Kick-starting the marketing….again

October 22, 2012

Now that the house move is over, I’ve started the new marketing initiative for Flight Into Darkness.  I’ll keep it short but have decided that the steps should be:

1.  Contact friends and family directly by email and ask them to download the book then leave an honest review on Amazon.  I need reviews because that’s the only way that people who don’t know me might decide to download the book after the ‘launch party’.  If I get ten reviews I’ll be happy; I only have two at present.  I emailed about thirty directly.

2.  Contact my old employer’s (EASA) corporate communications department and also the head of the same department at the European Defence Agency;  I know them both.  I’ve asked them if they might give the initiative a mention in their internal newsletters.

3.  Start Tweeting.  Nothing overt but just to build up a head of steam.

4.  Once I have some reviews, I’ll fix a date for the Facebook launch party.  I tossed up whether to have a separate Facebook profile for FID but decided against it as I’d also have to import all my friends from my personal FB page.

5.  Fix a date for the launch party.  Keep up comments and blog entries, tweeting and various other social networking sites such as the Word Cloud to establish a presence and some kind of following.

6. On the day, try to get as many people to download the book as possible to get somewhere on Amazon’s bestseller list, if only for a few days.

7.  Then continue the publicity barrage and hope that word-of-mouth will eventually take over.  Plan for six months for this to happen.

That’s it.  I’m sure it’ll be far harder work than it seems but I’ve done everything else and now need to get the marketing right.  Even the best product can fail if the marketing is not right and I have no one else to do it, only me.  At least it’ll only cost me my time and might even be fun!



A house in an orange grove

October 18, 2012

Well, we’re finally in.  The new house (‘casa do campo = cottage) is a dream, set in a hectare of oranges and pomegranates.  It’s about a kilometer from Lagoa but a world away from the villa that we vacated.  Villa-land is not Portugal; it’s an artificial construct based on northern European suburban ideals, manicured gardens, strimmers, lawnmowers, barking dogs, houses close by each other, built to impress.  The new house is not like that, it is peaceful and secluded, yet close to civilisation.


At night, the sky is pitch black and the stars have never been brighter.  At sunrise and sunset, massive formations of cranes fly overhead, to and from the wetlands around Pêra.  In the adjacent fields, we have chickens, geese, horses, goats and bunnies.  The dogs are really interested in the bunnies.  The horses are really interested in carrots and apples.

I had never been impressed with our nearby town of Lagoa, but that’s because I only ever knew it as an obstacle of traffic lights on the EN125.  When you get off the main road, it is as charming as any Portuguese town with little cobbled streets and traditional houses that have passed from parents to children for generation after generation and it has a picture-postcard appeal to us newcomers that is lost on the locals.  The alleys cannot be called roads; there are no pavements and no gaps between the houses, just enough space for a horse and cart to wobble over the cobbles and cars venture through at their peril under suspicious eyes.  The jumble of stucco-fronted houses climbs seamlessly up the hills to the church like a roofless tunnel.


The biggest difference between this place and the old one is that I now feel I am living in Portugal with the Portuguese, shop in the same markets as them, share the same air.  Most expats hide away and pretend that they’re in England or Germany + sunshine.  I like being more Portuguese and feel far more at home in the casa do campo than I did in the villa.


Now, what do I do next?  Oh, yes, there’s the new, highly-planned book relaunch of Flight Into Darkness via a Facebook party.  I’m still thinking about that one, it’ll probably be in November.  Then, there’s starting to tout myself around as an English teacher.  Life in retirement is never dull!