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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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Hello, Thanks for your reply. As we have no website am I still allowed to have a blog? i need advise as to how to make a blog. I cant afford to pay huge amounts of money to anyone. Regards Amandah
You can start a blog easily by going to This is absolutely free. All you have to do is just to follow the steps described there. After finishing, you will get unique URL for your blog and search engines will find your blog easily.
I'm not in the Uk, but I do have a forum going on right now for amazon tags. I started out asking if anyone has had success there, and we are now swapping tags/ going for higher visibility. If your book is on amazon, feel free to join the fun! This actually could be a nice little sales boost, and hopefully will help a lot of people.
Hello, Thanks for your reply What is amazon tags? regards amandah
On (or they have a feature called "tagging". If you get tagged a lot for a particular category, it raises your visibility on the site. What we're doing is tagging each other with suggested tags to help each other out. There's also a link to a site that has over 100 authors participating. Let me get that, and I'll just post it..
Okay, it's works on because many people have accounts there. They require you to have made a purchase with it before you can really do much, but most of us do buy books (of course!) , so no problem there. Hope that helps!
I am sorry to hear of all your husbands problems Amanda, and wish so much that things were differnt. I also wish I could listen to that show, but I don't finish work until 5.30, will see if I can find some way of getting my partner to tape it if this is possible, as I would love to hear what Random House have to say.

I am also a self published author from the UK, and live at Box Hill within the Southern Counties area. I am yet to make a profit from my book either, mostly because of the expenses associated with promoting it. I am luckier than most as well, since I chose a publisher (I went down the POD route) who saw the potential my book has, and so last summer asked Gardners to take it on board as a stocked title. This has been a double edged sword though as on the one hand it enables me to get stocked in almost one third of Waterstones, which I would not have stood a cat in hells chance of achieving had the book not been returnable, but on the other hand, so many book stores who told me they would order failed to do, that everyone vastly overestimated the demand. I now then find myself in the situation of having had 70 books returned, which I have to buy back and somehow find a market for.

The local paper ran a peice about me in this weeks issue, but so far I have only made on sale because of it. Mind you, I suppose it is one sale more that I wouldn't have had. It is though a struggle when I have to work four days a week - self publishing though does not pay the bills. It is tough, as I am constantly torn between my love for my job, and my love for publishing. I feel between a rock and a hard place, when I would rather be between a pillow and a duvet !

I would love to know though how your husband managed to get on Southern Counties as I sent a copy of my book to them months ago. I emailed a week or so later to check receipt, and was told that it was being passed on to some of the producers but have not heard a word since. It annoys me though, as they have loads of authors on there, some of whom are not even local. Maybe it is because my book is non fiction (mind, body and spirit/philosophy/religion) and they just don't understand it !

Feel free to contact me though via my contact page and if you want you can give your husband my blog address as well as there is loads of stuff on there as well about my own journey that he may find useful. At the very least it will help him to see that he is not alone.
Meant to add my blog address which is

My main website can also be found at
Hello, Thank-you so much for your email. I kept on with southern counties radio and sent them a press cutting then they did call us up. We went self Publishing with penpress and luckily Hugh does own the rights, and luckily we are under no contract at all. Thank Goodness. The printers, penpress sent us all the books 105 of them back in november of last year and we have sold I would say about 40 of them. I have emailed magazines like woman and home, she and goodhousekeeping in the hope they mightdo a feature. I have got a few copies of the book in our local smiths. But I really regret having ever said to my poor Hugh write a book. We are really low at the moment. I have sent out at least 12 books to schools and different publishers in the hope that they migth do a re print for us. Thanks again so sorry for moaning on.regards Amandah
No problem at all Amanda. If your book is available in Smiths, chances are it is available through Gardners like mine is, although perhaps not returnable. If you want I would be more than happy to email you the Excel spreadsheet that waterstone sent me with contact details for all their stores. I called them one by one over a period of 4 months and managed to get stocked in almost a third of them. You may want to investigate one of those unlimited calls packages for a set fee first though, as it could be costly otherise. It was though the best piece of marketing I ever did. Try libraries as well and local writers groups, libraries often want authors who are willing to host reading time for the kids and so on.

If you can get to London as well, you may be interested in what Simon Key and Tim West are doing at their recent opened Big Green Bookshop. They are former Waterstones managers who took over the lease on the branch they used to manage when the company closed it down.

Take a look at the latest post on their blog site here

I understand the heartaches though only too well, and the sense of loneliness and despair when things do not go right. I have been there myself more times than I care to mention.

If you want you can ask your husband to email me direct via the contact page on my website as by the sound of it you live quite close to me as you mentioned somewhere else a book signing in Godalming. I am only 45 minutes from Guildford after all. you never know, although our books are different, we may be able to help each other. I won't post the email address on here for obviious reasons, but you can find it on my website or email me from here. I don't like to see others struggling and in pain, and if I can help then that has to be a good thing. Even if I can't then nothing is lost.
You can get a free blog by going to - there are others out there, but this is the best known one, although the software they use has a few strange glitches that take a bit of tweeking and getting used to. It is easy to set up though and entirely free. They are based in the US but that doesn't matter in cyber space.
Hello, Thanks for your help. I have just made ourselves a blog underrufusthered on blogspot.!! Take a peep I am new to this so lets hope I might get a reply. Do you have a phone number? or email where I can contact you? Really sorry to be a complete pain. But we are really trying absolutley everything. I have sent Hughs book out to a lot of publishers in the hope that they might do a re print on our behalf. also to schools as well to try and interest them. I am also tempted to have a coffee morning to see if this might be a good way . regards Amandah


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