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How one writer got out on the road to sell his book

Sadly this is not going to announce the imminent arrival of a golden age or some gravy train that will launch new writers. Instead it investigates the way one new writer is bringing his work to public attention.

Much has been said elsewhere about the work formerly undertaken by publishers which now devolves on writers who need to present a polished product to agents and publishers. Some writers have taken the logical step and published themselves. However, self-publishing leaves them with the problem of selling and distributing their work and these are the tasks established publishers are very good at.

One approach to marketing is to get out on the road to promote and sell your book. Kevan Manwaring, a Bath-based teacher of creative writing, is half way through a story-telling tour of southern England.

Kevan honed his presentation skills at ‘open mike’ sessions for poets. After a decade performing his poetry which is based in the Celtic, bardic tradition. Kevan linked his stories into a complete prose narrative. Each story was centred on a single place or totem.

So he applied to the Arts Council of England for funds to perform a reading near each location mentioned in his book. The Long Woman tour takes him to 22 intimate venues in three weeks.

‘The aim is to talk about the sense of place in the writing’ said Kevan, who is ably supported by his partner in this venture. At each reading, the context for the relevant chapter is explained followed by a reading and discussion. Attracting audiences is always difficult but nearly 50 showed up in Bath to take part in the first reading. Other venues have been more intimate, story-telling occasions with a smaller audience.

This is an imaginative way to take the work out to the public. Time will tell if it converts into significant sales for The Long Woman, but it follows the model of the music industry where you are given a chance to sample the work and in this case, to hear the real voice behind the writing.

Selling yourself and your book will always take time and work but this is certainly one way to go. Please let us have other stories of ventures to promote new writing.

The tour was supported by the Arts Council’s ‘Grants for the Arts’ programme.


Some remaining dates in the UK, all in November:

SUN 14th THE COURTYARD, HEREFORD 2pm 01432 346 501
MON 15th MARLBOROUGH LIBRARY, 7pm 01672 512 663
WED 17th PEWSEY LIBRARY, 7pm 01672 512 663
THURS 18th NORTHAMPTON CENTRAL LIBRARY, 7.30pm 01604 462 040
SAT 20th STEAM, SWINDON, 2pm 01793 466 618
SUN 21st THE RED LION, AVEBURY, 4pm 01672 539 266
MON 22nd THE RED LION, SWANAGE, 8pm 01929 422 266
TUES 23rd THE POINT, EASTLEIGH, 7pm 02380 627 803
WED 24th AMESBURY LIBRARY, 7pm 01225 713 727
FRI 26th ASSEMBLY ROOMS, GLASTONBURY, 6pm 01458 834 677

The Long Woman is available at the readings for the special launch price of £10.
RRP £10.99 ISBN: 0-9546137-5-9
To order by post send a cheque for £11 (incl p&p) payable to ‘Tallyessin’ to:

7 Dunsford Place, Bath, Somerset BA2 6HF or contact the writer at:

Related Items in our Amazon Store

List price: £6.99
Publisher: Awen Publications
Sales rank: 2,110,688