Cathy Bramley On Book Marketing And Self-Publishing Lessons Learned

cathy bramleyName: Cathy Bramley
Author’s Website
Hometown: Birmingham, UK
Current Residence: Nottingham, UK
Education: BA Hons European Business
Briefly: Just self-published my first book Conditional Love and it got to #14 in UK Kindle charts in Humour/Love, Sex & Marriage on its first day
Favorite Read: Bridget Jones
Pet Peeves: chewing gum on the floor
If You Weren’t a Writer You’d Be…Spa resort manager, I’d feel like I was on holiday everyday.
What You Have Lined Up Next: I’m working on a new romantic comedy its working title is Holding Back.

Who’s your favorite book heroine?

Well, I love Bridget Jones!

Considering your fear of bananas, if someone were to offer you a free all-exclusive vacation to India, the world’s biggest producer of bananas, you would decline?

No! I’d still go. For our honeymoon, we went to the Florida Keys, we got into our ground floor room and opened up onto the terrace to find a banana tree right outside the door, straining under the weight of ripe bananas. I did freak out, but still managed to enjoy the holiday. If I can survive that I’m sure I could dodge Indian bananas.

You have a marketing agency. Has that proven to be helpful in marketing your book?

Yes, definitely. It has given me the confidence to try and do things a little differently and not be afraid to pitch my book to the press.

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Your heroine Sophie Stone is a perpetual procrastinator. How do you fight procrastination when it comes to your writing?

I have a ‘to do’ list. I am a bit anal about that list. I won’t do anything unless it’s on the list and I refer to it before I move onto the next job. I also try and plan out the day before what scene I’m going to write, so that it’s mulling around in my subconscious.

Conditional Love got into Amazon’s Top 15 on the first day of its release. That’s practically unheard of. How did you manage to pull that?

Thank you. I sent out press releases and arranged to be on 3 well-read blogs on the first day of the launch. I was also pre-promoting the World’s smallest book launch even heavily. Plus this is the UK, I imagine it’s much harder to make an impact on the US market.

What have you learned so far about publishing that you feel is essential for every author on the brink of releasing their first books should know?

One, leave way more time than you think you need. If you think your book will be ready for publication on September first, tell everyone it’s coming in October first. Except Amazon. Tell Amazon way earlier than you think. Plus it takes time to get all the reviewers lined up to review your book. Ideally, have three months between finishing the book and publishing it. Two, buy your own ISBNs—don’t use Createspace’s. I did and I regret it now. You get more control if you own the barcode. Three, be as professional as you can afford to be. Your book will be competing with authors with huge marketing budgets behind them. Spend money on a cover and it will repay itself many times over.

Most of us have heard that whole theory about there being just six basic stories, and that all books’ structure and dramatic situations center upon them.

I’m reading a great book at the moment called Rock your Plot by Cathy Yardley. She talks about ‘High concept’; doing the same but different. I write romantic comedy and I love a Happy Ever After. The girl is always going to get together with the boy in my stories, but it’s up to me to put enough of a twist in the tale to keep the readers turning the pages, even if they know it’ll all turn out okay in the end.

What do you think is going to happen in publishing?

I heard the other day on the news that we’ll soon be able to get the internet on the inside of our eyeballs, so I’m guessing the next thing will be books. How weird will that be?

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