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Can someone please point us in the right direction

Hello, yesterday Hugh My Husband had his first book signing. What a complete wast of our time. I felt like screaming out in the shop . We went self publishing and have lost so much money . I know that we have to try things out but we are learning. The sad thing is that Hugh has got another childrens book in the pipeline, but we cant afford to self publish again.If anyone lives in the uk and has gone self publishing I would like to hear your views on this. This wednesday Hugh will be on southern counties radio at 16.45 pm and they have got a guest speaker, from Random house. so we are keeping things crossed that this will help us even more.Regards AmandaHarrison

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Hi Amanda
I'd suggest you and your husband start having "child hours" where you read from his book to children who are age appropriate. Day care's; kindergartens; schools; etc will undoubtedly host you and it gives you a chance to see if the book resonates with the supposed audience. If the kids like it they will ask parents to get the book. Then it is a numbers game. The book signing should be done at a reading to children with the children asking parents to get the book for them. May it go well with you. Jim Misko

It sounds as if you've place stigma on how
your book came to be. It's a book like the others
and it has it purpose like the others.

Then the words you use of "have lost so much
money" deflecting all the possiblities of what
can come.

I reside in the States and have independently
published my work. I see everything as an
investment into my legacy.

Amanda, I've noticed you don't have a website!
You have to build your foundation on solid
ground. How can people learn about you by
chance or intent at 3:00 am without a website?

Last, you have a children's book. You and your
husband can contact all the libraries and schools
to schedule a reading for the kids.

We have to ask ourselves the right questions in
order to receive the answers and results we desire . . .

The question is this:

What do I need to do?

Everything else will be answered. Allow yourself out
of your box and let the creativity of creating a plan
to let the youth and their parents know about your

Remove the inner doubt and begin building on the
expectation of success, then take positive action steps
to make it happen.

Continue to make this your day!

Live Life to Leave a Difference,
C.F. Jackson

hi Thanks for your reply. I have a blog already set up on google. So hopefully this will help. I have sent a couple of copies to the USA to publishers in the hope that they might be interested in the book.Luckily Hugh owns the rights to his book Thank-you again regards amandah
Hi Thanks for your reply. We have already got this book out but never again as we have lost a lot of money on it.Here in the uk book s have to go through distrubuters before reaching the bookshop therefore they take their cut as well as the book shop. So we end up out of pocket.Hopefully now the weather is getting slightly better we will have another book signing. but we are not allowed to tout people in the shop. We have to sit in a corner and smile sweetly at them.thank-you Regards Amandah
I don't live in the UK, but I'll tell you I've sat with authors who have received Penn Faulkner awards and the most action they got at book signings was to have people ask them where the rest rooms are. I hate them. I keep trying to get bookstores to have me do a book talk, or a history talk or something productive instead. All that stuff about having candy, and balloons and such, I'm not sure it works. Did you try offering to read at a school/
Dorothea "Dee" Buckingham
Hello Dee, Thanks for your reply. Its a difficult one as its not easy to get into schools these days. As we have no children of our own. Most of the book shops will take a huge percentage and also they have distributers that also want a huge percentage. So for £4.99 we might as well give the book away after Hughs hard work.I am never going self publishing again as we are out of pocket.All we are after is a publisher to take this book on and re print and its safe as Hugh owns the right to this book. Regards Amandah
Hello Amandha,

I am a romantic short story writer. But what I do for a living is I am a market research and business analyst. I lead with this to answer your question of “Can self publishing work and How do I get our printed book sales to improve?”

All marketing of any product must start with a Marketing Plan. This is the road map and test point system before execution. A key component in market research is “target audience testing”. You may have seen advertisements for this or have heard of them as “Focus Groups”. A Focus Group is where you sit with a group of people that you want to discuss and get their opinion about your product. Through the “Focus Group” you learn what they like, don’t like, what needs improvement, pricing, color selection, branding and content.

With this being said Self Publishing has two launch methods, several tools and components that are can be expensive and inexpensive. The Expensive route is “hard print” – the method that you chose. You have printing cost, distribution, promotion and publicity. As you have pointed out, you put a lot of money into your printing your book but your sales plan failed. You also outlined that no one is buying the book and it has not been picked up by a publishing company.

There are a couple of things wrong here. You didn’t test the children’s marketability of the book before going to “final print”. A very low cost way to have tested your book would to have “first drafted” a print version of the book cover. As you know the book cover is key to a book being first pulled off the shelf. With today’s computer software programs like Photoshop by Adobe, you can create several book cover versions before final print and with a color printer you can print them and then have a “Focus Group” to see which one is most likely to be attractive to kids.

How do you have a Focus Group with kids? It’s simple. You do it several times a year and didn’t know it. It’s called a Birthday Party ;-) In this case you have Story Book Party. You have all the fixings of a Birthday Party but the theme is a “Book Day Party”. You are going to do what is called a “collage product test”. A collage test is where your “actual product” (book cover) is mixed in with several similar products (book covers).

Each one is numbered or has an alphabet code. You also have “Word/Phrase cards”. The “Word/Phrase cards” becomes the opinion voice of the kids. This way you get honest answers without them feeling the pressure of being asked several questions. You have words/Phrases for example – I like it a lot, I like it some, I don’t like this one, I like the colors, I like the title, I the characters, etc. You pitch this as a game to the kids. The rules are simple, Match each book cover the Playing Cards. And poof, there you have it, true opinions from the innocent mouths of your target audience. All this potent marketing information for the low cost of a kid’s party and pizza!

I could write several other levels of a marketing strategy here, but this is give you a simple testing method for the next book you have in the making. Take a look at my website (under development – I am a web designer as well) and see the book cover art (all created by me with Photoshop). With the internet I can test several book cover designs (I’ll be adding a opinion poll to each book cover).

But one of the most potent tools that I use to test my short stories is Without doubt this is the best tool you can use to test your books without going to print. This site receives 1.4 million hits on average per month of readers! Here is my link on this site so you can get a feel of how a authors page look and is setup. In the Popular Stories ( category my recent short story release Runway Girl is featured and is in the top ten! In the Romance Story category it’s listed there as well in the Popular Romance Story category.

What marketing information did I gain from this? Two big things, 1 – Is this a story that people want to read. By having this answer I can take it to Novella or Novel level, 2 – I gain a lot of “Author” exposure which is critical in the writing industry. Last a most important, this site is reviewed by agents and publishing houses. The bottom line here is, if they like my short stories enough I’ll be picked up by a publishing house to go to print and be commissioned to for more titles.

Well hope this helps you! Let me know if I could be of more help.

~John Marion Francis
I have decided to go through self publishing also but it has not cost me much at all. I know that the company I go through called Wordclay, does work partly in the uk and also in America. It also does print on demand and you can purchase your books yourself for a discounted price depending on if you want them or not. You are not obliged to purchase any costs except if you want to add things like ISBN and copyright. They also have other distribution and advertising features. If you are interested you can check out the address at:
I found that through self-publishing I've had to market myself as much as possible and find that there are not a lot of free advertising avenues out there so I created one. I also have other resources listed as well. One thing I found is book marks are a great thing, once you can afford them or make them yourselves, and put them out where ever you go. Lay them in doctor's offices, donate to your local libraries too! They go fast and sales picked up. See my site for additional resources
Hello again, join the group blogtalkradio, on this site.
tell them william sawyers sent you, they might help you out too.
there very nice people
I tried to set up with blog talk radio...Listened to their one hour seminar..THe girl talked so fast I could not follow..would love someone to explain it more carefully.. Iasked them to send a step by step process...They would not do it. ANd how beneficial is it? DO you think a lot of people listen to blogtalk radio? carol stanley
You expressed angst over the book signing, but you didn't tell us what took place. Tell us a little about the book signing.

How far in advance did you schedule it?

Did you put up fliers to promote it?

Did you have all of your friends who promised to buy a copy wait and come to the book signing to make the purchase?

Did you serve snacks?

What time of day did you schedule the signing?

Did you have posters?

Did you do a reading or a talk?

Tell us all about your book signing.


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