LSM Media Production student Ben Atkinson writes:
For the past year I have been promoting the novel Walking on Cinders online by harnessing the power of new social media such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc. I have however, been writing the novel since 2008 and have been working with a professional editor and publicist in the past year.
Through my online promotion, I have been lucky enough to speak with some influencial American Publishing sites and magazines on Twitter, all of which then tweeted about my work to their own followers. On the subject of followers, I have built up a substansial list, including the Penguin Group USA.
This being my second novel, I learnt a lot the first time round and knew very well that agents and publishing houses would not accept my work due to my age (and in many cases didn’t even bother to read submissions sent), and therefore I knew to achieve my goal of a future in writing, I needed to launch an exciting project which would draw public attention. My aim is to sell 1,000 copies of Walking on Cinders in year one and will be selling the copies myself both online and off.
Interestingly, to accompany the promotion on Twitter and Facebook, we recently set up a YouTube project, which invites local groups and societies to read extracts of the novel for online videos, the premise being that while promoting the novel through YouTube they will be, at the same time, promoting their own activities (we include text and images provided by the groups at the beginning and end of videos).
This part of the promotion has been successful so far, drawing on groups such as 103 The Eye (the first community radio station set up in the UK on five year licence) and the Melton Mowbray Town Estate (one of the oldest town estates in the country.)
The main promotion hub for Walking on Cinders is the offical blog and site at www.walkingoncinders.com where readers are able to find out more about the background to the project, one in which I took control of every element of production, and discover an extra element to characters and story lines not included in the novel. The book can in turn be purchased from the site, and each of the first 1,000 sold will be signed and assigned a unique purchase number (listed on the site.) Purchasers will also receive a free, unique, downloadable certificate.