Friday, August 10, 2007

Still holding my breath ...

Coran and I had a lovely day today at Stonehenge and a well deserved rest. It was really nice to just sit around the stones lolling about in the sun with a good book, and have a leisurely drive back, watching everybody else overtake.

I have just rung Paul to get the lowdown on what is happening. He has spoken to Borders today and they have requested further information, which Paul's contact will pass on to the Buyer who is in charge of my genre. He remains confident that they will bite. He will try Waterstones on Monday, whom I expect will say the same thing. Writers News in the meantime remains a cert, as does the feature in Self Publishing, which I organised myself some time ago. The Times is also a possibility. Paul informs me that Richard will be putting out a press release some time next week, which will go on his own website, and will be circulated to other "interested parties". If he needs me to post it on a few of the free press release websites I can certainly do that as well. I will speak to Paul on Monday and see what the plans are.

I realise that neither Paul or Richard can promise results, but we are going to give this our best shot, and I feel confident that at least one of these contacts will bite. For my part I have some radio contacts of my own from the newsletter that I edit, and can also contact some of the local papers. One of Coran's clients has some useful media contacts so I might contact her and see if she can help.

Still holding my breath and keeping those fingers (and everything else) crossed!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The times they are a changin'

It has been another eventful day. I am still floating with the events of the last few days, and can't quite believe it has happened. I spoke to Paul yesterday, who does public relations on behalf of some of Richard's authors, and gave him the good news. I mentioned the Borders problem to him, and how their Head Office have not returned my calls, knowing that he has contacts there. I also remembered that he has contacts at Waterstones and wondered, now the book is breaking the POD mould as it were in being available for the same terms as all those other best sellers, if they may be prepared to take it on board as a stocked title and send some out to all of their stores. It would save me the bother of phoning them all up - although I will do that if I have to! Paul said he would ring me back around 7pm tonight.

I did not wait for his call and decided to ring him, as Coran and I wanted to go to church for some healing. He has not managed to talk to either as yet, but will definately do so tomorrow. The good news is that he has spoken to Writers News magazine, and they will be running a feature, probably in the September edition. He has also spoken to The Times with a view to them doing a review! He cannot of course promise anything, but they have asked him to send a copy, and that is a start. You know what they say, that one good review in the right place can make a writers entire career.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My book is now available via sale or return

I am on cloud nine this morning and floating. After spending most of the morning ringing various book stores, quite a lot have definately sigalled interest - so I have spoken to Richard and he will contact Gardners at the end of the week and ask them to place the book on sale or return with a 55 percent discount. This will then leave the book stores with the 40 percent that they want. This is unprecented for POD and the buyer I spoke to yesterday at Oxford Street said that he would be amazed if it could be done. I have today sent him his courtesy copy, as per his request, and with an offer like that, I don't see how he will be able to say no. It looks like champagne time then!

I had a lovely Email from the lady at Waterstones at Waterstones in Staines who deals with local authors, and she is going to talk to their Manager tomorrow with a view to organising a book signing, contacting the press and everything. I am absolutely delighted and jumping for joy! It shows you what you can do when you send out the right signals to the universe and make the effort.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Watch out world, here I come!

I knew it was going to be a good day when I checked my Emails just before 9am and found a message from the library buyers in Stockport, Cheshire to say that they had ordered some copies of my book. From that point onwards the day got better and better.

After I got back from the gym, I decided to ring some Borders and Books Etc branches to try and drum up some sales. I started with the London branches and aimed to gradually work down the list. The first store I called was Brent Cross, followed by Broadgate Circus. Brent Cross were very reluctant, since they stated that there was insufficient profit in POD books to make it worth their while. I was puzzled by this, since I know that the two main wholesalers, Bertrams and Gardners, buy the books from Richard at 40 percent discount, yet Brent Cross insisted that they would be asked to pay 90 percent of the cover price.

As it turned out, Broadgate Circus do not do t well with mind, body and spirit or religion, so they also declined. That is fair enough, as each store is different. They suggested that I try the Whiteleys branch, since they do well very in these two genres and have a large MBS dept. When I rang them, they gave me the same story as Brent Cross. After a few more stores had said the same thing, I decided to ring Richard and discuss it with him. I am glad that I did.

It seems that he does sell to Bertrams and Gardners at 40 percent discount, but as distributors and middle men, they take 15 percent of this for themselves, leaving the shops with just 25 percent discount. The other problem is that POD in the main, cannot accomodate returns. Richard said that if I can get enough (maybe half a dozen) stores interested, then he will ask Gardners to take the book on a sale or return basis, and increase the discount to 55 percent. By the time they take their own 15 percent, then this will leave the book stores with the 40 percent they are seeking. Combine that with returnability, and they will not be able to say no.

So, I continued ringing after lunch, speaking to a few more Borders and telling them this. The good news is that Newbury, Lakeside and Oxford Circus (yes, Oxford Circus) are all interested. Oxford Circus have requested that I send them a copy to peruse before they definately commit. For a store of that calibre I think I will let them have one.

I then rang my local branches of Waterstones that I approached at the end of July to gauge their response. Most Managers were unavailable, and so I will try again tomorrow. At least 5 of them definately sound interested, in particular, Walton on Thames and Camberley. Camberley mentioned my going there to do a talk. Borders in Newbury have also promised to forward details of the book on to the person who organises a theology discussion group within the store with regard to a possible talk. If I can get into Oxford Street that really would be a scoop.

I found with a lot of Borders that they referred me back to Head Office, but the problem is, they never return your calls. So I called the Kingston store, since it is Claire from there who talked them into taking the book on in the first place. She is back from holiday on Monday, so they will speak to her then and arrange for her to sort something out. I will ring her myself on Monday as well. I will definately be giving church a miss, as this is far too important to miss out on.

Things are finally moving ahead, and it seems that The Secret stuff that I wrote yesterday may be beginning to work ... Watch out world, here I come!

Secret Revelations

On Sunday Coran and I watched the video to the book The Secret. I must admit that I had been resisting doing this, since the book has been pressing my buttons of late due to what happened with it at the Journey group that we used to go to. One day after several week's absence, I went back to find them all sitting around and discussing The Secret. One of them had bought a job lot of the books and was selling them cheaply to the group members. This happened to be the person who had a few weeks ago, requested that her name be deleted from my mailing list, although no one else there seemed to mind. This pressed my buttons by itself, as the whole idea of the group was to support the various members through their individual endeavours. It seemed that this particular person was not supporting me at all.

When I saw them raving about how wonderful this book was, all my feelings of inadequacy came rushing to the surface in the form of "it's not fair, they should be sitting around buying and discussing my book". At least I am self aware and honest enough to admit this. Of course I then had to find ways to make my book seem superior (in my mind at least) to this one, so when I heard through the grapevine that some of the words may have been copied from another earlier work, then I seized on this and I am afraid was really not very nice to a lady I know who was raving about it on one of the Internet forums that I post on. I feel quite ashamed of myself when I look back on it all, but I guess like me on the original version of that site, which I used to moderate, she was using it for the wrong reasons and I was the means the universe used to get her away from it. The universe works in mysterious ways ...
The long and the short of it is that I sat down and wrote how I want, I will change that to how my life is panning out. This is the result:
"I am so happy and grateful now that I have the life I have always wanted. I have sold 200,000 copies of Genesis of Man in the UK alone, with a further 1 million throughout the world, in 10 different languages. It has topped the best seller’s charts for a full 6 months and is the best selling self published title of all time within the UK. The film rights have also been sold and a popular and well known actor cast in the leading role.

Coran and I live happily together in Surrey, with a second home in the West Country with views of Lundy. Coran runs a thriving website design business and his health problems and gender dysphoria are a thing of the past, as is my fear of dogs. He willingly comes to Lundy with me once a year and I enjoy solo trips to Lundy during the summer. I have a fit and toned body and wear size 8 clothes, which fit perfectly. I can eat whatever I want without bloating or weight gain.

I have no need to work for an employer, since I earn my living exclusively from writing. My articles are popular with both the public and media and I am well paid for writing them. I run a successful and popular support group for spiritual writers and self published authors. My website, which Coran manages, attracts 100,000 visits per month with no spammers.

I have a wide circle of friends and a fulfilling social life, with much fun and laughter. I share a good relationship with my sister, based on mutual understanding and respect, also with my brother, his girlfriend and both their sets of children, as well as with Coran’s family.

I have no fear of public speaking and communicate easily and confidently with the media worldwide. My private life however remains private, as does Coran’s and those of our family and friends.

My finances continue to prosper. I earn £100,000 per year, which I use wisely, and invest ethically. I have a large pension to look forward to, in an ethical fund. I am seen as someone who walks their talk, and is an inspiration to others, a person of humility and integrity, whose success has not gone to her head. I enjoy and live life fully and embrace the power of now."

I have printed it out and pinned it up on the cork board in my writing room, and have been reading it aloud each time I go into that room, at the same time, really getting into how it feels to have that life and be that person, but also knowing that it is already happening, since there is no such thing as time. A Course in Miracles says that the past is over so no longer exists, the future is yet to happen, so does not exist, so the only moment is now. I intend to seize that moment and have a bloody good time,

Yesterday though was a bit of a blip. I went to our local church as usual where I work (as a volunteer) on the reception desk for the regular Monday healing day. I put my own name down for healing maybe half an hour after I walked through the door, but then the people started to pour in, and silly me said to Jane, "they should have priority over me, as I am here all the time." I heard Jane agreeing with this, and so as this continued for the rest of the day, everyone else who had requested healing, including 3 of the healers, got their time, except me !

This left me feeling very upset, resentful and angry. I think when I look at it though, the anger comes from the realisation that this was my stuff - 2 people walked through the door at 3.30 pm, just as I was about to go in (!) and it is the knowledge that it was me who kept putting my own needs last, and not anyone else, and therefore it is me that needs to change. I have to stop giving my time away for free, since it it sending a signal out to the universe that my time is not worth anything, and therefore that I am not worth anything. Well, I have news for it - I AM WORTH A LOT !!!!

I have decided then, that after the summer break, I will not be going back to the church in this role, I am thinking as well this morning, that I will not continue to work for the National Trust either. The only unpaid role I will be continuing with is the newsletter, which is for obvious reasons, more important than anything, because it more closely reflects what I want to do with my life. So, I guess I shall have to tell them all then.

For the moment though, I am going to knuckle down and make that book sell !