Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Picture this - I am doing a talk in Borders

After Saturday's disappointment, today I am once again celebrating, with the best news since my book first hit the stands. When I got home yesterday, from the healing day at St Michaels, there was a message on the answerphone from Borders in Kingston, asking me to call the organizer, Clare if I was still interested in doing a talk at their Mind, Body and Spirit group. Was I interested - what do you think ! When I signed the contract to get the book published, one the first things I did was visualise myself standing in Borders signing copies of my book, and walking past seeing flyers in the window with my name on it. Well now it is about to come true.

I rang Claire back then first thing this morning, and she the rest of the Managers are extremely keen for me to do a talk, and very impressed from what they have seen of my book. The December slot is now taken, but January is fine by me - and what a start to the New Year that will be ! They have a special meeting tonight on Halloween, so i said I would do along to see how the group is run, and she asked me to bring a copy of the book with me, which they will then buy from their petty cash and place on display to see what the interest is ! This just gets better and better though, wait for this ....

She then said that they will order a load of copies, today, and do a special dsiplay of my books by the mind, body and spirit section during the lead up to Christmas, and she even said that I can display some flyers re the writers circle I am starting ! What a difference between Borders and Waterstones.

I was so excited about the whole thing, I couldn't stop jumping up and down for about half an hour. I don' remember feeling this excited since I first opened that very first sample copy, all those months ago.

And who says dreams don't come true !

Sunday, October 29, 2006

good news and bad - depending on how you loook at it

Yesterday, the day of the Questing Conference turned out to be an experience, if nothing else. The day was shorter than previous years, with a lot less talks, at just 6 and seemed less well attended also. Last year the talks went on until 8.30 pm, but this time the last one finished at 6pm, with the opening address at 10am.

I did not sell nearly as many books as I hoped, so will not be doing it again. I did better at St Michaels in fact, a few weeks ago, as I sold just 5 of my own one and about half the second hand ones. I took around £125 in all, £87 of which is profit, making a loss of £3 for the day, not including food and petrol.

There seemed to be 3 main problems - firstly people do not books from unknown authors unless they are endorsed by someone big, or they are doing a talk there. Secondly, they didn't show up very well against the white cloth I used as a table covering. Thirdly, the space they had reserved for me was at the side of the hall, oposite the busiest area where most people were congregating. I could have chosen the other side of the hall, but it is always difficult. Do you go to the busy areas, where it is so busy in fact that people can't move round to your stall and therefore don't try, or do you choose a quieter area. I chose the quieter area in the end and am sitll not sure whether this was the right thing or not. Still the good news is that 2 of this years speakers got one - John Reid (his partner actually, but he will read it also) who did an excellent talk on the use of sound in ancient Egypt, and Greg Little, a lovely man from Memphis, Tennessee who did an equally good talk on the Bimini Roads.

I have to then be philosophical and put it down to experience - it was an interesting day, and I got to talk to some nice people. One other lady who bought a copy, Janet said she will pass it on to a friend of hers, who writes reviews for a well known magazine, and used to work for the Times, plus I sold those 2 copies to the speakers, who may love it so much that they write reviews as well. Thank goodness my web address is in the back !

It was though a very long and very tiring day. Coran I think was if anything, more tired than I was, as he had to drive me all the way up there and back again, and then return to pick me up afterwards - a total of 80 miles. We were so tired on the way back, and the trafffic was so bad, that we stopped in Chiswick for a Mcdonalds - something I would never normally do. Desperate times though call for desperate measures. I will proably spend the next 3 or 4 days regretting that bread roll though.

The conference though is really though a labour of love for Andy and hs wife Sue who organise it. I think about the only people who do make money from it are the speakers in terms of book sales, and of course Atlantis Book shop, who sell most of them. I saw some people with bags full of about 6 books that they bought from that stall, and consequently, although they liked mine, they had non money left to buy a copy. Maybe if I had taken credit cards, but I don't really think this would have made a difference either. A lof of them did though take postcards, so maybe will order through Amazon or my site. Will keep a careful eye on the number of hits next week then.

To sum up though, it was useful experience, but not one that I shall repeat. If I wanted to sell my books there again, then the best way I think would be to get Atlantis to stock it and then offer to sign some copies. I have to though be philosophical, It was a good day out, and I would have done along to listen anyway, so in some ways, the stall did not really cost me £90, but £60. It is all about raising your profile anyway, and I guess I did manage to do that, so it was really more a learning experience than a failure.

This afternoon then I have just got off the phone from a long conversation with Paul Ricks, the publicist for Authors OnLine, who rang yesterday while I was out. He has now read my book, and is very impressed and has several ideas of poeple to contact. The first one is Waterstones, more specifically, the Manager at Epsom who already stocks it, with a view to arranging a book signing or something. He is also though going to approach them at national level. He also has contacts at WH Smith that he will try and also at Bertrams, one of the largest wholesalers (who the book is registered with) as they supply most of the independent shops.

The last idea though was the Daily Express Book Club and also the Daily Mail, although he has not had success there with other books. They did though print a feature on Ian Lawton's book, Genesis Unveiled, and have also featured the works of Zecharia Sitchin, so I would say that they may well be interested in mine.

He will contact all thse poeple this week then, and I will hopefully hear back from him by the end of the week. Fingers crossed.