Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

[Guest Post] Putting the Fun into Promo by Samantha Tonge

on August 5, 2014

Today Samantha Tonge, author of Doubting Abbey and From Paris With Love, is giving her advice to new authors on promotion.


Picture 014Thrilled as I was to sign my first novel publishing deal last November, with CarinaUK Harlequin, for my debut Doubting Abbey, it came as a shock to realize how much promotional work I would need to do – especially as it is a digital-first book and wouldn’t catch a reader’s eye by appearing on a bookshop shelf. I worked late into the night often, (and that’s with being lucky enough to work more or less full-time as a writer), setting up a special website just for Doubting Abbey, an account with Tumblr, boards at Pinterest and a Facebook author page. Plus I worked on expanding my number of followers on Twitter.

And the time has arrived again to throw myself whole-heartedly into promotion, with the publication of Doubting Abbey’s standalone sequel, From Paris with Love.

Luckily, I love promotion – but I know some authors don’t. My advice? Try to put the fun factor into it. Readers don’t just want to know about your book, they want to know about you, the author. So what are your interests? How about your lifestyle? Try to present yourself as the whole rounded person you are, when on Social Media. This will make the whole process much more pleasurable for you and potential readers.

For example, I am trying to get fit, but love baking, I have two bonkers cats and adore watching movies. So, along with tweeting/creating Facebook posts about my books, I also post cute photos of the moggies and with the hashtag ‘foodporn’ my most unhealthy cakes! I’ll create pinboards about my obsessions, like vampires and zombies, and will blog about my latest attempts to shift the pounds.

One author who very successfully promotes herself is Jane Wenham-Jones. Her strong brand is one of a cake-eating, dieting, wine-drinker, who just happens to write great chick lit (and other books).

And remember, you also need to be true to yourself – you don’t need to have amazing hobbies like skydiving or to be best friends with Paris Hilton. I’m no clothes horse and have little real interest in fashion trends. If I tried to present myself as some designer-clad, glamorous novelist, who did the weekly shop in stilettos, it just wouldn’t work.

So don’t heave a sigh if a book launch is looming. Try to incorporate things that interest you into the promotional work. I always manage to include the theme of food in my launch competitions or chats about hot movies actors who could be cast in the hypothetical films of my books. I love connecting with readers and bloggers on Twitter and it needn’t take much time, if you have family priorities or another job. You can either bob on and off screen for a couple of short spurts, during the day, or dedicate one longer session, perhaps at lunch or in the evening. Try to work it into your routine. View it as a serious, valuable part of your author work – which it is. What is the point of spending all your available time writing, writing, writing, if eventually only very few people are going to hear about your books? You can never start too early – don’t wait for that publishing deal, start creating your own brand and networking now!


From Paris With Love coverEvery girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!

But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade – there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…




Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, came out in November 2013.




Doubting abbey Blog:



3 responses to “[Guest Post] Putting the Fun into Promo by Samantha Tonge

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    You put such a lot of time and effort into your guest posts and promotion, Sam – your books deserve to do well (even if you’re not a skydiver and your best friend isn’t Paris Hilton!)

  2. paulinewiles says:

    I agree that it’s more fun for everyone to include other interests as well as reading/books in our online conversations. Food and chick lit seem to go so well together! And, since there are so many (far too many!?) platforms available to authors these days, it makes sense to pick the ones we enjoy most. For me, that’s blogging, Pinterest and a little Facebook. I struggle with the avalanche of Twitter and occasionally dip into a Goodreads book discussion.

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