Friday, August 11, 2006

Had a nice surprise yesterday

I have not heard back from Borders, after leaving a message on their answerphone, and there is nothing from Watkins either, so I will chase them up after the weekend, knowing that these things take time. I checked the Borders website, and it says you have to send your book to their Buying Department in London for consideration, together with information sheet, so I will do that in the next day or so.

I had a nice surprise yesterday. It got to mid afternoon and Coran wanted me to get out of the house, as I was distracting him from his work, as tends to happen, so I went to the park for a cup of tea. On the way out, I had the thought that I ought to take a copy of the book with me, just in case, as one of the men who works there clearing tables has been saying for some time that he would like a copy. I dismissed this thought and jumped in the car. I bought my pot of tea and was just finding a table when who should walk over to me but him. He asked that if he gave me the money, could I bring a copy in for him tomorrow. What a nice surprise that was. It was lucky I had a £5 note for change (I have to always make sure I have them now, since the book costs £14.99 - luckily most poeple don't seem to bother with the penny). I finished my tea and raced straight home to get a copy and bring it back, which I think he appreciated.

Things will be quieter from next week as our Church is shut for their annual spring, or should I say, summer clean. Coran and I will be helping with painting etc, but there will be no services or workshops, the last one being this Sunday, until the Sanctuary re-opens in September. I need to think more long term about what will happen once everyone I know has bought a copy, or at least everyone who wants to, because as I am finding out, people often say they want a copy, and then don't buy one, at least not straight away ... Such is life ...

I will use this time to post on all the websites I can find (I joined another writers one yesterday, and already have one member who is interested) but I have to be careful as not all of them like advertising, and I don't want to get blacklisted or banned. I will also start to ring round some local groups, such as the one that meets at our Church once a month, Surrey Dowsers, etc and maybe try some further afield, like Brighton, or even Glastonbury. We haven't been to Glastonbury for a while, so maybe I will think about booking a weekend. I will have to see if there are vacancies, but will wait until the 15th after the credit card statement is due!

I am going to one of Edwin (Courtenay's) talks on 21st, and plan to give him a free copy in return for all the help he gave me during the writing process, allowing me to use his material without course to copyright. Quite a few others will be there, some from further afield, as he has quite a following, so this may be an opportuntity to sell as well. Some of the Bulgarians from my Paneurhythmy group have expressed an interest, so I will take some copies with me on Sunday.

I have 19 copies left from the 50 I ordered (some have gone out as review copies etc), so I will have to order some more on 15th, as they take around 10 days to arrive and I don't want to be caught without any.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

This then is what I have done since my return from Lundy

Monday 24 July - no sign of the books I ordered while away, and which should have been here on my return. Rang Gaynor at Authors OnLine to find out where they are. They are being printed today, and should be with me tomorrow or wednesday. Checked emails from when I was away - at least 1 person has ordered copy from publisher, and one also via

Tuesday 25 July - still no books! Spent day updating my website, opened nochex account so people can order signed copies, and added necessary links. Sent email to all those on my mailing list to let them know. Phone call from Jane at St Michaels - would I like to do a wednesday gathering on 9th August - said yes, if I can talk about the book. No problem, so all booked in. Emailed reviewer at Paradigm Shift magazine to see if she is interested. Wait to hear back.

Wednesday 26 July - books finally arrived - 50 lovely copies. Went to St Michaels in the evening (our local non denominational church) and sold first 2 copies. Another one has been sold direct via the publisher. It arrives while the recipiant was on holiday unfortunately and got sent back to the printer, as he did not ring them to collect it. Richard at AOL is trying to sort it out for him!
Thursday 27 July - sent out review copy to a friend, who promised to write a review on a website that I used to moderate, until I was banned from it that is! There were loads of people on there that will remember me and would I am sure love to buy a copy, once they know it out there, but since I was banned, I can't contact them myself. Also sent copy to HarperCollins in accordance with copyright requirements, and copy to another friend, who sent me his own book in part exchange. Got my first order from the Nochex link - Nightingale (Gillyann) from Stairway of Life. Sent her copy as well - all by first class post. Also sent copy to Peter and Pat, friends that I know from Lundy, as per their request. They will send cheque by return.

Friday 28 July - last Journey group at St Michaels until September. Sold another 5 copies.

Saturday 29 July - last day of Earth's Cycles course at the nearby Kosmon Sanctuary - sold 4 copies, one to each group member, plus one to the facilitator. Received cheque from Peter and Pat.

Sunday 30 July - Went to St Michaels evening service and sold 3 more copies. Sold 20 copies this week already!

Monday 31 July - healing day at St Michaels - acting as receptionist in the morning. Didn't sell any copies, but shown to several people there.

Tuesday 1 August - Set up Paypal account so that people overseas can also order signed copies. Added link to website and updated a few more pages. Sent email to everyone on mailing list to them know.

Wednesday 2 August - appointment with my friend Julie Ann for cranial sacral therapy. Sold copy of the book in part exchange for treatment.

Thursday 3 August - received cheque in post for a signed copy (one of Coran's clients). Sent by first class post.

Friday 4 August - checked - sold my first US copy. Nightingale posted review on - added to my own website - thank you!

Saturday 5 August - sent postcards to various friends who do not have email/internet - including one in Amsterdam - hopefully they will write back reqeusting books.

Sunday 6 August - Went to Park for Paneurhythmy (Bulgarian dancing) - distributed postcards to several of them. Did some more website updates. Sold 3 copies this week. A lot of people are on holiday though.

Monday 7 August - rang Chalice Well and Watkins Books in London about stocking my book. Sent copy to Chalice Well as per theire request. Sent review copies to Nexus magazine and Writers Forum. Went to St Michaels in the afternoon and sold 2 copies. Kosmon Sanctuary this evening and sold 2 more.

Tuesday 8 august - a quiet day at home, doing other things and not really concentrating on the book. Sunny afternoon in the park, talking to Coran

Wednesday 9 August (today) - I have today taken the very bold step of phoning my local Borders to see if they would be prepared to stock my book. I spoke a very nice lady called Charlotte, one of several of their managers, and she has directed me to the buying department at their head office, since apparently decisions are made on a national rather than branch level. I will then get on to them as soon as I have stopped hyper ventilating ! What she also said though was that they are setting up a mind body and spirit group in the store, and looking for speakers, so they have taken my contact details as a possible speaker, and will get back to me in due course. This would be a great opportunity to get much better known in the local community and spread the word.

Have also received my first order via Paypal this morning, to a lady in Arizona whom I got to know via another writers site (Writers Net for those who are interested). She said that as soon as she heard about my book, she knew she had to get a copy, so I am very happy and honoured that she spent nearly double what charge to get signed one. I think when the prices were being set, the exchange rates must have been more favourable to Americans, and so the price in the US is therefore less then than the UK equivilant. I have tried to keep the cost of these signed copies down, but with the amount that Paypal charge, plus the fact that the exchange rates they use are 2.5 percent less than the published ones, and nearly £5 postage to countries outside Europe means that there is little I can do. I have though advertised the signed copies on the books page on as collectable signed copies, which may be a little cheaper to buy that way. Amazon issue me with a credit for postage, which is not quite as high as the actual cost of sending them out, so I end up earning less, but it should hopefully help to get some more interest.

Didn't sell any tonight, which I am very disappointed at if I am honest. Everyone said that I enjoyed the talk, and did very well, but I felt like a bumbling idiot. Will defiantely have to get some more practise then and prepare a bit better as well next time. It is very hard though not to get disheartened, when you have so much invested in making this a success. Maybe I am just trying too hard and I need to, as Coran suggests, step back a bit and let spirit help me rather than trying to control the outome. Very difficult to do though when there is so much at stake.

Rang the Buying Department at Borders anyway, five minutes after ringing Kingston. Think they must have still been at lunch though as got the answerphone, so left a message explaining who I am, and asking to contact me and then went into Kingston to get some more padded envelopes etc. Got back around 5.30 to find no one had rang. Such is life. Will try again tomorrow then. Ii guess they are busy people who must get quite a lot of requests.

Also need to contact Richard tomorrow, to let him know about Borders and everything else I am doing, as he may need to deal with these big chains himself. will also ask him about Waterstones though, although I think buying decisions there are made on a branch level, at least that is what one of my writers books says. Will check their website tomorrow and see if there is any information on there. Also need to get my login for the authors area on Richard's site to see how many have sold that way. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.