Friday, 26 June 2009

News from Australia

My good friend in Brisbane, Kimberley, is currently enjoying motherhood with one year old Charlotte. I had the crazy idea of asking her if she'd like to handle sales of my book in Australia and she said yes. She's full of ideas and enthusiasm. Here's a quote from one of her emails:

I was thinking of perhaps (when you are ready and have received feedback from others in the UK) contacting some book clubs to see if they would be interested in purchasing copies of your book. It seems (from my quick scan of the web) that most clubs are run from libraries. Not sure how well received I would be from libraries but happy to try. (Not sure if they are most interested in 'best sellers' or if they are happy to read a variety of authors and genres etc, which I think any good book club should be!) If I can manage to get in contact with the 'right' people it could be really good, I think.A couple of my friends are either currently involved in book clubs or at least used to be. I was thinking of asking them who I could contact at their book clubs (or if they could pass on the info etc at the right time). I figure the kind of people who attend book clubs are likely to pass on their thoughts to friends and so potentially through word of mouth it could really spark some interest.

I can't wait to get back from Finland and start the next leg of this adventure!

Thursday, 25 June 2009

My manuscript is at the printers!

Printondemand-worldwide are, as I write, processing my manuscript! I can scarcely believe that after 5 years of work I shall finally have actual books in my hands on July 15th. Learning the craft of writing through adult education classes, a Cornerstones residential weekend, self-help books, writers' groups and internet writers' forums has been challenging, hard work and lots of fun.

Swimming in the shark infested waters of self-publishing has been less fun. Because I'd already had 7 speaking engagements about my work and 4 more coming up, I decided to stop waiting for the mainstream publishers to give me a chance. CIDA (Creative Industries Development Agency) in Huddersfield have helped by providing me with a mentorship package.

Richard Netherwood has been my mentor. He's been able to translate printer-speak into something I could understand, turn my word document and artistic ideas into printer-ready pdf files as well as advising me on next steps, book sizes, paper quality, etc, etc.

Now all I need to do is learn a whole new set of skills in marketing...