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Locking Up Book Sales with Policeman Bobby

by Steve van der Merwe

I should start by saying that I am in no way an accomplished writer. I had an idea for a character that I believed would be popular with children everywhere. I noticed that although there was a fireman, a builder and even a postman for children to relate to, there was no policeman. Policeman Bobby was born!

As I was a first time author I needed a publishing company that would assist me with the whole process. I found that company to be AuthorHouse. Their website was clear and user-friendly.

I contacted AuthorHouse and was guided by a representative through my publishing options. Financial restrictions prevented me from having more illustrations. This was perfect because there wouldn`t be any surprise bills after the publishing process. I was in no way pressured by AuthorHouse and felt comfortable making my own decisions.

I am a very poor artist…stick men being an indication of my ability! I am very grateful to the illustrator of my book, Susan Anderson. Susan is very talented and she brought my stickmen drawings to life. After I rejected the first illustration for being too much like a superhero, she created the perfect Policeman Bobby.

I enjoyed this part of the publishing process the most, and I was happy that I had input into how I wanted the illustrations and cover.

The format and completion of the book cover was handled quickly and professionally. AuthorHouse understood that, as a first time author, I required a lot of support. For that I’m grateful.

I will definitely use AuthorHouse to publish the next Policeman Bobby book.

Due to financial constraints, I have had to concentrate on selling my book over the internet. Having a free website helps! In addition, I had leaflets printed and had them included in a local newspaper, The Southport Visiter. The newspaper did an article on my book and me, and included it on their website. AuthorHouse also linked to this article on their website--more free publicity!

I`ve had Policeman Bobby T-shirts printed with my website address, along with calendars, pens, fridge magnets, etc. for marketing the book. In fact, I gave away a Policeman Bobby T-shirt and the man wore it over his Manchester United football shirt to a game. There were 75,000 spectators at that event!

At my cricket club`s prize giving, we had a book review for the first time to “add some culture.” Guess which book was reviewed? That`s right! Policeman Bobby!

I don`t know how successful my marketing has been. I am still learning and the marketing strategy goes on. Without it, I wouldn`t sell a single book; hopefully, I`ve sold more than one!