Monday, April 14, 2008

Do it Yourself

I'm uncertain how far down the do-it-yourself angle authors should go...see item below. My local library has a do-it-yourself check in and check out for books so librarians need never talk to the customer! Self-service check-outs in supermarkets must, surely, be reducing jobs. And I do wonder if this enterprise means that publishers can just concentrate on their massive promotions...but perhaps otherwise it would not have come about, and it will undoubtedly shift books which helps everyone. So maybe I'm just being grumpy...

Four authors who live in and around Somerset have collaborated to create a promotional poster to mark the National Year of Reading.

Lynne Benton, Rebecca Lisle, Sue Purkiss and Kathryn White feature on a poster which they are distributing to local schools and libraries, promoting their books and websites, and their availability for talks and workshops.

'We need to be more proactive,' says Sue Purkiss. 'We've got to be realistic about what our publishers can do for us, and rather than waiting for things to happen, we decided to take matters into our own hands. It was Kathryn’s idea to produce a poster, then Becky oversaw the design - with input from all of us - and I organised the distribution via the Somerset library service. The libraries are very keen to support local authors, particularly in view of their focus on the National Year of Reading.' The writers' publishers - Walker and Little Tiger Press - supported the idea by providing printouts of the poster for distribution.'It's already helped raise our profile locally,' Sue says. 'We're all getting more invitations to schools and libraries as a result.'

Sue's new novel, Warrior King (Walker Books), is her retelling of the story of King Alfred which is especially relevant for this area. 'Local readers will recognise the landscapes in my book, and I'm looking forward to talking to them about Alfred. He's a fascinating character, with far more influence on the way Britain developed than we give him credit for. Obviously I want children all over the country to read it, but there's nowhere better to start than our own region.'

Anya Hollis, Marketing Director of Walker Books welcomes the move.
"We are very happy to work collaboratively with our authors, and in particular to help spread the word about Sue, her new book The Warrior King and her backlist."

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