Tuesday, November 24, 2009

with a sigh...

Discouraged. Had a booksigning at Ebooks, Lynnridge Mall on Saturday. It rained various mammals. People were on a mission. There were a LOT of other stalls. (Tupperware etc.) Hardly anyone came into the bookshop; we were just outside their doors and though some people looked, most just charged past as fast as they could. Sold one copy (to Magda - ay, what would I do without her!).

Klip Klap we sold nothing. The first booksigning at Scouts was a rainy deal, and though one whole person looked and asked, nobody bought. The AGM on Friday; I'm sharing the profit with the Scouts so there's something in it for them to announce me, and something in it for the parents to buy. Will that work? No cooking clue.

Eddington has been amazing. So sweet. He assures me that once the book is reviewed in the newspapers, sales will happen. He took more books on consignment to "bulk it up" for the Christmas sales, I hope people see it and want it. Come on, how many copies has "Twilight" sold in Pretoria? Give me a break - there is definitely a reader's market. Eddington also called the book "fantasy", which makes me wonder if it isn't perhaps. I always thought, futuristic, Earth-based, reality based, science link = Science Fiction? Maybe not, after all.

I'll try to arrange another signing for the morning of the 5th December. Maybe better luck.

Riana's artwork looks amazing. She floored me once again with her professional flair, and speed! She is brilliant.

Les and I are working on a sales situation.

And then there was faith.... which I'm sadly short on.... all those deities with their empty air promises, let's face it, so much magical thinking. Or maybe not. How should I know? Consult Federi on that, don't speak to me!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Publicity is free, someone said.

I called my oupa, opera star Dawie Couzyn, and found out from him how to approach this whole publicity business. Here is the advice he gave:

You find out who the editor of cultural events is at the main newspapers in each city. He named papers and editors here.

You call them. Not email; phone call. Why? Because it's interactive, because they can hear your voice, and so on. You tell them that you have (whatever it is, in our case) a new novel out, first of a series, first by a new South African author, and it's in print now!

You post them (snail mail or email) a press release. You write it. Stands to reason. I did write our own article for the Rekord, too, up to a point.

You mail the same article to all the major newspapers and any number of minor ones. They don't mind.

And then you employ a clipping service to keep an eye on whenever your name pops up in any of those newspapers.

So Iain found out the numbers of those (and MANY more) papers.

I need to start calling them tomorrow.

I also have to email Riana with the details of the poster we need for the 21st. Tonight.

I need to invite people to the book signing and the Gaiana Gypsy concert. Tonight.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, Saturday, Sunday...

So here is the schedule:

-Today we were at "Klip Klap" Art Market, promoting. No sales. Not too many feet at that market.

- Next Friday, Signing at Scouts.

- Saturday, Signing at Ebooks Lynnridge Mall.

- Saturday afternoon concert at Nats, and books along, and signing. Still have to advertize this.

- Sunday: Probably Cullinan, otherwise Kimiad

- Friday after (27th Nov): Book signing at Scouts AGM.

-I'm booked up until end of Jan for Kimiad - options every Saturday, every Sunday. GOOD DEAL THAT!

Spoke to Dawie today about newspapers. He named all the major ones in the 5 towns. He said, all I have to do is call them each and speak to the editor of cultural events, and then write up a press release, and it's news - I don't pay for that.

Then also the Star and the Pta News have a book reviews section. I must mail them a copy of the Solar Wind for review and hope they print it.

I'll step on all that tomorrow morning (Monday).

Meantime I made 2 more contacts for authors. I've also started proofreading a friend's book - but as tired as I am, although it's a really stunning, funny story, it's slow going - managed the equivalent of 2 chapters last night (he doesn't chapterize although I do suggest he should - it gives the mind a break from laughing cramps).

I'm editing the Assassin, too. Chapter by tedious chapter. "Make it more gripping" was the demand, and boy oh boy!! ...is that a task! There's just such a LOT of that book! It's about 3 books in one. A whole odyssey!

Anyway. Book 3 is shorter. Freedom Fighter. That's me, yeah.....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Exclusive Books

I've set my blog to private now, with only two readers having permission to read. I don't want bookshops to read something wrongly and take offence.

I had an interview with the manager of Exclusive Books Menlyn. (Werner.)

1) He complimented me on the layout and professionalism of the book. His exact words: "A good-looking publication."

2) He complimented me on the theme - "quite unique".

3) He mentioned it's all about the hype. He asked for my marketing plan, so I told him about posters, flyers, bookmarks, newspapers, reviews, and the plan to contact radio. He then suggested (like Karin suggested too) that Jenny Crws-Williams would be the one to contact, or her manager.

4) He said (tongue-in-cheek) that the way to reply to the supplier who told me to get back to her when I had 1000 copies in hand, was to ask her to order 1000 copies.

5) Book signings: He said that that would be Step 3 for him, not Step 1. He wants them to queue. Get publicity first.

6) Exclusive Books don't take books on consignment as a policy. He also mentioned it would be a good idea to "frustrate" bookshops by having people coming asking for the book.

So clearly the next step in the process is jenny Crwys-Williams.

Ebooks Lynnridge Mall has sold 1 copy so far. We have sold 40.

Lined up:

15 Nov: Klip Klap market, 8 am.
20 Nov: Book signing at Scouts
21 Nov: Book signing at Ebooks Lynnridge Mall
Also 21 November: Book signing at Natalie
27 Nov: Another signing Scouts AGM.

Markets: Klip Klap; Kimiad.