Monday, 6 July 2015

Marketing Benefits of Writing What and Where You Know

Guest post by Girl Cop author, Sandy Osborne

They say ‘write about what you know,’ so as serving officer, it seemed natural for me to use this resource and set my romantic comedy novels against the backdrop of a police station. Girl Cop the life and loves of an officer on the beat and Girl Cop in Trouble are loosely based on my experiences as a probationary officer and as I joined in the early ’90s I also wanted to set the story in that era.

Of course back in those days we didn’t have mobile phones or email which make it so easy for relationships to take off quickly today. Back in the 1990s love had to wait for fate to take its natural course which was sometimes a long and frustrating road. My first novel reflects my heroine, Sally’s heartache as she experiences this frustration with her courtship of Alex. It was sometimes tricky to keep within the correct era as texting and the general ease of contacting people is something we take for granted these days.

My novels are set in the historic city of Bath with real places and landmarks being included in the storyline. This in itself has proved an invaluable marketing resource. Even those readers who don’t know the places personally, recognise the locations - and Bathonians and those who have visited the City have provided really positive feedback. The anecdote relating the Bennetts Lane challenge has attracted a lot of great comments – some people have even gone out of their way to visit the road!

The Bath Tourist Board gift shop asked to stock the books and the independent bookshops display them on their ‘local interest’ stands. My most impressive scoop though was as the result of including a scene at the plush Bath Priory Hotel and Spa. I contacted the manager of the hotel and asked for permission to describe a romantic dinner in their Michelin starred restaurant. Not only did they say ‘yes’ but they also offered a meal for two as the prize for a draw at the launch of my book. The support didn’t stop there – they followed this up by offering a mini break alongside a review of the first book in My Weekly magazine (I approached the magazine myself and it has an impressive readership of over 300,000.) I have kept both relationships going and My Weekly are running the offer again with a review of Girl Cop in Trouble next month!

The first My Weekly review described Girl Cop as ‘Bridget Jones in Uniform’ which I take as a great compliment as I am a massive fan of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones trilogy and the tag line describes my books in an instant. I am now able to quote this in press releases and best of all I have been able to use it as an endorsement on the cover of Girl Cop in Trouble. Setting my novel within the Police and in the city of Bath has undoubtedly provided a boost up that all important marketing ladder in the self publishing world.


Sandy Osborne is a serving Police Officer who has self published her two novels with SilverWood Books. Sandy’s writing started after an unflattering picture of her running a charity half marathon was printed in her local paper and she felt compelled to respond with an amusing account of her training programme. She now shares her knowledge and tips for self publishing success with a diary of speaker events at Literature Festivals and with writing groups. A percentage from the sales from Girl Cop the life and loves of an officer on the beat and Girl Cop in Trouble is donated to The Police Dependants’ Trust and St Peter’s Hospice.


Girl Cop the life and loves of an officer on the beat Amazon

Girl Cop in Trouble Amazon

Author Website

Twitter @Girlcopnovel

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