Talk With Me

I’m very close to completing another milestone: sending the book off to the printers. This is a significant point in what I regard as the second stage of the Diagonal Walking project i.e. getting published. The first stage was the planning and execution, but that seems like a long time ago now, back when the sun was warm. Given the relentless momentum of the whole exercise, this naturally means my attention is now turning to the third stage: marketing. One important part of my marketing plans is giving talks and, through this blog, I’m keen to gauge the potential demand for my services as a public speaker.

 

Togetherness

From the outset of the project, I was always keen on involving others, something covered in an earlier blog. Part of this was the concept of ‘Talk With Me’, inviting people to involve me in talks and interviews. I had some success with this during the walk, including press and radio interviews, but I see this becoming much more important next year.

 

Targets

One of the greatest challenges facing the independent writer is attracting attention to their work. After all, there’s little point in going to all the trouble of writing if no one reads what you write. Equally, I have realistic expectations of how many books I expect to sell. I have set an initial target of 1,000 copies, a figure I have achieved before. Multiples of a thousand would constitute a bonus, but at the same time, not completely crazy. As I’m about to actually place an order for copies, something which involves real folding stuff, it would be good to gauge just how realistic these expectations are.

 

Talks

One of the ways I see of getting my message out is through talks. I’ve been struck by the success of talking tours given by travel-based TV stars such as Levinson Wood and Simon Reeve . Clearly, I appreciate I’m nowhere near their league, but the success of these tours does suggest an appetite amongst the public to listen to entertaining talks about travel.

I’m quite used to being public speaker, and it’s my intention to put together a presentation and questions package for audiences who want to hear about Diagonal Walking. These may be to groups such as WI meetings, Probus, U3A, Breakfast Clubs, or whatever. All I ask is the opportunity to sign and sell my books after a talk, and maybe a little something to cover travel.

Other opportunities may lie in literary or walking festivals. Equally, written interviews (for example Q&As) in either traditional media, radio or TV would be welcome.

 

Talk to Me

Are you looking for a speaker? Do you know of anyone who organises such events? Maybe you are such an organiser? Do you think you’d like to book me? What do you normally expect? Maybe you run a local magazine or website? A short Q&A on the project should be of particular interest to counties and places along the route*. Maybe something like this which I did for The Great Outdoors magazine. I hope the walk would be of interest to everyone though, given its wider ‘taking the temperature of the country’ angle, so I don’t want to be confined just to these.

What I’m looking for is an idea of when and where, and how many people you normally get to an event. The book will be out next May (at the current count), and I am fairly flexible on availability.

Get in touch if you want to talk, or think you can make an introduction. Use the box on the Connect page to give me some more details. Meanwhile, there’s much more information about the whole Diagonal Walking project on this website – please feel free to share it around.

*I walked through the following counties during the summer:

Merseyside
Cheshire
Staffordshire
Leicestershire
Warwickshire
Leicestershire
Northamptonshire
Bedfordshire
Hertfordshire
Kent

As well as the following London Boroughs:

Enfield
Waltham Forest
Redbridge
Barking and Dagenham
Havering

And the following Unitary Authorities:

Liverpool
Stoke
Milton Keynes
Luton

 

Meanwhile, keep walking – diagonally, of course!

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