Thursday, March 28, 2013

Indie book marketing... promotions or trip hazard

I continue my quest to sell my indie books...

  • Because I created them to be read, not to hide away in boxes.
  • Because my reader feedback tells that people love my books. 

So are they selling?

  • Yes. I've sold over 1,000 books at book signings and craft fairs.
  • They're now selling on kindle.

So what's the problem?

  • Books will only sell if people know they exist.
  • Indie books can easily get lost in the crowd

So what's the solution?
  • Give up  Never give up.
  • To put my books where they will get noticed.
  • It's not enough that they get stumbled across by a few readers. They need to be out there causing a virtual roadblock that no one can get round without picking them up for a read...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snow at Easter... stay indoors and read a book

Who'd have thought that snow at Easter would make A Face full of Snow the perfect Easter read. Available in paperback and on kindle so why not give in to the weather this Easter and snuggle up with a good book?

Or if you want to ignore the weather and think about Spring - why not try But I'm Not Sleepy for a bit of sheep trouble.
It'll make you think twice about counting sheep anywhere but n a field... 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Made in Britain

So why manufacture in Britain...?

Because not everything has to be made as cheap as possible, sometimes quality matters more than cost cutting.

So why order books from half way across the world when there are printers locally who can do an excellent job, cutting out delivery delays, and reducing the carbon footprint.
  ...and apart from that... it's so much fun to go and collect a book run hot off the press, and maybe even catch sight of the last ones coming off the production line, and then to drive home with a new batch of books in the boot of the car - for me its's always an exciting day - it puts a BIG smile on my face... :)   

So for children's books made in the UK please visit my website and get Lost in a Book today...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Confessions of a distracted writer...

So... what have a I written today...?

I've seen it written (so it must be true...) that a writer should write every day, even if it's only a shopping list... well I'm not so sure about shopping lists being a valid day's work, unless it's to point out the need to earn money to buy the things on said list...  But that said, it does make me think that maybe I can see my email writing and blogging as valid pieces of writing... Then I can forgive myself for allowing anything and everything to distract me for the rest of the day...

Of course I've been climbed on by cats - pretty standard - and sometimes I can even carry on typing around a cat, or while one sits on my shoulders.

I've been swimming - which can sometimes be put down to thinking time when I come up with an amazing plot as I swim...

I've been to visit horses which could be put down to inspirational for writing... if I was writing a horse book...

...and so to sum up - today I have emailed and blogged - I have been writing...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kids books on kindle...

Sales of A Face Full of Snow are off to a good start on kindle - making all the work formatting the pictures worthwhile.

Find out how Eric gets on in ski school, despite his skis trying to go in every direction except the way Eric wants them to go - and that's before Iver No-Idea (the troublesome doodle who came to life) arrives to help/hinder...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breaking the rules for new exciting fiction

Breaking the rules can bring about new and exciting fiction - when I read in a 'how to book' that an author shouldn't allow a character to take control, it sparked off all sorts of fun scenarios about characters getting out of control, and out of these ramblings of my imagination came Iver No-Idea.

Iver No-Idea is a doodle who came to life - imagine the scene - Eric is trying his best to write a story in class, but all he really wants to do is draw. Eric has plenty of imagination, but is better at putting it into drawings than into words...

Prior to publication I had the opportunity to read Doodle Mayhem to a group of school children, and from their reaction, I realised that I had created something special.
Now in 2nd edition Doodle Mayhem is available in paperback and on Kindle

Read free sample pages now

Friday, March 15, 2013

The secret to a good night's sleep... Cat flap warning.

If you have a cat flap and still want to get any sleep:

Block the cat flap - don't just lock it, a strong cat will dive head first through it without a second thought.

Once the car flap is blocked you then know exactly who is inside the house for the night.

There'll be no unwanted intruders, either willing or dragged in. No mad continuation of a hunting trip taking place in the hall or escapee mice running under the bedroom door to seek refuge under the bed...(yes all these things have happened since fitting the cat flap) in short - it'll be just like it was before you fitted the cat flap, because it seemed like a good idea at the time...

Of course you might end up with your cat knocking on the cat flap and wondering why it no longer works...

Having a cat flap may have caused many broken nights - but it did inspire a book: Basil and the Flappy Thing

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ski thermals to the rescue...

My ski thermals are getting some unscheduled use this week after the central heating broke down earlier in the week. I don't know if the boiler thought it was doing me a favour - aren't we creative types meant to create more when we're suffering adversity? Well all the boiler got was a one way ticket out of the house... in with the new, which is getting fitted today. As for being cold making me more creative - there's only the wood burner and the occasional cat sitting on my knee that's thawing me out enough to function at all...  

Books are for fun...

OK so I'm just a lost cause... I only went on amazon to get inspiration for promoting my books, but then I found myself in children's books, and, well I've ordered myself one that sounds just too funny to miss out on -  it's called Mixed up Fairy Tales, and uses a split page on a spiral binding to mix and match the story lines of favourite fairy stories. I love the idea of mixing things up - I think it's time to go along to a bookshop and have a browse around the new children's books on the market - who knows what I'm missing out on... I'll try not to buy them all though ;)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Free samples...

Right now, hiding away in the dark recesses of my website are free sample pages of two of my Doodle books. Doodle Mayhem   and A Face Full of Snow contain - unless they've escaped - a mischievous little character called Iver No-Idea and his dog HB. They started out as doodles, but once they'd come to life there was no stopping them, and there's no guarantee they'll even stay inside their books - and now they're out on kindle, anything could happen...

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Affordable luxury in the recession...

Even in recession books will keep selling - for just a few pounds you can lose yourself for many hours between the covers of a book, meet new exciting characters, who might just stay with you long after you've read the last page...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Never judge a book by it's cover...?

We're told we should never judge a book by it's cover, but think about it... when you're in a bookshop, unless you have gone into a bookshop with blinkers on, only looking at titles on shelves and searched alphabetically for your favourite author, to buy their latest book, the chances are you'll be drawn to a book by the cover... 

Covers matter - I'm not suggesting they're the only thing that matters, but, part of the joy of being in a bookshop is to take time to browse around, and that is when an interesting cover or title is going to catch your eye. Books sit silently on shelves, so there has to be something about the cover that calls to people as they walk by, that catches the eye and makes the shopper take the next step - to stop and pick the book off the shelf...

Once the cover and title have caught your attention, the next focus is the blurb on the back cover of the book. It has to be interesting and/entertaining enough to make the shopper want to read more, to give enough of a taster of what is to come inside the book to make the passing shopper make the decision to buy the book...


Thursday, March 07, 2013

World book day

It's world book day today, but it doesn't seem to be as celebrated as it could be...  so open a book today, and whether you've got a child to read it to, or you're losing yourself in a book, don't let the day go by without opening a book and reading the treasure of words that lie inside.

To read a free sample of Doodle Mayhem and A Face Full of Snow, just click on the link and meet my most mischievous character...  Iver No-Idea - the doodle who came to life and caused his own brand of trouble...

Monday, March 04, 2013

A reluctant reader is a reader who hasn't found the right book yet...

It's never too early to start reading to children: Even young babies will enjoy the rhythm of being read to, and as they start to notice the colourful pictures, they will realise that the story or rhyme comes from the book. They'll reach out for the book to hold, and yes - at first they probably want to chew it...

Put books into the hands of babies and young children:  The very young can start with cloth or board books. But don't be afraid to put paperback books into the hands of the very young, yes there'll be a few casualties along the way, but it's better for first books to be a bit creased and torn than to sit pristine on a bookshelf. 

A cellotaped book is a loved book: Small children will have favourite books that they will want to read everyday, and like a favourite teddy, they will love them just as much after they've been mended. The value of a book is in releasing the words and pictures from the pages and sharing them, not in keeping the book in perfect condition, a respect for books will follow soon enough.

Use interactive books: Books with flaps and slots are great fun for pre-readers and make them feel involved in the book.

Find a book they can relate to: My best seller is; But I'm Not Sleepy - the words every parent has heard at bedtime.
Lucy isn't sleepy. She's feeling bouncy and full of energy.
She listens to Granny's bedtime stories, then jumps about pretending to be the characters.
Granny suggests counting sheep, but when the sheep start running around Lucy's bedroom, even Downboy the sheepdog can't round them up.
Finally Lucy gets tired, and finds her own solution to the sheep problem.
32 page full colour paperback ISBN 978-0-9560232-1-6

Read to, and read with: Don't make reading a chore - even once a child can read, they will still enjoy being read to. Read a page in turns, read together - make reading fun.

Early chapter books are set out like adult books: but the chapters are shorter, giving a sense of achievement when a chapter is completed.  They often have black and white line drawings to help jog the imagination along and space the text out on the page.

I like my characters to be fun and a little bit mischievous: my most mischievous character is Iver No-Idea, a doodle who came to life, and was such fun to write that he is now featured in three books:

The first one, where it all began is Doodle Mayhem now in second edition and on kindle.

Eric would rather doodle than write a story, but when the words start to disappear off the page in front of him, and his doodle starts talking to him, he thinks he must be dreaming.

Eric's doodle has come to life, and he's getting bored; he jumps into Miranda's story, where he gets attacked by a rubber, then he's blown off his feet when Natasha sneezes. Miss Roper is getting angrier by the second. How will Eric ever finish his story, when his doodle just wants to have fun, and create havoc?

Step into a world where drawings come alive, meet Eric's doodles Iver No-Idea and his dog HB as they cause their own brand of trouble.
46 page paperback
Black & white line drawings
ISBN 978-0-9560232-4-7