Boosting a flatlining Facebook event

It’s almost two weeks until my first Meet the Author event!

Cumbernauld Library and Culture North Lanarkshire have set up a Facebook event page and a page on the CultureNL website to advertise the event and ask people to sign up for free so they have an idea of numbers.

At the beginning of this week only four people had signed up and the Facebook page was only showing myself going and a grand total of 55 people having viewed the event after it had been live for two weeks…

I often feel there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day, but today was the day for doing something about this!

Part of the reason I’d been hesitant about promoting the Facebook event is that I’ve been stung in the past by facebook limiting me from contacting people when I’ve been trying to promote my novels. Facebook, understandably, want us to pay to advertise.

But, I hadn’t realised how easy it is to simply invite friends. I just needed to click on the Share drop down and select Invite friends…

I still had to scroll down through my friends and tick those that are local and I thought would be interested, but ten minutes later I’d invited 100 people. That was a good start. Within half an hour, four people had responded which was encouraging.

Then I paid to boost the event, setting the location within the minimum 17Km distance from Cumbernauld and targetting people with relevant keywords like “Thriller Novel” and “Crime Fiction” and “Young Adult Fiction”

I set the budget at £20 for seven days. Not a huge amount, but, then, I don’t have a huge marketing budget.

Depending on take up for the event I may run a shorter ad just before the event or continue it into next week.

I’m looking forward to hearing more from Wendy H Jones and Caroline Johnston. It would be great to see you there as well!

What If? by Caroline Johnston

There’s a scene early on in Caroline Johnston’s Young Adult novel What If? that made me realise this story has more to it than I’d expected.

Featuring what looks like a teenage girl daydreaming on the cover, I was expecting a story about relationships and maybe some romance and if that’s what you’re looking for then you won’t be disapointed.

I have a confession to make, back in the 1970’s, after moving from the big city to the Shetland Isles, having no TV and a hyperactive imagination, I read everything I could get my hands on. Everything. I snatched Bunty magazine off my sister, read several terms at Malory Towers and would happily have read Mills & Boon if I’d known it existed.

Over the years my reading habits became somewhat filtered until now my default easy read is a Lee Child. But that does sometimes get a bit boring…

I’m sharing the stage with Caroline Johnston at Cumbernauld Library in September and thought it was only polite to find out a bit more about her and what better way to find out about an author than to read their book!

The heroine of the story: Rachel Anderson (Love that last name 😉 ) is encouraged to audition for the school play and it was as I read her initial lines that I got a sense of something powerful in the story. It’s such a simple premise: What if we asked: what if?

I love “what if” questions. What if we could solve world hunger? What if we could develop faster than light travel? What if we could travel in time… Okay, maybe I’m heading way off genre here.

It took me a little while to find my teenage girl groove, but once I did the story sucked me in and I got caught up in what was a pretty funny comedy of errors.

If you don’t enjoy young adult stories heavy on relationships and with a hint of romance then What If? probably isn’t for you. But if you do, then I recommend it.

What If? can be bought as paperback through Caroline Johnston’s website where you can also find out more about the author. Also available on Amazon in paperback and ebook:

Finally, if you’d like to meet Caroline in person, book your free ticket to Murder, Mystery and More on 16th September at Culture NL’s website.

Meet The Authors at Cumbernauld Library

I’m delighted to be appearing at Cumbernauld Library on 16th September 2017 from 2 till 4 pm.

Supported by Culture NL Libraries in North Lanarkshire, I’ll be joined by Scottish authors Wendy H Jones and Caroline Johnston.

If you are interested or planning on going, it would be great if you could let us know through their Facebook event page.

“Join Mark Smith and friends at the launch of his new book Fallen Warriors at Cumbernauld Library. Mark will be joined by fellow authors Caroline Johnston and Wendy H. Jones who will also give the audience a brief introduction to their own works.

Mark is a local Cumbernauld author of four books including The Great Scottish Land Grab. His new book, Fallen Warriors, is an intriguing story in which a group of ordinary people are drawn together to stand and fight against the largest attack the West has ever seen.

Caroline Johnston, author of What If? is a fantastic teen fiction author who knew at the age of 7 that she was going to be a writer when her love of writing began at an early age.

Wendy H. Jones, author of Killer’s Crypt has written a thriller series based on the character DI Shona McKenzie with Killer’s Crypt being the sixth in the series.

Don’t miss the chance to find out more about these upcoming authors. Book a free place by contacting Cumbernauld Library by phone, email or in person.”

You can find more information on the Culture NL website and book your free ticket for the event there or through their Facebook page for the event.

Cumbernauld Library meet the author

Out of my comfort zone

Book reviews… I became obsessed with getting as many as I could back at the beginning of the year, hoping I could maybe reach 1,000 for Fallen Warriors. At the same time I’ve realised that I should make an effort to review the books I’m reading and take more of an active part in the community that blogs about books generally.

This summer I’ve arranged to be part of a Meet The Author event at Cumbernauld Library on 16th September 2017, from 2-4 pm. With me will be Wendy H. Jones, winner of Books Go Social Book of the Year 2017 and author of the DI Shona McKenzie crime series and The Daggers Curse, a young adult novel; and Caroline Johnston, author of What If? a young adult novel.

We’ll be interviewing each other as part of the event and so I am reading both Wendy and Caroline’s latest novels in preparation for the event. I’m planning to review both books this summer.

Also, I’ve just finished reading Lydia’s Song, a novel by Katherine Blessan and will be posting my review of this tomorrow.

I have to say, these are not novels I would normally have chosen to read and I’m finding myself out of my comfort zone with genres I’m not familiar with, yet the stories are hooking me in and delivering an emotional punch that is the hall mark of a good story for me.

Tune in tomorrow for my review of Lydia’s Song…