Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Not the Jane Austen Festival

Don't you just hate it when you spend ages writing the perfect article to go on your blog site, and then press the wrong key only to find it disappearing into oblivion? That is exactly what happened when I tried to write on here earlier tonight. This then is my second attempt, and I hope it will be a case of second time lucky.

Picking up then where I left off yesterday, I rang a few more stores both yesterday and today with somewhat minor progress. Monday I have come to the conclusion, is not a good day to be doing this, since most Managers are in meetings with sales reps, staff etc and dealing with paperwork and so on. Tuesday is not a good day either, since it seems to be most of their days off ! Wednesday thankfully is a little better, since I managed to secure at least one order - this time from Oban in Scotland. I spoke to a very helpful lady with a delightful Scottish accent, who informed me that she would be ordering 2 copies.

It may seem strange to some that I am chasing all these stores, most of whom are ordering just one or two copies, but then again, with the amount that have ordered, it does add up to some considerable amount. It is of course chicken feed compared to the traditionally published (although even this is no guarantee of shelf space), but excellent for a POD book like mine. Of course I am not naive enough to say that I am doing better than most, but then again, I suppose it is all relative anyway, as it depends on one's personal goals and aspirations. A year ago, or even six months ago, I would not have had the resources or the stamina to do even half the things I am doing now, but then again, perhaps it was not the right time. Everything seems to have changed since we moved, and both Coran and I have found a new inner strength and confidence which I do not think would have been possible in our old home, because we had outgrown the energies of that place. This is definitely where we need to be, and I intend to stay put for some considerable time.

I started a part time evening course in journalism tonight at via Birkbeck in London, and sponsored by Surrey Hills Onward Learning. We need 13 people to make it viable, and there are only 5, possibly 6, so it uncertain as to whether it will continue. It will be a great shame if it has to fold, since the course covers every aspect of journalism from interview techniques to libel and copyright as well as writing press releases and news articles and features. It will then be very good and excellent experience not just for my own writing career, but also for the the newsletter I edit. It is rather costly at over £200, but the commitee have agreed to pay half the fee. Of course, we will get this back should the course be cancelled.

Listening to the news last night though, they happened to mention that the city of Bath is this week celebrating the Jane Austen festival. With a name like mine, I am often the butt of jokes regarding my more famous namesake, so I had the idea to write a spoof press release entitled Not the Jane Austen Festival and post it on a few of those free PR websites, and also send it off to some newspapers and magazines - namely Publishing News, Writers News and Writers Forum. If nothing else I thought it would make them all laugh. While I was at is, I also sent a copy to Waterstones in Bath.

You can then imagine my surprise when I got home from shopping in Redhill to find a message on the answerphone from one of the reporters from Writers News asking to interview me. Well, I rang him back and answered all his questions (he had taken the time first to look at my own website, which is always good), and he tells me that it will be in either the November or December issue. Paul had been saying for a while that they would be featuring the book, so I guess that spoof thing that I sent them might have jogged them into action.

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