*sighs and shuts down current re-write of her own novel, completely disillusioned by the whole industry*
(EDIT: And yes, I know, big bucks like this means publishers have more potential money to spend on unknowns and blah blah blah... but even so. The article says she was 'told by her agent to write a book', and it hints a deal was in the bag even before it was finished. Am beginning to believe books should be submitted anonymously, so the quality of the tome is what is judged and not just the torrid ex-profession of the person who wrote it being the sole appeal...)
The Pop-Up 'Indie' Bookshop…
Will be at Horsham Market in the Carfax on May 4th!
“Bringing Independent authors to the high street, in a unique and innovative show-case!”
1000-1030 Historical novelist, BEV BEVAN, will be signing copies of his outstanding new historical work, ‘The Dark Rose’ and chatting to readers.
1045-1115 Editor/Proof-reader ABI TRUELOVE chats about self-publishing. Want to write a book? Want it published… ask Abi how to get that final polish!
1130-1200 Pop-Up Indie Bookshop owner/founder DAISY WHITE will be signing copies of her new teen thriller, ‘The Film Club’, set in Fifties Brighton, and answering questions about the Bookshop.
1230-1300 Our Pop-Up Vintage Make-up Team, led by top local make-up artist MARTINE FARRANT explain how they create those amazing looks, and answer your questions.
1330-1430 STEF LILLEY and CLARE MOORE, the duo behind the cover of Daisy White’s new book, ‘The Film Club’, answer your modelling questions… and chat about their search for models for the next book cover!
1500-1530 Local star author… Radio presenter CHARLIE PLUNKETT will be signing copies of her brilliant books, including; ‘The True Diary of a Bride-to-be’, and ‘The True Diary of a Mum-to-be’.
For more info, or to be a featured author www.daisywhiteauthor.co.uk
Its not publishing that's broken. its human intelligence.
Go forth, morons, just please, please stop multiplying.
If you want to get a flavour of the event, check out the film Jon made about last year’s Festival of Writing by clicking this link: http://vimeo.com/54084473
We can’t wait to see you all there!
Thank you to all cloudies who purchased a copy.
It is early days and libraries are still putting in their orders. When asked I had no idea how many to take but think it should have been less. As the publisher charges for storing the books I didn't want them to be left with a lot.
So, the whole process has left me only £50 out of pocket but with books to sell and it is still selling on kindle, albeit slowly as I haven't had time recently to promote it.
A lovely part too is that one of the children who read it, aged 10, took it to school on World Book Day as her chosen book! Gosh, how great is that.
When showing it off a boy told her he had read it on kindle! Maybe he did and maybe not but I am chuffed and the surprises keep coming in.
Smiling...:) but wondering how the heck do I find time to write - I mean really write - pen and paper and imagination. And the sea is just down the road and the robin has taken over the shed.......
Happy Monday, Cloud!
My children's book Kit's Reward has been on Amazon as a kindle download since March 2011.
I was new to the whole idea and very nervous about submitting the story to the public. To any one really.
(sadly I did down load the wrong copy, not the one that was ready for print - that copy I sent to Troubador. ) I hope to discover how to make the online improvements to the kindle version but haven't yet.
I first put it out as a free book and was shocked to see it go to over a thousand readers worldwide, USA, Italy, Spain and Germany, now even one copy in India. (I know who bought the copy in Germany! :))
It was very exciting. Then I sold more than expected. I almost covered my costs in the first two months. Later the sales settled to a trickle. Since then I have received around £20 every 6 weeks. I haven't really checked how often but don't think it is monthly. I am just amazed that people find it. I haven't done any advertising except later in the year I joined twitter. I have no way of knowing whether the customers are people who tweet or from Amazon book searches. Already only a few days into 2013 it has sold five copies.
These may be small numbers to some but quite special to me.
Now in January it is being released by Troubador in paperback.
A big thank you to friends on cloud who purchased a copy.
I was required to visit the author page and advertise my bookings/signings / and put up videos to help sales. I was not well enough. I just can't do anything extra each day.
I put 6 copies into the local book shop before Xmas and expected them to sit there and was surprised to see when I sneaked in that 3 had sold. I visited my author page this week expecting to see that perhaps 10 had sold but they only had 13 copies left!
My print run was 100. I had 50 and left fifty with the publishers.
I have managed to sell half of my stock and have only had the books for a few months. (That is the only time I would have liked more advice was when they asked me how many copies I wanted) Perhaps the publisher could have kept more. I had imagined my house cluttered with books. I haven't even had my piece in the local paper yet, so am hopeful they will sell. It has been a marvellous experience and Troubador/Matador were great to work with.
My mum avidly awaits her next book.
I must start scribbling the next ten books for kindle - I quite like the idea of money coming in regularly without much advertising. There has to be a custard pie. Something will change.
Liza the first thing the ladies in the two shops said was what a beautiful cover. Are you game for the next one?
Good luck to all you writers - you are special people.
But isn't every one. Hmm, bit too philosophical.
There is no strategy. Not really. And there really is no place in the world for yet another "How to Self-Publish and Make a Fortune" book. Honestly, most of them are worthless anyway. So in the spirit of open honesty, this is what happened (don't shout it, but I'm making it up as I go along).
I spent eighteen months writing the novel. This encompassed several drafts, rewrites, critiques, etc. And when it was done I was left with a connundrum. Agents and publishers seemed united: it was great, just 'not for them.' Actually, no, some wouldn't give it the time of day. But those that did seemed pretty much united. (I've also done a lot of research into the book trade and am no longer convinced that it always knows what it's doing, which is a helpful panacea to carry around when another rejection slip arrives. How many hundreds of thousands was Pippa Middleton's advance for 'her' book on, um, advice and etiquette and stuff?? Lots, I gather.)
In the other camp, readers seemed to love it. Now if that were just 'friends and family' readers, I'm realistic, self-aware and cynical enough to know that it wouldn't have counted for much. But it wasn't. This was other authors, and in one or two cases, authors I'd read and whose work I admired (Twitter works wonders in getting in touch and getting a dialogue going in this regard). It also included several folk from this Cloudy Parish, again whose work I admired. And a certain editor, again of these parts, whose work I admired, whose input and professionalism helped shape it from a 'you can write, but the novel's shit' to ' you can write and I love it'. Which meant everything and in itself was such a worthwhile exercise that I'd do that bit with Debi again in a heartbeat.
So on the one hand, the 'trade' was saying 'no' and on the other, voices I felt were really worth listening to were saying 'yes'. So I decided to self-publish, something I'd sworn I'd never do because deep within me is the need for valedation and simply doing it because I could didn't provide that. The alternative was to leave eighteen months' work in a drawer, and I decided I couldn't do that either.
But if I was going to 'self' it, I had one rule: It was going to look as good from a production point of view as if it had been done by Penguin. There's a lot I dislike about self-publishing:
The books that aren't good enough (and there are a lot of them). To determine whether yours is (good enough) I suggest you need the ability to be objective about your own work to the enth degree and the ability to ONLY listen to people who are qualified to give an opinion. Without the encouragement of one or two specific individuals, BYKH still wouldn't have seen the light of day.
And production values. Ebooks with crappy, photoshopped covers, chapter headings with blue hyperlinks, typos within a page or two. Printed books on ghastly white mechanical paper that feels more like a manual for a fridge freezer than a novel. Ugh. Nope, these things were important to me.
So I set about finding out how to do it like the professionals. Along the way I fell out with one ebook formatter ('see you in court' was mentioned but thankfully it never came to that). I also talked to people who had a very successful track record of self-publishing and sought out their books; only when the quality was what I wanted for myself would I listen. Arrogant? Maybe. Determined? Certainly. I wasted 3 weeks teaching myself the rudiments of HTML (the best way to typeset an ebook) only to discover a fab company in Bangkok (yes, really) who ended up doing it all for me for about 30 quid.
I should also say at this point that I had an advantage. My professional background is within media and marketing and I ran a magazine publishing business for 6 years. So I knew a thing or two about design programmes and the printing process and when it came to something I couldn't do, I generally knew someone who could. Even that, though, led to eleven proofs of the text and three proofs of the cover for the printed version (set in inDesign and delivered as print ready PDFs).
Incidentally, and I've referenced it on blogs here before, a professional looking cover is about the single most important thing in self-publishing. Well, after getting the story right. Again, I was fortunate in that I know a lot of artists, having dabbled in the art business in the past and I have 'an eye' - I knew what I wanted and was lucky that my 'chosen' artist 'got it' and was keen to work with me until we had somethong we both liked.
Next, the printer. After asking around of self-pubbed writers who I felt were doing it right, I came upon an outfit that not only printed on nice, cream paper, but also offered a myriad of options and handled all distribution, including dealing with major book distributors, worldwide. What this means is that my book becomes listed in their catalogue from which some retailers will automatically list it (Amazon etc) and some will order it. I set a price and a trade discount and for every copy ordered by a bookseller, I receive the cover price less the trade discount and the cost of printing. Obviously to push it, I'll need to get copies out there, to turn up to bookstores armed with copies that I'll encourage them to read and stock. But the theory is that as the book grows in popularity, becomes known, the printing and distribution starts to happen 'automatically'. All of this, though, does come with a fee, although not a hefty one. I reckon all in all I've spent about £500 on getting to where I am now, on the ebook, the cover, the print set up, bar codes, ISBN (Nielsen) etc.
So now what? From a personal point of view, writing and by definition BYKH has taken a bit of a backseat recently. I'm launching a new business and need to start earning some money again. But I know that come January, the promotional trail will have to happen if a proportion of that money is ever going to come from my writing. There may well be reading/launch events. I have a couple of venues agreed and am hoping that one or two bookshops prove amenable too. Promoting the ebook is harder. Twitter only gets you so far (in fact there are so many authors of varying types on Twitter promoting their wares that at times I feel it to be counter-productive.). Also beware people who talk about how many 'likes' and the, um, like they have for ther books. If every one who said they'd buy a copy bought a copy, I'd be making a healthy profit already.
But as I said at the start, there's no grand plan. To have one is a full time job and, like many would be successful authors, juggling that with the demands of day jobs and every day lives, it's not always practical. What I do try and do, and what I would encourage anyone in my position to do is to sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of advice and opportunities, and to do what you can, when you can.
But most of all, if you believe in your work enough and you know in your heart of hearts that it's 'good enough', carry on. Because all it might take is for that one person to read it, that one person who has influence and the ability to help take you forward. And then, who knows? You could be the next Pippa Middleton.*