New John Campbell evidence

My book tells of one John Campbell who returned from Argentina to fight in WWI and who through his Army records I knew had been a member of the Junior Naval & Military Club in Piccadilly.

My research for the book did not find any significant evidence or information about this club either at the National Archives or the British Library. In addition internet searches were silent on the fact Wikipedia has the original club listed but not its reopening c. 1900 at 96 Piccadilly. The resurrection of the club was probably a result of the senior Naval & Military Club being full and the military activity at the time, particularly the Boer War.

Then a couple of weeks ago I discovered by chance the book below, listed on Amazon, but sold by a book dealer specialising in military history. I bought it.

page for j campbell

Inside is the entry for my John Campbell who had indeed been a member of the East Yorkshire regiment.

Besides containing the rules of the club which includes “No ladies shall be introduced as Visitors to the Club except those who would be eligible to be received at Court…”, there is a list over over 3000 members as at July 1912.

Possibly the basis for a new book!!

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Final pre-publication marketing

Now into the final week of pre-publication marketing.

Today my local book shop in Stamford set up a window display to advertise my book signing on 7 February between 11am and 1pm.


This follows an article in my local newspaper last Friday also giving advance notice of the signing.

I will continue with mail shots and social media this week. Next week I will start the final Goodreads giveaway, have an interview on local radio and see the publication of a book review by the Heir Hunters Association. During the remainder of February two national and one local magazine will publish book reviews and another author is planning a review.






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Family at War

My book Seeking John Campbell contains the following dedication.

dedication 2 jpg

It is the result of the discovery that one of the John Campbells I investigated was born in Germany with the surname Philippi. He became a naturalised British citizen in 1902 and returned from Argentina to fight in the British Army in WWI.

His brother, who had remained in Gemany, fought on the opposing side and both survived the war, but not without mental and physical scars.

Twenty years later each of their sons would also fight on opposing sides, both would receive awards for valor, and both would pay the ultimate sacrifice and be killed in action within a few weeks of each other in 1944.




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Using Goodreads as marketing tool

There are a number of advantages to using Goodreads in advance of a book launch and in particular in advance of making book available to order on Amazon.

1) you can set up an author page

2) upload the cover of forthcoming book

3) members can upload pre-release reviews

All of this will increase exposure and to a certain extent might test what you wish to upload to Amazon.


One of the other advantages is the ability to set up “giveaways” where members enter a draw for a free book. As mentioned in previous blog this has in my case for Seeking John Campbell create a list of over 400 members who have marked the book as “to read”.

My last giveaway competition will run for two days from my launch date of 3 Feb and a permanent link has been set up in the right margin of this blog if you would like to enter. The link will take you to the giveaway but you will not be able to enter until 3 Feb. Good luck!

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Marketing a self-published book

So the book is written, formatted and the POD distibutors are lined up. But will it sell.

The answer I am told or indeed shouted at by a myriad of bloggers is that it will not…at least not without some marketing noise. As a boring ex-accountant marketing and self-publicising is not in my DNA. In fact I have until now eschewed social media as well. A few months ago I didn’t go near Facebook, Twitter or Google + …I preferred the privacy!


Then I had a book to publicise and no knowledge of social media which apparently is a must so I asked Nicky at Nicky Stephen Marketing to give me some advice and set up my social media platform. So here I am. As I move inexorably towards publication date one hopes that the LIKES and the HITS will increase.

What else is possible.

Reviews. These are necessary as quotes from reviews will help in other marketing material and if posted on Amazon or Goodreads will provide noise. The key is to find reviewers in the genre several months in advance of publication. In my case I was a bit slow off the mark but have reviews lined up with genealogy magazines and bloggers reporting on family history.

Giveaways. Before publication you can join Goodreads and have your own author profile and list your book. This enables you to provide books as giveaways. Other members sign up for a draw to win a copy of the book. I have held two competitions so far for a total of five books. I had over 580 entries for the first and over 680 for the second and out of those over 400 have marked my book as “to read”. Hopefully a percentage of these will convert into sales.

Early distibutor listing. Once signed up with Createspace for Amazon and Ingram Spark and Smashwords for Barnes & Noble and other outlets your book can appear in advance of the publication date enabling customers to pre-order. In my case this is both for the paperback and the ebook. The theory behind this is to get a head of steam on sales at publication date, which might push the book up the Amazon rankings, which in turn will generate more sales.

Discount vouchers. If you list your ebook on Smashwords you are able to generate discount vouchers for any percentage, including 100%. People who buy the ebook from the Smashwords store can apply the voucher at checkout and get a discount. These can be used for promotions or to family friends and collaborators as thank yous. Even if you provide a 100% discount it will still count as a sale for ranking purposes.

Newspapers and Radio. Local newspapers are usually willing to write about local people and this can be harnessed in advance of a book launch or a book signing. If you can think of other hooks to get their interest all the better. Local radio is the same and you will often find that there is a preferred time of day when they wish to talk about events or new books. Just ask.

Book launches and signings. A launch party can mean many things and can also cost money. The benefits are potential early sales of books and publicity to use on website or in local newspaper. However you need to be sure people will turn up! Book signings are better value for money. Local bookshops are often willing to support local authors and there is no cost involved other than the margin to the bookstore. Advance publicity in local newspapers and an effective shop window presentation will help to pull in potential customers.

Business cards. A gloss card with the image of the book cover on one side and details of the book on the other is an ideal reminder for potential customers. Try MOO.

Mail shots. Make use of your personal contact list and your business contact list on LinkedIn to kick off your marketing to people who at least know you in one cpacity or another and may be surprised and delighted that you have written a book.  Try MailChimp for professional looking mailshots.





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UPDATE on USA withholding tax

It appears that since I applied for mr EIN to take advantage of the double taxation agreement with the USA the rules have been modified.

I discovered this when Kindle informed me that my EIN had not been accepted because of discrepancies. In fact this was probably due to the fact that I had not waited a few weeks for my new EIN to work its way officially into the IRS system.

At the same time it was brought to my intention that an EIN is no longer required. Instead you tick the box saying you do not have a USA TIN and then you are able to enter your UK National Insurance.

Instead of trying to figure out what went wrong with Kindle I used the UK NI route and it seems that I will not have USA withholding tax levied on US sales of my ebook.


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USA blogger holds “win a free book” competition

Kassie Ritman aka Mom, blogger of “Maybe someone should write that down…”  who reviewed my book earlier has set up a competition on her blog…Win a Free Book!.

Thanks Kassie




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