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on 10 January 2003
The author may offend authors by pointing out that authors are often their own worst enemies. I have followed the advice in this book to market my own (soon to be published) book, and it works! As predicted by the author my pubishers have been delighted and very supportive of my efforts. Authors - don't sit back and wait for your publishers to do everthing, read this book and get active on your own behalf. I very seldom think any book is worth a five star recommendation, but I do for this book. A must read for authors IMHO.
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on 19 June 2009
Having published two books, I know a little bit about the publishing world but only a little frankly. By way of explanation, it is often a surprise to people that publishers aren't always very forthcoming about their industry, even with their own authors. A great deal of the information I've learned over the years has had to be gradually teased out of people or learned through 'on the job training' so to speak. Therefore, despite my experience, I found this book quite useful.

Although it's true that some of the information relayed here relies on common sense, and will have occurred to many aspiring writers, I would have appreciated this kind of advice before publishing my first title. I found the chapters detailing the publisher's point of view particularly revealing as, for some years, I've been asking: 'Why do they do that?' in relation to a number of different topics. Baverstock's work doesn't give all the answers of course but I felt a bit more sympathetic towards my publisher after I'd read this, which is one step towards a better working relationship I suppose.

It is a sad fact that, unless you have a work of genius on your hands, a writer is likely to have to put a lot of hard work into publicising their own book to achieve anything like a successful sales figures. Marketing Your Own Book certainly hammers this messsage home. This concept can come as quite a surprise, many people assuming that the publisher does everything for the author. Sadly you can't expect them to do it all for you.

One important point made here is that once an author has finished writing the book, it is more like the beginning of their journey into publishing rather than the end. In many ways, though I never thought I'd say it, actually writing the book is one of the easier parts of the process.

Essentially this is well written, well structured book that gives good advice. I found some useful hints within these pages and I particularly recommend it to anyone currently writing their first book or shortly about to publish a new title.
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on 1 December 2007
This book opened my eyes, as a first time author, to the fact that when you scribble The End on your manuscript, you should in many ways be thinking The Beginning. There are any number of books out there about the process of writing, and the dos and don'ts of submitting to agents and publishers, but Alison Baverstock has addressed the rather daunting business of what authors themselves can do, before and after getting into print, to give the precious fruits of their labours the best chance of actually selling.

As she points out, the frightening reality is that in the UK there are likely to be some 400 other titles published the same day as yours, and unless you have an established track record you can't assume that the publisher, who has to operate in a pretty tough commercial environment, will be able to put extra resources into your particular book.

Like it or not, the author is part of the marketing mix and should be ready not only to work constructively with the publisher, but to be imaginative and proactive on his or her own behalf.

This book explains how, and I must say I found it invaluable: lots of clear, practical guidance (with real examples) on publicity and promotion, press releases, interviews, events, readings and the rest - in short, the wherewithal to get your book in front of potential buyers and keep it there.
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on 15 July 2008
This book offers valuable information which will enhance your chances of getting published. I found chapter 3 particularly worthwhile as it provides an insight into how publishers market a book; Chapter 4 on preparing your manuscript for submission is the best I have read on the subject. Later chapters cover how to find an agent, approaching publishers and even how to set up an authors website. The final chapters are particularly aimed at how you can help maximise your book sales post publication.

If you are planning to present your work of fiction or non-fiction to agents or publishers then I highly recommend that you read this book.
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on 23 June 2010
So says Jacqueline Wilson in the foreword to this invaluable book. I am about to launch into the publishing world with my composite novel 'Homesick' Homesick- the first thing I did when I heard that I was to be published, was reach for this book by Alison Baverstock. I saw her speak at a conference on this subject, and knew that the information would be straightforward and useful. Structurally, the book is set out in easy to digest chapters, which can be worked through like a text book: it really is as simple as that. Read the chapter, take notes, and at the end of each, there is a summary of the best bits. The advice given is clear and to the point, and is backed up with quotations from successful writers who have been there and done it. The best thing that this book does is make you brave! You become confident in your book and in your ability to get out there and be the frontman for what is essentially the burgeoning business that you started when you wrote your book. I cannot recommend this more highly - Buy it! Read it! Good luck!!!
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on 6 August 2010
I met Alison Baverstock at a seminar on marketing and subsequently bought this book. It's a very comprehensive outline of the whole business, not only what you can do to improve your own chances, but also looking into how marketing and publicity departments work in the big publishing houses (for that reason alone it's an eye opener!).

The book is divided into 16 clear chapters each dealing with a separate aspect of marketing. Most helpful for those trying to get published are 4 and especially 5 which suggests some additional material you might consider sending with your manuscript.

My only criticism of the book is that because it was published a couple of years ago there's very little on new media. There is a helpful chapter on setting up your own webpage but nothing on Facebook or Twitter etc. Hopefully this will be remedied in a new edition.

PS - I originally reviewed this book in 2010 and suspect that quite a lot of information in it needs revising now... so please see my review in that context
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 January 2013
I bought this to help me with my plans of winning the Booker Prize for my debut novel. Or at the very least, making it in to Richard and Judy's book club. My book is semi-autobiographical and tackles in an honest way every inadequacy of mine that was ever listed by my ex-wife during our only-twelve-years-but-it-felt-like-a-thousand marriage. Every inadequacy. It comes in at just over five hundred pages, and could easily have filled a few hundred more.

'Marketing Your Book' offers good, practical advice. The only problem is, people who have written novels are a little bit sensitive when it comes to 'practical' advice. This book is very keen to get authors 'out there', doing their own publicity, setting up their own websites and organising their own events. I'm a life coach / agent myself for heaven's sake, I know all that is sound advice. I just can't seem to put it into any form of action when it comes to my own work. It isn't that I can't handle rejection either, I suffered from more than my fair share of that while I was married. Well, I say 'suffered'... it did free up quite a few evenings. And the silent treatment that always followed it did ensure domestic peace and quiet for anything between two days and a fortnight, depending upon the nature of my 'offence'. No, it isn't the rejection. I suppose I am just not quite ready to let go of my little project, not if it means having to lose sight of the whole point of it by having to sell myself. I can't imagine many writers would ever be able to market themselves this aggressively. Real writers I mean, people who put pen to paper because they are driven by the need to do so. That sort of person is not going to find it easy to live their lives according to this book.

I dare say it gives a very accurate insight into the world of publishing, but it is a little disheartening to realise that what you've written, what you've devoted hours of your life to try and perfect, is really such a small part of the process. 'Marketing' is what it's all about.
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on 17 January 2010
In Chapter One of her work, Marketing Your Book: an author's guide, Alison Baverstock states the following;

`authors who distance themselves from the selling process place themselves and their work at a disadvantage.'

As a currently unpublished author, about to approach literary agents, this has become my mantra, for the concept that an author has a role to play in the marketing of one's novel is one to be understood right from the beginning of the long journey towards publication.

When I started work on my first novel some five years ago, I was convinced that believable characters and a gripping plot would ensure a book deal: how wrong I was! For once the exhausting process of being happy with one's manuscript (if indeed, one is ever completely happy) is finally complete, the work has only just begun.
I had the fortune of discovering this book shortly after having started work on writing my novel and was fortunately able to appreciate the importance of marketing one's novel relatively early on.
But surely, I used to think, the publisher will deal with the marketing aspect of my novel, this placing my book at the top of the bestseller list whilst I rest on my laurels and devote myself to my sequel?
Wrong! For marketing a novel starts immediately. As an unknown writer, once you finally believe your manuscript is as good as it can be and that you are ready to approach an agent (and NOT before) it is vital to put together a well-prepared submission package. Alison Baverstock's publication includes a step by step guide on what should be included and how to prepare these materials to ensure that any agent is impressed by the initial contact that you make and to ensure that both you and your material stand out.

This is only the beginning, however. Alison Baverstock takes us through each stage of the process, from preparing the vitally important submission package and choosing an agent, to how to work with the publisher once a deal has been struck including reams of information and ideas on how to get publicity.

From this book, I learnt to look at my life experiences and how to promote them in a way that could be of interest to an agent: an agent has to be able to sell you, the writer, as well as your novel. Have you lived abroad? Do you have or have you had an unusual job? Do you speak any languages? Did you write your novel whilst doing voluntary work in an orphanage in Nairobi?

Assuming you find an agent and that the agent has managed to strike a deal with a publisher, Alison then offers tips on setting up a website, working with booksellers both on and offline and the importance of literary festivals. And don't forget: as a published author, you will be expected to turn on the charm and be an engaging public speaker; if your novel really is that good, people will undoubtedly want to hear you talk about it.

What is wonderful about Marketing Your Book: an author's guide, is that whatever stage you are at, whether it be as an unpublished writer still wrestling with the creative stage or as a published writer who is organising a fabulous launch event, there are hints and tips for every stage of the process.

Alison has a long career in publishing and marketing and asides from being the author of fourteen books, also has her own marketing consultancy and teaches at Kingston University. In this publication, she has also included a wealth of advice and experience from writers, publishers and established literary agents such as Simon Trewin.

What I appreciated most about the book was Alison Baverstock's positive tone throughout. Whilst she makes it clear that getting published as an unknown writer is far from easy, there is a note of buoyancy portraying the message that whilst the road to publication is long and winding, if one has written a good novel and also considered the marketing opportunities of both oneself and one's book, anything is possible.

An absolute must for both unpublished and published writers! I am about to start approaching literary agents and should my novel be published, in part, it will be thanks to this wonderful book.

Simon Vernau
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on 7 October 2009
This is the companion book to 'Is There a Book in You' and having decided that yes there might be, this was the next step. I've learnt so much about what to expect (and not expect) and how to polish my submission. The main point is that writing the book is just the starting point. It's a long road to getting an agent and publisher and even then it's not plain sailing what with running your launch and marketing yourself. I admit, I haven't read the chapter on running your book launch as it's a pipe dream at the moment but it's sitting on my shelf just waiting for the day...
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I have been writing books since 1984 but it taught me a lot. I acquired it in 2010 and referred to it repeatedly in publishing my two latest books in 2011. The author's experience is uniquely useful, since she is an experienced writer and publisher and knows how writers can optimise their relationship with the publisher, and their sales. I have recommended it to other writers but cannot bear to part with my own copy. Sitting in Judgment: The Working Lives of Judges
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