Meet the Author: August 2018 – Build yourself a brand, part 2

Build yourself a brand<br />photo courtesy of Dianne Hope

Build yourself a brand
photo courtesy of Dianne Hope

Spamming reviewers, book bloggers, and reading groups with offers of free copies of your book in exchange for an honest review wastes both their time and yours, and can seriously damage your reputation. So how, as a newly published author, might you better employ your time?

Offer free copies of your book on your website

Offer free or heavily discounted copies of your book with no strings attached (though be aware that a free offer is much more likely to be taken up). By now you should have plenty of sites on which to do this. Try to ensure that the text of your offer makes the genre and style of your book perfectly clear; you’ll have much happier readers if you do. Consider the text of the giveaway at the bottom of this post for example. What can you glean from it? It’s for a well-researched cozy mystery set in Victorian times (so not exactly steampunk), it’s slightly comic, and the detective is a bit of an underdog. Possibly not one for lovers of the police procedural, then.

Review books in your own genre

Read regularly within your genre to see how other writers tackle the same material that you do. Use Goodreads and LibraryThing to publish your reviews; they make you more discoverable as a person. Never be disparaging about a fellow author’s work; if you don’t like a book, don’t review it. Your readers would much rather see the books you actually enjoyed.

Start a special interest blog

Find a topic that relates to your book and dedicate a blog to it; it’s free at Put in links (especially in the sidebar) to make yourself more discoverable, but first and foremost design your blog to be useful to people who might visit the site. Take a look at Murder Most Cozy to see what I mean: the search box on the right, the clickable list of authors below it (made by using tags on posts—what Blogger calls “labels”). Even blogs you discontinued writing long ago can bring in new hits if they’re interesting enough. The Victorians Unveiled, for example, still brings me about a thousand views per year. Hardly trending, I know, but still none too shoddy for what is essentially a dead blog!—and each of those views holds the potential for somebody new to discover me.

Invest in paid advertising

You might do worse than invest in some paid advertising, for example on Facebook, Amazon, or Google. Goodreads also offers ads and here you have access to a vast community of readers. You can target your book at a specific audience, and it’s great value for money.

Keep things fresh

Keep your author photo and bio, your author pages, links, and any other online publicity material fresh and up to date. Regularly update your book to reflect these changes. Most importantly: write your next book, then your next, then another—as counter-intuitive as this may sound. At a time when the market is drowning, brands stand out.


This month’s giveaway is a free download of Octopus: Octavius Guy & The Case of the Throttled Tragedienne (#2). When the leading actress dies in mysterious circumstances during a performance of The Duchess of Malfi, Gooseberry feels duty-bound to investigate. It is, after all, a great deal more exciting than the last case he was assigned to: the tracking down of a rich old lady’s errant cat! Offer ends on August 31st 2018, and no, there are no strings attached and no review is required. Phew!
“Historical fact is deftly combined with fiction that makes Octavius’s world a new form of old London that I am eager to visit again. Pour some tea or a wee dram, put your feet up, and enjoy cover to cover.”—Gladread LibraryThing Early Reviewer (5 stars)

Happy reading!

Find me on Facebook,
follow me @seventh7rainbow,
check out my author page at Goodreads to see what I’ve been reading lately,
and visit Murder Most Cozy for a round up of the coziest Crimes & Thrillers reviews

Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. Send for Octavius Guy chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. The Involuntary Medium follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift. For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time.

You can always message me using the Contact Me form or send me an email. Both Malane, who designs this website for me, and I really look forward to hearing from you, and I will always try to respond personally if I can. Why not include a photo we can use if we publish?