Just a little postscript today to my features a few weeks ago on Yorkshire Author Promotions and Promoting Yorkshire Authors (PYA): if you’d like to read the posts again, you’ll find my report on the romance panel discussion here, the feature on the lovely talk by Angela Wren here. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to attend another event – although I certainly plan to do so, and I’m keeping an eye on their Facebook page.
But attending events like this is always a rather lovely way of making contacts too, and it’s been a real pleasure to meet Paul Smith, one of the PYA directors. Paul is an author himself, writing in a range of genres, and is also the rather clever person who produced the video of the romance event (you can view it here). But he’s also been telling me about another of his enterprises, the Wise Grey Owl book promotion site – and knowing how difficult it can be for independently published authors to find showcases for their books, I wanted to share.
Paul created the Wise Grey Owl book promotion site in 2012 and, with the support of two authors (one in Australia, one in the USA), the site has grown from strength to strength, consulted daily by readers worldwide, with writers adding several books per month. I was particularly impressed by the viewing figures – the site hit 2M book views last year, with an impressive average of 10,000 hits per day.
Paul wanted to create a site where people could browse for books from hundreds of authors, many of them independently published, free from the pressure sales techniques you’ll see everywhere else. There’s an absence of search features and this is deliberate. The idea is to take a while, browse the library like in a book shop, have a cup of coffee, tea or glass of rich red wine, just indulge – probably paying less for a book than the coffee or wine.
Books are not bought through the Wise Grey Owl site; authors who submitted their books provide a link, or links to where their work may be purchased. Wise Grey Owl isn’t involved in the financial transaction and there’s no charge to the author. Paul thinks that book consumers are being led like sheep, directed to the top twenty or so authors … his site likes to be different, offering interesting reads from authors that readers may or may not have heard from, but will want to meet again.
For authors, the site offers a book promotion service, to help authors and writers, providing a one-stop-shop for authors, including independently published ones, to promote their wares. Authors provide synopsis, cover image (really important as people do judge a book by its cover) and a link, or links, to where the book can be bought – this can be their site or another, like Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, etc. Wise Grey Owl are not involved in the financial side of the transaction in any way, simply promoting writers’ books, their mantra ‘we are all stronger together’. If a writer’s book is enrolled in Kindle Direct Publishing it can still promoted on the site.
There’s no fee, but the author must own the copyright of anything added to the site. There are paid adverts too, but there’s absolutely no obligation for authors to make use of this feature. Wise Grey Owl also promote a selection of recently added books on Twitter and Facebook daily, plus a random book chosen from the thousands that are on the site.
If you’d like to take a look, the site is at https://www.wisegreyowl.co.uk (proud to be a UK site but with a global reach): you’ll find the Facebook page here, they also have a strong presence on Twitter, and they’re currently engaged in setting up a site on Tumblr.
Best of luck with it all, Paul…