Meo the Meerkat was finally launched in December 2016 but due to commitments over the Christmas period, I did not get around to some serious marketing until the second week in January 2017.

Marketing started really well with me starting to email the twelve thousand plus people that I have acquired as a potential audience on social media over the past seven years.

The Peoples Book Prize Award

Whist I was really getting into the marketing of Meo I received this email;

Dear Kevin

Congratulations, your book titled Meo The Meerkat has been nominated for The People's Book Prize Awards in London this summer 2017, having been submitted by us at Blossom Spring Publishing.

As you may be aware, The People’s Book Prize is a national competition aimed at discovering new and unknown works. It is not open to self-published authors and you must have your work submitted by your publisher. The public get to vote for their favourite books. Voting will begin on the 1st of March until the 10th of May 2017. Instructions on how people can vote will be emailed to you later this month.

Depending on the results of the votes, should your book make it into the finals, you will then receive an invitation to attend the award ceremony in July (the date is yet to be announced) held in Stationer's Hall in London with coverage from Sky News.

This link shows a video of the 2016 awards

Further details can also be found on their website http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/

When I read this email I became very emotional as I thought that things like this just do not happen to people like me!

I have worked so hard over the last seven years trying to let the world know about my writing and now out of the blue I have been given a chance possibly by Sky News!

Straight away I changed the email that I had been sending to my audience and started from scratch letting people know that Meo has now been nominated for a prestigious book award. I felt a bit awkward mailing some people twice with a similar email but it now had the award voting link added.

To my surprise the awkwardness was misplaced as I receive wonderful feedback from people congratulating me for my nomination and with this they had voted. I feel very humbled by this and I make sure that I reply personally to everyone and I thank them for being so kind.

Voting

By adding the link to The Peoples Book Prize Award voting page on my website I can use google analytics and record how my marketing strategy is going. To date and with May the tenth and the end of the initial voting approaching it is working well with two hundred and four hits on my website in seven days as my best week and averaging one hundred plus hits a week on a standard week.

What Next?

Even though the marketing process is tedious and time consuming, I know that the hours that I put in now could be potentially very rewarding. This gives me the inspiration after a day at work to go home and start again doing another three plus hours a night and even into the early hours of the morning. I will keep this up until the voting is over and I find out if I have been selected as a finalist.