Saturday, September 01, 2007

26 stores and counting

I am feeling a lot better today, as no doubt, everyone will be relieved to hear, not least of all my long suffering partner Coran. He has been very good these past few weeks, and an absolute tower of strength and I do not give him the acknowledgement that he deserves. I will say it now though, I could not have done any of this without his love and support, and my life is so much richer for the fact that he is in it.

I had a look at the Gardners website yesterday then and tapped in my ISBN and found that they had 38 copies in stock. Waterstones in Dorchester then ordered 2 copies and the figure dropped down to 36. Then this morning I noticed that the figure was down again to 34. Where have those 2 little copies gone to? Have they gone to my local independent, or perhaps to Waterstones in Cheltenham, who emailed me today to say that they had received the information that I sent? No doubt all will be revealed in due course.

I do wish that when book stores placed orders they would let me know so that I could keep an up to date inventory of who has copies, as it erally would be very useful to know this. It would also help them as I would be able to target media approaches to those areas where the books are particularly well represented and doing well. I did try to explain this to the Manager of one of the branches I spoke to, but he insisted that I did not need to know. I do find this very strange indeed, as you would have thought they would welcome the chance to work with someone like myself who wants to target their approach accordingly. It seems not though.

Still, if Gardners have ordered 115 copies to date, and I have 34 now in stock, then that means that they have sold 81 copies so far - not bad for slightly less than 3 weeks. And these do not include copies sold early on in the month before the sor announcement was made, the figure for which I happen to know was another 11 copies. Then there are the library copies sold to Bertrams, and this is another moot point also, that libraries do not bother to let me know when they have ordered copies. Perhaps I will log on to the Public Lending Rights website and see if they have any information, as short of becoming a member of every public library in the UK, I will not know who has them and where the orders have come from !

So far then, there are 26 book stores that I definately know of who have copies, these are all listed on my new and improved website, but for those of you who are too lazy to click your mouse, I will list them here as well:

Borders - Whiteleys (Bayswater), Fleet Street (London), Lakeside, Wimbledon, Kingston-upon-Thames, Newbury, Uxbridge.

Waterstones - Aviemore, Barnstaple, Barnet, Belfast, Blackpool, Bluewater, Brentwood, Brighton, Chesham, Covent Garden, Coventry (Lower Precinct), Derby, Dorchester, Dorking, Epsom, Godalming, Kingston-upon-Thames (Bentalls Centre), Redhill, Staines.

Lets hope that these copies then start to sell, as the relevant Head Offices do keep on eye on such happenings and once this starts to happen, then the books do stand a very good chance of being shipped out to all stores countrywide. Now that would be worth writing about and may even get me into the Bookseller !

Friday, August 31, 2007

Problems with communication

During all of this week I have noticed that there seems to be nothing but problems with communciation, first with my emails that did not get through, and now there has been a problem with the Surrey Advertiser, who did not print the piece in this weeks issue that I was assured would be in there. On top of all that, my glasses broke this morning, and I had to chase into town wearing dark glasses to get them fixed. What with one thing and another then it really has been one hell of a week.

As I mentioned here a few days ago, The Surrey Advertiser rang and spoke to me the other day and assured me that they would be running a piece in this weeks issue. Imagine my surprise then when I bought a copy this morning and it was not in there. I rang them and they did explain that it was a misunderstanding and nothing to do with the fact that it was not newsworthy enough and it would definately be going in next weeks editon. At the time it was upsetting and frustrating, but in the end it may actually have worked out for the best, since I am also going to be mentioned in next weeks local paper as well! I was initilaly a little concerned, since my local Waterstones ordered copies on the understanding that it would be in this weeks edition, but by having a mention in both papers next week, this is even better still, plus the fact that it will take this long for the books to arrive anyway, and they may even increase their order! The other stores who have copies may even get a mention as well, since I know that both reporters did look at my own website, so in the end, all is well that ends well.

I am not sure though what lies beneath all of this, whether it is residue dark energy hanging around the book, or just the recent full moon. I am inclined actually to think it is more to do with the full moon, since the spell that was put on the book last year by a witch of the darker persuasion has been well and truly banished, taking her with it. I will be increasing my personal protection again though anyway, since it never hurts, and in time will write about that experience with the dark witch as well. It is time to start mentioning those things I feel, since it will be part of the clearing process.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

In my confusion ....

Yesterday was a really strange day, and I felt really out of sorts and very frustrated with it all. It just seemed that I spent inordinate amounts of time ringing stores and sending them emails (which I hasten to add, THEY requested) and they kept telling me they had not received them! I then resent it and still it did not arrive ! In some cases, with certain stores this has happened three times now, so it became clear that something was going on. In desperation then I spoke to Paul, who in turn phoned Waterstones Head Office. All they could suggest is that it might be my attachments - information sheet and so on. All this information though is necessary, and once again what the book stores themselves asked for, so you would think their spam settings would allow this to get through. It seems not though - what a way to run a business! I can't believe either that I am the only author to have these frustrations.

Anyway, it was back to the drawing board. With the help of Coran, my ever obliging partner, my emails have been rearranged to look more like a newsletter. The Gardners information is included in the body of the text, removing the need for at least one of those attachments. Coran suggested that I include a link to the relevant page on my own website to get the rest of the stuff - information sheet, cover proots, reviews etc. This will also when I think about it, be a good way of monitoring things, since I can see how many visits I get. A bit more tweeking then was done, and with the help of Dean at the Crawley store, who kept checking to see if the stuff I sent him was received, it finally got through.

The good news then after all that is that following on from the press release I sent round on Tuesday, Paul rang Gardners again to see how many they had sold, and while they could not tell him that, they did tell him that they have placed a third order today for another 35 copies ! This now brings the total to 115 copies in just over 2 weeks! Something then is definately happening that I am not aware of, and maybe some of the stores I have not yet spoken to have ordered after all ....

I had a call back from another local store yesterday - East Grinstead, and it seems like they will be placing an order as well. Laurelie, who runs the MBS/Religious section definately sounds interested, and so does her boss ....

Today then I was supposed to appear in the local edition of the Surrey Advertiser, but it has not materialised. I was a little confused by this, since I had a call from one of their reporters who interviewed me and assured me that it would go in, but so far, nothing! I rang the offices of the local advertiser and it seems that I got a little confused, as although they are called the Advertiser, they are owned by a group called The Surrey Mirror, who are in fact totally different to the Advertiser group. I will then track the Advertiser down via the net and try and get to the bottom of this and find out exactly where I am mentioned!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More successes to report

It looks like I might be in Jerry Simmon's newsletter again this week, since I have just had another email from him. The list of stores that have ordered has now reached the grand old number of 21 - 17 Waterstones and 4 Borders. Will be sending a copy to the local Radio station today as well - BBC Southern Counties. They do feature local authors on some of their programmes, so fingers crossed. In the meantime, Paul is going to try the Daily Express Book Club and the Mail on Sunday and is also hoping to contact Barnes and Noble when his contact is back from holiday. The book is only on sale or return in the UK though, not North America.

He has also given the name and number for his contact at IPC Magazines, who publish womens weekly's since they are often looking for 'real life success stories' etc, and may be interested. Will have to pluck up the courage to give her a call then later on today.

On Friday I was told that the 30 books that Gardners had initially ordered did not arrive, since they sent the order to the wrong place. This would not normally have been very good news, since the stores have ordered would have been waiting for their orders to arrive and wondering what was going on! However, in my case it has turned out to be excellent news, since they have orders far exceeding that in number already, and have out another order in this time for 80 copies !! I have sent a press release round then to all on my mailing list and as many of those free press release sites I can find as well as the Publishing News forum ! Almost forgot to mention as well that my copy of The Self Publishing Magazine arrived yesterday (I am featured as self published success story in there), and it looks very good !