Posts tagged ‘email’

I Survived a Secret Nazi Extermination Camp – The Campaign Begins

When you publish a book either by yourself or with a small publisher (mine is David Cohen of Psychology News Press) you are faced with the uphill struggle of getting your book in front of people. Without a marketing and PR budget it really is a daunting task to get your book noticed. How will anyone know it exists?

So we (myself, David and PR wizard Nigel Passingham) devised a plan to make the book visible. Whether we succeed or not you will be able to judge in the next few months. Ours is a slow-burn campaign, starting small and hopefully not shrinking from that point. We decided to start in the UK, where we are based, and where we hope to be able to shift the 750 paperback copies that Biddles printed for us (just before they went bust).

We are starting with an email campaign which I initiated today. I used Mailchimp and sent it to the 1500 people in my address book. So far about 1/3rd opened it, and we have had 43 clicks ( I assume that means possible buyers). However a number of people complained that the image in the email was altered and some of the text garbled. Why ? I have no idea so have asked Mailchimp to explain. So I plan to send a text only email tomorrow so that at least everyone will be aware of the title of the book.

I have started to email bookshops

I have started to email bookshops


We are trying to get one of the daily papers to do a serialisation, and will be approaching the Jewish Chronicle to see if they want to interview me. After that we hope to get a review or three and coverage of the book online, on radio and in papers. We are feeling our way, expecting some feedback, which will give us a hint as to how to promote and market the book. If we can get a bit of buzz going, and sell the first print run, then we would hope to be able to sell some International rights, and hopefully find a US publisher.  I suppose the book’s ideal selling time will be at next year’s Holocaust Memorial days

There is also a very good audio of the book which I produced. It is read by David Suchet  ( and moi) and is available on This could also be a radio programme.

Since I went into this project as a memorial to my grandfather, I am not expecting to make money from it. But my publisher has spent some, and I’d like to make sure he doesn’t lose out. Besides, I am very proud of the book , and know that it is a good and worthwhile read, so I have no problem in promoting it.


June 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

The Tipping Point

I only recently got around to reading Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point. Although the book was written before Social Media kicked in, his analysis of how ideas (he calles them epidemics) take off fits perfectly into the new digital world. I’m trying to see if I can use some of his insights to work out an online campaign to try to sell my new book. The book – I Survived A Secret Nazi Extermination Camp – has an appeal to several groups of readers:

1. My family and friends

2. The children and grandchildren of Survivors

3. Jewish boomers who were not the children of survivors (I am in this category)

4. Hopefully, their children, for whom the book might serve as an introduction to the Holocaust

5. People interested in the Holocaust and/or the history of the 2nd WW  (this includes educational users)

6. Poles

7. Everyone else

Gladwell writes about Connectors as being highly networked people who can spread the world about an idea or product. In the digital world this seems to refer to Twitter and Facebook users who have huge followings. Whether I can get my book taken up by connectors like this is uncertain, but it’s obviously the ideal way to get it in front of large numbers of people.

What I have decided to do is to use email to try to spread the word. We are publishing the book in the UK in November and my plan is to email everyone in my address book with a request that they disseminate an attachment about the book to all of their contacts. Whether they are willing to do that depends on the quality of my email, which is another of Gladwell’s points. He calls this the stickiness factor: is the idea sticky enough for people to remember it or does it just fade away on first reading. If I can write a sticky enough email, then perhaps enough people will be willing to do the boring and tedious task of re-sending the email out.

Why am I writing this post? I suppose I’d like to get feedback from people who are more au fait with social media than I am as to whether this is the right way to go about it, or whether there are other things that I can do. I’d like to see the book widely read, because I think it has something new to say. But if it does not get beyond my immediate family and friends I won’t be unhappy, although my publisher will. I wrote the book originally for my Zayde (grandfather), but he died a long time ago and won’t be able to read it.  Only the living can read, and it would be satisfying if a good number of living breathing readers would discover the book.

October 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm 1 comment

The Blog That Fell From The Sky

Reflections on an age of anxiety.