All posts by Nikki Owen

Nikki Owen is an award-winning author and an Amazon Rising Star. A columnist and writer, she comments on everything from politics and society, to life and popular culture.

Feeling the need to sell myself, I ended up apologising for any bad reads

Oh my goodness. It is 8pm on a Tuesday evening and I never realised publicising my new book would end up taking over my life. And it has. I am now obsessed with getting the word out. As I sit here, I can feel the skin around my eyes shrivelling from too much staring at the screen. I need a shower, I am hungry, but I cannot stop plugging this book.

Most of today, in between work and trying to write book #2, I have spent on-line trying to drum up support and sales. Oh my days. Twitter has been the main source of my focus. Today, my bright idea was to draw up a list of as many celebrities in the writing, journalism and book world that I could think of in order to tweet each of them. The tweet consisted of: a) I’m a new writer; b) would you read my new book; and c) if you like it, can you tell people. There was a link too, directing them to my Amazon page. I think I may have clogged up everyone’s feed at around 12 noon.

It feels quite strange bombarding everyone in this way. I may be Irish, but I have a strong steel spine of British reserve to which selling myself does not fit up against. One of the mum’s outside the school gates the other day said she had downloaded my book and was looking forward to reading it. So I started saying, ‘Oh crikey, I hope you like it, and if you don’t, I’m sorry.’  At which point my close friend told me off. ‘What are you doing,’ she said, tutting. ‘You have to sell it! If some says, I have downloaded your book, say, great, you’re going to love it. See?’ I nodded. I had a lot to learn.

‘Hey,’ said another mum on my way to the car. ‘Guess what? Downloaded that book today!’ I smiled. ‘Great!’  I said. Then: ‘I hope you like it…Sorry if…I mean, if it’s not your cup of tea!’  Hmm. I’ve not quite got the hang of this.

Trying to give your work a shamless plug

 How do you sell your work? The thing is, promoting myself doesn’t come easy. Hard to believe given my profession as an advertising copywriter and a brand planner, but there it is.

Give me someone else’s brand/persona/product to promote, and I’m there. But when it comes to yourself, there’s something that makes you hesitate. What do you say? How about, ‘Please, please, please buy my new book, it’s only £0.77 or $0.99’? Or, how about, ‘I’ve written for getting on 17 years now and I’d be just made up if you bought my book and posted a really lovely review’?

Hmm. Twitter and Facebook do make the whole process a lot easier. There are some great people out there who retweet and help each other out. Thank goodness for those nice tweeters. And blogs help, too. Then there are friends and family. But, from what I can gauge so far, the knack seems to be to just tell everyone. I mean everyone. So, that’s what I intend to do. Here I go. I’ll just take a deep breath first…

Blurb for new book

Here’s the book blurb for my new novel, The Boy Who Played Guitar:

Stuck in a failing secondary school in Cheltenham, Deputy Head, Dan McClean, is given an ultimatum by the Principal, Captain Beaky: Dan must get his class grades up or the kids are off the higher GCSE paper. So when Dan takes a chance and decides to set up a choir to boost the kids’ confidence and grades, he has no idea what he’s letting himself in for – or just how much the kids will end up meaning to him. An uplifting story of friendship, poverty and how we get each other through against all the odds.

Like the sound of it? You can download the book to your e-reader for just £0.77 Go to

New book being published

Alright, so it’s an e-book, self-published via Kindle Direct, but it’s a start. Trying to break into the world of the author is tough. We hear of over night success at Costa Award ceremonies, but it’s more likely that the author has been writing away for years and years before they got anywhere.

There are many times when I nearly gave up on the whole thing. You get rejections all the time. But the good thing about all this? It makes your skin thicker. Which is a good thing, because not everyone is going to like what you do, no matter how much you get your name known. And that’s okay. Really. My book is due to be live any hour now, and the next stage is to publicise it. That certainly feels a bit nerve-racking, but I’m hoping friends, family and fantastic social media mates will help me along. And, of course, there’s always my mum. It’s a start. Let’s see where it will go.

To purchase my new book, The Boy Who Played Guitar, go to