Friday, September 21, 2007

Something for the weekend

It is always difficult not to compare yourself to others who have similar blogs to you, and I must admit that it has been at the back of my mind a to why so few people seem to post comments on here ! Is this an indcator perhaps that no one actually looks at this blog ? My fears have put firmly to bed though this week, as I have had several emails from people praising what I do here. In particular, this morning I had an email from one Jim Carroll, another writer it seems who came across my musings on Books and Tales. That in turn led him to my site, and then from there to this blog, which he says is a mine of information and very helpful and refreshingly honest. Well, I do my best ! Jim is also considering self publishing his first novel, and by the sound of it, has several more in the pipeline, but is unsure as to how to proceed, since he is moving to Australia in the New Year. I wish him luck.

To pick up then where I left off, on Wednesday I did some more ringing round and was delighted to secure orders from 2 more stores - again both Waterstones - Market Harborough (Leicestershire) and wait for this - The Trafford Centre in Manchester. I think I am correct in saying that Authorhouse writers pay something like £500 for this privilige. This sum buys them space for 3 months on the Authorhouse stand, where up to 3 copies of their book will be continuously displayed. The scheme extends to several branches, inclduding Oxford Street in London.

Of course the only problem is (and I have it on good authority that this has not changed) that the Authorhouse stand is not genre specific. Everything is lumped together on this one stand, which in Oxford Street at least, is placed slap, bang in the middle of the fiction area, This is great if you happen to write fiction, but as everyone knows, the majority of books written are actually non fiction, which need to be displayed in their own section relevant to their particular genre. Otherwise, how are people going to find them? Of course, when I mentioned this at the Authorhouse seminar I went to, in 2006, I was told 'oh well, people do browse the store though, so will find the books that way'. Not so! If you know you are looking for a particular type of book, you browse that section only, and if you do not find what you want, then you either go elsewhere, or you go and ask the sales staff where to find it. Perhaps most worryingly of all then, is that when I asked the staff in Oxford Street where the Authorhouse stand was, they were unable to tell me. Lesson - you don't need to spend £500 to get into these stores, all you need is a good product and to be able to get through to the right person at the right time, and sell yourself !

Thursday (yesterday) was as usual National Trust day, so I didn't do any book work, and then today (Friday) I am spending most of the day pricing up various bits and pieces for the St Michaels Mind, Body and Spirit Festival, which is this weekend. I shall be there with my books, and I am also, as an experiment going to bring along some batches of cards - quotations from the book, which I have printed out on Decadry business cards, and placed with a crystal, in some nice little shiny boxes from Clinton Cards. I will see how they go, and if they go well, then I may consider printing some more and selling them from website.

The Post Office is then calling, for me to go and get change for the weekend, so on that note, I shall sign off.

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