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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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Sorry to hear that, Amanda.
I saw a good tip on signings the other day.
Instead of sitting behind a table, like a barrier to your audience, position a table of books to one side, like a sideboard and stand out front speaking to visitors at eye level and offering cookies or something.

Then invite them over to take a look at your book.

I'd say the more you can tie these things in instead of having an unkown book be the whole show, the better.

Join my Self Publishing group, I'd suggest. It's brand new and will have more help as time goes on, but there are already some links there that you'd find helpful.
Hi Thank-you for your advise. I have just made us a blog on ebloggers under rufusthered take a look !! I am learning but fingers crossed it might bring in a reply or two !!! Thanks again, kind regards Amandah
Be sure to add the address to your profile here and other sites...and include a link to it in your "signature" when posting on forums.

These days a blog serves the same purpose as a website. Poke around and learn how to customize the blog. Add some links (especially to your book sales points)

Post an initial item about the book, with the cover and all (I'd consider reducing the cover shot here to about 70 percent size for such use by the way)
Put some thought into it...this item is your big "ad" for your book. Then notice use the "permalink" or URL of the item itself as a link to your book.

I'd suggest you keep things very upbeat in your blog. People here understand the problems in writing/publishing but you want customer types to see a picture of happy success.

If you do a signing, get pics, post the item. If you get into school or library, same thing.

Use the blog just like a website, as a marketing tool and home address for your book.
Hi Thanks for your advise . I am new to setting up blogs etc but guess it takes getting used to somewhat. I am trying all sorts out there. But feel that the uk are stuck for cash and people are being very careful indeed. As our local book store has been good I hope that we will get another book signing done in a months time when the weather is better. Its too cold at the moment. Thanks again regards amandah
The internet is not a magic wand for sales. I'd say your best best to start local and move out as you gain experience in the kind of markets for your book.
Try ZOO gift shops, by the way.

If you've having success with school groups, try other areas or national versions.

Nobody is going to stumble across your site on the net and buy books. At best you've got an address there that interested readers can use to take a look.

Good luck
I don't write for children, but as a former principal I'd suggest contacting schools about reading to children in classrooms or suites. You might also check public libraries with a children's program. Always take some books with you wherever you go. Schools, teachers, and parents may want to buy them once they see the kids' reactions. Good luck!
Dear Susan, Thanks for your reply. i am going to try our local library on tuesday after Easter. good Idea.Its going to take a while but I feel hopefully we will win the day. Regards amandah

Please don't act stressed out. It's not good for your husband as partner or writer, and not good for yourself.

I had Journey Press in California for ten years to publish my books. Here are some pointers.

-I feel for you and your shock of facing reality. No one came to the book signing, or only a few? Why should they come? People don't come to meet authors unless they are celebrities.

-a book does not make an author, and author makes a book! -SKW

Things to do:

The two of you sit down together and make a work plan for the book to carry out for the coming year. Include any of the following.

-Is it a good book or a bad book? Will you be laughed at for trying to sell it? If not then back the book!

-make the selling of the book a fun project.

-Don't invest in publishing another book until you get half the money back to publish it, say in two years.

-Have author make and dress up in Rufus costume for children's fairs.

-have author visit schools to present. Both of you commit to visit two schools a month.

-develop program to present at schools: Rufus skit develop. Enact the Rufus story for no more than twenty minutes. Husband-author Rufus calls for three students to act out the good guy, the bad guy and the third the afraid guy who each interact with Rufus. Rufus changes their lives for the better.

Hopefully this scenario is in the book itself.

Contract with the school that each kid brings the price of the book, given them by the parents. Thus Rufus author presents skit with student class volunteers and then kids buy and take it home with them feeling really good about their special day.

This type of product sale is by interactive presentations to get people involved in your central theme.

Market the theme, not the book. If you market the theme the book will follow.

No one ever sells a book on its own. They sell the theme interactively.

No one wants to read a book on How To Get Pregnant. They want to get pregnant and so will read books on getting pregnant.

Sell your book at cost to recoup the money. Or below cost to get back half the money.

In self-publishing only run your business and publish a new book using the money made from a previous book. This puts you in reality.

So, some ideas. Don't sell. Entertain and teach. These are the only two purposes for writing or buying a book. You don't write a book because you think you love writing or want to prove you are a writer.

Make sure you want to entertain and or inform people. Be good at this and if your book is well enough written it is one of the things you sell or give away.

When doing publicity for your book, hardly talk about your book at all. Never sell the product. That's boring. Sell the problem and especially the solution the book solves the problem with.

Make sure people realize they have a problem. Then offer a solution embodied by your book.

Don't listen to people who set themselves up as marketing consultants for writers. These are often failed writers trying to make money they can't make writing.

Only listen to writers who have successfully sold books, or to book consultants that can prove they have sold a lot of books for writers.

My degrees don't count. My sales of 350,000 books in eight languages do count. But I was also a dreamwork psychologist expert interacting with the public. I was not just writing and selling books

Don't pay good money to consultants. They are not worth it. If you don't figure out the solution for yourself, you can't support your own career.

Don't listen to anything I say here. Write down your own list of problems and solutions to be found.

Why have I written this advice? Because I have used it myself, I feel compassion in the moment with you, and I remind myself of what is true as I know it from experience.

Hiya Thanks for your reply. First of all. its awkawrd for the pair of us to get out there as neither of us drive. As Hugh is Disabled. Thank heavans we only had a small number of books printed in the first place.We are going into schools but sending them a copy of Rufus and also doing book signings in our home town here in uk.Off to try the local library on tuesday.Anyway hope we will get there at some point.We will not have any more printed up yet a while.I have several people to ask next week. Thanks again regards Amandah
Good luck, you two! We're pulling for you.
So am I, you know where I am as well if you need to talk. Remember you are not alone, and we in this together. Do try the National Trust though and those contacts I passed on.
Hello June Happy Easter to you. What nasty cold weather ! I will try the contacts after Easter. Many Thanks again regards Amanda and Hugh Harrison


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