4: You never know who will be a potential reader.

Every author who has ever made a successful career out of writing has one thing in common: they are well known. Except for the extremely rare exception, they didn’t achieve this by staying at home.

If a big name has published you then you would have a team of professionals to organize book signings, tours and author interviews. The big publishing houses know how important it is to have a physical presence as well as a digital one when it comes to marketing books.

Most authors, however, need to create this publicity themselves:

  • Look for local events and book fairs in your area that you could speak at or have a little stand to showcase your books.
  • Call your local newspaper and radio stations and offer your expertise and a book giveaway.
  • Say YES to invitations (even if it is to an art gallery, library or the local school) you never know whom you might meet.
  • Please don’t spam people in person, but don’t be shy about mentioning your book either – especially if the opportunity presents itself.

Publicity is a key component in your book marketing campaign – so get out there and be public!

Hat tip! Sonia Killik

Facebook ads for book marketing

It’s not an uncommon situation to run into when you start advertising books on Facebook that you get a lot of clicks but no sales. The hard part, though, is getting those clicks to turn into sales. And if that doesn’t happen, how you can fix it?

There can be dozens of reasons why people might click on your ads but not buy. Most of the time, it’ll be a combination of several of these:

  • Your cover is not right;
  • Your blurb doesn’t grab the attention of the readers;
  • Your book doesn’t have enough social validation (i.e. reviews);
  • Your price is too high;
  • You’re not advertising to the right people/demographics;
  • Your Amazon page doesn’t reflect the promise of your ad.

You’ll notice that all these things are not unique to Facebook ads: they’ll negatively impact the performance of any marketing you do for your book. What happens with Facebook, however, is that it magnifies these issues. And it does so because…

Facebook optimizes for clicks

If you run ads straight to your retailer pages (e.g. Amazon page), which is what most authors do, you can only run Traffic campaigns — that is, campaigns aimed at getting your ads the highest number of clicks

This is what we call “optimizing for clicks”, and in simpler words, it means the only thing Facebook will focus on is getting lots of clicks on your ads, at the lowest cost. For that, Facebook will identify the people, within your target audience, who are most likely to click on your ad. But here’s the catch: these aren’t necessarily the people most likely to buy.

In a nutshell, that’s why, if you run into any of the issues above, you’ll get a lot of clicks and no sales. And even when everything looks right on paper, some books just don’t convert Facebook ads traffic into sales very well.

Hat tip – Reedsy.com

Some of you might find this free guide to marketing from Book Marketing Tools useful. You can download it here.


Do you need an editor?

Many of us have interesting stories to tell but how to do this? How can they be written down? Constructing a novel, or any large extended piece of writing for that matter, is difficult and requires skills that must be learned or taught. Most books require an editor or even just an impartial reader to read a manuscript and point out or correct errors that the author cannot see because they are too close to the work or so invested in the story they have become blind to its faults. Editorial input can make the difference between a work being ‘amateurish’ and essentially unpublishable (and unsaleable) and a work being of an acceptable standard for publication. Read our article about the importance of editing.

Writing and publishing is a huge industry which means there are plenty of resources out there to help authors write books worthy of publication.

We have listed below some examples of UK providers of professional editorial services. However, as with most things, there will be a charge for the services they provide. You should expect to pay between £10-15 per 1,000 words for an editor to help you with a manuscript.

Writers’ WorkshopThe Writers’ Workshop uses experienced authors and editors to evaluate and comment upon manuscripts
Oxford Literary ConsultancyThe Oxford Literary Consultancy is a well known company that offers in-depth editorial assistance to authors.
BubblecowBubblecow work with mainstream and self-publishing authors to improve manuscripts ready for publication by providing highly detailed ‘publisher’ standard copy editing.
Addison and ColeAddison and Cole provide a professional editorial service for unpublished writers and act as scouts for literary agents.
CornerstonesCornerstones Literary Consultancy offers editing and critical assessment services, and also act as scouts for agents.
Words Worth ReadingWords Worth Reading offer a range of editorial services to writers.
Writers’ Advice CentreThe Writers’ Advice Centre for Children’s Books is a literary consultancy service offering all kinds of advice and training to children’s writers.
Fiction FeedbackFiction Feedback offer a flexible critique and editing service to novelists.

At Cambria we can refer you to local freelance professional editors with whom we have worked successfully in the past and whose work can be trusted. As freelancers they usually charge considerably less than the big companies listed above. Manuscripts that have been through this service before final submission to us can also be eligible for a discount on our pre-press services.

If you want more information or wish an editor to get in touch with you please contact us first for a referral.