Craft Fair disaster

I should have known taking books to a craft fair was a mistake. Don’t they cosider writing books a craft? It was compounded by being in a local pub ( which I thought meant family lunch!) which had done almost no advertising and did not even have a banner outside to say it was on.

We only knew about it because we had a meal there last week. I think they put it on facebook but nowhere else.

It was a pity because the craft stalls that had booked were of a high quality, especially a painted glassware stall. ( but I don’t buy ornaments) I don’t think any of us did very well and I certainly didn’t as even the few children who came past didn’t even glance at my books ( or the dish of sweets I had put out to tempt them!)

So, another day with no sales. I feel the day of the book is past, except perhaps picture books. I’ll try to add a photo.


More Penny promotion.

Well, I have printed off a new poster and a separate one with the cover for the local shop and delivered two sample copies in town, one to Waterstones and one to a toy shop. Neither had the person who makes buying decisions at work so I don’t expect to hear soon.

I think my photo problems are due to the fact that I don’t really understand my wordprocessing program. It’s a bit like driving a car without knowing how the engine works. It’s fine until it does something you don’t expect. I have just been correcting oddities as I go along. The only one I couldn’t fix was a couple of black lines across the text so I left them. Luckily I have a designer who can probably sort that out when I send him the text.

Of course, if I right click I might find some answers but I forget to try that. I don’t think it will have a rotate option but I might have a look. It was odd, it would rotate the content of the photo but not the photo itself and all the edit options just have filters.

Next problem, getting a new corded phone, with an answerphone. I thought I had found one until I googled it and found people had trouble setting it up and it went wrong after a while. We want big buttons on a proper handset not those things that look like mobile phones!

I know, we belong in a museum!

More good news

I have updated my website to show the next novel even though it won’t be out until June 15th. I’m tired of waiting for the author copy to arrive. I know the post is slow but not four weeks slow, surely! Looks like I’ll end up having to buy a copy of my own book just so I can see it.

For some reason there are a lot of people looking at my website at present so the next change will be to show the cover. I was holding back until I had a copy before I put it on twitter but I’ll only wait until June. All my local magazines will need the information by the end of this month or it won’t get in July’s copies!

I need to concentrate on something else and stop looking out for the postman.

Front More Fish

More about marketing

Useful conversation with New Generation today about marketing the new novella. I have a list of organisations to contact. I’m just not sure about the timing as this virus has closed everything down. I know other countries have opened bookshops but we haven’t done so yet so I’ll wait until I know the book is available on line before I do a big push.

Just to whet your appetites- this is the cover.

novella cover

Cooking to alleviate boredom

That just about says it all. I know I shouldn’t be eating too much sugar so I made some oatcakes. They came out pretty bland and a bit crisp.

Then I had a go at a writing competition but my efforts weren’t worth paying out to send in.

I did do one useful thing. I found all the addresses of folk I sent my first book to – USA, India , Australia and Italy. At the time I wasn’t doing e books but my next one will be so I may even take advice and start a list. Trouble is, if you get subscribers you have to keep posting a newsletter to hold their interest. Maybe once a quarter I could have something to say. There won’t be another book for a year and that will probably be for children.

Meanwhile, the cover for my chick lit novella should be out soon. Goodness only knows when it will be published! Hope you are all fine.


Social media

How many of you actually believe your horoscopes? I read mine every day and sometimes it fits and sometimes it doesn’t. Today it said I was wasting my time doing something and it was exactly what I was thinking about twitter. Every time I change something on my laptop twitter gets me to enrol again and I’m beginning to stop trusting it. Therefore I will stop using it. I did enjoy the political angst, as I used to be in politics, but even that has begun to get predictable. I joined as it seemed a good way to advertise my books but I doubt whether it has resulted in any sales. It could have done, on kindle, but I never get to find out and my wholesaler hasn’t asked for any paperbacks.

I know I should email all the people who bought previous novels but I don’t want to ask them to subscribe to a newsletter as we are advised should be done to build a relationship with our readers. I don’t have enough news as can be seen on my website, http://www.juliecround, Writing a book takes me over a year and the poems have to wait for inspiration. So this will be my only social media for a while. Thanks for reading. Julie.img_0207

Blown Away!

I was really looking forward to Broadwater Big Day out and had books to sell and a new game that I had invented so that everyone who had a go won a prize. As last time we were given a stall in the centre of the field backing onto the fenced off cricket pitch and most of the others were all round the outside. It was cloudy but promised to warm up so Elaine and I set out our table and hoped. We were next to a large gazebo which had to move because of the wind but it came back and set up on the other side. Unfortunately by 12o’clock the wind was gusting so badly it blew it over again and it fell on our bookstall. As very few people had ventured in our direction and it was still blowing we gave it up as a bad job and came home – having had one person look at our books but no sales. So many books are just ebooks now that it is difficult to know where to sell actual books, especially as one is competing with stalls selling second hand books for 50p.

Without a gazebo I don’t think we will do an outside event again, and even with oneĀ  we would have to take note of the weather! It’s back to promoting on line and in person and to this end I’ll try to update my website in the next few weeks.

Inspiration ( or lack of it)

I feel I ought to be posting more creatively but seem to be marking time at present. The poetry anthology is with the printer, my new marketing leaflets are ready to be picked up tomorrow, I have entered two competitions and started another story. I don’t think it will be a novel, especially as it is rather controversial but I have wanted to set a tale in the local landmark, an old tower, for some time. It is in a private garden so I don’t have a photograph. I have been asked to do another reading in June and, hopefully my leaflets will bring in more invitations for talks. I didn’t get a new portrait done so the image is about six years old. I tried taking a selfie but it looked like a passport photo so I left the old one. Hubby was very sweet and said ” It’s still YOU”

I used a different image for the Sea scribes trifold which details all our books. That should be ready for our “Food for Thought” afternoon tea at the Ardington Hotel in Worthing on 27th March. I do wear spectacles but I usually take them off for a picture. I didn’t for that one and although it is old it looks more like me. I used to have it on my book marks but put cover images on more recently instead.

If I don’t get any good ideas soon I may even try to find old unfinished works. Not having a book on the go makes me depressed.

Marketing and advertising

I have spent today trying to decide whether business cards, leaflets or bookmarks are the best way to advertise my novels ( apart from on line) I have a new poetry anthology to get out but before that I have meetings where people will not know who I am or what I have written. I have a lovely leaflet which asks if anyone would like a speaker for their group. It is quite out of date as I have written two books since it was printed so I am going to update that. I do like having pictures of the covers on my promotional material. I also have cover pictures on my business cards but I am thinking of stopping that. It seems a bit desperate. One of my readers has left a copy of ” Never Run Away” in New Zealand so I may have some more contacts soon. The more the merrier!

Never Run Away cover

Book Review. A Portrait of Rosanna.

I have always enjoyed books by Elaine Hankin but this one gripped me more than most. It was fascinating to read how Rosanna interacted with the men in her life and how the whereabouts of the portrait was a constant mystery throughout. The descriptions of Italy were fascinating and the characterisations excellent. A thoroughly good read.

I did begin to wonder whether folk gave up on purchasing paperbacks when the book they required was on kindle. Knowing that my first book, Lane’s End is no longer available as a new book and was never an e book I checked on amazon to see if it was there. Happily there are second hand copies for sale, which is how I buy my paperbacks.

Since my kindle stopped working I have gone back to getting most books out of the library unless, like A Portrait of Rosanna, I want to keep them to read again.bookwormclipart