I know, I’ve been slacking this week, I normally post in the middle of the week and I haven’t. I don’t have any excuses as I could normally talk the hind legs off a horse or is it a donkey???!!! Either way I normally have some little anecdote to rant about but I have to admit, I’ve been a little boring this week and find I have nothing to neither rant about nor anything exciting to report. I’m still waiting for a final “Official” release date for the book, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be in April now!! Which is incredibly exciting and obviously I’ll let you guys know the moment I do and where to purchase from, (If you actually want to read it of course!!!) but I’ve been so busy in my day job this week that it has completely taken my mind off all the waiting and as I have the attention span of a small child this has actually been a good thing, the fact that I now have more grey hair however is completely irrelevant!! I’m still waiting for copies to be shipped to me so I can start sending my Press releases and if anybody has any ideas of media that you think would be interested in receiving one let me know I’ll add them to the list. I’m all out of possible marketing ideas to implement now as well so may result to my cats technique after all (See Day Of Rest)
I’ve actually been distracting myself with what spare time I’ve had this week with a new project, which is just as exciting right now but I won’t give you any details about it just yet. I feel like I’m cheating on my current project as we haven’t quite come to the end of our journey yet!!!
I have been thinking though, I need to surround myself with creative people, for example I could really do with having a good ol’ chat with an illustrator, I have some really good graphics ideas but I’m no graphic designer, in fact my artistic skills extend to stick men! I reckon I could probably teach myself with some fancy drawing/graphics/paint computer programme but oh my god, how expensive are they, WHY? Why is computer software so expensive? I’m not actually paying £800 for the programme, I’m paying £800 for the use of the brain of the person who designed it aren’t I. I’m so in the wrong profession if that’s the case!!! Or maybe I’ll just invest in one of those Dummies books, they must have something like, drawing for Dummies or become an amazing 21st century artist for Dummies or how to give up and employee someone to do it for you for Dummies!!! Maybe that can be my mission this weekend, to find out how to draw, that and Mother’s Day stuff! Watch this space if I’m brave enough I’ll post some practice runs!!!
So it’s the weekend again and it seems the madness never stops my book is complete just waiting for the finished article to be delivered but now the fun really begins. Now it’s time for Marketing!!!
Clearly a strategy is need, I now have a completed press pack but they can’t go anywhere yet until copies of the book arrive to send with them, I have you guys and the world of Twitter but I have no real strategy or structure. I love the unknown!
I’d like to think I was a bit of an expert on “winging it” but all of a sudden I know that’s not quite good enough, I’m going for professional here and professionals aren’t allowed to “Wing it”, Are they????
I’d love to sit down with some of the greats, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, you know the sort and just ask “So chaps let’s talk marketing, where do you start?”. Where do you start indeed, I guess I should know my audience, do a few surveys or something constructive??? If I was at work (at my day job) I’d know exactly where to start, what to say, what to suggest but this is a whole new territory and a little bit more personal, you don’t want to get it wrong but you don’t know how to get it right? So my strategy for this weekend is going to be research.
I find myself awake at a ridiculously stupid hour for a Saturday morning so I’m going to make the most of it, I’m off out on a field trip to as many different book shops as I can’t find. This of course will be the ideal excuse to buy loads of new books to read and make up for lost reading time!
So this post is short and sweet today guys but I’ll keep you updated on my findings by updating this post a little later!! Wish me luck in my research adventure today and if you have any really groovy ideas for low budget book marketing then trust me I’m all ears (Well you can have my good ear at least!!!!!)
So my second proof arrived today and guess what, it’s perfect! So all that’s left to do is OK it then it’s back to waiting but this time waiting for it to come out for real!!
I guess at this point I should really start by confessing that it’s not really a big secret I need to reveal but as I draw closer to the launch of my book, The Break, I feel I must explain something to you guys. This book is being published by ME!! I have ventured in to the realm of self publishing, a realm I must admit I was very sceptical and apprehensive about especially considering the stereotype and reactions that go with self publishing.
I guess there’s two pinnacle moments that has lead me to this point in time, the first is way back in the day when my thirst for writing began and the moment when I was eighteen years old and had some success with a screenplay I had written, which piqued the interest of a casting director, a producer and a commissioning editor at Channel 4. I couldn’t even begin to describe the rollercoaster ride I continued on, which unfortunately lasted all of four months as the project fell through due to funding. What I can describe to you is the devastating effects something like that has on the soul of an eighteen year old, to have all your dreams handed to you in a stroke of fate only to experience a mere smell of them before they’re whisked away just as quickly as they arrived. With the exception of journalism pieces for the student magazine of which I was editor of whilst at college I didn’t write a single thing for four years. I think this is why I get so annoyed at reality shows like the X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and American Idol etc because some of the contestants are too young, you can’t possibly comprehended the manipulative ways of the entertainments industry at the ages of fifteen to eighteen. Grown adults seem to find it amusing to play with kids hopes and fears. Anyway that’s a different rant for a different day! So once I started writing again I still couldn’t find my “Mojo” I was continuing to write screenplays still because that’s what I had had success with before but none of those projects felt right. Incidentally, I now have a huge pile of them I now use as a door stop!
Then the second pinnacle moment occurred just after I turned thirty, I started to lose my hearing. Now without meaning to sound incredibly clichéd but it is incredible what we take for granted. I never expected in a million years to hit thirty and start going deaf, over the course of a year I completely lost the ability to hear out of my right ear and now wear a hearing aid in my left, without out which I’m a little useless to you!! It was in this moment that I sat down and started writing, writing an actual story, a novel, not a screenplay. Why do people need life altering moments to motivate them to do something they would never have dared try? I’ve always loved crazy, wild, unbelievable stories based in imaginary worlds and fictional crazy characters ultimately the fantasy/Sci-fi genre so that’s where my crazy imagination took me, to a complete fantasy.
After finishing my first completed draft, I went back and started to focus on the first three chapters and formatted them in accordance with “industry standards”, I wrote a covering letter and started sending them to literary agents, I figured I didn’t need to know the ins and outs of the world of publishing I’d get an agent and they’ll do it all for me. I was so naive back then I look back and I’m convinced that attitude belonged to a different person. The thing is everyone said no but the annoying part was it wasn’t because they didn’t enjoy the work. I think it was because of the genre I was writing in. I think nowadays if you’re writing a fantasy novel and you’re not on Team Vampire you don’t stand a chance.
It seems in this current economic climate nobody wants to take a risk everybody wants a sure thing. I was on the verge of scrapping the idea completely to attempt perhaps something more main stream a romantic comedy maybe!! Or to conform and throw in a vampire or two but I’d grown a little attached to my characters and to not see it through to the end would’ve reminded me of how close I’d come before and writing and telling stories is the only thing that has stayed with me since I learnt to read, write and draw, it’s the only thing I’ve never kept changing my mind about, I’ve always wanted to be an author. Then somebody suggested self publishing and to be honest I turned my nose up. I spent about an hour Googling and realised it consisted of dodgy looking companies with dodgy looking websites asking you to give them about fifteen hundred quid and they’ll print your book and get it in the shops (yeah right), it just all looked like one big SCAM. Then my partner suggested I do some more research “Buy a book about it”. So I did I purchased a book called Self Printed: a sane person’s guide to self publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard. I think it was the “Sane” part that was the biggest selling point for me! Anyway as I read it, it just all made sense and there wasn’t a dodgy looking Scam company in sight, it’s become my bible and the biggest thing it opened my eyes to was, self publishing in this way is much like running a small business, basically you have a product you would like to sell and that was my problem before, how could I expect literary agents and publishers to take a chance on me financially if I wasn’t willing to do it myself. So I have taken a leap of faith, for the experience, for the understanding, for the business woman in me, for the creative woman in me, for the deflated eighteen year old still left in there somewhere. I will always continue to go down the traditional publishing route (this is the dream after all!) but now, I’m better armed with better knowledge, I am my own boss and I’m not scared of the hard work, the hard work I’ve already put in and the hard work that’s still to come, I’ve got a strong stomach and thick skin and I can’t wait for the new challenges around the corner, I’m not delusional, I’m not going to suddenly quit my day job and expect to be in the top 20 of The Times best sellers list in The Saturday Review but I’m up for an adventure and I hope you guys will come along for the ride.