Today we’re focusing on the world of author Howie Cobb, and his book 'Two Minute Noodle' as the first guest post about online marketing - this timein the publishing industry.

Working as a marketing consultant, advertising copywriter and graphic designer, Howie also republished 'Two Minute Noodle' - a personal project based on his world travels. The book was very successful first time around but was published again this year to update readers on the effects that travel can have on your life in the long term...

All About Two Minute Noodle 

I saw that you used Amazon to sell the book (both in paperback and kindle formats). How did that go?

It’s still early days really. I have been pursuing reviews from relevant sources, and that looks as though it may come to fruition very soon. I have a review in Devon Life November issue (which I haven’t yet seen!) and am waiting for an interview date for the Judi Spiers BBC Radio Devon show. Depending on the success of these two outings I may pursue this route further.

What do you think about the growth of tablets and e-readers. Is it the death of the paperback?

No - not at all. I think that any device that allows people to access a novel/book where they might otherwise not have bothered has to be a positive. It also gives the ability for people to read books they previously couldn’t afford, and read them at times they may not have before. Personally I would always favour a paperback over a device – but my wife thinks otherwise.

How do you market your business? My preferred method is via reviews. At least then I know that I am being marketed by a positive force, and as we all know the most effective means of marketing anything is... ‘word-of-mouth”

What’s been your biggest marketing challenge so far? Persuading myself that the product I am selling – my own book, deserves to be bought and read by anyone at all. It’s a self-belief thing that I am yet to conquer.

What would your best piece of advice be to anyone looking to get started in the publishing industry? Get your book onto Amazon and Kindle. Forget putting heaps of money upfront with a publisher or printing your own. Print on demand is the way forward.  Also, heed the words of the immortal Mark Twain, which became my mantra throughout the writing...  “Don’t get it write ... get it writ.” It’s true – you can fine tune and edit later – get the story down first.

How important are real-world relationships in supporting what you do online? Personally I don’t believe the latter can exist without the former. They shape everything that a human being contributes to the online world and point engages to a real person. 

Can you describe what you think of the following social sites in one word each in how they help your business: 

  • Facebook - effective
  • Twitter -  time-consuming (Is that 2 words?)
  • LinkedIn - businesslike
  • Pinterest - frippery
  • Google+ - useful

Future Marketing Plans:

What would you like to know more about when it comes to online marketing? SEO – but it changes so often I’m not sure it is worth the time and trouble. I like the look of the new algorithm whereby search terms are long-tail – in other words it’s about writing well again, not playing some game based on links and specific words.

What have we got to look forward to for the year ahead?  I recently wrote a series of articles on travel, food and art for – a very cool website. This has dovetailed well with my day-to-day copywriting and photography and also well with helping to promote twominutenoodle. More of that to come. New book?  Probably not for a while. 

Howie's book 'Two Minute Noodle: A backpacker's tale' is available to download via for £5.37.

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