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Books On The Underground – 50 Ways To Reach Your Readers #12 By Alison Morton

Books on the Underground – 50 Ways to Reach Your Readers #12 by Alison Morton


Alison Morton's debut novel, Inceptio, on the London Underground

Alison Morton's debut novel goes underground

I live in France and can’t access UK bookshops easily, so I’ve had to be a little innovative in my PR and marketing.

I heard about Books on the Underground from a fellow author, historical novelist Victoria Lamb. The scheme is as simple as it sounds. Books travel around the London Underground network waiting to be read. As its website says: “You just finished that amazing book you’ve been reading, and you want to share it with the world? Well that’s what we wanted to do, so we created Books On The Underground. We went out and we left some of our favourite books on the London Underground. They’re there to be taken, read, shared, and most importantly, enjoyed. We’d love you to join us and leave some of your books on the Underground – after all, a good read cheers us all up.”

What's In It for Indie Authors?

Leaving a book you’ve enjoyed is a lovely idea, but what’s in it for indie/self-published authors? Visibility. For me as a newly-published author of two months, this is my goal for the next six months, so I decided to offer my debut novel Inceptio for the scheme. I was a little nervous, as there are some cracking books out there, many from mainstream publishers, and I hoped mine would sit well alongside them.

How I Got My Book on Board

Books on the Underground says: “If you’re an Author or a Publisher we’d love to work with you. Please drop us an email at [email protected] to discuss potential possibilities.” So I did.

The coordinator, Hollie, is delightful to deal with. In my initial email, I sent her the basic book details and the link to my blogsite. Hollie replied she would love to collaborate with me. I sent her three copies of my book and she posted the first photo this morning at Victoria Underground Station. (If you live in London, Hollie will send you the stickers so you can leave your books on trains yourself.)

Well Worthwhile

The press, including Time Out and The Guardian have been pretty enthusiastic about the scheme (click here for their reports).

Now, the cynical may say that the books will get pinched and never returned. Maybe. But they’ll be off on a journey to places they wouldn’t reach otherwise. Mainstream authors and publishers wouldn’t “waste” their book stocks doing it if it wasn’t worth it, would they?


Photo of Alison Morton

ALLi author member Alison Morton

Alison Morton is the author of the Roma Nova alternate history thriller series. Inceptio was published in March 2013 via SilverWood Books. Perfiditas, the second book, is due out this autumn.

 You can read more about Alison, Romans, alternate history and writing on her blog, on her Facebook author page or on her Twitter page.






This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. I’m in New York and far from the city, but I do my own version up here in the sticks. Occasionally, I’ll leave a book somewhere. In the ladies’ locker room at the gym, at a doctor’s office, at a senior center. It only costs me a few free books and maybe I’ll get some exposure at it.

  2. So inspired by this idea that not only did I send the scheme one of my books, I’ve also posted a bit of fun about it on my personal blog here: http://youngbyname.me/2013/06/08/why-im-going-underground-and-so-is-my-book/ Anyone care to join in my game of proposing appropriate titles for Underground reading? Or leave a comment on it to mention that they’ve sent their own book Underground?
    I don’t usually enjoy travelling on the Tube but I’m now looking forward to the next time I have to do so – and I’ll be very disappointed if I don’t find a book on my travels! 😉

  3. I just love this idea – I think it’s the romantic in me. I live in New Zealand, so you couldn’t get any further from the Underground.

    I have a firm belief that books have a life of their own and books that ‘venture out’ into the wide world on their own end up in the hands of people who really need them.

    This is a fabulous idea and I’m going to investigate it.

    Thanks for sharing.

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