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Archive for the ‘indie publishing’ Category

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  1. Choose your market wisely – is the market popular with locals and visitors? Will the market have a large through traffic?
  2. Does it sell artisan products and crafts that will attract the kind of customer who may be interested in your books?
  3. Does the market have room for you? Make sure you ring ahead and check out the requirements and responsibilities – these vary, depending on rules set out of each market
  4. Be aware of the costs involved – each markets has a different fee structure
  5. Do you need to fill out forms and pay in advance or can you just turn up on the day?
  6. Do you have Public Liability Insuance? Is it a requirement of the market you are attending? The minimum seems to be $20 million and costs around $200 a year here in Australia
  7. Do you have the right equipment? Do you need a marquis (is the market outdoors?)? Do you have table, chairs, banners, and an enticing layout for your books?
  8. Do you have bookmarks, business cards and prices for your books clearly displayed?
  9. Reviews – have you laminated a good review of your book so potential buyers can see what others are saying about your writing?
  10. What else can you add to your display to maket it visually appealing (remember to maintain a professional image)? Think about taking your computer and showing a youtube clip if you have one – or make a simple interactive slideshow

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CnGBooksPart of our marketing plan is to focus on increasing sales of our ebooks. Forbidden will be our perma-free ebook and Merinda’s Gold will be our pre-order until we launch early in 2016. And the good, good news is that Cracker has agreed to a fourth book in 2016. It’s yet to be named but I know it will be about Cracker and his team blowing things up with firecrackers.

Jason Matthews over at How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks talks about the success of such a strategy in Mark Coker’s 2015 Smashwords Survey Key Findings:

https://ebooksuccess4free.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/2015-smashwords-survey-key-findings/

Also of interest is a post by Dan Blank who has a series of blog posts and podcasts about the creative process and dabblers versus doers. Dan has made all his posts and podcasts available for the rest of us as he charts his progress in writing a book of the same title. Dan talks about his choice to publish with a traditional publisher for his book and his reasons why.

http://wegrowmedia.com/dabblers-vs-doers/

The interesting thing that both Jason and Dan stress is the importance of how, as writers, we should be focusing on building up loyal readers for our work.

Only then do all the other parts of marketing come into play. Without readers who love our work and can’t wait for the next book it doesn’t matter whether we choose the Indie or Traditional publishing path, what price point we set for our books or what methods we use to promote our work.

My next job is work on growing our email list but I’ll save that for another post. But just in case you’re more organised than me and can’t wait, here’s our contact details (soon to be plastered all over our car and caravan:)):

info

 

 

 

 

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imageFirst, the hard work…logos, shirts, signage and business plan.

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Then the fun…

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‘Oh, yes, I almost forgot. She was a writing phenomenon.’


In 1932, Enid Blyton wrote a 90,000 word novel in a month for adults titled ‘The Caravan Goes On’. It was never published so I’ve purloined the title for our book tour next month…actually, the title could very well suit me for some time to come.

** note to self: organising a book tour in five main shopping centers on the east coast of Australia at Christmas is not one of your better ideas, Hammo…

Today, the east coast of Australia and tomorrow who knows?? That’s the good thing about caravan book tours…they need never end…except for the fact that I’m traveling with kids, dogs, cat and cantankerous Cracker aboard.

**note to self: brothers and sisters should never lock themselves  in caravans together for extended periods of time, especially in summer, and especially at Christmas..

The four four P’s of surviving the hair-brained idea of a book tour on the east coast of Australia with kids and animals at Christmas runs like this:

  1.  Planning – complete book tour in three weeks leading up to visiting Cracker and just hand him the cash in an envelope on Christmas Eve…
  2. Preparation – remember that  all the last minute ‘to do’ things on the list are crucial and all of them must happen prior to departure…there’s nothing like the deadline of Santa coming and Cracker waiting under the tree with his hand out to point to the critical issue of time equally days left to actually finish, upload and print the third Cracker & Gilly novel. It’s called incentive…
  3. Promotion – press releases, caravan signage, itinerary and packing boxes and boxes of books in the caravan, keeping in mind weight distribution, tare and making sure the tow ball doesn’t collapse under the weight of my ambitions. **note to self: what does a fully laden caravan weigh with kids, cats, dogs, surfboards, bikes, billy carts and boxes of books actually weigh??
  4. Patience – all good things come to those who wait…and wait…thank you Cracker for your patience…the Cracker & Gilly Mystery Series Book Tour in gathering speed and rolling your way…here’s hoping you and Santa are ready for us. ** note to self: do not, under any circumstances, even in good cheer, especially in good cheer, mention Book 4 until the New Year…nobody, not even Cracker, would deny his family the joy of plotting another mystery in that good old Australian tradition, camping at the Abercrombie…who knows what mischief the Cracker & Gilly team could get up to with a whole new year in front of them??

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 find something worth reading

do something worth writing

creating something worth selling

image School’s out and it’s time to get back to the world of writing – do I hear you groan brother dear – with books to read, books to write, books to publish and books to market… image image image image image image

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To prologue or not to prologue, that is the question…our middle grade novel, Dirt Busters, A Cracker & Gilly Mystery, was originally called, Old Bones, and was based on the bones of a WW1 aboriginal soldier and and an ancient burial site. The site was being turned into a housing development and Cracker and the gang were determined to stop this happening.

Despite rewriting the preface to our story a zillion times, I made an executive decision to cut it. That’s the advantage of being executive but my co-author is still mad…and that’s okay because our novels are based on sibling squabbles, and our co-aurthorship has more than its fair share – yep, exactly like Cracker and Gilly, and yep, Gilly always wins, sort of, because her creator is the one who makes the executive decisions in our co-authoring team. And Cracker always saves her because that’s what big brothers do.

And being an Indie author team, I figure we can always put the prologue back in one day, and change the name back to Old Bones…but here are the reasons I made the decision I did (yeh, I know, self-justification is no justification:))…

1. My beta readers – Yr 5 & 6 kids – wanted to get straight to the action

2. I’ve been following the prologue/no prologue debate for years and it seems the no prologue team always have good reasons not to prologue

3. I wasn’t confident of our material – I don’t know a lot about our aboriginal history

4. With the right research and help I can always include it in a future edition

5. It’s a great talking point in my writing workshops and my students always engage (maybe I’ll put it in our non-fiction writing book as a discussion point for writers)

6. I went with the old maxim, if in doubt leave it out…

7. Our publisher agreed with me

But I still like our prologue…as my co-author says, it has just the right amount of spookiness…what do you think?

 

PREFACE

 

THE night air was thick and pungent with wood smoke emanating from a fire built high above the tide line where a group gathered under the light of the full moon recently risen from the west.

It was a night like no other Tanjatjiri could remember and the thought made him uneasy. He sniffed at the air as he watched the men of the Wulbunga people dance the corroboree.

Namittitnan, middle-aged and spry, danced to the rhythm of the night, as did his son,Nappittitan, beside him. Karipcoycae and his son, too, danced and Tarijatjiri momentarily forgot his worries as his gaze rested on his own young son who swayed at the feet of his elders, ready to take his place amongst them although he was only seven.

These people looked up to Tarijatjiri, the men and boys of the Wulbunga, and as their leader, Tarijatjiri took his duties seriously, which was why on this night of dance he stood to one side and tried to understand what it was that made him uneasy.

Ochre outlines painted onto the skins of the dancers, with feathers attached by animal fat long horded, showed the care each man took to present himself to the “old ones”.

From his vantage Tarijatjiri could see the sea, the sky, and the land where the men danced and as he gazed around him there was nothing amiss. Yet still he was uneasy. The melodious ‘r’ rurr r’ rurr r’ rurr’ of the dozen didgeridoos played in time to the pounding of the surf as it crashed onto the beach added to his unease.

As the dancers clapped the flats of two nulla-nullahs together, the sharp ‘slap slap’ emphasizing the driving beat, Tanjatjiri turned back to the shadows where the sea met the sky and frowned.

And from deep within him came a guttural cry.

He began to run, his words of warning unable to compete with the ancient rhythms around him, of pounding feet and the fury of clapping wood sticks. It was the crescendo of the tribal dance and as Tanjatjiri ran his brain was filled with the sounds of the dancers, but still he heard it, above the sounds, louder than the sea and the earth combined, and he knew that his warning would come too late.

As the men of the Wulbunga tribe danced to a rhythm passed down from father to son for as long as Tanjatjiri could remember, the big wave struck.

 

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image The first book in our Cracker & Gilly Mystery series arrived yesterday (Book 2 has been out for awhile but that’s another story) and I suddenly realized the potential of  publishing and marketing a series.

image And, not in any particular order, here they are:

1. We already have a readership

2. We already have a marketing strategy

3. Two books look better than one

4. We can now discount one book in the hope of interesting new readers in our series

5. Writing a book is tough…writing two books shows we’re serious 5. There are more marketing angles with two books

6. There is increased anticipation for Book 3

7. With more books we can sell boxed sets 8. Our books look good between bookends (okay, this one is a gloat:))

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Photo on 25-09-14 at 12.51 PM

The other day I shared my experience of working through a set of tutorials to learn Scrivener, delivered by Joseph at http://www.learnscrivenerfast.com.

I had no intention of doing another post on this but a funny thing happened on the way to completing the course…I cheated and skipped to the end to the Bonuses and found a great podcast by Joanna Penn (of http://www.thecreativepenn.com fame).

The podcast is all about organising your projects.

In my ideal world – let’s call it, say, Fantasyland – I decided to devote 2014 to getting half a dozen projects to completion with the grand idea of having something to market in 2015. Well, in my haphazard way I’m halfway there with three books completed and – remember, this is Fantasyland – selling.

But after listening to Joanna’s podcast on getting organised I realise I’m only a whisker away from having the other three done.

Back to Joseph and learning Scrivener. In my Scrivener binder I now have the final three projects for 2014 racing towards the finish line – Joanna even talks about daily word counts and a gizmo that does this in Scrivener – and yes, it looks like I can reach my goal of six completed projects for sale by the end of the year. If I wanna be clever I can double that because all are in both ebook and print formats (and I’m learning about audio books fast).

Twelve products for sale, me??

Joseph’s Learn Scrivener Fast has jettisoned my writing business out of Fantasyland and into the real world with one swift kick. Now all I need to do is go back in and finish the course…

Ah, I can hear my family laughing as they read this post. Me, finish anything?? In the infamous words of Eliza Doolittle, ‘Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins, just you wait’…

Anyone else doing Joseph’s course and loving it? Let us know your successes…

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Another journey….Scrivener. I’m currently working my way through a set of tutorials by Joseph at http://www.learnscrivenerfast.com so that I can take control of my writing in a way that hasn’t been possible for me to date.

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This program promises that not only can I organise my writing and keep count of my progress but I can take control of my output too…and herein lies the secret for me, being able to format my books as ebooks and print books, and upload them to the appropriate retailers in the right format. Sounds simple??

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Let me tell you, it’s not…I’ve been blessed with the support of Australian EBook Publisher (AEP)…but now it’s time to learn at least a bit of the process for myself and that’s where Joseph and his ‘learn Scrivener Fast’ tutorials come in…he is my Scrivener coach and can be found at http://learnscrivenerfast.com…

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