A rapper has rapped about my book. How many authors can say that?

A rather incredible thing just happened.

Kloud 9 Reacher, UK rapper and performing artist, just performed a freestyle rap in tribute to my latest novel, Feral Youth, on Spit It Out TV:

Production: OfTheRedProductions

This is incredible for two reasons: (1) because I am really, really not ‘street’ enough to be having rap songs written in my honour and (2) because it is a truly excellent song, worthy of Plan B or better. Kloud 9 Reacher has read the book, taken the themes, used one of the characters (a rapper called Ash) and given him a voice – a voice exactly as I imagined when I wrote the book.

This comes in a week when I’ve had confirmation that the Feral Youth audiobook will be out any minute, there’s interest in ‘Feral Youth the movie‘ and the Feral Youth app is in development, bringing the book to life with interactive audio and visuals.

It feels as though Feral Youth is growing into something much more than a book. I am very, very excited…

How you can help a girl like Alesha this Christmas (without leaving your desk)‏

Merry nearly-Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying the silly season.

I’ve decided to donate all my December Feral Youth paperback royalties to BelEve UK, a south London charity of which I’m a patron, which does amazing work helping teenage girls from all backgrounds to achieve their potential.

So… if you happen to be stuck for a Christmas present, then choosing Feral Youth could help to provide support for some real-life “Alesha”s out there. (Oh and the ebook is a bargainous 99p until Sunday, if you’re a Kindle type.)


I’m also working on the film adaptation of Feral Youth… nope, I’ve never written a script before, but how hard can it be? (I mean, I’ve produced a whole 90-second trailer, right?)

Have a very happy Christmas and a merry new year.

BelEveUK team in action with girls in Lewisham

BelEveUK team in action with girls in Lewisham

Feral Youth goes multimedia (Warning: May contain scenes of an offensive nature, i.e. me trying to act)

A year ago, when I was planning the launch do for Feral Youth, I thought I was publishing a book – you know, one of those cardboard things with pages stuffed in the middle? There was an ebook too, but that was the extent of my multimedia foray.

It turns out, that cardboard thing with the pages inside spawned a whole load of other things in other formats, like… online stuff. Video. Music. Spoken word. Cool stuff like that.

The book trailer was the start. It was just a promo idea, really, based on my hunch that the ‘youngsters’ who might like to read Feral Youth weren’t browsing the book review section of the Guardian; they were hanging out on YouTube and Facebook and Twitter.

Then, having discovered my ‘Alesha’ on stage at the Lyric Theatre, in the form of the brilliant actor and poet, Deanna Rodger, it seemed like a waste not to put her talents to more use. So I put her in a tiny, overheated studio for a week and made her read the whole book out loud into the mic. The resulting audiobook is truly phenomenal. Go and buy it now. That girl can act.

A month later, out of the blue, I was excitedly informed that a rapper known as K9Reacher had got so ‘into’ one of the characters in the book (Ashley, who is a rapper), that he’d written and recorded a tribute rap based on Ashley’s situation, collaborating with an awesome young production company, Of The Red Productions.

This very same Of The Red Productions kindly offered to have me read a passage from my book on their channel, #SpitItOut TV, which, believe it or not, they aired. To the public. I know. As I said, they are awesome – and brave.

OK, stop laughing at my south London accent.

I said, stop it.

Thank you.

So… In the new year, the very same actor who had played multiple parts in the book trailer for Feral Youth called me to announce that he wanted to dramatise some ‘unseen scenes’ from the book with a bunch of other actors, releasing them to a whole new audience online. Yes, that actually happened.

And now… taking it down a few pegs in terms of acting panache… [drumroll please] … but fortunately compensated for by the incredible production company Of The Red Productions*… the awesome and brave production company who saw potential where my drama teacher did not… Please check out the wonders they have worked with my second on-screen performance, a taster of the book dramatised in a rather special way. (And please stop looking at my forehead. It’s rude to stare.)

More to come, I very much hope. And for all those who thought a book was a cardboard thing with pages inside… well, turns out there are multiple ways you can #GetIntoABook. I’ll keep you posted!

* Of The Red Productions is offering deals for new authors seeking new and brilliant ways to bring their books to life. Check ’em out here!

Why Ched Evans’ victim deserves an apology too

This article first appeared on Huffington Post. To view the original article, click here.


This week, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Gordon Taylor, compared the ‘plight’ of convicted rapist Ched Evans with that of the families of Hillsborough victims. “He wouldn’t be the first person or persons to be found guilty and maintain their innocence and then been proven right,” he told the BBC.

Naturally, his crass choice of words provoked fury across the Twittersphere and calls for Taylor to quit, or at least to apologise to Hillsborough victim families – which he did.

Taylor clarified his comments, swiftly stating: “The point I was making was not to embarrass or upset anybody at all among the Liverpool supporters. I’m very much an admirer of them and they know that.”

Well, I hate to break it to you, Gordon, but you have another apology to make: the one to the victim of the rape for which Ched Evans was found guilty by jury in 2012.

Mr Taylor, by making statements about Ched being ‘proven right’, makes clear his underlying assumption that Ched Evans is in fact free of any wrongdoing – the implication being that the UK justice system has let the footballer down and incarcerated an innocent man.

He wouldn’t be the only one doing this, either. In this week’s Spectator, Rod Liddle describes an “utterly ludicrous and petty campaign against Ched Evans”, implying that the petitions against Evans hold no weight and somewhat bizarrely claiming that Evans’ return to professional football will not put him in a position of ‘influence’ anyway. (Rod, I have two words for you: MIKE TYSON.)

I could list other (male) pundits and experts from the football community who have, deliberately or inadvertently, revealed their underlying beliefs that ‘poor’ Ched Evans has been run through the mill unnecessarily and that he is more the victim in a terrible witch hunt than a rapist.

Just to be clear, Ched Evans is not a victim. His rape victim is the victim. That is, the woman who was raped in a hotel room, then identified and abused by Twitter trolls, then had to change her name and move house five times in under three years and this year had to spend Christmas away from her family and friends as it was “too risky for her to visit”.

We put our faith in the UK justice system and that system found Ched Evans guilty of a crime. Repeatedly denying the charges does not make the perpetrator innocent, no matter how many high-profile footballing pundits imply that it does.

Gordon Taylor has apologised to Liverpool families who suffered a miscarriage of justice; I would like to see him apologise to the victim of a crime that he appears to have conveniently erased from his version of history: the rape of a woman by Ched Evans. She deserves an apology too.


Polly Courtney is a writer, commentator and amateur footballer. She is passionate about equality in all its forms.

Download your free copy of POLES APART!

To celebrate 10 years of Polish migration within the EU (and frankly, to stick two fingers up at Nigel Farage), Polly Courtney is giving away copies of her “revolutionary” page-turner, POLES APART. Grab your free ebook here! Spread the word!

PA + free ebook

“You’re lucky, being a girl. You can always get au pair work or a job in a Polish bakery. Apparently they’re springing up all over the country.”

Marta grits her teeth and nods. She is used to the assumption that she moved to England to change nappies and mop floors. It couldn’t be further from the truth. As a graduate of one of Poland’s top universities, Marta has ambitious plans for her new life.

But things don’t work out as the young migrant had planned. Her qualifications are unpronounceable, let alone recognisable, and her new friends seem more interested in spending their cash than helping Marta make hers.

As yet another door slams shut in her face, Marta finds herself alone in the English rain with a broken suitcase, no money and nowhere to go… and the phone number of a young woman she barely knows.

Based on a true story, Poles Apart is the moving and funny account of one young migrant’s search for recognition in a foreign land – a book that will appeal to fans of Rose Tremain, Marina Lewycka, Kathryn Stockett and Monica Ali.

“Courtney has an ability to breed empathy for an ethnic minority subjected to negative stereotypes.” — Metro

“This book is revolutionary for the British reader.” — Nowy Czas

“There is something very real and immediate about Marta’s new experience of London.” — Polski Express

Free download

Ghost Town: A brilliant and painful exploration of 1980s racial tension

“The trouble with self-publishing is: it’s too easy to do badly.”

This is a phrase I find myself saying far too often, on my travels as a self-publishing author. So, when I find an indie book that is well-written and well-edited, with a fantastic cover design and an author who has truly understood the value of building a platform for her books, I like to shout about it – and that is what I intend to do with the latest book I’ve read: GHOST TOWN by Catriona Troth.

GHOST TOWN is a unique and brilliant book. Set against a backdrop of the Coventry race riots in the 1980s – a period of British history I (shamefully) didn’t know much about – it was not just a compelling read for me, but also a learning experience.Ghost Town

Artfully alternating between the first person voice of Maia, a naïve and conflicted young white 20-something, and the third person viewpoint of Bahjan (Baz: ‘too paki to be white, too gora to be desi’), the story takes us straight to the heart of the racial tensions that erupted across Britain in the early 80s: not the much talked-about Brixton riots, but the persecution of Pakistani and other Asian communities in the midlands.

Then, as now, the mainstream media did little to cover the reality of events and it is clear that the author of GHOST TOWN did a lot of first-hand research to get to the bottom of what really happened. (There is a lot of this on her website.) Young people were killed on the streets in violent clashes. Letterbox fire bombs were commonplace. The police did little to protect Asian families from ugly violence that is seen at close range by Maia and Baz. I get the impression that the gradual ‘awakening’ we see in Maia – her views on race and what it means to belong – is an awakening that the author experienced during her time as a twenty-something in Coventry. The character is utterly believable, as is that of Baz, which must have taken a lot more research in terms of dialect, attitudes and background – again, very convincing.

The plot cleverly weaves the bigger social themes into the main characters’ stories without being clunky or too overt. Much of the plot centres around ‘the Skipper’, a homeless shelter in the heart of Coventry where the two main characters volunteer, and the intriguing range of frost-bitten down-and-outs who use its services. This choice of setting, like the theme of the book and the choice of voice, is unusual and different to that of most books I’ve read. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much.

Triskele Books: an author collective

Triskele Books: an author collective

It’s hard to liken GHOST TOWN to anything else out there, but there were certainly echoes of Alex Wheatle’s EAST OF ACRE LANE. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to step out of their comfort zone and explore a little-talked-about pocket of British history.

GHOST TOWN is published by Triskele Books and available in all the usual places e.g. Amazon.

Does Iain Duncan Smith Do His Research by Watching TV?

Middle-class Britain has been shocked by the ‘hidden reality’ of welfare ghettos apparently revealed by TV programmes such as Benefits Street, Iain Duncan Smith explained as he spoke at the Centre for Social Justice today about how his welfare-to-work reforms are apparently beginning to work.

“Whilst the middle-class majority were aware of the problems in poor communities, they remained largely unaware of the true nature of life on some of our estates,” he stated, perhaps giving more indication of his own lack of awareness than that of others.

True nature? Is this actually how the work and pensions secretary does his research? Does he sit in his office, with his back to the £10,000 taxpayer-funded portrait of himself, feet up on the mahogany desk, watching Benefits Street and learning about how poor people live? Or perhaps he watches from home, in one of the wings of the 16th-century Tudor mansion that he inherited in 2001. (Culture of entitlement, anyone?)

This is exactly why programmes like Benefits Street are dangerous: they appear credible. As anyone who has worked in TV will tell you, documentaries never simply ‘reveal the truth’; they tell a story. That’s what makes them interesting. The story in this case is: Benefits culture is out of control and it has become a way of life for all claimants.

Only it isn’t, and it hasn’t.

The vast majority of people claiming unemployment benefits in the UK do so as a last resort. The people I spoke to in my research for Feral Youth considered signing on as a shameful option – something they would do anything to avoid. This is the reality. Benefit fraud only accounts for a small fraction of our expenditure (roughly £1.2bn compared to an estimated £65bn in profiteering by buy-to-let landlords, subsidies to banks, tax-dodging by the super-rich etc.)

The documentary is carefully crafted to show only the extreme components of life for the inhabitants of James Turner Street: the neglect, the abuse, the lack of pride and of course, the sense of entitlement. In fact, recent research on this exact same street by Vector Research, painted a somewhat different picture. “None of us would have suggested that it was a cosy neighbourhood we would seek to live in,” said Paul Baker, who led the research, “but it was far from the hell hole portrayed on Benefits Street.”

What Iain Duncan Smith is doing, quite unashamedly, is using propaganda to justify his hideous reforms that serve to push deprived communities further into poverty, rather than lift them out.

young people

The loudest message that came out of my research, which involved spending time with young people in charities, schools and on the streets in the wake of the London Riots, was this:

They talk about getting us off benefits and into jobs, but what jobs? I been trying for two years and I can’t get no work.

Job prospects, especially for young people with little social capital, are dire. Unlike Iain Duncan Smith, most people can’t get away with fake qualifications on their CV and the longer they remain out of work, the harder it becomes to continue the search.

In fairness, IDS did reference his ‘visit after visit’ to deprived areas, which gave him a sense of how urgently ‘life change’ was needed.

“In neighbourhoods blighted by worklessness… where gangs were prevalent, debt and drugs the norm… families broken down… those living there had one thing in common; they were for the most part dependent on the state for their daily needs.”

I can’t help wondering how deeply Mr Smith conversed with the people who made up these deprived communities, as he was toured through in his expensive suit with his entourage of staff. Did he hang out on street corners and ask how young people spent their time now the local youth centre had closed down? Did he ask the teenagers in the shadows of the tower block whether they were still thinking of going to university, now that tuition fees would leave them £36,000 in debt? Did he get invited into homes on the estate to talk to desperate mums about how they were coping with paying the spare room subsidy, given that there weren’t any smaller properties in the area?

During a school visit in south London, I asked a bunch of teenagers what they would say if they had the opportunity to speak to David Cameron. They replied:

Try living our lives for a day. Just try it.

And that, I believe, is what Iain Duncan Smith needs to do if he really wants to end the ‘twilight world where life is dependent on what is given to you, rather than what you are able to create.’

Or, I suppose, he could just stay in his inherited £2m mansion and watch it on TV.


Polly Courtney is author of Feral Youth – the story of the London Riots through the eyes of a disenfranchised teenage girl.

The Horrific Shooting of a 15-Year-Old Girl Exposes the Reality of Girls, Guns and Gangs

On the afternoon of Saturday 22 March, a beautiful 15-year-old girl was shot dead in a house in Hackey. Three male teenagers were arrested nearby for the killing of Shereka Marsh. At almost exactly the same time, The Centre for Social Justice was finalising a press release for its long-awaited report, Tackling Exploitation of Girls by Gangs; a paper that exposes the “desperate lives” led by some girls in which “rape is used as a weapon and carrying drugs and guns is seen as normal”.

It is too early to say whether Shereka’s death was gang-related. We don’t yet know how or why the shot was fired; it might have been an accident. One thing, though, is clear: a 15-year-old girl was in the same room as a loaded gun.

We have become aware of – almost immune to – the impact of gangs, guns and drugs on teenage boys in our communities. We turn the pages blithely as newspaper headlines scream of gang-related stabbings in Brixton, confused shootings in Tottenham. Often, horrific acts of violence are not even covered in our broadsheets or on TV. They are not news; they’re just a way of life for many teenagers who carry knives for protection and who can get hold of a gun for £100. We watch films like Kidulthood, TV series like Top Boy andThe Wire – and we nod, cringing, as we accept the brutal reality for thousands of young men. But girls? In gangs? Until now, it has barely crossed our minds. We like to think it doesn’t happen.

Tragically, it happens. As research for my latest novel, I spent much of the past two years talking to young women on the fringes of our society, whose lives are governed by fear, insecurity and desperation to ‘belong’. Girls are at risk, just like their male counterparts, but we don’t tend to notice, as their pain is less conspicuous.


‘Girls in gangs’ is a misnomer. In the majority of cases, girls do not set up gangs of their own. Nor do girls play the same role in a gang as a teenage boy, who might be recruited by an ‘elder’ and promoted through the ranks as he gets more involved (carrying drugs and weapons, carrying out crimes on the elders’ behalf). As the think tank’s report reveals, the involvement of girls in gangs is less obvious. It takes on many guises.

Girls are used as bait in stand-offs with men from rival gangs. They are ‘owned’ by so-called boyfriends who ask them to carry knives, guns and drugs on their person or in pushchairs. Sexual abuse is commonplace; sex is just one of the commodities a girl is expected to provide. Rape of a man’s girl is used as a tool of retribution by rival gang members. ‘DSN’ is the rule. Don’t Say Nothing. It’s the rule that keeps men protected and young women at risk. If you’re raped or attacked, keep it to yourself or you suffer the consequences. Girls are used, exploited, rejected – and occasionally, caught in the crossfire.

So, now we’re aware. It’s an important first step. If we act on this awareness, then perhaps Shereka’s loss of life will not be entirely in vain.

But what form should this action take? In its report, the Centre for Social Justice urges Government to “map the problem” to allow better intervention work. It wants to see youth workers placed in major trauma units at hospitals in gang-affected areas to find members. It calls for police to team up with voluntary organisations to help the girlfriends of gang members who are arrested or imprisoned to exit gang life.

These are solutions in part, but they only tackle the symptoms of this epidemic; not the causes. Implemented on their own, these initiatives will fail, just as ‘amnesty boxes’ for knives have failed in the past because they don’t tackle the reason young people carry knives in the first place.

Put yourself in the shoes of a 16-year-old girl who has fallen into a vicious cycle of low self-esteem and reliance on her boyfriend or gang for support and validation. When a youth worker approaches you in the hospital as a close so-called friend fights for his life in A&E, will you be inclined to see their point of view and walk away from the man you think you love? When a social worker tries to convince you that there is an alternative to the only lifestyle you know, while your man is doing time in the ‘pen’, will you suddenly decide to turn your life around?


We need to tackle the root causes. We need to address the complex set of issues that cause girls to get involved in this life in the first place: low self-esteem, educational failure, instability, abuse and neglect, family breakdown, the lack of perceived opportunities elsewhere versus the apparent material and emotional reward of the gang lifestyle… the need to be part of an alternative ‘family’. This is not an exhaustive list. There is a different answer for every girl. As Patrick Regan, chief executive of urban youth charity XLP, says: “The biggest issue with girls in gangs is that we simply don’t know the full extent of the problem.” We don’t know how many girls are involved and we don’t fully understand their reasons. But we need to try. We need to do more to help girls at risk – before they get involved.

The good news is that much of this work is already underway, thanks to many excellent charities that deliver effective and proactive initiatives despite hefty cuts to their budgets.Beleve UK, for example, runs schemes that help young women choose work over unemployment, not just via training and experience but by boosting girls’ confidence and providing much-needed opportunities to ‘unburden’ after difficult pasts. One Big Community is a London-wide, youth-led coalition that strives to eradicate violence in our communities from the grass-roots up. XLP runs projects across the city in various forms including mentoring, training and drop-in events.

This week’s report should provide a springboard for action – but the action doesn’t stop at these recommendations. Government needs to take this issue seriously and invest in our young people’s futures, via charities that understand the people involved.

We need to make guns redundant and we need to see an end to the tragic deaths of teenage girls – as well as boys.
This article originally appeared on Huffington Post. Polly Courtney is author of Feral Youth, the story of the London Riots through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl. She will be speaking at the Wall of Silence debate at City Hall on 16th April as part of the One Big Community initiative. She is also an ambassador for Beleve UK.

Part 6 of Polly’s ‘Self Publishing Professionally’ series: Holding an Epic Book Launch

Right. First off, I don’t mean ‘epic’ as in huge, expensive, noisy and filled with explosions and fireworks (although it’s totally fine if you want to do that). I mean legendary in the memorable sense. I mean a book launch that will get people talking.

As I say in my video, I have two reasons for holding a launch party on publication day.

Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me get to this stage. We’ve all got people to thank… not just the professionals (editors, cover designers and so on) but the people who gave up their time and head-space to read through early drafts, comment on book cover concepts and… well, just put up with us being us, throughout the writing process. (I don’t know about you, but I’m not the easiest person to live with when I get interrupted mid-chapter.) It’s nice to give something back to all those people, whether it’s a cup of tea and biscuit or an open bar.

Secondly, you need to make some noise about the fact that your book is out. Hopefully you have various ways of doing this. Perhaps you have a blog, or a big Twitter following, or you do vodcasts on YouTube… or maybe you use traditional press (which you can find out more about in my post on Getting Press Coverage). I recommend using multiple channels to get the word out, including holding some form of event to celebrate publication. An event generates photos, videos, quotes that can be used in the press… and most of all, word of mouth. Even if there are just ten people in attendance, if they each go away clutching a copy of your book and they each ten people about the event… well, you get the idea. Word spreads.

I won’t go into the details of hiring a venue, budgeting, guest lists, goody bags, photographers and so on, as these are all covered in my video. But I will say this: You need to do a speech. Sorry. Most writers I know are introverts and not naturally drawn to public speaking, but this is something you have to do! Keep it short. Plan it out, word for word. Practise in front of the mirror or on camera. You might like to read a passage from your book – or, as I did with Feral Youth, get someone else to read it. (But you can’t ask them to do the whole speech.)

06 - Launch do pic

Make the event your own. If you’re a quiet person, hold a cosy launch do in a local café or book shop. It can be daytime or evening, black tie or jeans. Don’t feel obligated to hold an event that doesn’t suit you or your readers. (I have a feeling that my late-night parties don’t represent typical book launches.)

The morning after, the hard work begins. Along with any other post-launch marketing you’ve got planned, you need to follow up with everyone who came along – friends, family, strangers – and if there were press in attendance, send out a pre-written press release along with photos, to make the job of writing about the launch do really easy.


A book launch isn’t the only way of creating a buzz, but it’s a start. Whether you’re hosting a five-person cuppa or a red carpet event, it should be a lot of fun and it’s a great way of saying thank you to those kind people who helped you along the way. Good luck!


You can read all 6 parts of Polly’s #DoingItBetter series on Self-Publishing here, or here’s the link to the video playlist only.

Part 5 of Polly’s ‘Self Publishing Professionally’ series: Making a Book Trailer

‘When’s the film out?’ ask school kids, when I show them the trailer for my latest novel, Feral Youth.

This is a fair question, as it looks like a film trailer. That’s deliberate. I wanted to bring the book to life in a visual form, which meant thinking like a filmmaker.

I should clarify: You don’t need to make a trailer. It can be a time-consuming project and if you think your time is better spent getting on with writing the next book, then that’s what you should do. But if you think your readers are hanging out on YouTube, it’s worth thinking about. Similarly, if you’re thinking of selling the film rights down the line, the trailer can serve as a calling card. For non-fiction books, trailers work surprisingly well, especially if combined with snippets straight from the expert on the subject (i.e. you).

Thinking like a filmmaker is actually more complex than it sounds. As I say in my video, there are three roles you need to fill: writer, director and producer. You might be fortunate enough to run into someone who actually works in film, who might fill one or more of these roles, but if not, it’s perfectly possible to do all three jobs yourself – just make sure you give yourself time.

05 - Book Trailer pic

The first job is to write the script. Even if your trailer involves no dialogue, it still needs a script to describe the locations and give stage directions to the actors. Check out IMSDB if you’ve never seen a script before. For a 90 second trailer, the script should only be a couple of pages long.

With your script written, you need to get your producer’s hat on. The role of a producer is to sort out the cast, crew, locations, props, release forms, shoot details and er, budget. I spent about £200 on room hire and the cast’s expenses. I sourced my cast and some of my crew from Casting Call Pro, Star Now and a local theatre for my youth roles. There are lots of great actors out there who will work on your project for free if they believe it offers them something compelling for their show-reel.

To choose your lead roles, you should set up auditions. I used a room above a pub for this and I filmed them to see how the actors looked on screen. Make sure you’ve got a challenging audition script. (It doesn’t even have to be a scene from the trailer; I used a different scene from the book.)

Your choice of location will depend on your script, but generally speaking there are plenty of venues willing to offer space at low cost; you might just have to use your imagination when it comes to decorating the place. (I found myself buying and borrowing a large number of peculiar things in the run-up to the shoot: textbooks, hoodies, camping chairs, brown boots, electrical tape, greaseproof paper and chocolate.)

Be organised. On the day of the shoot, you’ll be wearing both your Producer and Director hats (and possibly an Acting one too), so you need to know exactly what’s required for each scene, both logistically and creatively. I recommend having a friend on set as Production Assistant, for the little things like running off to the shop for water, holding down netting and stabilising wobbly tripods. (Thank you, Jo!)

Once the shoot is over, the hard work begins. Editing the footage is a time-consuming business and it helps if you can get someone to do the technical stuff for you. (If you’re doing it yourself, I recommend Sony Movie Studio.) Sound quality is really important and we ended up re-recording some of the voiceover indoors. (Interesting trivia: Most film dialogue is re-recorded in a studio and layered onto the action to replace the fuzzy version recorded on the shoot.)

Stay legal. You can’t just grab any old soundtrack or music from the internet. I commissioned a musician friend to write and record the music for the Feral Youth trailer. You could source it from Soundcloud, but make sure you have the originator’s permission.

It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun – and you never know where it might lead. As well as the obvious promotional benefits of a book trailer (which, for me, has proved invaluable when touring schools), you might find that the cast and crew play an important role in spreading the word about your book. Off the back of my trailer, the lead actor ended up recording the Feral Youth audiobook and another member of the cast has performed a series of his own original songs based on the book. Most excitingly of all, the film adaptation is now in progress – so you never know.

If you decide that a book trailer isn’t for you, then perhaps my next post on Holding an Epic Book Launch will be more up your street. No matter how small, you need to do something to tell the world your book is coming out. Until next time – good luck!


You can read all 6 parts of Polly’s #DoingItBetter series on Self-Publishing here, or here’s the link to the video playlist only.