So Long, Farewell…

OR cover 3I offer a fond goodbye, as I step out of my “author” persona to concentrate on something new and sincere wishes for all my writing friends, as you persevere in the art.

I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to stretch my creative wings, to study the craft and share my words with a wider audience. I’ve had a novel, memoir, short stories, poems and articles published, won a few prizes, had great reviews and thoroughly enjoyed co-writing two radio plays, as well as meeting loads and loads of kindred spirits.

Crooked Cat Publishing and my fellow authors have done their best to help me master social media, effective marketing and promotion skills but I always seem to be running to catch up. After thousands of hours, I’ve finally lost heart. I’m sorry sales haven’t been better for my publisher’s sake, despite their investment in time and money (including 3 different, brilliant covers).

If I’m honest, I’ll be a bit relieved to be able to spend my time reading novels instead of promoting them, when Once Removed comes to the end of her contract with Crooked Cat in February. There are just a few more weeks to purchase a copy.

Best wishes to you all and thank you for your support.

Kindness Shared

To write a novel you have to be comfortable alone inside your head for long periods of time. However, to promote a novel you have to be socially active for long periods of time and acquire a whole new set of skills. There lies the challenge.

Maria Savva was one of the first people to help me on my way, when my memoir, A Life Less Lost, was ready to publish. I’d never met her before and only know her via social networks but she promoted my book and offered advice and suggestions for other things I could try, like joining Goodreads. She also promoted my second book, Once Removed. Her kindnesses provided encouragement as well as practical help.

a time to tellNow it’s my turn. Maria’s latest book, A Time To Tell, will soon be available to purchase in paperback on Amazon.com, Amazon UK and other online retailers. It’s on Lulu in paperback. The Kindle version is on pre-sale at the moment: release date 14th October.
To see her video trailer click here: A Time to Tell, by Maria Savva
Here are the links:
Paperback:
Kindle:

Scrapbooks, the new book trailer?

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How do you bring a book to life, when introducing it to potential readers?

While artists and musicians have a fairly immediate way of presenting an image or a four minute song, it is harder for writers to capture the imagination of readers.

Of course a great cover and an interesting blurb are always the first steps to entice readers’ curiosity. Previews and excerpts allow a peek into the story and the author’s writing style.

But in an age when people’s attention span is short and immediate, authors have been finding new ways of attracting audiences to their books.

41cOSYrD7TL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_The book trailer has now been around for some time, and many authors have utilised the media to advertise their upcoming or published book. I had a go at it myself, with my first novel, “Playing on Cotton Clouds” http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-on-Cotton-Clouds-ebook/dp/B007WFK3B2 – and uploaded it on my Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2QcSh6MZJg

For my second novel, “A Summer of Love”, http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Summer-of-Love-ebook/dp/B00B3MKEQ4 I wanted to try something different. I wanted the readers to have a feel for the characters, the atmosphere and the writing style, as well as the plot, immerse them in the book experience, and somehow I felt a trailer was not the best way to convey it.

In the past I had used some images to present short passages from the book on my Facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michela-Sacchi-OBrien/16450121895 and I thought that perhaps I could do something a little more creative with it. So I developed the idea of a scrapbook, arranging the images on artistic backgrounds and accompany them with brief excerpts from the book. There are interesting ideas for compositions on the net or on photo and design softwares, which also provide guidance on how to put it all together.

The result can be seen on my blog http://words-in-a-jar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-summer-of-love-scrapbook_16.html

I think it really captures the essence of the book, allowing readers to get a feel for the story in a quicker, broader overview, and hopefully piquing their interest enough to make them want to read the novel.

What other creative ideas would you suggest to effectively promote a book?

A SUMMER OF LOVE – Michela O’Brien

Blurb

Successful artist Jonah Briggs is a man who has made mistakes. Aged just eighteen, he was sent to prison for two years, leaving his family shattered and his first love, Sally, to wait for his return.

 But at eighteen, two years seem like a lifetime, and some promises are hard to keep. 

When Jonah reappears in her life, Sally finds herself torn between him and Ewan, the young Cornish farmer she has married, divided between loyalty and passion, duty and love. 

 Over the course of almost two decades, through meetings and partings, secrets and revelations, and two momentous summers, Jonah will have to confront his past and heal old wounds, while Sally will face the consequences of her choices – whether to follow her conscience or her heart.

A kitten on speed?

Crooked Cat Publishing is a mere kitten beside the older, bigger and more established publishing houses. But through the tireless work of Steph and Laurence they have now expanded into paperbacks to compliment their ever-growing eBook list.

The “lions” in the industry have much on their side. Size does matter. For example:

  • They print books at a fraction of the cost
  • They can thus afford distribution and retail costs (and these are substantial)
  • They have marketing and promotion teams and strategies
  • They have access to larger media outlets, major TV, radio and print producers for promoting their books and authors
  • They are very selective and have the big names

I’m a reader as well as a writer so I appreciate competitive prices and easy access to my favourite authors. But I think there is a case for supporting the independents.

The problem large companies have is risk aversion. They want safe story lines and saleable names. This means we get lots of books by celebrities and psuedo-celebs and stories with proven marketability, ones that fit neatly into tidy boxes.

There was a time in the 60s and 70s, when cinemas were shutting everywhere and I suspect risk aversion was part of the problem. People tire of same old, same old.

Hollywood was renewed and reborn with the earlier collapse of the studio system, and the works of many new and experimental film-makers (Tim Dirks, AMC Filmsite)

The same thing happened in children’s literature. The first Harry Potter book was rejected by a dozen of publishers before it was taken on and brought reading alive for millions of children around the world.

So I urge readers to take a chance on the independent publishers. Their paperbacks may cost a little more but often their eBooks are cheaper.  Amazon may have its faults but they’ve opened the door for these companies, as well as self-publishers. And if you like one of these indie books, do please tell your friends. Look what word of mouth did for self-published novel, The Shack.

My book, Once Removed, is now available in paperback.

In the USA: http://www.amazon.com/Once-Removed-KB-Walker/dp/1908910283/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348223593&sr=1-2&keywords=Once+Removed

And in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Removed-KB-Walker/dp/1908910283/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1348223668&sr=1-1

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