At our initial interview with Ocean Reeve (my Publisher) he requested to look at our phones. Sounded strange but we obediently handed them over. He wanted to view how active Rick and I were on social media. He was pleased with the number of contacts we had but wanted more!
Here I am once again, out of that comfort zone everyone speaks about. I can see that there is no such thing as ‘comfort’ in the next phase of publishing for me!
I am always reluctant to overload people with marketing messages, but I understand the power of this modern method of communicating. However, to ease my ‘comfort zone pain’ I set up an ‘Author FB Page’ which has enabled me to post news updates, upcoming presentations and snippets of interest to fellow authors, for example, this blog will be posted on my Author Page.
The result of my social media marketing was astonishing. Most of the sales of ‘McAllister’ came from Facebook, Instagram and my web page. (www.jennyold.com) I have gathered an amazing number of ‘friends’ with whom I exchange messages on many occasions. Many of my speaking engagements have been a result of social media communication. I have also connected with fellow authors or prospective writers which can lead to mutual support and encouragement.
I am a convert! It works!
My next challenge followed the successful sales of ‘McAllister’ when Ocean called me;
‘Hey Jen, I think you should do an audio book.’
“Great idea,’ I responded, ‘I have a friend who is a professional, I will ask her if she would be interested.’
‘No Jen. YOU have to read it. It’s your story.’
I was stunned. ME? I couldn’t do that, especially as I was in the process of having a new front tooth implant, making my ‘s’ sound like ‘ths’! AND I was concerned that the temporary tooth may fly out of my mouth without notice!!
As expected, my mentor gave me the look which clearly implied this was not negotiable. It was with a sinking heart that I agreed. It’s lucky that I really like this man!
I was extremely nervous when I arrived at the studio for my first reading. Ocean was there to reassure me as I entered a tiny soundproof cubicle with a microphone and a window to the audio producer. I sat the manuscript on the lectern, took a deep breath and on queue began to read. She would raise her hand if I needed to stop and re-read a sentence, which did happen as my tooth provided a couple of ‘ths’ which caused us a great deal of hilarity.
I read a chapter at a time, then had a break for a sip of water, continuing until my tummy grumbles began to be louder than my reading voice. This process continued for nine days, reading for three hours each day.
I must say this was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. As I read my story, I re-lived the emotions and the memories. To see my recording lady turn to me with tears in her eyes or guffaws of laughter was very rewarding, knowing that my writing was coming to life through my reading.
It was also the first time I had read the manuscript through as a story, rather than editing, proofreading and analysing every word and paragraph. I liked it! I felt proud.
That Ocean Reeve sure knows his business!
Audio books have an enormous market. I am delighted that our grandchildren have listened to mine, understanding a lot more about their grandparents and father’s lives. Anyone who drives long distances, vision impaired, the elderly, the young, patients in hospital to name a few.
As Rick and I carry on with our travels around Australia, I continue to reflect on my writing journey. It is an exciting time as I await the publication of my second book ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’ in mid-March. I will be stepping out of my comfort zone once again, but with a permanent front tooth this time!!!
As we continue to travel through Tasmania enjoying and exploring the magnificent scenery, I find myself compiling my next book in my head. I have the urge to write a fiction. The story is developing, but it’s a long way away.
I feel my ‘discomfort’ zones are becoming more comfortable as time and experience eases the pain. I’m now looking forward to the launch of ‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’ in Mt Gambier South Australia on March 31st. Subscribe to my web page for updates on this event www.jennyold.com
I must emphasise the importance of a good web page, and if you’re an IT disaster like me, have someone manage it for you.
Next time we’ll probably be back on the mainland. We will be sad to leave this beautiful State of Tasmania.
Author Jenny Old
Author on Board
#BackofBeyond #Australiantravels #gypsies #outback