Self publishing mistakes

Had a marketing meeting yesterday and it reminded me of all the mistakes I made when I began self publishing.

We should put our website in our books, but I have an excuse, I have changed my website provider twice and the one in 2007 doesn’t exist any more!The two I have now are and

It is good to put a chapter of your next book in the one you are publishing (but that’s impossible if you haven’t written it!)

Some folk actually ask for reviews in their books. I think this works better in ebooks. It seems a bit cheeky in a paperback.

Pictures, pictures, pictures. We must try to use social media. ( Hard for an oldie like me, but I’m trying.) I still avoid facebook but I am on twitter. Now to try to get more photos on!

Blogging is useful but I still have more folk from USA.Never mind, quality over quantity every time!


Writing a play

Well, I’ve started – but, so far, am just trying to get the words and stage directions down. I know I have to set it out differently and I promise I’ll do that eventually, but I want to see if it works and how long it takes before I put it into the right format.

How long should a scene be? So far they are very short and I find I am leaving out whole chunks of the book because they are set somewhere impossible ( Like a cricket pitch)

I know some plays use back projection but I am trying to limit my sets to the possible.It’s a lovely challenge and really making me think.We get so used to television it is great to have to consider props and doors etc. Also, when the characters are in places where there would be a crowd of people do I write in a couple of non speakers or indicate as much by sound?

No time for twitter. This is more fun.

New project

My son suggested I turn “A Lesson for the Teacher” into a play. I have never written a play but it would be an interesting experiment. I already know what the characters are like but when I began to imagine the sets I found I would have to cut out a great deal of the story. It would be easy as a film but much harder as a stage play. Still, I’m not writing anything else at present so I’ll have a go.

Act 1. Scene 1.( Front of curtain) ¬†Two girls. one combing her hair, the other jigging about to pop music.Girl 3 runs in……

( Going away to write dialogue)

Theatre review

Saw an excellent production of ‘Les Miserables’ (without music) yesterday by Sutton Amateur Dramatic Club.This was the Jonathan Holloway version with a most adaptable set and a skilled cast. I was especially impressed with Eponine and those cast members who took on more than one part and managed to look and sound different each time. There aren’t many actors who would attempt four characters in one play. Congratulations to the whole company.

There’s something special about amateur dramatics. I remember the time I appeared in a play for a festival. I was supposed to be a queen but the adjudicator said I walked as if I was off to a hockey match! Oh dear ( We didn’t win) My ¬†favourite performances were in Shakespeare at school, where I always had to play a man as it was a girl’s school. I even had to have fencing lessons for one production. Time to get back to reality. J.

Computer question

I have started posting on twitter but am confused by the short urls that many people put at the end of their posts. These direct us to websites . I don’t know if I should try to send people here or to my other websites or just not bother to link at all.I wouldn’t know how to start anyway. Any suggestions?

The results of one competition came out this week and I didn’t get a mention but I did spend the vouchers I got for my published letter this morning, on a pen refill and a 2017 diary. I was searching for decorations for a hat, without success. Our chairwoman at Friendship Centre is arranging an Old time Music Hall event next year – with hats!

Booked to see Les Miserables in Ewell on Saturday. All good fun!

One book at a time

Saturday was spent at a craft fair in Lancing. It poured with rain all day and I believe most of the customers were fellow stall holders.Sea Scribes have an attractive stall that we take to events but although we usually make sales they are never numerous.

I sold one book. This is normal for this period in a book’s life. At first people ask for copies and I sell four or five a week. Then I tell more people about the new novel and it begins to dwindle. Now, after 6 months, it is down to one a week. Carrying a copy around with me helps, as does meeting new people. The books are all on amazon but undiscovered.The only good thing was when a lady stopped her bicycle to tell me she was enjoying the book I sold to her last week.

There are plenty of suggestions on marketing out there. All we need to do is find them.Self publishing can be very rewarding but it’s a big old world!

Will it help sales?

Very exciting times with today the last day of a free promotion of “A Lesson for the Teacher” on kindle -something that I didn’t know was possible until last week. I had a lot of queries from fellow writers who did not think any work should be given away free but advice on twitter was that it helped to promote the book and led to sales. I wonder.

I wasn’t sure about twitter but as I did not want to spend time on facebook I gave it a try and find tweeting short sentences quite fun, especially when I get a reply.There’s plenty of advice for writers, too. It just takes time to find what is useful.

Now to try to get photos from my phone to here. This is the season for learning more about the computer!