Multi-talented Tony Flood has written about celebrities and created his own fantasy adventure book. Learn how he’s used press releases and a variety of social media platforms to market his books.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My celebrity book My Life With The Stars contains revelations and amusing anecdotes about famous people I have interviewed and/or written about as a journalist. It features Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Joan Collins, George Best, Bruce Forsyth, Britt Ekland, Muhammad Ali and a host of others. I was encouraged to write it by my wife and fellow author Heather Flood, who pointed out that I had met so many famous people who people would be interested to read about.
2. How have your sales been?
The sales have been good but the best sales have been achieved by my fantasy adventure book Secret Potion, which June Whitfield says is ideal for Harry Potter fans. Like Harry Potter, it is for both children and adults.
3. You’ve used both indie and traditional publishing for your books. What has your experience been like with both?
Traditional publishing has probably brought me in more regular royalty payments from Andrews UK with the e-version of The Secret Potion.
4. What would you say are the pros and cons to both indie and traditional publishing?
Traditional publishing has ensured my books are offered for sale by more outlets, particularly websites. My indie books have been offered exclusively through Amazon’s KDP and Createspace which has entailed me doing a lot of marketing to bring them to people’s attention.
5. You’ve had some of your work published in national newspapers. Has this had an impact on your visibility as an author?
Yes. I appear quite often on Google and other social media who refer to my articles in newspapers as well as my books. This extends to regional papers in which my articles appeared, as well as national newspapers and magazines like Football Monthly, of which I was editor.
6. Talk a little more about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
Writing news items on Facebook, where I have three different pages, and LinkedIn and WordPress, and linking them to Twitter, have spread the word quite well. It is also a good idea to give interviews, and provide reviews to other authors on Amazon and Goodreads, etc., and include at the end of the review your name and book titles. I have three websites (here, here and here) and I use them to make special reduced-price offers of signed copies, and to provide downloads of the first chapter free. My wife Heather and I also promote our books with amusing videos on YouTube, but individual authors might find that the expense of websites and videos might exceed the income from book sales.
7. Are there any marketing techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I tried advertising on a small scale on Facebook which only brought me limited success. Some marketing people say you need to do it on a larger scale, but that could mean spending more on advertising than you receive in book sales.
8. What are the most important things you’ve learned about indie and traditional publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
How much onus there is on the author to do the lion’s share of the marketing.
9. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
Not allowing the time I spend on writing and marketing to eat so much into my private life and the time I spend with my wife.
10. New authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books, whether they go the indie or traditional publishing route. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
Obtain as much free publicity as possible. One way to do this is to send press releases to the media in every town in which you have ever lived. You can claim to be a local author in each of these towns if you adapt each press release to say that you used to live in the town in question.
11. What other projects are you currently working on?
I have been writing about more big name stars, including Kylie, Peter Andre, Eric Morecambe and Brian Conley, so that I can eventually bring out a new edition of My Life With the Stars. I am also working on a follow up detective thriller to Triple Tease.
12. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Tony Flood is an author who provides a great mix of intrigue, thrills and humor – and who puts entertainment value and accuracy first!
13. Share some stories about your interactions with the rich and famous.
My Life with the Stars includes anecdotes about how actress Shirley Ann Field went on a nightmare date with Frank Sinatra; how Elvis Presley got star stuck on Tom Jones and became an embarrassment; how a famous singer received an inadvertent public spanking; and how Barbra Streisand sacked Dudley Moore. I also tell of one of my meetings with George Best in a plush hotel’s VIP area when a gorgeous blonde pushed something into my hand and purred seductively “Give this to George – tell him it’s from the blonde he smiled at.” When I looked, I found she had given me her bright pink G-string, with the waistband tied around a room key.
14. How can readers learn more about your books?
The Secret Potion can be found here.
My Life With the Stars can be found here.
And Triple Tease can be found here.