Authors and Valentines

I often rabbit on about my books and my YouTube site but marketing has always been my weakness. How will readers know you exist if you don’t yell ‘Buy my book,’ at every opportunity?

Browsing a local site where people were asking for recommendations for plumbers, electricians and similar providers, it struck me how I would skim past the ‘I can help you with that’ responses, but made a mental note of the third party ‘XYZ is brilliant. He (or she) fixed my very ancient blah, blah, when everyone else said to chuck it away and buy a new one.’

Come across the same name offering help in the community, sharing photos of their daft dog or their favourite music, and you start to feel this is a person rather than someone just doing a job.

What has this to do with authors and books?

Do you buy books because the cover attracts you, it’s a genre you like, a favourite writer, or someone you relate to because of their blog, social media presence, newsletter etc?

I’ve been trying to ignore everything to get my latest book finished, (whoops, I wasn’t meant to mention that) in between keeping up with posting on my blog, taking advantage of Valentine’s day for the collection I released last year (double whoops) and trying to get WordPress to play nicely. Someone I ‘know’ through one of my writers’ groups has given up his own time to try and help, and I haven’t even thanked him yet.

That’s not to mention the book bloggers I promised to send review copies ages ago and have totally mucked up their schedule. Apologies, I’m nearly there.

Another fellow author has been slaving away on her own newsletter, complete with personal trials and tribulations, but I yell ‘Help,’ and she comes running. I won’t name names but if you’re reading this and recognise yourself, may your flowers always bloom and Karma treat you as you have treated me.

As it’s Valentine day in the UK, (although the way things are going it might not be by the time you read this), I did some research into how the feast originated.

What have epilepsy, beekeepers, a third century Roman priest and 60s song titles got in common?

I’ll give you a clue – the price of red roses will double overnight, and with the exception of Christmas, more cards will be sent than at any other time. Although Saint Valentine is well-known in connection with lovers, he is also the patron saint of epileptics and beekeepers, and was martyred for secretly marrying young couples, which was illegal at the time.

The 60s song titles relate to a book which I won’t mention, but if you’re interested you can find on Amazon.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Thanks for bearing with me.

© Val Portelli February 2021


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