Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Amazing Animals by Design Blog Review

Check out the very first blog review of Amazing Animals by Design!

Hear Me On the Radio!

Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 29, 2012, I will be interviewed for a few minutes on the radio about Amazing Animals by Design and my upcoming Book Signing.  My children will be with me, and you never know, they may even get to say a few words!

Listen to the Coastal Daybreak show with Ben Ball on The Talk Station.  I will be on at 7:15 am, EST.  You may tune in at 107.1 FM or 1240 AM.  You may also listen to the live stream on the website here.  Turn on the web stream a few minutes early, as there will be some advertisements first.

I hope you are listening in, and if you are local, I hope to see you at Cups-N-Cones in Havelock, NC, from 10-2 on Saturday, March 3!

Book Signing Open House & Homeschool Writers' Seminar

Last Saturday, as a warm-up to my public book-signings, I held an Open House at my home and invited local friends, church members, and my homeschool group.  It seems that most people, when they find out I've had a book published, do not say, "Oh, I'd love to read your book!" Many of them instead say, "Really?  How did you do that?  I'd like to publish a book!"  And so I decided it would be a good idea to offer a Homeschool Writers' Seminar that afternoon for the homeschool group, sharing what I've learned over the past few months in this process.

I'd have to say it went well.  I had some wonderful friends come for moral support, and a few new people.  I sold a few books.  The real success came, however, in the number of people who said, "I can't attend your open house, but I would really love to buy a book."  Those people may not have known the books were for sale otherwise (unless they read my relentless self-promotion on Facebook!).   I do not want to push anyone to buy my book because they know me and they feel like they should, or I have put them on the spot.  I do, however, want to make sure that everyone who knows me knows the book is available, because you never know who might like it as a gift for grandchildren or as an addition to their personal library.  I like to find ways of marketing that effectively get the word out without being a "pushy" salesperson.  I believe this one worked well.  Hopefully no one reading this will say, "Um, no, she was pretty pushy!"  :)

When my husband and I placed our first order for some of these books to sell on our own, I considered ordering 100.  It seemed like a lot to me and I was afraid I may be stuck with some inventory.  Then the publishing company suggested we start with 300.  Three hundred books!!  Are you kidding me?  That's a lot!  But we decided to believe that I would be successful and ordered the 300.

It's a good thing, because after 3 weeks, I have already sold 101.  That original hundred would not have lasted me long!  I still haven't had an official Book Signing, so that is all friends, family, my Facebook & blog, and the Open House from Saturday.  This coming Saturday, as I may have mentioned (smirk :), I will have my first public Book Signing at Cups & Cones in Havelock, NC.  The press release has gone out, and tomorrow morning I will be interviewed on the local talk radio station!

Stay tuned!  :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My First Book-Signing

Just to reiterate, my first public book-signing will be on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at Cups-N-Cones in Havelock, NC, from 10am-2pm.  If you're local, come on out and meet me.  I'd love to sign a book for you!

Now Comes the Hard Work!

So you've been writing a book along with me; you've gotten it published and survived editing, illustrations, and layout (yeah, someone else was doing all that work!)  Yay, you think, now my book is published and we're done!  But that would be where you and I were wrong!

Now comes the fun part.  I am working with a fantastic marketing representative, who will help me navigate the waters for the coming months.  It is estimated that the average new book sells 200 copies or less.  (see Ten Things All New Authors Should Know About Publishing by Terry Cordingley).  A new book by an unknown author is generally considered a success if it sells 5,000 copies.  There is a big disparity between those numbers!  I don't know about you, but I am shooting for the 5,000!  So out of the thousands of new books being published this year, how do I get people to notice mine?  What is special about it?

Half of the battle is writing a decent book.  The other half is getting it into the right hands.  There are many good books sitting unsold in bookstores.  You may have never considered yourself a sales person (I haven't), but now marketing your book is your full-time job.

I have gotten a good start.  I have already sent emails to my entire Christmas card email list; invited my church, homeschool group, and local friends to an Open House at my home; and started setting up book signings.  I have one concrete book signing set up and several more in the works.  I have information on both of my blogs and all over my personal Facebook page and my business Facebook page.  I have given away a few free books as promotions.  I have arranged to have some people review my book on their blogs.  I hope my family and friends aren't getting sick of hearing about my book, and I have no desire to push any of them to buy it or to make them my main market because they feel like they have to help me out.  At the same time, I want to make sure they all know every last bit of information about how and where to purchase it in case they do want it!  I would hate for a good friend or a cousin to say down the road, "I didn't know you were doing a book-signing.  I wish I could have gotten one!"  So, I think that part of the market is pretty much saturated.  They know!

Now I will begin reaching out.  I am having a homeschool seminar in my area, where I will talk to the students about writing and publishing a book.  As I said, I am pursuing contacts for book-signings.  I will keep this blog updated as to my schedule.  The official release date for Amazing Animals by Design will be April 3, 2012.  After that, the marketing group will be setting up book-signings in bookstores and other venues.  Until then, pre-release marketing is key to getting the word out.  The book can be purchased directly from the publisher, and I will be signing and selling books from my personal inventory.

My first public book-signing will be on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at Cups-N-Cones in Havelock, NC, from 10am-2pm.  If you're local, come on out and meet me.  I'd love to sign a book for you!