We writers are often rather introverted people. How  cruel that after  we write our books in our quiet little nests, we  have to expose ourselves to the big wide world.  Oh dear, giving talks and speaking on radio etc will always terrify me, no matter how often I do it.  Unfortunately, marketing is a huge part of  an author’s world.

Book launch.  Not really my element, but needs must!

Even urging people to buy one’s book on social media is  enough to curdle the  blood.  But sometimes  (such as today) a bit of serendipity occurs. It’s like a burst of sunshine and a chorus of birds singing;  birds being the operative word in this case.

One of my passions is the bird life in  my Blue Mountains garden.   I joined Facebook on my publisher’s advice as part of building an ‘author’s platform’.  However, I thought I might as well have fun and post some of my photographs on an Australian native  bird site.   This morning they happened to be  of king parrots, feeding on maple seeds;


I posted half a dozen,and afterwards I was contacted by a group member asking if she could use them to make an A4  jigsaw puzzle.  I was only too happy to oblige,  especially as  she said she would send me a completed  jigsaw. How cool to solve a puzzle featuring my own garden and my beloved parrots!   In return, I asked if she would write a guest post for my website about making the jigsaws.  I gave  her the  link, so she could check me out before deciding;    www.paulineconolly.com 

Within minutes she messaged me say that she  accepted my offer of the guest blog and had ordered my book All Along the River; Tales From the Thames

Yes, she had grown up by the Thames in London.  And there we have it  –   just one example of UNINTENTIONAL  MARKETING combined with SERENDIPITY,  even I can cope with this





  1. Loved the parrots and love your blog. re unintentional marketing: will get your book. . I live beside the Thames in Oxford.

    • Pauline

      Thanks so much Barbara. I do hope you will enjoy the book. I certainly enjoyed writing it, and walking the Thames Path. The book is called a paper back, but is actually a large format, glossy publication with a lot of colour photos. I envy you living by the river.

  2. The thing is you may be quaking on the inside, but come across as absolutely in control, cool, calm and collected.
    And I do believe I can spot myself in one of your pictures above (and no I don’t mean the parrot ones!)

    • Pauline

      Haha, oh dear….you are characteristically kind. But I must say that before I wrote the books I could never have imagined myself standing up and saying anything in a room full of people. I was even too afraid to ask a question at a seminar.

      • I used to have to do technical presentations to customers when I was working. It helps when you know what you’re talking about, but I never stopped being nervous.
        I finally succumbed to pressure and agreed – RELUCTANTLY – to go on our garden club committee at the recent AGM. January meeting approached and I got a message from current Chair to say she couldn’t make it, and could/would I introduce guest speaker, then do vote of thanks afterwards. I felt like a babbling mass doing it, so don’t think the majority of us ever get used to ‘talking in public’. As you know, I can usually talk for England haha

        • Pauline

          I was fine when I was running classes, but I was hiding behind my ‘teacher’ facade. Haha, I had to give a bus outing report at our garden club once. It was ghastly. And yes, I chatter so much people don’t take my fear seriously.

  3. I wish you a lot more good things coming out of your promoting your books. You had quite a large audience at one of your talks. That must have been very pleasing.

    • Pauline

      Thanks Heather, yes that launch was a sell out thanks to some good friends in Marlow. Also the lovely mayor gave the introductory speech. She was far better than me!

  4. Hi Pauline, Yes marketing for me is terrifying. I suffer from a debilitating shyness. I love that you used my favourite word Serendipity! So glad you got a sale from your ‘accident’. I’m in the process of having my new memoir printed by Ingram Spark/Lightning Source. I do find though that I tend to get quite a lot of downloads for the ebook if I give a whole bunch to public libraries. I usually give two to every library I come across and I have for years been in the habit of leaving my books on bus stop benches, etc with a note to please put it back or leave it in an accessible place with a similar note. I’ve had letters from as far away as Sweden from travellers who found my book on a bench in Melbourne! Keep up the good work. (Yes I still spell in Australian!) Love, G

    • Pauline

      Thanks for taking the trouble to leave a comment, Graham. I find that a PowerPoint presentation helps at books launches, plus getting to the question and answer bit as soon as possible…I’m always more relaxed interacting with the audience. I’m traditionally published, so my books are distributed to libraries. I give away lots of bookmarks though. Best of luck with your memoir. P.

  5. Got your book and love it. Have just done an Amazon 5* review. So this piece of your ‘unintentional marketing’ may have borne fruit. I was a bit miffed that my house, which is between Osney and Folly Bridge in Oxford, didn’t get a mention or a picture, but then I realised that it may not have been built when you passed along the towpath here.:)

    • If you’d have had a nice spicy bit of scandal attached to you Barbara, you’d have probably had a whole page dedicated to you.

    • Pauline

      Oh my, what a star you are, Barbara….that’s made my day. I will keep you in mind for the sequel. As Marcia Howard mentioned, a scandal would help. Or an unsolved murder. Many thanks.

      • What about my becoming a famous novelist? I am working on it, but give me few years! PS if you walk by again please come to tea.

        • Pauline

          Yes, becoming a famous novelist would definitely do the trick. Please keep me informed. You can do a guest blog for me when you are ready. I love that English expression ‘Come to tea’. I’d be delighted to.

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