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Adventures of a new author.

Soon after I signed my contract for Midsummer Man, I received an e mail from my publisher, Totally Entwined. No problem, they said, they would undertake all kinds of fantastic marketing activities on my behalf.


But it was important to have a social media presence – to ensure that readers could connect with me.


Ulp!


I knew they were right. But whilst I was very happy to connect with readers, I was not at all sure how to go about it. I had a Facebook account… and that was it.


Enter the dream team…


Fortunately, I am privileged to know some wonderful, amazingly tech-savvy teenagers, one of whom had studied graphic design, another who had studied photography at school, whilst another is doing a degree in Photography. Others just seemed to know a phenomenal amount about social media and how to engage with it.


I explained my problem to them.


And all of them, without exception, brimmed over with enthusiasm and were keen and eager to help.

They formed a team…

With no more ado, they pulled it all together. Jack who is artistic and also profoundly organised, went away and created a plan – and made a book.


Kelly and Michael discussed photographic opportunities.


Jordan and Jay debated hats, rose petals, and what resources would be needed in order to create fabulous Instagram, Twitter and Facebook worthy photos.


We needed, I was informed, images of me for the website and social media pages. They needed to be atmospheric, romantic, eye-catching. And they needed to be taken pronto. If Midsummer Man was coming out in June 2021, then we needed to get moving and take the photographs right now, in summer 2020, whilst the English sun was out.


Secondly, we needed to take photographs to be used to as backgrounds for the book. They too needed to be summery, appealing, engaging.


And so, I was given a shopping list of items to buy to start us off:

  • a big hat

  • rose petals

  • rose wine

  • Cava

  • a melon

  • strawberries

  • cream

  • floating candles!!!

And then Kelly talked about golden hour, that wonderful time of the day when the sun is at its most lovely and everything seems bathed in lustrous light. “We need to do a photoshoot then,” she said.

We debated locations and finally agreed on a plan. However, it was no good going on a photoshoot without having first scouted out the territory.


It was arranged that we would meet at 4.30am (!), just before the sun was due to rise, so that we could explore locations and see where looked best when golden hour dawned.


And so it was that I found myself down by the river near Durham city at sunrise…





And on the morning of my 50th birthday, I was back there again at sunrise…







And after stopping off for breakfast, we went to visit Lumley Castle, the inspiration for Renwick castle in Midsummer Man. Now a hotel, it really is the most beautiful place.






As you can see, we got some fantastic promotional pics!

What Next?


I wrote my author’s bio and created the text for My Writing Life and My Reading Life. And today, we launched:


-the website

-my Facebook author’s page

-My Twitter author’s page

-My Goodreads author’s page

-My Instagram author’s page

-My author’s page on the publisher’s website

Now, I just need to learn how to use them! 😊


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©2020 by Zelah Roberts.

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