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Monday, 20 February 2017

How do you market your self published book?

As many of you will know from my previous blog posts, I am dedicating a third of this self publishing project to the marketing phase. The other two thirds being the writing and publishing phases. I have no prior experience in marketing or sales and I am literally 'winging it' as I go along. As I have also mentioned before, I put a post on social media, via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and occasionally Pinterest as part of my every day 'to do' list in order to increase my author platform and drive sales. That generally takes me an hour and then I have to develop other ideas in an effort to spread my words. This is mainly done via email but can also include sending out signed copies to people in the book world and to celebrities who I feel may like my book and hopefully decide to post about it on social media. That is certainly my sole aim. I believe in my book and have done since receiving the feedback from my review team as I was writing it, indicating their enthusiasm for the next chapters as they rolled onto the pages of my laptop, through to today when I received a message this morning that three young women who share student digs, have read my book and I quote "absolutely loved it!". So how do I keep on driving myself to getting my book further and further out there in the world? 

My love for my gift of writing, my self belief in my gift and my gratitude for my gift all stoke my motivational fire. I am also blessed to have had consistent messages (as I have previously mentioned in my blog) of people's enjoyment of my book, together with them wanting to know when my next book is out. How can I not remain motivated when I get those kind of messages continuously and from such a wide spectrum of fans, women my own age (who I was pitching the book at as my target audience), elder women, young women in their 20's and even men in their 40's, 50's and 60's. That is an incredibly diverse range of the reading population, consistently telling me the same things about their enjoyment of MY book, MY debut novel. That is nut's to me.... crazy..... but good crazy! I love it. Who wouldn't? These are not my friends reviewing it any more these are strangers from far and wide now, who are taking the trouble to let me know via email or social media how much they liked my book and how it impacted and inspired them. I honestly believe that the secret to my book taking off is via social media, via a big name who reads it, enjoys it and shares it on their own social media accounts. Celebrity influence is massive. Social media is massive. Combine the two and the sales rocket. Kate Middleton wears a Reiss dress and boom it sells out. A celebrity with a large following tweets that they loved my book and boom, the sales rocket. 

To date I have had four negative reviews (three can be attributed to vindictiveness...(ex husband and ex friend .... yawn yawn, so be it, the haters are gonna hate!) and a woman who said she loved the plot but didn't like chick lit, so theoretically I have had one negative review based upon the fact she doesn't like the romantic comedy/chick lit genre of my book. I can live with that. My point being, it can only be a matter of time before a celebrity likes my book too and decides to message me or posts on their social media platform/s about it. So how do I get a celebrity to read it? I post copies, I email, I tweet them, Instagram them and hand deliver copies to them too! It can be very disheartening when you get nil response from celebrities (from the 100's of contacts made only 2 have replied) but I remain motivated, as I do firmly believe that a celebrity social media post is the key to further success. 

In order to keep the Instagram and Twitter ideas fresh and not get bored of posting or allow my followers to become bored of 'my daily sales pitch' postings, I have to think of new ideas to keep my interest in what I NEED to do. I am a modern day door to door saleswoman flogging my own book. I have to keep myself and my followers interested. It's very interesting researching and thinking and planning new idea's. I recently decided to focus on the number 23 as in the title Exactly 23 days and posted 23 reviews over 23 days and 23 facts about Fi (the main character) for the following 23 days. Tomorrow I will post about 23 places featured in the book and so on. I gave myself a two year marketing phase deadline but I decided 23 months is kind of close! That will be 7/10/2017.

If any of you have any idea's I would love to hear your suggestions and I enclose the 23 days of reviews for you as well as a direct link to purchase the book.  https://completelynovel.com/books/exactly-23-days



























 


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Sunday, 11 December 2016

The plot thickens.

https://completelynovel.com/books/exactly-23-days


Hi everyone, wishing you a Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays etc, whatever denomination of faith or not as the case may be, if and however you celebrate, I send my best wishes to you for the holidays was well as wishing you the very best of health and happiness for 2017 and if you are in the midst of chasing dreams, then stay focussed and keep chasing them. 

What did 2016 bring for me? 

It brought hard work marketing my book because as an indie author I have to market my work myself as I have stated previously. I continue to send my words out there via social media, emails and by sending signed physical copies for marketing purposes. In 2016 my book landed in Australia, Brazil, The Philippines, Spain, The USA and Morocco to name but a few. My blog traffic continued to grow both in numbers of readers and geographically. I devoted a lot more time to Instagram and less time to Facebook, as I find Facebook to be less of a successful tool for reader/author contact. I hope for continued growth in 2017 and marketing will remain on my daily agenda. I entered competitions for my book and I also wrote a children's Christmas book which I intend to publish and I will begin a second adult novel in 2017. I will also continue to seek ways to grow as an author and hone my craft by seeking workshops and creative writing classes. 

Commonalities in my life and my book.

For those who have read my book Exactly 23 days you will know that it is dedicated to women and the need to support each other especially in times of trauma. You will also know that the protagonist experienced betrayal on two separate occasions in differing ways throughout the plot and so it was an uncanny co-incidence for me to find myself at the mercy of betrayal in reality in 2016 and this time via a long standing girlfriend. I am not an instigator of trouble, never have been, BUT to quote a lyric from one of my favourite songs, 'I have a right to defend' and it continues, 'over and over again' . And so it has been for many months now that I have chosen to defend myself against one of my ex best friends attempts to continually sabotage my reputation in order to try to ensure that she appeared somewhat 'cleaner' than she actually is. Inevitably in these scenario's, people will jump onto one team or the other or even sit on the fence, which I find both enlightening and frustrating in equal measure. The enlightening aspect being that you get to realise 'who' people really are at their core, as they expose the real them. The frustrating part comes when you can quite clearly see from afar the web they have chosen to enter, in order to leave your life and become trapped in the silken snare of the betrayer. Several people have done that in either a blatant or cowardly manner to me this past few months. Their playground behaviour merely exposes their weaknesses and lack of moral fibre and courage and therefore enhances for me, the realistic core of human beings of very many years standing, that I choose to have in my life on a daily basis. Playground behaviour isn't for me but 'defending my name, my reputation and my integrity' ALWAYS will be. I have defended myself directly with the culprit and in an assertive and dignified manner at all times, without verbal or physical altercations. I will never, ever accept anybody trying to blame me and lie about my reputation as a woman in order to cover up their own behaviour. I have come away from all of this still being able to sleep soundly at night, having the support of my loved ones and my great network of women being at the core of my daily life. Not only do we choose wrongly at times in love relationships but also in friendships too. As is the case here. I am however, emotionally savvy and sound enough to see it for the reality that it is, rather than to dwell upon it as any great loss. I am extremely grateful for the lesson it has taught me and once again the 'wood for the tree's' scenario presented itself to me, albeit 18 years too late. The behaviour was always there but I was just too nice to see it... until I was betrayed and then my right to defend, over and over again kicked in. 

I hope that my protagonist Fi, from Exactly 23 days would be proud of me, as she too is a woman of honour and dignity in the aftermath of betrayal. I also hope that this blog posting touches somebody who needs it. Somebody who maybe questions themselves, doubts themselves and struggles to 'defend' themselves in the aftermath of betrayal, be it from a lover, family member or friend. I say to anybody in that position, in your minds eye, just imagine yourself stood atop of a hill, overlooking the mess going on beneath you and if you truly know in your 'gut' that you HAVE been betrayed, then simply walk away, in your mind, in your heart, in your core being and leave them all to it. We are here on planet earth for such a minute aspect of time, within the billions of years the universe has been around and people who choose to TRY to hurt or betray you are really not worth your inner and outer beauty. Whilst they remain at the bottom of the heap sowing havoc, you get to stand at the top of the hill admiring a different, beautiful ever changing view and take it from me, life is so so peaceful from where I'm standing right now.

Be there for you, be there for the GOOD people in your life and remember to be there for someone who doesn't always feel that they 'have a right to defend'. Nice begets nice.

To my fans worldwide I say thank you for buying my book, for reviewing my book, for sharing my book with others and for reading my blog and following and getting in touch with me on social media. Once again a very, very happy 2017 to everybody. Jayne. 
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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Consistencies

Consistency has been a consistent factor in this writing project from the beginning. I have had a consistent attitude as to how I approached each phase of it. 

In the writing phase I always began my days ensuring nutrition was the first part of any writing day. I made a drinks tray of decaf tea with goats milk and some honey to sweeten it, a large glass of a vegetable and fruit juice (I buy mine from Marks and Spencer's rather than make my own but the quality is superb and they taste delicious) and I drink between 9-12 bottles a week, a glass of lemon and hot water and a large container of cold filtered water (I used a Brita fridge jug) and carried that to my desk. I had a large glass cookie jar filled with health bars such as oat, fruit and nut varieties and I also had another jar on my desk with dried banana's and cranberries for snacking. Breakfast at my desk often included a porridge dish with pears or banana's with a drizzle of honey or maybe sour dough toast with avocado and a poached egg (long before it was a trendy menu item!) and was a great way for me to start my day at my desk, which began with checking the previous days writing to ensure the continuation and flow of the plot. As each chapter was finished it was sent off to my team of reviewers and to my Editor James, who was so efficient, that it was usually fired back to me the same day with his suggested amendments and his sarcastic comments about my mistakes (all in good fun - of course). I also considered any comments made by reviewers as they came through to me via email but mainly they were just requests for the next chapter with the exception of Kate who by default became my second editor given that she added valuable advice that complimented  James' work as my editor. I tended to re-write as I went along and adjusted chapters when editorial advice was offered for consideration or plot changes came into my head. The final aspect of the writing project was a line edit by me which I repeated twice, before each chapter was then once again sent off to James and Kate for their final edits. 

The second phase was the publishing phase and I had already decided via my research that I would be using the publishing company Completelynovel.com. This phase consisted of hours of typesetting conversations, as I wanted my book to be set out in an unusual way and for those of you who have read the book, you will understand why. This phase was a nightmare as I had written my book on my Macbook Pro in ipages and had sent it over to Completelynovel.com in the format requested. They then tried to put it into their editing/typesetting software, which proved so problematic with the pages often coming back to me as pictured below. My draft copy arrived and I made my red pen alterations before sending them page by page to Completelynovel.com. Every time the company tried to re-typeset my amendments it would throw the whole sequence out and any pages 'behind' my amendments would then need reformatting again, which as you can imagine was costly for me in terms of hourly rate typesetting fees and costly for them as a company in terms of time. Eventually after frustrations, tears, re-scheduled book launch dates, fallouts and the near breakdown in my working relationship with Completelynovel.com, I made a decision that although there were still the odd minor issues with the typesetting etc, I could not keep throwing money at the project and I had to be satisfied with where it was at and roll with it. That is hard to do when you are a perfectionist in your work. The lesson for me here is that I will purchase compatible writing software when I send book two to them.



The final phase is the marketing phase which of course I am still in. This phase is very much a work in progress. From a consistency stance my daily routine is to do a social media trawl and or new event posting at the beginning of each day (7 days a week). I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest regularly and I have recently started to experiment with reddit and Wattpad apps too, although the jury is out at the moment on the effectiveness of these latter two as marketing tools. I trawl the accounts I follow for any opportunity to link my book to a statement or image and do so at the start of each day. I consistently ask friends and followers to share  and re-tweet my social media events, as using your friends and followers helps to spread the message of the day you are posting and also could encourage people to friend request, follow, enquire about your work and even buy your book. This is known as building your author platform and a strong platform makes for a solid building (i.e.: my readership fan base). I have also consistently handed out business cards, posted signed post cards and my most recent strategy is to send signed copies to high profile media people and influential women. The marketing phase is fascinating and during my everyday trawl of the internet I am blown away by the myriad of new ways that I can try to get my work noticed. I am truly loving the marketing phase just as I loved the writing phase. 

I am consistent in my belief in my book and in my gift for writing as a whole and I am consistent in my gratitude for that gift. Consistency in my gratitude to my readers and for their encouraging messages is also a big aspect of this project and I always reply to any messages that people take the time to send me. Consistency in the content of their messages is also very humbling to me and I really do appreciate every one of them. People are consistently telling me they like my book and THAT makes it all so worthwhile. The women love this book which is dedicated to them and the fact that the men write and tell me they love it to is fantastic. It is after all a very relatable book about relationships, betrayal and online dating, which is making people cry and laugh out loud. 

This is  the latest review from a male: Started 'Exactly 23 days' at work last night. Read 173 pages. It's a fantastic read. Can't wait to get to work tonight! 

When I wake up to messages like that from a new reader it really is such a wonderful start to my day. Somebody loves my book and took the time to tell me they did. Wow. I am consistent in my gratitude. Thank you all. 

Update: 

This is the remainder of the review above:

Well finished Exactly 23 days. You asked me to let you know what I thought. Well here goes! Absofuckinglutelylovedit! Not my usual sort of read but it had me gripped. The ending OMG! Seriously, I read it every spare minute I had over my last 2 shifts. I couldn't put it down. Bit bloody clever you are! When's the next one out. Jayne I loved it. Seriously. Brilliant. It put a smile on my face and a lump in my throat, on several occasions. I've put a review on Amazon and told some of lads at work to tell their Mrs's about it. Well done you. Get back to that desk and pen a new one. NOW. xxx

Exactly 23 days is available from: https://completelynovel.com/books/exactly-23-days Barnes & Noble, Waterstones online, Blackwells, apple iBooks and Amazon 



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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ripping off the writer!

Unfortunately scamming and ripping people off are very much the way of the world nowadays as Fi the main character in my debut novel Exactly 23 days knows only too well. It would appear that I too as the writer of the book have to be wary of being conned. It was purely by chance whilst I was at a blogging event today that I discovered that a site in Germany (Bol.com) selling my book had 5,400 views and a score of 8.1/10 for my book. Of course, I was excited at the huge increase in the spread of my words and also at the potential to increase the sale of my book too. It was only on completing a google search when I got home and doing some research on Bol.com that I discovered that they appear to be a rather dubious website with an awful lot of 'one star' negative reviews and not just for book sales. It would appear that books and other items are not being delivered and the authors and artists from music sales on the site will almost certainly never see any of their rightful earnings! 

The purpose of todays post is to warn you about purchasing from a site other than if directed to it by myself as the writer of Exactly 23 days. That way I can make sure that it is a site authorised by me to sell my work. I enclose information for all the sites where you can buy my book and I look forward to your reviews as and when you happen to read it. 

Exactly 23 days is available from https://completelynovel.com/books/exactly-23-days

and from the following online outlets: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, apple iBooks app (for iPad and iPhone), Waterstones, Blackwells and Google Books. 


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Saturday, 17 September 2016

What have I learnt?

At the beginning of this blog you may recall that I said I was fully prepared to focus on the final third of this self publishing project just as I had focussed upon the writing and the publishing of my book Exactly 23 days. The final third of the project is the marketing aspect. I received my first copy of the book on the 25/9/2015 and since then I have devoted a part of every day marketing it, however small that may be. 

How have I marketed it and what have I learnt along the way?

I created this blog and have attempted to create new and relevant posts regularly in order to connect with my fans, keep them interested in my work and also to increase awareness of my book.

I have built my social media platforms: Twitter: @jaynelhiggins61, Facebook: Jayne Higgins, Instagram: jaynelhiggins and Pinterest: Jayne Higgins bombarding each of these with any conceivable link to my book in order to increase awareness, connect with other peoples work and hopefully increase my followers and sales.

I have done mail shots of postcards to 100 influential women in the UK.

I have left business cards all over the country whenever I can in cafe's, bars, library shelves, buses, trains including overground, underground and trams and even in ladies loos!

I have chatted to complete strangers and left them with signed postcards.

I have emailed women's magazines, bookstores, newspaper editors, agents, publishing houses, film producers, tv executives and fellow bloggers.

I have researched how to query or pitch my work to agents and publishing houses.

I have emailed libraries, bookstores, supermarkets and online stores to generate an interest in stocking my book.

I have sent signed copies of my book to agents, publishers, newspaper editors, film producers and celebrities.

I have gifted signed copies as prizes for competitions.

I have spent 100's of hours researching how to do all of the above effectively and I discover a new direction of where to send my book on this marketing journey every day! It certainly makes for a very interesting days work.

So what have I learnt?

Always respond to any query or comment from your social media platforms, texts or emails. I feel humbled that complete strangers take the time to comment on a post, or about my book if they have read it and I always thank them for contacting me, buying my book and reviewing it. My fans/readers/followers are the reason I wrote the book. I want to help other people to overcome the emotional and physical pain of betrayal. I want to inspire people to heal. I want to inspire people to move on and I want to encourage women to help each other to heal.  Responding to people who take the time to contact me is showing gratitude and also being respectful of their opinion and their time. 

Respect people's opinions be it a follower who trolls you or an agent who rejects your work. I hear in their words what they have to say and I reply accordingly, be it a polite thank you for their time and their opinion, or as in the case of one of my recent troll comments, I gave her an honest and respectful but also assertive response to her unnecessary and negative comments. It seemed to have the desired effect of silencing her. However, I hasten to add here, that I would NEVER enter into a battle of words with somebody who chooses to want a 'written' argument with me. People are absolutely entitled to dislike my work and comment accordingly, but if I feel justified in giving a balanced counter argument to any misjudgments they make then I will but only if I feel there is a valid reason for doing so and always in a polite and respectful way. 

Be committed to linking each opportunity to your book, after all it could be another sale. Follow book clubs, follow book reviewers, follow agents, editors, readers, fans, and use any connecting links to shout about your own work. Use is as a 'copy and paste' option to your web link, amazon link, blog link, publisher link, any link that will lead them to your own work. Your book is your 'saleable goods', social media is your shop window and your followers are your word of mouth. Don't be afraid to ASK for help, ask them to share the link for you, then ASK them again and then ASK them some more. It will either involve the click of a button or a few minutes of their time to leave an Amazon review. ASK them. What have you got to loose? 

Be committed to the continuance of marketing your book yourself. When I wrote my book I knew when I had come to the end of writing and after edit upon edit, (there are many different types of editing!) I knew I had no more to give that aspect of the job and I know that I will suddenly feel like that about the marketing aspect of the job too but at the moment I am really enjoying getting my words out into the world. 

Be prepared to invest time, effort and undoubtedly money into building a workable website with links to newsletters and to purchase your books and other merchandise. Dedicate the bulk of your website to your work as a writer and possibly hints of your daily life. A great example of such a website for me is, The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond.. An award winning blog and website, she is tv celebrity cook, wife, mother, photographer and writer. It's a great blog/website and I aspire to build one of that quality and interest. My website is however very much a work in progress. 

I've absolutely learnt that every day is a learning curve and that what I am doing is exactly what I have discovered other famous authors doing as they too release new books. I've learnt too, that I get to high five some of my peers, albeit imaginary, in accomplishing both a published piece of work and for going in the right direction along this marketing highway. 

Which direction? Oh yes, straight ahead. For now anyway! 

https://completelynovel.com/books/exactly-23-days      


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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Relatable

Dedication taken from the novel 'Exactly 23 days' which is a story of survival for women.
When your heart has been shredded and you are left to pick yourself up to recover from lies, betrayal, trauma, emotional and financial abuse, to name just a few of the list of effects, bestowed upon us by partners who chose to be unfaithful and betray us, be it in reality or online, I just want you to know you WILL survive, you CAN do it.
It takes the seconds which seem like they are as long as a day, to eventually turn into manageable minutes, that then become a goal of an hour, followed by aiming to survive the never ending days and nights, when you don’t want daytime to come and you cannot wait for night time to fall once more, to allow you the peace of knowing you have survived another day. Believe me, you do have it in you. Dig deep and do what is required to get through those seconds, minutes, hours and days. It could be screaming as loud as you can, it could be dancing and singing like nobody can see or hear you, it could be power walking like you have batteries inside you, refusing to die, it could be a peaceful soak in the bath, it could be crying until you can cry no more, it could be grabbing precious time with your children, it could be choosing to drink a fruit drink and eat a yoghurt because that’s all you can face eating, it could be writing in your journal, explaining how you feel about those who chose to hurt you, it could be snatched moments of laughing with your friends until the tears roll down your legs. Whatever helps you, do it.
Just believe, have faith in yourself, trust your craziness, trust your recovery, trust your relapses, trust that you are doing great, as you are able to tick off another day in your head, knowing that your life is going to be so much more fulfilled without having somebody difficult in it, who just did not deserve to be there. I am a firm believer in Karma and the law of attraction. Whilst sitting in my garden watching the recent eclipse, it made me realise the level of the precision of the alignments of the planets, which brought such a spectacle of nature and how infrequently that alignment happens. I believe our lives are also about precision and alignment and that we are meant to be on the journey we are on and that better things are coming our way. Don’t let somebody who chose to walk out on your dreams let you believe your dreams are over. Create a new dream, a new goal. What have you always, always wanted to do? Go out there and do it. Right now. Start your dream machine but make sure that you have taken the time to ask yourself what you have learnt from the nightmare you have just emerged from first. There was a lesson to learn. Make sure you understand what it was and prevent yourself from reliving the nightmare.
Be good to YOU, all day, every day and goodness will come your way. Only you can mend you. Not your doctor, not your friends, not your family, not your work colleagues, not your neighbours and not your children. They might all want to be there for some of the journey, to help you recover but ultimately it is you and only you, who can do it. Look yourself in the eye, in the mirror and tell yourself no- body is worth keeping you in that place of pain and despair. Chose to smile and feel the wind in your hair, chose to laugh, chose to bath, chose to eat, chose a treat, chose a new look, chose a new book, chose the gym, chose to be slim, chose a walk, chose to talk, chose tears, chose to dispel your fears, chose whatever it is you need to get through the seconds, minutes, hours, days, nights, weeks, months to the ‘you’ that was there all along. You can do it and you will do it.
When you know you are finally mended, spread the word, hold out your hand, share some love from your heart and some laughter from your soul and be there for a new member of the sisterhood who needs your help. Let’s all help all our sisters worldwide to stand tall and know, they can and they will recover, survive and thrive, to live the life they deserve.

To all the sisters who reached out and held my hand in what ever way you could, who cried my tears with me, and laughed my laughter too, I thank every one of you. I survived. Jayne.
The above is taken from my debut novel Exactly 23 days and it warms my heart when I get messages from strangers telling me that the words I have written have impacted upon them in one way or another. One of todays messages via a third party says, 'Thank you so much for that book, I can relate to every word, it's like I was meant to read it to get my life in order'. There are a few recurring threads among the feedback and reviews for my book and they are: a need to know when my next book is out, 'unputdownable' comments and 'relatable' comments. I have said many times that my motivation to write the book was to help other women and I am so happy to hear the recurring message that people are finding the contents of the plot relatable, helpful, hopeful and inspiring. I am humbled and honoured that people choose to comment. It inspires me for sure. Thank you.

To purchase the book click the link or go to apple iBooks, Waterstones UK, Barnes and Noble or Amazon UK.  


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Sunday, 21 August 2016

Olympic standards. Nothing else will do.

Whenever I am introduced to people as a writer, I am usually greeted with something along the lines of, "Oh really? Published?" closely followed by, "How is it doing, sold any?" 

That's a strange question to answer because selling books, as I have said before, is NOT what motivated me to write this book. I was motivated to help other people, especially women to overcome betrayal but actually I have been pleasantly surprised that the men who have purchased and read my book are tending to send me personal reviews of their enjoyment of the book, thank me for writing it and to comment on the main character, Fi. Fi is a sensitive but cheeky woman, she embraces her sadness but she is also hilarious, is casual in her appearance but can be damn sexy too but more importantly she has a core of kindness and fairness until people choose to betray her and then her feisty side emerges! Is it any wonder she appeals to male readers too? 

I could answer the sales question by quoting the actual numbers, I could 'play the figures down' by trying to explain the slow start in sales or I could even 'big it up' by exaggerating the sales figures. BUT the sales figures are not what drives me to continue as a writer, otherwise I wouldn't be a writer for the right reasons. There is no question that I will be a writer forever. As I have said before, words have been in my veins since I was a small child. I am a writer. 

So how do I answer the question? 

Well writing is my passion and I have a flair for my craft according to my readers, many of whom have uttered the words, "can't wait for the next book," and as a matter of fact I too, believe I have a flair for writing. As with any passion that you wish to pursue, you have to practice and hone your skills. You hear of bands who have relentlessly toured the country, Europe or the globe, sleeping in a transit van and playing small gig after small gig before eventually emerging to have their music played on the radio, playing bigger and bigger venues and finally playing world renowned stadiums and festivals. Cold Play, REM et al come to mind. I have been honing my craft since I began studying again for my social care career, later as a court report writer in the probation service, by completing creative writing text book exercises sat at my desk, whilst sat on a beach years ago on Anglesey and even when sitting bolt upright in bed at 3am because an idea has been a part of a dream! 

I am that band member in the back of the van. I am that athlete who has dedicated years of relentless practice before finally standing on that podium. The difference being, I don't collect medals and I don't hear the crowd singing back at me as I belt out their favourite tune. I do however, appear to be consistently collecting (via my email, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram accounts) very positive feedback from people who have bought my book, who have really enjoyed reading it and then taken the time to send me their thoughts via a review. 

And so when people do ask me "How's it going, any sales?" My answer to the question is this, "I liken myself to the new band gigging in the pub at their first gig, or the runner out practicing in the pouring rain in the dark at the junior stages of his career. I am a self published writer dedicating my life to the marketing phase of getting my debut novel out there in the world."

Just as the band will have 3 people in a crowd and remember that gig as much as they will remember their first Glastonbury and the athlete will remember their first junior title as much as they will winning their first Olympic gold medal, I will remember all my emails, social media contact and face to face feedback that people so kindly convey to me about how my words have impacted upon them. I have made people laugh, I have made people cry, I have given people hope of a true and fulfilled love and I have people waiting for my next novel. That's not bad for a debut novelist.  
How's it going? It's going great. So thank you for asking. 

However, I won't lie and say I wouldn't like to break out into the big time! Just as the band member and the athlete does! But just like the athlete's who stood on the podium this past two weeks and told youngsters out their to follow their dreams and work hard for the gold medal, I too will continue to work very very hard to follow my dream of becoming an award winning author. And so I ask all of those who have read my book, please can you take the trouble to review it on Amazon, because 20-25 reviews means Amazon will include my book in their 'also bought' and 'you might like this' lists, which increases visibility on the site and may increase sales for an author. However, 50-70 reviews and Amazon then highlights the book for spotlight positions and it's newsletter feature, which could potentially mean a HUGE boost in sales for an author. Reviews really do help self published authors in particular to sell more books as part of their marketing strategy. And so this last paragraph was yet another 'music gig' or a 'pouring rain practice run' for me and I need the crowd to get behind me now!! 

To purchase the book click the link or go to apple iBooks, Waterstones UK, Barnes and Noble or Amazon UK. 

https://completelynovel.com/books/exactly-23-days
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