Following the arson attack in Managua during the central American leg of Toten Herzen’s Malandanti world tour (unofficially retitled the Let the Insurance Cover It tour) Alien Noise brought in brand management consultant Theo Rand of New York firm Solid Gold to advise on damage limitation.

Alien Noise, in an uncharacteristic act of altruism, invited Rand to offer marketing and promotional advice to indie authors and this is what he had to say.

Firstly let me say that I’m not being paid for this advice, so I’ll keep it brief.

1 – never give your expertise away

2 – make sure your book has a good cover, preferably on the front.

3 – get the ending right, without it readers won’t know when to stop reading.

4 – and get the beginning right because like, you know, pretty fucking obvious isn’t it?

5 – great characters make great books, and if you don’t believe me can you remember the names of characters you’d forgotten about? No. Why am I even telling you this?

6 – always include cliffhangers in your story. If the story is about mountaineering cliffhangers are unavoidable, so if you want to make money write books about mountaineering.

7 – as an author your brand is your name, so if you have a shit name change it. If your family object tell them to get lost.

8 – understand your audience. General Motors don’t try to sell their cars to babies. If you don’t know who your audience is write erotic fiction. Everyone buys that shit.

9 – time’s up. Sorry if that advice doesn’t help much, but as the Brits say ‘you pay nowt, you get nowt’ or something like that. I never did understand the Brits.

Our thanks to Theo Rand for slowing down whilst walking to the departure lounge. If you’d like to show your gratitude by leaving a comment we’ll pass the messages on to him tied to a lump of rock.

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