Beginner’s Experiences.

Being very new to the world of book writing I have found some aspects of it rather daunting, particularly how to promote and market the book, although some was done by the publisher. However, I was recently invited to a literary event where I met other authors and found that each had some advice that helped others. Some had written more than one book whilst for most, including me, this was their first attempt. We each had a ten minute slot to stand and explain how our book came about. Although this sounds like, and was a small event, the hall was full with people standing and we all sold books.

The most interesting aspect from the point of view of the authors, was a talk from the owner of a local bookshop. I think we all understand to some degree how the big online sites work, and also the large national bookshops, but to have an explanation from a person actually selling books face to face with the public, was very useful. From her experience we should be aiming to produce books of a size that can be popped into a handbag or similar product, these were the ones that sold the most. I realise that this may not be the same in other countries ( I am writing from the U.K.) although it makes sense. She explained that hard backed books were more difficult to sell, unless they were the smaller children’s books. Books produced in larger sizes, whether they were hardback or paperback, also were harder to sell from a beginners point of view.

Another interesting point she made was explaining how book wholesale dealers could negotiate terms with the publishers to buy the books at a cheaper rate, and then bring them on to the market at a much lower price than that advertised on the actual book. This then affects the royalties received by the author. This may all sound like very basic stuff but even if we are writing about fiction or a niche subject, even something that has just been an experience, good or bad, it is nice to be able to talk face to face with a person that may sell our book for us.

Book launching is not always easy for the beginner, and having an opportunity to mix with other authors who may be equally nervous can give a sort of confidence. This was definitely the atmosphere at this event. The fact that we had to step up to a microphone and talk to a hall full of people, and explain our writing to the individuals that came to see us afterwards, was a boost in our ability to promote our work. We learned from each other, from the invited speakers, and from the experience.

This post is contributed as Guest post by Sheila Moore.

Sheila Moore is a working medium and artist, she has written about her experiences drawing and painting portraits and pictures impressed upon her from the Spirit world

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