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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:)):

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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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imageIt’s almost time to hit the road and celebrate the launch of our third Cracker & Gilly Mystery, Merinda’s Gold. Six weeks to go but who’s counting…

Call us intrepid or brave or downright foolish but we’re off to the place where Cracker and Gilly manage to get themselves into – and out of – so much trouble with the help of Cracker’s foot soldiers, Trann and Bone.

Two authors setting off on a grand adventure, meandering down the magical Southern New South Wales coastline – well, two authors, two kids, two dogs and a cat – to the the place it all began.

Did I mention the authors are related? That, in fact, all who know them are watching on in glee to see whether the brother and sister authors survive the caravan touring challenge at all. Will there even be a fourth Cracker & Gilly Mystery, they ask?

Bateman’s Bay may never be the same again but rest assured intrepid readers, Book 4 is not only started (well, Cracker’s written a chapter…somewhere…haven’t you Cracker?) but the coast is where we do our best – and only – planning.

Stay tuned for the details…and if you want to interview us, buy our books or set up and author signing just let us know. Otherwise, you’ll find us us the beach.

Bring on summer…

 

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In ‘Novel Writing, a Writers’ and Artists’ Companion’ Philip Pullman says, ‘Don’t make plans. A plan is not a map, it’s a straitjacket. Your imagination needs the freedom to roam wherever it wants to go, and if you constrain it the book will suffer.’

And I have to agree.

There is so much advice around now in the Indie Publishing world that says outline your novel, fill in the blanks, press ‘publish’, and you will make thousands. Alas, there is little written about the creative process itself in comparison, a process that takes time, lots of it, sweat, lots of that too, and tears…in order to to trust your imagination and give it the freedom to roam you have to step back at see where it takes you…and nobody can sell you anything to make the process any easier.

Remember, the best things in life are free. All they take is time, hard work and tears…there are no shortcuts.

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My new SCBWI magazine arrived today and my twelve year old immediately started taking pics with her photo apps (about a dozen of them)…my question is how can we, as writers of middle grade fiction, not pay attention to what excites our audience?

In my case, as I continue to put together my Instruction Manual For Young Writers, I’m being forced by my daughter to consider the visual appeal of writing for young readers. What can you and I learn as writers from an app addicted young generation??

imageWell, the first thing for me is to learn how to use all the apps😇😇🐥…but don’t worry, my twelve year old has promised us a guest post to teach us the basics.

Hmmm…and I thought I was the teacher in this family…

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Over at http://www.brainpickings.org there’s a great article by Maria Popova, ‘Fixed vs Growth: The two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives’, that not only gives writers permission to fail but refers to failing as a positive way forward to greater achievement. For anyone setting goals for 2015 it’s worth a look. I particularly liked the idea of failing forward at this time of year when we’re all busy telling ourselves that 2015 will be better, that we will write more, publish more, sell more…I love the idea of setting my goals right up there in the stratosphere and then failing spectacularly. It might even make a good story…Happy New to all our family, friends, and followers. Thank you all for a great 2014 and we look forward to writing, publishing and selling at least a dozen Cracker & Gilly Mysteries in 2015…and a special message for my co-author and partner in crime who is wagging it in Hong Kong, 2014 was the year of our infamy while 2015 will be the year riches reign down upon our heads…

🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

 

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I retrieved my beautiful old typewriter from a friend today and, alas, it’s in dire need of rejuvenation. I bought it when my grandfather was alive and he repaired it for me so it broke my heart to see it in such a sad state. But I know, with a bit of love and care and time, it can be fixed.

It’s the end of another year and time to reflect, evaluate and make plans for the new year…Chris Guillebeau has a great series of posts titled, ‘2014 Annual Review: Looking Forward to 2015’ at http://www.chrisguillebeau.com and it made me think.

Our plans for 2014 were simple, publish our middle grade Cracker & Gilly Mysteries and build a platform for our http://www.growingupwriting.com followers.

We achieved this with two novels written, published and launched. We even have our third mystery ready for early 2015. And then there’s the non-fiction book in the writing stages. We have our first Youtube clip, How to Build A Billy Cart, which has a steady and growing following, with more coming in 2015. And we have a marketing strategy for 2015.

Did it happen as quickly as we wanted?? No!! But we are in a great place to greet the new year…how about you??? Is your writing progressing as quickly as you’d like or are your goals more ambitious than your dreams?

There’s nothing wrong with dreams, I say…

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Let 2015 bring rejuvenation to your writing…and we look forward to sharing many more pics of our beautiful old Remington as we write our way into another year of hopes and dreams and promises…

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