Newsletter & News

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Those of you who follow my blog will be interested to know that I have set up a subscribe page for a newsletter.  The plan is to provide exclusive content about my next book, ‘Akea – His Mother’s Son’ by way of progress reports, sneak peeks at art work etc.

New subscribers will receive a welcome letter which includes links to download chapter one from this work in progress and a rough draft of the illustration for the chapter, provided by our wonderful illustrator, Anthony Wallis.

It’s a tricky thing trying to juggle marketing a current work while working on a new one, but I know the authors among you will appreciate it more than most.  I hope you will join me on this journey by subscribing to my newsletter HERE. I promise not to flood your inbox, but to simply keep you in the loop with just a tad of anticipation, perhaps.

I’ve also been busy with Autism Awareness Week and sharing my book with the local library, but perhaps more on that in my next newsletter….

 

Author Elizabeth Jade and Stephanie Franklin (manager)

 

 

New venture…

 

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Visit the website

 

It’s exciting to think about those opportunities that come out of the blue. One of my Facebook groups had a post with the above photo, inviting children’s book authors to get in touch.  To help launch this new venture, there would be no upfront costs.  £1 commission per book sold was the only expenditure and money for the books would be paid before posting.

Akea – The Power of Destiny was vetted by the founder and then included in the magazine, along with a wordsearch we designed (I couldn’t manage without support from my mum, due to my Aspergers).

Then, much to my surprise, an order and payment came through for 35 books as mine had been chosen as the free gift incentive for schools who signed up for the magazine. I can’t think of a better testimony to my book than this; except of course all the wonderful people who helped me to put together a testimonials page for my website and media kit.

TESTIMONIAL

My next task is to get to grips with the whole newsletter and mailing list thing, but I have a feeling my new friends will be able to help with that too – thanks guys!

 

It’s A Big World Out There

Being a new author can feel rather like being a single star in a vast expanse of sky. Everyone seems to be doing it, but only the well known ones stand out. On the other hand, to quote from the 2004 film ‘Pride’ – On our own we sparkle, but together we shine.’

That’s indeed been the case for me this month. Thanks to social media, I’ve managed to connect with some really great people who want to help authors to shine.

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Visit Crowd The Hour

 

Crowd the Hour is a new website looking to feature new authors, artists and entrepreneurs each week.  I was lucky to find out about it early enough to be featured for free as part of its launch.

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Raspberry reads
Visit Raspberry Sassafras

 

Raspberry Sassafras is a series of children’s books by Allison Holland.  Allison has a fabulous website where she not only showcases her own stories, but helps to shine the spotlight on others. It’s a fabulous way for authors to help support other authors.

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Welly Weekly Feb 18
Visit Authors In The News

 

One of the most exciting Facebook groups I discovered recently was ‘Authors In The News’ which is run by Kristin Spiers. Kristin uses her expertise to help others use the media to their advantage.  With the help of her free template, I was able to create the above press release for our local newspaper and to do so to the right standard for them to paste it straight in without changing anything. Her advice to be newsworthy rather than trying to sell books through the newspapers could well help to sell books anyway.

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It’s been a busy month and I have a feeling it’s not over yet. Here’s hoping that by supporting one another, we can all shine a little brighter with time.

 

From Little Acorns…

I was quite excited to have been included in the December edition of the Wellington Edge.  This is a glossy, 80-page magazine that is delivered to every home in the town. I was also delighted that it only cost me a signed copy of Akea.

It is marvellous to receive such a glowing review and to feel that there are those who appreciate how much harder life can be for people with Aspergers (an autistic spectrum disorder).

I am fortunate to have a supportive family and particularly a mother with an eye for opportunities.  After all, if we can get such a glowing review in a town magazine, why not contact the magazine for neighbouring Taunton as my book is on sale in their independent bookshop.

But why stop there?  Why not contact the county magazine for parents and grandparents and see if they would be interested in my story or my book.  It pays to plant as many seeds of thought as possible; as the saying goes – “From little acorns, great oaks grow.”

Wellington Edge

The things we do for love

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My bedroom is my favourite place to write, and more often than not, my lovely Shi Tzu, Kizzy is there with me. She likes to be involved with whatever I’m doing, and she loves to go out with me as much as possible too. She does wonders to help with my anxiety; although what the shopkeeper thought of me sitting on their floor with a dog draped over my knees, I will never know.

She’s a clever little thing.  I was even able to teach her to do ‘away’ and ‘come-by’ both to verbal commands and to a sheepdog whistle.  I admit this was only round a set of cones in the garden, but it looked impressive enough for me to film it and upload it to my YouTube Channel  (Ladykizzy123) as ‘The Littlest Sheepdog’. The funny thing is, that once she had taught this trick to our new flat-coat border collie, she didn’t want to play that game anymore.

For the last two days, she hasn’t been her usual bouncy self and she has insisted on going out into the garden three times during each night too. The vet gave her some antibiotics, and a probiotic paste to settle her tummy. She was apparently feeling sorry for herself as she refused to come upstairs with me to bed last night. In the end, we made the sofa into a bed for me and she happily joined me there. I have no idea if we will end up there again tonight, but us humans will do pretty much anything for those we love.

 

Think local, think social!

Marketing your book can seem like an uphill struggle; like wondering on the Yorkshire Moors in a dense fog. I have been told that 10-20 years ago it was a different story (pardon the pun), that even well-known bookstores would give the lowly newbie a chance.

Today, in the UK at least, the big stores only want the big names, and the independent bookstore is a rarity; but even if you are lucky enough to have one, it can still be a challenge to get people to buy your book.  My recent flurry of book posters at local venues has produced at least one purchase from my local independent store, but only time will tell if this particular idea will prove fruitful.

Today, Social Media is presented as a useful tool, but so many fall into the trap of treating it purely as just another place to advertise. Spending time getting to know others in the same line of work can be a helpful if time-consuming tool.  In the end, it’s all about balance.

A lot of Facebook Groups fit into the mass advertising category – a sin I have been guilty of. Others have proven to be useful sources of information, including one recently which shared information about an opportunity for greater exposure for authors of children’s books, like myself.

Being a new author today is not an easy task, but supporting local businesses and taking time to encourage one another is something that can be of benefit both in and out of the writing circle.

 

 

Flushed with Success

Having sold 8 books in 2 weeks at craft fairs and another 8 in 2 weeks of handing out flyers to parents collecting their children from school, we contacted a local pub about putting up posters for us.

They were keen to help, but said the best location would be on the inside of the toilet cubicle doors. Does this make me a ‘bog standard’ author?

They also asked for special posters removing Amazon as a sales point and replacing with a local book store who have some of our signed copies. I must remember to plug this avenue further.