Writing is hard. Self-publishing what you’ve written is easy, or easy-ish, so long as your Word docs are behaving themselves. But what’s tougher than either of these things is persuading people to read your books when you don’t have a publisher or publicity department to do it for you, and there are about a billion-trillion other e-books out there, all fighting for the attention of potential readers. Why should anyone take a chance on your book?
On the other hand, when I did have a publisher, they didn’t exactly do a brilliant job of publicizing my books either. I lost track of the number of people who said, “Oh, I really loved Suckers! When are you going to write another novel?” This was kind of galling, because I had had another novel published – a ghost story called Stiff Lips – but although there was a lot of fancy talk about printing up postcards to publicize it, nothing ever happened. The idea of those non-existent postcards has been preying on my mind ever since, and now I’ve finally decided to fill that gaping hole in my life by printing up some of my own.
Since I really enjoy designing covers for my e-books and I like the results, I’ve been using these same designs for the postcards. The idea is to print them out and distribute them to those places where you normally see free publicity stuff – shops, cinemas, bars and so on. I don’t know about anybody else’s taste, but I do know my own, and if I saw postcards like these I would almost certainly pick a couple up and take them home to pin on my wall. I’m banking on the kind of person who does that also being the kind of person who will share my taste in fiction and film writing, and maybe at some point taking a chance on a download and finding they enjoy what they read. That’s the idea, anyhow. Maybe it’ll work, maybe not. But hey, I’ll still have some nice-looking postcards to pin on my wall.
The Coming Thing isn’t out yet – I’m still fiddling with it – but should be available soon. Of course I’ve already designed a cover image for it (because designing cover images is fun, as opposed to hard work) so I’ve included that on one of the postcards too.