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Books on the Underground Independent Author Day

Books on the Underground Independent Author Day

The fairies over at Books on the Underground have just launched a new type of campaign on the London tube. This latest project, starting tomorrow, is focused solely on independent authors, but just in case you haven’t heard about the Book Fairies, this is how it works…

Books on the Underground: explained

Books on the Underground is a London-based project run by two ladies who wanted to share their reads with the world. It unites publishers, promoters and readers in order to bring new and used books of every genre to the London underground. It’s an initiative that works with publishers, authors and book promoters to bring London commuters a guerrilla treasure hunt of books, to correspond with either a launch date or a film release. The books have a sticker on them, saying “take this book, read it, then leave it back on the tube for someone else to enjoy. #booksontheunderground”. On campaign day, the Book Fairies hide the books in spots around the London Underground, accompanying their activity with social media posts encouraging people to try to find a copy.

What’s in it for Self-Published Authors?

Cordelia Oxley, Director of Books on the Underground, hopes that this latest development will encourage self-published authors to put their head above the parapet, in an attempt to gain some awareness about their work. Though the fairies have worked with self-published authors in the past, this new Independent Authors Day will put the focus on writers who may not have as much chance to promote their book through traditional channels.

How does it work on the day?

Working closely with the authors, the team at Books on the Underground will use relevant hashtags and accounts while sharing pictures of the books being dropped around the London Underground. Tomorrow is the first of what could become a series of Independent Author Days, and will see four of the Book Fairies heading out and about on the tube.

Cordelia says, “The idea behind this is simple. Independent authors won’t always have the opportunity to promote their books in the ways that publishers have access to, and therefore they must think of new and inventive ways to get themselves out there. I truly believe that Books on the Underground is a perfect fit – direct attention to their book in a fun and quirky way. I’m looking forward to the campaign, we all are, and I hope to repeat it in the future!”

What is the main reason for this campaign?
We want to encourage people to read all types of genres. As Cordelia says, “Most people stick to what they are comfortable with, but so many people pick up a book, read it, and discover a whole new genre. There’s no reason to think that finding a book by a new author won’t inspire them to spread the word about them, and look out for more books by that writer, too! I really do expect a great response on the day, and again when the books start to be returned to the tube.

Sounds great! How can I follow the campaign?
The Book Fairies will be using a brand new hashtag: #IndieAuthorsUnderground, and you can follow this on twitter and instagram for updates. Books on the Underground are also on Facebook and Tumblr, where you can find photos and sometimes even videos of the book drops – and as well as clues as to where to look for books!

Get Involved with Books on the Underground

If you like what you read, or you see our first even indie books campaign and think, “My book would look great on that bench!” then reach out to Cordelia and the team through their website to see when the next Independent Author Day is planned for – there should be lots more that you can get involved with in the future.

Books on the Underground logo

Books on the Underground logo

Finally, here are some handy hashtags if you’d like to engage with the team on Twitter:
#BookFairies
#booksontheunderground
#IndieAuthorsUnderground
‪#ibelieveinbookfairies

About The Author

Cordelia Oxley is the director of Books on the Underground, an initiative that aims to unite publishers, readers and writers in their quest to find – and be found. @BooksUndergrnd

From the editor…

As we enter the autumn, the publishing industry is gearing up for the great Christmas rush. For self-publishers, this is often a frustrating time of year, with many not realising the long timescales that retailers work to. If you haven't already got your book in production, it's looking likely that it won't be ready in time for Christmas!

Even if you do get your book ready well in advance of the holiday season, getting retailers to take notice can be difficult. There are so many big books from the established publishing houses that it can be impossible to get noticed. That can mean that you forsake what appears to be the best selling season in favour of a time when there are fewer big books around, so in the early spring, for instance.

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Yet that can work in your favour in fact... sell privately before Christmas, sell to the retailers afterwards when they are looking for new titles. A win-win for all!

In the next few months we will be altering the way that this magazine reaches readers, so watch this space!

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