Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SCBWI conference - Winchester

Wow! Another amazing conference. How do they do it, I wonder? Celia Rees!! Celies Rees for goodness sake AND Debi Gliori!!! Yes, Debi Gliori!! Then I have a breakout session with Justin Somper, author of 'Vampirates'! I have been left feeling more than a little inspired, I can tell you! (God, I love exclamation marks!)

And... then there were all my wonderful scoobie friends - old and new. We shared the ups and downs of our writing, celebrated the highs and lows of publishing, ate lots of cake and drank lots of coffee. Bliss!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Had a lovely time at Ewell Castle Junior School this week. What great kids! I spent about 50 minutes with Years 3/4 and then Years 5/6 and they were so receptive. They laughed at my silly anecdotes from my younger years and were astounded to find out that one of my books was around 50, 000 words long. And to cap it all, I sold 40 books which was fabulous!! I should also mention that the staff offered coffee and somewhere to sit quietly before hand. Very important!
I also had to call in to High View Primary School as they had an order of 14 books for me. All in all, a good week, bookwise!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I send out around 300 emails a week to schools offering free author talks and receive perhaps one or two replies. Now, very much like closing the door after the horse has bolted, I have an idea for reeling in some more schools. When I take part in book signings I often talk to pupils from schools I haven't yet visited. Now, if I had a card ready for them to hand to their teacher, something on the lines of:

(name) met a real author today at Waterstone's Sutton. (He/She) thought that your school (School name) might like a free author talk from the author, Debra J Edwards. (followed by a little bit about me and the books).

After the horse has bolted - well, I have probably given around 50 talks already! Still some ideas are slow to form...

Other ideas gratefully received!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I love signing in Waterstone's Sutton, as you probably know. I get a table and chair and am left to get on with it, which suits me just fine. Other authors might like to be 'attended' to, but I find it makes me work even harder to secure a sale, especially in Sutton which is my home town. Outside of Sutton, though, I do liked to be looked after with the occasional coffee or 'How's it going?'. I think that's down to the unsureness of where you are if the town is alien to you.
Friday's Sutton signing was not a great success in terms of book sales, but it did enable me to chat with people who were on the same planet as me. I had great fun exchanging book reads with a lovely lady called Natalie. We'd read very similar books and had similar favourite authors. I think I made her late back to work from her lunch break. Sorry, Natalie!
Also, the signing gave me a chance to talk to some local primary school pupils, some of whom I had met on author visits to their schools. Others were kind enough to want me to visit their schools and will be talking to their teachers about having a free author talk. I had a great chat with Siobhan of St Mary's, Carshalton, who bought a book and was eager to get me to come in and talk to her fellow pupils.
And finally, a lady from Egmont Publishing, Linda, was drawn to my table by my book covers. Now that especially pleases me as I am self-published and self-published covers are usually criticised heavily. I rattled on relentlessly about what I do as a self-published author and my book sales. Also tried to pitch my latest book, Marvin's Curse, but failed miserably although she did go away with my card!
I think what I'm trying to get across with this post is that it's not all about book sales when doing a signing event. I'm the first to get hung up on how many books were sold, but there are so many other opportunities at events like this. I just need to keep reminding myself!!