Friday, 27 April 2012

My new five-a-day

Just after The Incomers contract was signed I was given the advice that I should try to sell as many books as I could in the first two months after publication.   I abandoned my fiction writing at the beginning of the year, three months before publication, to become my own publicist.  I made phone calls,  my publisher sent out review copies of the book, I wrote articles.  It was almost a full time job.  

I thought after The Incomers was launched it could be left alone for a while to sail in the safe waters of my hard labours from the pre-publication months.  I imagined I could get back to fiction writing, to what I wanted to do.  But after one month on the market I realise I am deluding myself.  

The sales have been good in the first month but I now know that the pressure needs to continue until the bow wave of word of month begins.  I find that I am not satisfied unless I have done something to help nudge the sales along.  I have put too much work into the project to leave sales to the chance that the reviews and articles deliver.

Yet I still want to write fiction.  I have another project I am excited about. I don't want that enthusiasm to die. I am a writer not a publicist.

So in the same way as I sometimes set myself goals for writing I now set myself goals for publicity.  

Every day I must do five things to sell my book.  I could be something as simple as making five phone calls or sending five emails but I must do five somethings every day.  Once they are done I am free to write and research.

Yesterday I made a couple of phone calls, sent an email and made a couple of posts in Linkedin.  The results are that I now have two book signings in the diary, a firm yes for a magazine review and three kindle sales.

I may run out of ideas on the five a day but as long as I keep coming up with new ways to sell the book I will keep to my five a day regime.

And this blog post counts as one of today's 'fives'.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Work Life Balance - Fife

Tayport - The beginning of the Fife Coastal Walk

It seemed like madness to go on holiday a week after my book was launched.  The advice given to all debut novelists is to try to sell as many books as possible in the first two months after publication.  But Easter has always been a holiday for me and I have other things going on in my life.


Colin has supported me throughout the book launches; taking time off work to ferry me around and spending many hours videoing and editing youtube clips.  He deserved a break.
We booked a small cottage in Kingskettle, a little village in the centre of Fife. The cottage was no more than a converted garage nestled into the banking of the main Edinburgh to Aberdeen railway line. Some would have found the constant buzz of trains annoying but I found it comforting.
We drove there on Thursday night to give us a good start on Friday.

Coastal Walker 
Sea Defenses at Tentsmuir

The Fife Coastal path traces the coast of Fife from the Tay Bridge to the Kincardine Bridge.  We walked the first part from the Tay and around Tentsmuir. The sky was overcast but it was dry when we left the carpark.  Tentsmuir is an amazing forest of pines teetering on the edge of sand dunes. Remnants of sea defenses from WWII reminded me how vulnerable this island was. After about ten miles of walking we caught the bus back to the car and were soon rewarded with a G&T in our cottage outdoor hot tub. A hot tub we were assure by the owner was not visible from the train!  I have my doubts.

Book Signing - Waterstones St Andrews
 Easter Saturday was a work day for me.  St Andrews was jumping with tourists, students and locals and I am pleased to say many visited Waterstones and bought my book.  The store staff were delightful and I was happy to add sixteen more sales to their tally that day.  I clocked off at three and headed for Anstruther for a famous chip tea at the Wee Chippy, one of the best fish and chips shops in the world.


Help I'm being strangled

Easter Sunday was a family day and Cairnie Fruit Farm, just north of Cupar, is my family's favorite.  The Easter Bunny met us and we spent the day trampolining, Easter egg hunting and much merry making.
Saved by a toddler

Falkland and Fife fields in the rain

No holiday is complete without a hillwalk. A short, steep pull up East Lomond on the way home worked off the weekend excesses and reminded me that Fife is a fabulous county with much to offer.

It was blustery on the top but I could still make out the Forth to the south and the Tay to the north and the wonderful patchwork of agriculture that makes the view unique.
Job Done