Why was I nervous and anxious about meeting Ocean Reeve at InHouse Publishing, where he was working at the time? He was no hippie, but a warm friendly bear of a man who immediately put me at ease. I don’t think I have ever met such an enthusiastic person before. We stayed for three hours and by the end I knew I had struck gold with this man. He gave me complete confidence in my project and assured me he would be there for me throughout the process of publishing my book ‘McAllister.’
Following more tweaking of my manuscript we were ready for printing. To finally hold a copy of MY book was a feeling I shall never forget. Rick, my husband, likens it to childbirth! What would he know about that?
OK. Now my book is printed, I would have happily left it there.
Marketing? Really? I’m a shy introvert…..what do you mean I have to speak publicly and promote my book at every opportunity? HELP……..
Once again Ocean was there to guide me…..(NOT to do the work), but as he gently explained to me, the best person to sell the book is the author. I had to own it.
Now I was able to bring in my secret weapon, my husband Rick. He is a born marketer and with as much confidence as Batman. He is amazing with setting up Author Talks and radio interviews and speaking to everyone about his ‘clever wife.’
I was amazed when ‘McAllister’ sold 2000 copies in 9 months. It was exciting and rewarding.
Then I was offered a contract with Allen&Unwin. Again, I was amazed at the interest in my story, which also reflects many other women’s experiences.
My precious book again, was scrutinised and edited and tweaked, ready for republishing in twelve-months, with a new cover and name, ‘Back of Beyond.’
MOVING TWELVE THOUSAND BOOKS IN TWO YEARS
What was my secret?
No secret, (other than Rick), just hard work, having a belief in myself and my book.
I particularly enjoy being a guest speaker for fund raising events. My initial book launch of ‘McAllister’ was a huge event, organised by a committee of three good friends who planned a luncheon at the Arts Centre, Gold Coast (now HOTA). We gathered 200 people who all made it on one of the wildest, wettest day for a long time. A copy of the book was part of the ticket price, meaning 200 books moved that day. I provided them at wholesale price. However, the power of 200 people reading the book and recommending was enormous. This function raised funds for ‘The Homeless Youth of the Gold Coast.’ Such a worthy cause and one I was very proud to be part of.
This event didn’t cost me anything, apart from lots of nerves on the day! I am eternally grateful to the friends who organised this event.
Rick planned a southern “Author Tour” for seven weeks in winter 2018. He set up thirty-five library talks in 50 days! We hired a small motor home, about the size of a delivery van with a wardrobe space of six centimetres in width and away we went! I managed black pants, black jumper and black boots with a choice of two scarves and two jackets for my presentations. It surprised me the amount of fun we had in this tiny capsule.
As we passed a multitude of caravans heading north, shaking their heads at us as we travelled into the minus degree temperatures! We had no difficulty booking into caravan parks!
The Libraries in country towns were wonderful, warmly welcoming us. I had enthusiastic audiences everywhere and we sold many books. Country hospitality was at its best with delicious scones and slices provided, often by the local CWA. I watched as they drifted past with their piled plates, but as I was busy signing books and chatting to my guests, I rarely had the chance to enjoy the repast on offer!
It was a joy to be guest speaker at a Rotary Fund-Raising dinner in Holbrook, organised by my cousin. On a freezing night we welcomed ninety guests for a beautiful dinner.
There is no doubt that speaking engagements sell our books. Once people have met you and trust you and like you (hopefully) they will want to read and recommend your book.
I hope my experience is helpful to other introverts out there with a book or product to sell.
PS I’m willing to hire Rick out……at a price!!!
Author Jenny Old
Author on Board
#BackofBeyond #Australiantravels #gypsies #outback