I started Byker Books back in 2008 with a vague notion of publishing the working class lads and lasses who weren't taken seriously by the big publishers or agents. The people who didn't have degrees in 'creative writing' but had crap jobs that sapped their souls instead, the people who didn't have a 'journey' to bore people to death with but did have an idea for a bloody good story that other people from the estates would enjoy, the people who didn't get glowing reports at their great schools but instead had to battle their siblings for the one pen in the house to write anything down before doing their paper round in the rain.
That's who Byker Books was for. People like me.
It was never about the sales or the money, it was never about slavishly trying to perfect SEO on a glorified search engine named after a river in Brazil (work it out) and it was never, ever about shafting the writers for profit - Byker Books was different to the others. During it's lifespan my tiny independent press published over one hundred previously unknown authors through the 'Radgepacket' collections (some of whom went on to get book deals elsewhere) put out twelve paperbacks and published a number of others via electronic means. At the time it was a much needed initiative for the kind of writer that I've detailed above but the advent of mass-market self-publishing of e-books has pretty much negated any need for that any more and it became impossible for me to continue in the same vein as before.
So, writers publishing themselves and everyone getting a look in - so far so good right?
Well no, not really.
The problem now is getting your book seen by the book buying public and raising the profile of the author. How do you get people to read the interviews you've done on blogs and the reviews your book's getting? As an author myself I've spent a lot of cash on different promotional methods with varying degrees of success. The truth is that there is no one method that'll propel your sales through the roof and a lot of the better ones are getting very picky indeed about who they let pay through the nose to 'use' their services. I don't know about you but I stopped reading emails from marketers some years ago as well, so when the promo companies tell you they've got lists of thousands of readers in different genres then you shouldn't get too excited. I wanted to do something different from the tired old email blast that screamed 'please buy me'.
I wanted to do something that readers would buy into of their own accord, something in the style of the 'Radgepacket' books that would mix stories of the 'celeb' authors and the indies.
That's where I came up with the idea of 'BookD'.
It's a regular digital newspaper that collates great content and stories from the world of books. I conceived it a while ago and brought it to life just after Christmas and it's going from strength to strength. Word of mouth recommendations combined with a strong social media campaign have seen an ever-growing number of repeat visits as we become ever more popular. It's well laid out, great on the eye, has excellent social sharing options and is actively sought out by people who read, buy and love books. In short, any author's target audience.
The format is such that we can offer numerous options for straightforward ads, branded content style interviews and author features, links to your latest countdown deal or freebie, links to your latest reviews etc or a combination of any or all of the above. In fact if there's an option we've missed then let us know and we'll have a go! Price-wise I'm looking to keep it low (I'm still on the side of the council-estate scribbler after all!) there's none of this pay-per-click nonsense. Prices start at £40 per month and go from there. That's a flat fee and you can change the advert as many times as you like in that month, coupled with that we'll also link to any interviews or reviews you have on blogs so your name and book are rubbing shoulders on the page with the established 'stars' of the book world. We can even do a basic advert for you at no extra charge or you can send us your own.
If you're an indie publisher (or even a group of authors who want to pool resources - there's a thought!) with a stable of titles then we could also do an annual flat fee with all of the same benefits - think of the advantages of that if you ran a promotion every few weeks! Your newest title would be reviewed on a page next to say, JK Rowling, with maybe an interview with the author as well and an ad that linked to the sales page.
The audience for BookD will only continue to grow as we have various initiatives planned and the ad space is limited (I want to give the reader a quality mag after all) so it's a case of first come first served and obviously once an ad is booked it locks in at that price regardless of whether we suddenly get another ten million readers. I've also got other magazines in different stages of development so eventually there'll be opportunities to cross-promote as well.
If you'd like to see the full advertising rate card or would like to discuss any other options, discounts or ideas you may have then just give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org and lets get your book in front of a whole new audience.