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Marketing is time consuming, there’s no doubt about it, but the benefits are about far more than selling a few books.

From two signings I have sold books, sure, but what I didn’t expect were the associated benefits.

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Here’s the list:

1.  I met Nick who works in the bookshop where my signings took place. His day job is as a journalist with a local radio station. I donated half a dozen books and he promoted Dirt Busters in prime time. His promotions manager also contacted me.

2.  I met Steve who is also an Indie Author. We met later for coffee and it turns out he is a motivational coach in his spare time. His day job is with local schools where he runs Outdoors Programs. He is going to help me set up and run Writers Retreats for students.

3.  I met Janet who bought Dirt Busters fir her grandson. Her hometown is co-ordinating their inaugural Writers Festival and she gave me the details of the organiser. Janet also works at the local library and she suggested I contact the Head Librarian. I did and I’m now in discussions  about literacy workshops.

4.  A elderly lady didn’t want to buy a book but we chatted for awhile anyway. Two of her daughters are local primary school teachers who are keen to invite writers into their classrooms and the third works for Education Queensland and travels to over three hundred primary schools.

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three middle grade novels ready to launch, market and sell

almost

to find out how

stay tuned

…let the countdown begin…

 

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In order to look at the figures to decide whether indie or traditional publishing is the best option for our books we have to first find the figures – and it just got a little easier – see http://www.jakonrath.blogspot.co.uk or http://www.AuthorEarnings.com (this site had crashed this morning due to overload)…in ‘A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: Me, Hugh Howey, and Legacy John’ some interesting figures (for some of us) come to light…not only is this article funny as all hell it is also the first time I’ve seen an open comparison of data on indie versus traditional publishing.

On the same topic, sort of, I contacted a literary festival co-ordinator here in North Queensland about our  middle grade reader novels being published in April and the woman told me that if I wanted to be part of the festival I needed to contact my publisher, or better, get myself an agent…wonder if it would help if I sent her a link to Howey’s article?

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on the road

Your book is finished and it’s time for the fun part, right? Time to hit the road and do the big tour. And, of course, if you’re anything like me, thinking big is the easy part. It’s what we writers do, isn’t it?

I was ready to hook up the Kimberly Kamper and head around Oz, stopping in at schools and libraries, selling books with gay abandon…I was a tad worried about being locked in a moving vehicle with my co-author for the several months this tour was going to take but, hey, I could always sit him in the back with the child locks on if he misbehaved.

But then I had to go and get this email from The Book Designer (www.thebookdesigner.com) with the title, 7 Top eBook Blog Tour Sites, written by Greg Strandberg at http://www.bigskywords.com.

Researching the marketing game has seen me write and discard several marketing plans in the last months as I’ve talked to editors, publishers, distributors, bookshops, school librarians and book fair co-ordinators. And I was ready to hit the road, even with my brother, actually he’d come in handy for flat tyres and such…

I mean, let’s face it, we writers spend all our lives cooped up in attics tapping away at our keyboards so can we be blamed for  dreaming of a few champagne celebratory drinks after the hard work is done, followed by a road trip to make us if not rich then at least famous…

celebration

But it’s not how it’s done anymore…well, at least not exclusively…marketing nowadays means more time at the keyboard, blogging, tweeting and…err…touring virtually. Strandberg lists his top seven virtual tour sites in his blog but he’s written a book that lists fifty sites, Tour Your Book, 50 eBook Blog Tour Sites That Increase Amazon Sales, and it’s those last couple of words that has me unpacking the trailer before I’ve even begun…because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my marketing research it’s that ebook sales are what drive sales nowadays and, according to the gurus who run sites like http://www.thebookdesigner.com and http://www.digitalbookworld.com there’s only one way forward for we wanna be marketers of our words…and it doesn’t involve sunsets on deserted beaches with fishing rods and celebratory drinks…

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Cheers…

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Research is such a wonderful thing…and knowing when to stop gathering information and start writing is a skill I mastered early on in my writing career. But marketing, well, that’s a different story. I’ve been working on my marketing plan for our middle grade reader novels for weeks and so far I’ve been happy with the results. Most of what we will be doing is within the realms of possibility, if not probability…

Old Bones Cover1

But then I had to go and blow it all with one tiny google search, http://www.digitalkidsauthor.com, by Sydney writer, Karen Robertson. If you have never thought about turning your story into an app then I suggest you don’t go there…but, alas, I was hooked. I downloaded the Author’s Guide to Book Apps and What is a Book App and Could YOU Create One? The capital letters are Robertson’s, not mine but already I’m screaming YES! YES! YES!

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And my co-author and illustrator are groaning into their hands. Looks like fun, sounds like fun, so it’s gunna be fun, right? Better yet, the guys at Demibooks, http://www.demibooks.com, promise it’s easy…stay tuned…

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The learning curve just gets steeper as I tackle the production and marketing side of publishing my novels. There’s nothing like a challenge to kick off the new year…and as usual I’ve set myself a couple of doozies.

First, to publish and market our three Cracker and Gilly mysteries, Forbidden, Old Bones & Merinda’s Gold – not to mention the accompanying Teacher’s Notes and Australian Curriculum Unit Plans as I pitch to the ever growing digital education market.

Old Bones Cover2 Forbidden Cover Design (Denita's) Merinda's Gold Cover 2

And second, my literary novel, the miner’s wife, with which I plan to tour and promote, using my marketing action plan…researched and drawn up with helpful tips from Joel Friedlander’s, http://www.thebookdesigner.com…

The Miner's Wife Cover1

My TO DO list is pretty straightforward…editing, interior and cover design, proofreading, producing, printing, fulfilling orders, accounting, marketing, publicity and sales…let the challenge begin…

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Meet Tombay…

Tombay is a character in our Cracker and Gilly Mystery Series for middle grade/young teen readers… his personality shines through, don’t you think, from his cheeky grin to his proud and loyal stature.

Tombay illustration

And Skelly, dastardly baddy that he is, aboard the Pirate…

Skelly and Pirate

Today I’m pleased to introduce our talented illustrator, Denita. I knew we lucked out bringing her onboard but it wasn’t till I saw the quality of her work that I realised just how lucky we are…

Denita drawing

And that’s the secret I guess…a little bit of luck, coupled with tenacity, knowing what you want and how to search for it…or, for those of us of a more biblical bent, ask and you shall receive…

But…and it’s a big but…I’ve been searching for an illustrator for a while…a talented artist friend agreed to work with us…but never delivered….another artist friend didn’t have the time…and some artists were plain out of our budget.

What I didn’t realise was that our newest team member was right under our noses all along and neither she nor I realised it…till now…and that’s where the luck came in. Circumstance, coupled with timing, coupled with luck….

I look forward to sharing more of Denita’s work…and, if we’re lucky, she may even share a few tips and tricks…

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