Adventures in book publishing.

It’s been an interesting, if hectic few weeks. Most of my time has been absorbed in the task of promoting ‘Bringing home the stars’ and getting it noticed by the important people to get it noticed by (i.e: book retailers). For a long time I’ve described this as a thankless task, and it can often feel that way when no response seems to be generated by contacting nearly a hundred retailers across the country.

Now that we get within spitting distance of the launch (2nd of October) all that work is paying off. Whilst the book buyer at Waterstones decided against a general stocking of it, under the explanation that it would just get lost under the big-name promotions leading up to Christmas, that wasn’t a big setback that it may have first appeared. It wasn’t Waterstones saying “Don’t darken our door” but simply that a new book from a new author and a new publisher is a big risk in a time when there is a frenzy from the big hitters to get paper on the shelves for the Christmas present buying time. Waterstones stores are free to order it if local managers see a demand for it. The door is still ajar for the book buyer to reconsider at a later date, dependant on sales.

Those sales are coming. Already there have been three weeks’ worth of pre-orders – a lot of them from Waterstones stores. Today has turned up yet more fruit of hard labour. Namely that bookings have started to come in for book readings/signings at Waterstones stores.

Waterstones has promotions managers for all of its stores, and it seems that a lot of them are quite keen for personal appearances by authors. Provisionally we have been booked today for Waterstones Manchester Deansgate (9th of December) and Waterstones Darlington (23rd of October). That’s not bad follow up for contact made two days ago. Hopefully there will be more bookings over the next few days, and that is excellent news!

On top of that the promotions department at All Mouse Media (the publisher) is working hard to secure newspaper features about me and my work. They say that it doesn’t matter how good a product is if no-one knows about it to buy it. The last week has shown that hard work can be rewarded in publishing to get a great product noticed.

There are still plenty of stocks in the warehouse, but they are moving. Nielson orders come through once a week on a Thursday usually for All Mouse Media so I’m interested (and a little nervous it has to be said) about what this Thursday brings after this week’s push. Tomorrow is another hard at work day, with some more stores to contact to try and put together a ‘grand tour’ for me as an author. This looks like – all going well – it will cover Manchester, the North West, and up through County Durham. For those in the south it’s more awkward because of travelling costs, but if they come in I’m prepared to do them. Why? Because any author would be stupid to neglect important exposure, especially when down here near the bottom of the ladder.

Publishers (and agents) like authors who are prepared to put the work in to promote their work and help it in every way to get out there and sell. I think it is safe to say that no agent or publisher could look at me and say “She doesn’t do enough to promote her work.” Judging by the last few weeks, I’ve certainly done as much as anyone else, if not more.

Here’s to the next few weeks and hopefully finding out just how much the buying public feel about ‘Bringing home the stars’. If the support I’ve received so far is anything to go by, it looks like we’re onto the winner that Zoë predicted when she read the manuscript nearly a year ago!

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