Friday, January 31, 2014

Top tips for a successful Book signing

I've now booked my first book signing of the year - 4th May at Long Marston near York. it seems a long way off, but I'm sure the time will fly by.

From early beginnings when I set of out nervously wondering how to attract peoples attention, and relied heavily on my promotional book marks to hand out and break the ice, I now set out with confidence and have fun at these events. It's just a matter of getting out there and and seeing what works. But in general a simple smile and saying Hi to people will break the ice.

Top tips for a successful book signing: 

  • Set out an attractive display, filling the available space.
  • Have promotional book marks to hand out free - they're a good ice breaker, people like a freebie, and it's a good way to hand out your contact details.
  • Use book stands - even though people usually pick books up off a pile, the ones on the stand can be seen better from a distance to draw people over. 
  • Smile and say Hi - most people will return the greeting, some will stop to talk and look at your book.
  • Tell people what you are doing - even with a book signing notice on your table, not everyone will be clear that you are the author.
  • Have bags on offer, unless your signing is in a book shop where the shop will use their own.
  • Take more than one pen with you.
  • Have a float tin to give change.
  • Spread the word about your book signing on social media.
  • Enjoy the event and encourage people to pick the books up and look through them. After all you're proud of your books and want people to see them.
  • Have a suitable table cloth.
  • Try a gimmick - when I added knitted sheep - the characters from one of my books, they proved very popular and certainly attracted attention and comment.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What's new in books for 2014

New for Spring 2014 - the book about the cats who constantly distract and inspire me.

They say you should never work with children or animals, well what if your animal has children...?

Well the result was large chunks of time when I didn't manage to get to a computer, let alone do the ongoing blog that I intended, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow, enjoy the moment and write about it later...

What I did have time for was to write kitten diaries - it's easier to write with pen and paper when kittens are climbing all over you, than it is to try to type. And from these kitten diaries - which have paw prints and chewed edges, a book is emerging...

                                                                ...and what's more... it's nearly finished!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing a blurb

How can writing a blurb be so hard...?

The book's written, the illustrations formatted, even the cover is finished, but then there's the blurb to write - to distill the essence of the book down into just a short piece of text that will fit onto the back cover - this is the point when you wonder why you didn't make the book bigger, if only to fit a bigger blurb on - but no, that's defeatism, time to be brutal - extreme editing required, every word has to count.

And so watch this space - the blurb will be here soon, once I've bashed it into shape a little bit more...

Read me a story...

Here's a short sample to whet your appetitie.
Read and enjoy...

Chapter 1

Whoosh! Splat!
Eric’s first attempt at skiing ended up with him flat on his back in the snow, like a stranded bug. He tried to get up, but his skis had other ideas, they felt like a pair of over sized planks strapped to his feet.
“I’m glad Iver wasn’t here to see that,” muttered Eric, sitting up.
“Who’s Iver?”
Eric looked up into a pair of green eyes, waggling about on stalks. They were growing out of a green hat, which was pulled over an explosion of orange hair.

“Hi, I’m Aline,” said the owner of the orange hair.
“Alien?” Eric sat up with a start, his skis clattering together in protest.
“No... Aline. Who’s Iver?”
“Oh just a friend of mine,” said Eric. He couldn’t tell a complete stranger the truth, even one who had an alien on her head.
“And is Iver a good skier?” persisted Aline.
“Well he likes to think he is,” said Eric. “If he was here he’d be telling me what to do all the time.”
“That might not be such a bad idea,” said Aline.
“You wouldn’t say that if you met him,” said Eric, thinking about Iver and HB left safely at home. Iver No-Idea and his dog HB were doodles.

But they were no ordinary doodles – they came to life, and words and pictures came to life around them, which was not always a good thing...
You can buy this book now for just £3.50

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Have you got a reluctant reader?

What makes a child reluctant to read?

Maybe they just need to find the right book, the one that draws them in until they forget they're reading at all, and become part of the story.

Maybe they need a book which is set out for early readers, and I don't mean a set reading book, but a fun story, set out in chapters so that they can feel a sense of achievement when they finish a chapter, but still with pictures so that the text is broken up making the pages less daunting.

Try reading a page in turns - it's fun to share a book.

Before long they will have finished a book and be hungry for the next...

A Face Full of Snow is now of special offer just £3.50 and still postage free!! from my website.

As Eric crashes his way down the ski slope, totally out of control, his only consolation is that Iver No-Idea isn't there to see.
Iver No-Idea and his dog HB are doodles. But they are no ordinary doodles – they're alive, and words and pictures come alive around them. Iver No-Idea has been learning to ski in a ski brochure. He's been practising for weeks and now he thinks he's an expert, and can't wait to tell Eric how it's done.
But when Iver No-Idea and HB are left behind, they find a way to gatecrash Eric's holiday. They arrive at just the wrong time, causing their own unique brand of trouble.
50 page paperback
Black and white line drawings
ISBN 978-0-9560232-3-0

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January - international Book Month...?

So if we can't have 'Hibernate January' then what about having January as Book Month - it's the ideal month of the year for all things book.

Hopefully you all got a new book for Christmas, and if you didn't then now's the time to run out and buy one, or at least run your fingers over the keyboard to an online bookshop so that one will come winging it's way to you in the post, or even zap one to an ebook reader if you prefer...

It's also the ideal month of the year to get on with writing projects - mine has now reached that tricky point where I need a book cover that will draw attention to my book - they say you should never judge a book by it's cover, but the truth is that the cover is usually the first contact we have with a new book; it's like an advert, it's own little bill board if you like, that grabs the attention of a potential reader. So deny it all you like, but we all do it - if a cover grabs our attention we are more likely to pick a book up and take the next step, which is to read the blurb - another thing I still need to finish.

So that's it I've just reminded myself what I should be doing... and it's not surfing the net..

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blue Monday...?

So, I hear today is blue Monday - well the sky is blue, but that's a good thing it means we might stay dry today out there in the sunshine. I don't know who thinks up all these national whatever days, but there always seems to be one, personally I would like to see January as a national 'lets hibernate month' but I can't see it catching on - nobody has the time...

So what has January got in store...? Well I still have a book cover to design - I have a rough sketch, so at least I have a starting point - art work in January - not a bad job if hibernation is out of the question :)

And if you're stuck for something to do, then why not start a new book - reading or writing, whichever you fancy.

Book buying - it's not just for Christmas...