Writing books is a labour of love, sometimes challenging, but it is a proud moment when you can deliver a final product ready for the bookshelves.
Getting people to buy them is an even bigger challenge.
When I had written my first book, I used to think that writing stories was the easiest part.
When I was a journalist, I used to contact all the different media outlets that might be interested in buying my stuff. I had some success, never a high earner, but enough to establish me amongst my peers and keep me in work for 15 years.
Trying to establish yourself as a writer, is a different beast. The “please buy my stuff” approach helped when it came to getting TV and Radio interviews but did not have much of an impact when it came to sales.
Several books later, I have been pleased with the response and the comments I have received so far, but I am looking at moving into a new genre of stories, it has dawned on me that when it comes to marketing, I have still a lot to learn.
It has not been for the want of trying. I have watched countless videos, the online courses and also read various publications, but it was all going over my head. I could never figure out why.
After what has happened to me during the last couple of years, I am now starting to think that this was down to my dyslexia thinking, not being able to learn things through the tried and tested route, and needing to find my own approach, not trying to over complicate things.
My “Eureka” moment late last year, indulging in my annual tradition of festive TV “Binge Watching” the compulsive series “Welcome to Wrexham,” the story of Wrexham AFC, one of the oldest football clubs around and their new Hollywood owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Both men, stars in Film and TV respectively, have also shown themselves as shrewd businessmen and marketing experts. You only had to look at their CV’s along with the various videos to see that.
They could have invested in any sports franchise, so not surprisingly caught the imagination of pundits around the world, when they decided to invest their time and money in a Welsh Football Team, competing in the fifth tier of the English League.
So it was no surprise when during a press conference when they were asked, what made them want to buy Wrexham.
Without hesitation, both came back with the same answer, it was the story, the club’s history, and their connection with the community.
Throughout the TV series, it was that story that was the driving force, supported by the entertainment element and the club getting back to where it once was, as well as introducing the club to a worldwide audience.
Suddenly, this marketing thing was starting to make sense.
Having a successful product was only part of marketing, I realised that there had to be a successful brand. If people like the brand, they would be interested in the product.
With “Welcome to Wrexham”, the story of the club and the community was the brand which was presented by the TV series Because of that, people became invested in the team, the product.
My last three books were linked with Butlins, an organisation that revolutionised the holiday-making habits of millions of British people since 1936, providing fantastic memories for those that went on holiday and not forgetting those that worked there.
I can certainly vouch for that.
I now understand when I was interviewed on TV and Radio, why they wanted to talk more about my Butlins history than the Butlins Books, even though the two of them were linked.
As an Author and a Broadcaster, I am looking to develop exciting new products this year, I need to make sure that there is a story to match. This website is a good platform to start.