Author Diana Jackson has been out and about this morning in Fife. She describes the event but also passes on some pertinent advice. She writes:
‘I enjoyed a warm reception at the Cupar Probus group this morning. There was an appreciative buzz in the audience as I gave my talk on
‘Early Women Aviators ~ Before and During WW1’
At the end I shared a video of some of the earliest planes of the Shuttleworth Collection, Bedfordshire, to give flavour to my talk and bring to life the daring feats achieved by these women in such fragile planes.
Although I sold a few books a remark made was that folks don’t take so much cash about with them these days, which is certainly something to think about if you are giving talks.Maybe us authors need to look into card readers.
In my less than organised state after lock down I also forgot to take my business cards ~ vital for leaving details for folks to look you up after the talk or get in touch with you.’
Author Diana Jackson
If you would like any Eventispress authors to give a talk locally, then you can contact us: enquiries@eventispress or get in touch with the author directly, which you can do on their websites. Click on the tabs above for the link.
Eventispress’s view is that ‘For most of us ordinary mortals, we will not need verification or a blue tick; unless you are famous, make loads of money, have loads of money, wish to stroke your own ego, or you have problems with anyone impersonating yourself on social media.’
If you would like to look into it or apply, here’s the link:
This makes an interesting read as to who has gained momentum and who has lost out in the take over.
We’ll give Eventispress the final say here,
‘For most everyday authors on Twitter our advice is take no notice. If you find Twitter a good way of reaching out to folks, readers, friends and other authors and more than that if you enjoy being on Twitter, then we suggest you carry on regardless, but of course it is your choice.’
Eventispress Authors Brian Kerr and Ian K Pulham will have their books for sale at St Andrew’s Church Art Festival in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, this weekend. They will each be making an appearance through the couple of days.
Ian’s gripping novel is set in Bedfordshire, especially the Dunstable Downs:
In our last post by author Brian Kerr we looked at specific reasons why it is good to revise non fiction. Here we look at our wider publications:
To improve an earlier novel to re-release to a new audience
Author Diana Jackson was one of the founding writers in Eventispress, taking back the rights of her debut novel Riduna and rereleasing it under the Eventispress umbrella.
As Diana says, “You learn so much, the more you write, and by the time I wanted to rerelease Riduna, I had already completed the manuscript for its sequel Ancastaand had begun to write a third novel. When I read it afresh I knew I could improve it, making the story line crisper and deleting some of the waffle ~ well written waffle maybe, but nevertheless I felt some of it had to go!”
To give a book that extra polish if it was once self-published, but it is now being released under the arm of a small publisher
Author Roderick Hart is rereleasing his novel The Ears of a Cat with us shortly, having self published it a few years ago.
Rod writes, “Since The Ears of a Catis now to be published by Eventispress, which makes sense because it is in the same series as Interleaved Lives, I felt I needed to work on parts I just wasn’t 100% happy with, before the Eventispress team read it for the final edit and approval. “
To amend chronological details of dates
As Diana Jackson explains,
“When I wrote MURDER, Now and Thento be published in 2014 I was predicting a world in 2019, one hundred years after the first murder took place. Once 2019 came along there were two good reasons to rewrite bits:
Some of the chronological happenings were not synchronized with the real world in 2019 and although I had guessed the future pretty well, I’d got some of it wrong too.
Also, the book takes you through WW1 and bringing it up to date before rereleasing it in 2018 was too good a centenary to miss.“
To respond to any constructive criticism in reviews
We are grateful for the positive and enthusiastic reviews for our books and we are not advocates of taking negative reviews too seriously. We believe in the quality of our books, but there are times when constructive criticism should be acted upon if possible.
An example could be “I enjoyed the book but found too many names beginning with ‘H’ quite confusing.”
It is a big thing to revise and rerelease a book but if the effort is to be made, then correcting something like this could be really good to ensure optimum pleasure for the reader.
And finally …
If you are doing a new promotion to reach new audiences or releasing the next one in the series and there’s that one thing that niggles you about your book, then we say go for it!
We are flexible enough at Eventispress to work with authors to achieve their goals. That’s partnership for you.
We always say to authors, read, read, read, before write, write write.
Why should authors be avid readers?
You learn from experienced authors
You learn to be more critical of your own writing as you read less well hones novels too.
We are part of the world of books ~ libraries, bookshops, charity shops ~ feel totally part of that world to make connections
Chris Cribari’s blog post, with the link below, gives his own take on why he is an avid reader. We love the photo Chris!
Why should writers write reviews?
Writers are readers too.
To actively support your community of authors.
It’s good Karma ~ the more you give to an enterprise and those part of it, the more you receive.
How can you expect others to review your books if you don’t do reviews yourself?
Why should authors celebrate other authors’ novels on social media?
Easier to trumpet someone else’s work than your own.
It makes you a rounded person, telling your readers what you do and don’t like in the world of books, but be careful if you’re writing a negative review. Author Diana Jackson says ~ personally I don’t give less than 3 stars, otherwise I just don’t review. Occasionally I get in touch with the author to explain why ~ D Jackson.
Shout about the great books you read on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blog post ~ it may provoke comments from like minded folks or even make contact with the author. Write their Twitter handle in the post if they have one.
Sometimes it is tough to promote your own books, but if it is, have a break from it. A positive attitude and promoting the works of others will in the least give you a feel good factor and at best bring good will back to you!
Author Ian K Pulham writes a very honest account of publishing his debut novel through Eventispress:
“Let’s get one thing straight from the start. Having my first novel published by Eventispress is in my world, the finest ‘professional’ type achievement of my life. Nothing in my forty years in the transport industry came anywhere near the thrill of seeing my work in print. And my friends and remaining family members, as well as people I know around Dunstable and beyond, have been supportive, and I believe a little shocked by it all. It’s actually quite funny. I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen in a while, and after the greetings and ‘what have you been up to’s, I hit them with the ‘I’ve had a novel published’ line and watch their reaction. Usually a mixture of confusion and curiosity. My words make grammatical sense, but they take a while to sink in. Does make me chuckle, every time.
And now my book has been available for three months, so friends will naturally ask me how the book is going. My stock reply is ‘It’s ticking along’, which it is. I get sales, here and there. I’ve got fantastic reviews, mainly on Amazon. So grateful to those people for taking time out to support me in that way. It is a real confidence boost.
However, it begs the question, if my book is good, how come it seems to be such an effort to get people to read it?
The answer to that is, I need to work harder. Visit more book shops. Post more stuff online. Send more emails. Build up contacts. Do more talks. The list goes on. And in my defence, I am focused on all those things. But it is not easy to get people to read your stuff. People I know, mainly blokes, always say they are too busy. They’ll read it on holiday. And I know of at least two guys who are reading it on foreign beaches, or airport lounges maybe, as I write this.
It’s a frustration, but then I remember back to when I was working. I’d sometimes go a year without reading a book, and when I did, it would be on holiday. Unless it was a chap’s holiday that is. Didn’t read much of anything on those.
Ladies appear to read more, though they probably rate strong characters above monsters. Judging by my reviews, I’ve got both of those in my book. If I could go back, I’d probably gear the cover and the blurb up more to highlight my lead characters and their interactions. Even the love angle. That’s a lesson learnt. To say all blokes are drunks and all ladies spend their lives buried in romance books is obviously a massive exaggeration. Even for Dunstable. But the truth is, I didn’t really know who I was writing for when I wrote this. And you need to know your audience. Categorisation doesn’t help you either. I would say just about every lady who has read my book, has commented that they don’t usually read these kinds of books. Sci-fi, dystopian…whatever. And I’m sure it’s put guys off too. I don’t know how you get round this. I wouldn’t normally read detective novels, yet I enjoyed Rod’s book. Largely due to the portrayal of the characters within. So, I’m just as guilty.
But to wind this up on a positive note, a fair amount of people have read my book and enjoyed it too. I really couldn’t ask for any more. The truth is, my life is considerably better now having written a book, and then had it published by the wonderful Eventispress. It’s more a spiritual improvement maybe than financial, but in honesty, that was what I was searching for when I began all this around three years ago, so my prayers have been answered.
Therefore, my manta for all this would be – Improve your life: read a book. Improve your life considerably: write a book!”
Thanks so much Ian. Here’s Ian’s novel Ticket to Eden.
Ian, your post raises some vital issues which we will address in the next couple of posts and we’ll finish the series with ‘What Eventispress does to support authors in the marketing of their novel.’ Not a straight forward task or certainly a panacea!
Signing books for the public in bookshops is not the reserve for just rich and famous authors. In this post we will look at the ‘how to organise’ and also ‘how to be at the event.’
Of course, the cost of petrol can make events far and wide not viable which is a shame but, nevertheless, supporting and building a positive repartee with your local bookshop is essential in the life of an author, as well as the opportunity to meet new readers.
A) How to organise a book-signing
Visit your local bookstore regularly.
Choose a quieter time to visit and discuss your book with the manager (in the case of Waterstones they usually have a designated person who arranges events. You may have to make an appointment by email first)
Offer them a free copy to read.
Negotiate a discounted price. (40 – 60 % is usual)
If it is an Indie Bookshop they may be willing to buy books directly from your stock, in which case it is more worthwhile to you both. Be prepared to be flexible.
If it is a large book company then they are likely to order from a main distributor, such as Gardners. Your discount will then be set by your publisher and negotiated by them.
Your enthusiasm will bring you rewards. Don’t forget it is a two way thing. Both should benefit.
Try if you can to organise the date to coincide with an event related to your book ~ eg the date Queen Victoria came to the throne, the opening of the London Underground etc
How to be on the day
Publicise the event beforehand on your website, blog on Twitter or Facebook. (You could encourage a few friends to come in to make a buzz and spark interest)
Don’t be pushy. Make eye contact and smile, but certainly don’t follow readers around the store.
Readers are only too willing to chat. Be open and friendly and enjoy the banter, even if it is about their own writing project. Be enthusiastic for them and make suggestions if appropriate.
Have a giveaway of a bookmark or business card to give to those buying the book, but also to other folks. They might go home and check you up on Amazon or your website first.
Ask if they would like a personal message and make sure to spell their name correctly.
Have a sheet for folks to sign up for your newsletter.
Practice your signature, especially if it is a pen name.
Be courteous to the book sales people and thank them.
Author Diana Jackson writes:
“When my Riduna Series was first published I travelled up and down the country from Alderney in the Channel Islands to Southampton, throughout Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, not to mention more unusual events at the Shuttleworth Collection bookshop, who also stocked my second book ‘Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home,’where I gained so much support when researching the aviation aspects of the novel.
I enjoyed the events because, not only did I sell books but I had the chance to meet and talk to readers. I had a specialrelationship with our local indie bookshop in Ampthill called Horatio’s, which, sadly to say, is no more, but Waterstones were extremely supportive too.
You say to encourage a few friends to come in. At Luton, Waterstones, so many folks I knew popped in from Barnfield College where I worked, that I hardly had time to talk to the public. It was quite a party atmosphere and the store loved it!”
“It may be spring but if you are charged with the task of lining up a list of speakers for your club or society next winter, this is the time to be active. Suddenly face to face meetings with tea and biscuits, or perhaps wine and cheese in more affluent parts of the country, is back in fashion and speakers are in demand. Church groups, Rotary clubs, University of the Third Age, WI gatherings are all fruitful contacts.
In the last few weeks, I have spoken to a gathering of geologists in a school – only about a dozen; and a U3A group – in excess of fifty in a room at the back of a pub in Luton. This does generate book sales on the day – making the books a round price of £5, £10, or £15 helps otherwise there is a messy problem of carrying old fashioned coins as change.
Book clubs are interested in meeting a local author and many people have an interest in self-publishing which they have read about but few understand. There is also an informal network of speakers and your name often is passed on generating more speaking engagements.
Some groups with sound finances will even pay for a speaker. There is usually an acceptable scale of charges so it is best to find out the going rate before they pose the question.”
Brian Kerr’s latest release is How to Value a Skylark ~ The Countryside in a Time of Change
This Thursday – 11th February – author Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon will be sharing stories about his life and giving a filmshow at St Mary’s Church Clophill. All proceeds will go towards the upkeep of the church. 7.30 pm start!