As I said in my last blog, I have been planning how best to promote it.
Some people have asked what I am planning exactly. So here is some detail.
I should say that, before I was a published author, I worked for several years in bookshops and libraries, promoting other authors' events. I also ran a couple of book festivals. This has helped me understand bookshop and library needs and how best to appeal to them. That's the theory, anyway.
My book is about five child spies who use the cover of an England youth football team to spy on threats to the UK. Therefore, a lot of what I am doing is related to football. But, in any book,there will be subject areas that correspond to the football in my book.
1. Giving out an A5 photocopied four-page sampler of the book at dozens of schools and libraries, for them to photcopy.
2. Printing a Euro 2012 scorecard for kids to fill in, featuring the book. Giving this to the 10,000 children I will be talking to over the next two months. Sending 5000 more to schools I have visited in the recent past.
3. Altering home page of website to feature the book. Adding new pages to the site about the book, including an interview with myself about it.
4. Creating a schools literacy pack about Euro 2012, for teachers to use to enthuse kids to read newspapers, magazines and books. Creating this as a free resource for the National Literac yTrust to offer to their mailing list.
5. Send schools on our mailing list a letter to parents, suggesting ways that parents can use a major sporting event to enthuse their kids about books.
6. Sending out a newsletter to schools offering all the above, focussing more on the free resources available, less on the book.
7. Sending a newsletter out to fans who have emailed me, offering them a scorecard and first chapter for them and their friends.
8. Hosting a Euro 2012 prediction competition on my website for fans and school children. A free visit from me to their school and some signed books as a prize.
9. Asking three fans to read early copies of the book and asking if they will do quotes for me about what they think of the book. Using those quotes on my website and in other areas.
10. Setting up a three month tour of bookshops, schools, festivals and libraries. 70 days of events. 10,000 kids. Half the days I am doing are without fees, but expenses supported by Puffin. Half I am being paid to do.
11. Making sure all the venues I am going to have the new book for sale and trying to ensure that they have sent letters to parents saying that signed copies of the book are on sale.
12. Email friends and people I have worked well with to ask them to blog or tweet about the book.
13. Contacts schools I have worked with near the libraries and bookshops I am talking at, to say I am there.
14. Contact bookshops and libraries near the school I am talking at to say children may be in looking to buy the books.
15. Do a press release to local newspapers and radio before events, offering 5 top tips on reading around a sporting tournament for kids.
16 Writing a daily story during Euro 2012 that can be read in classrooms. Featuring the events of the tournament, so written live. This will be offered to schools via my newsletters, the National Literacy Trust and through Twitter.
17. Sending copies of the book to football journalists who are going to Euro 2012. The book is set in Poland just before the tournament kicks off. In the hope they will mention it.
18. Publish 10 tips on using sports tournaments to promote reading on Twitter in the week or so before the tournament. One a day.
19. Writing a 'fun' daily writing exercise for schools to give to children, reacting to events of the Euro 2012 tournament. Again, promoted through the National Literacy Trust.
20. Create a facebook page for the series to link into the bookshops and other venues that I am visiting.
21. Blog about a new angle on the book each day for 50 days, tying in with issues in football and literacy that come up during that period.
22. Tweet about everything I am doing and blogging, linking in the free resources.
This is going to be the most intense period of working I have ever done. It will take up a lot of time. A huge amount of time.
Most of wha I have planned is cheap or free. Only the scorecards were an investment for me.
I hope this was useful. It's rough idea of a plan.