Ways to Market your book for Review Pt1

reviews6There are many ways to get noticed as a new author.
I have taken the advice of my publishers and joined all the social media platforms that are available; the latest being Bookbub. I think this is one of the ways of getting your name out there and showing that you are a serious, committed author whose only job is to reveal to the www (world-wide-web) that you exist and that you believe in your work. Well, you have spent hour upon hour writing your opus, living and talking to your characters (Dickens did that), and you’re just busting to share your story (novel, memoir, non-fiction book) with as many readers as possible. Of course this takes time, but if you have a WordPress blog and write little articles (like moi) you will find that your posts automatically go to many of the social media sites. eg. Your Facebook author page, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Goodreads, but not Instagram (as yet). Don’t worry if no one is reading your blog, they will soon see your six little gems as book marketing prompts. In other words, someone is seeing your effort /article somewhere! The trick is to make your posts eye-catching!

havagonewsThe do’s and don’ts of joining all social media platforms.
1. Do connect with as many writing/writers/authors/bookstores/publishers/writing centres as possible across all channels. You’ll be amazed when nice people connect with you.
2. Make your Author Facebook page public, but keep all other info private. Discover your “settings” section and spend time on keeping your private life, private.
3. Add your blog to Facebook, but don’t add your birthday, your email or mobile number.
4. INSTAGRAMDo find ways of posting snippets from your novel. I send a .pdf to my mobile phone, download it to Acrobat Reader and then take a screen shot of my small paragraph. The beauty of Instagram is you can include colour or a filter. You can scan a page, but honestly it’s not the same or as clear.
5. Do check that your blog posts have gone to everything. And it doesn’t hurt if you repeat the post.
reviews86. Do join Goodreads as an author. Post up your bio, and your book(s), connect with other authors, (start following them), write a few reviews yourself on books that you like and are amassing on your bookshelf. They don’t have to be long or in depth, but hey you’re a writer so get cracking!
7. Do join Pinterest and Tumblr but don’t waste time on these sites until your book is published. Again connect with like-minded members, but you will notice that there are literally “thousands” of people on these sites.
8. Do make all social media public, but my advice is learn to control your “settings” in all of them, otherwise you get the time-wasters and whackos if they can DM you. DM stands for Direct Message / Private Message.
9. Do write ‘from the AUTHOR’ in every birthday/get well/ bon voyage greeting card to your friends. They’ll get it!
10. Don’t bore your family with your recent successes, they don’t understand how buzzed you really are. Only other writers understand! That’s why it’s good to belong to a writers group/ centre.

More to come….

Book Reviews & 10 Ways to Promote

Since May 2019 after receiving ‘A Book Marketing Plan’ from Adelaide Books, I have been self-promoting the book in various ways. I have added small passages to Instagram, posted pics to Pinterest, Tumblr, uploading articles to this WordPress blog and have joined Bookbub. During these past five months I have had my doubts as to whether this plan has worked. However…. only the other day I was contacted by a journalist from “Have a Go News” – a West Australian online and print magazine. After discussing the premise of the book ie that it’s not about Wittenoom and that it doesn’t focus on asbestos health issues, I was still surprised that this journo remained interested to write a book review when the novel is published. Not knowing his source (and silly me didn’t ask), it appears that the early promotion of the book has worked and is hopefully still working.
10 Ways to Promote your Book
In my research regarding the importance of book reviews, there are many online articles dealing with how to get your book noticed. The main idea is that your ebook will sit on Amazon among millions of other books and as a new unknown author you can be lost in the quagmire.
1. Use a Call to Action at the back of your book
2. Make your ebook available for free
3. Ask your mailing list
4. Create an Advance Reader Team
5. Email book bloggers who love your genre
6. Find Amazon reviewers through their review profiles
7. Use social media to ask for reviews
8. Find Goodreads Groups that are open to authors
9. Ask for reviews in your Facebook Ad comments
10. Consider ethical paid services. This is NOT the same as paying for book reviews, which is not recommended

more to come….

US Writing Residencies: MacDowell Pt.2

A 2nd Residency Application I’m making in 2020 is to The MacDowell Colony. I have previously tried in 2017 with no success, but I only had 2 poetry books. Hopefully, with a US publication of my novel, I will have enough kudos as a writer to gain admission. It is the top artists’ residency in America with the likes and calibre of writers like George RR Martin (Game of Thrones), Michael Chabon (Moonglow). Jonathan Franzen, Carol Burnett, Art Spiegelman (Pulitzer) etc, so it will be tough.
The MacDowell Colony is an artists’ colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, United States, founded in 1907 by composer Edward MacDowell and his wife, pianist and philanthropist Marian MacDowell. After he died in 1908, Marian forged ahead, establishing the Colony through a nonprofit association in honor of her husband, raising funds to transform her farm into a quiet retreat for creative artists to work. She led the colony for almost 25 years.

The mission of The MacDowell Colony is “to nurture the arts by offering creative individuals of the highest talent an inspiring environment in which they can produce enduring works of the imagination”.

Over the years, an estimated 8,300 artists have been supported in residence with nearly 15,000 Fellowships, including the winners of at least 86 Pulitzer Prizes, 31 National Book Awards, 30 Tony Awards, 32 MacArthur Fellowships, 15 Grammys, 8 Oscars, 828 Guggenheim Fellowships, and 107 Rome Prizes. The colony has accepted visual and interdisciplinary artists, architects, filmmakers, composers, playwrights, poets, and writers, both well-known and unknown. https://www.macdowellcolony.org/

Rainbow Lorikeet

Since it is spring and the birds are chirping, the sun is shining and my toes are finally warm, I am posting this poem that I have always liked. The shot was taken of the bird in a tree trunk while on a picnic with the family at Crawley, Matilda Bay WA.

Rainbow Lorikeet

You are the fields of red
and the blue tulips of Izmir.
You are the harvest green of the Punjab,
the orange turban of the Hindu
and possibly the setting glow at dusk.

However, you are not the black swan
that pecks below your tree, the seedless grapes
on the picnic table, and you are certainly not
the cockatoos suddenly in flight.

It is possible that if you changed existence,
and were not just a bird in its rightful place,
you would be the blue origami on a Willow plate,
even the bridge, the fleeing lovers crossing.
And anything else that’s blue like the two immortal doves.

But apart from all this blue, you certainly are
the fields of red, stylized tulips, the yellow at sunset.
And you are the wavering lines of harvest green
in the Punjab, and the orange swirled on top
of the Hindu’s head.

The Goldfinch – now a film!

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I didn’t finish reading this book, oh so heavy to hold, positioning it in bed etc. It’s a big door stopper. However, the film is coming soon to my local theatre, so I’m wending my way through again, wanting to read the book before I see the film! 771 pages turned into 2.5 hours, I hope they do it justice.
I am determined to finish this book of 771 pages. It’s like a brick you carry around in your tote bag. I am beginning to like the 13 year-old Theo who has lost his mother in a bomb catastrophe. I believe Donna Tartt lost her father quite young (through divorce), so there appears to be dual empathy going on in this book. By that I mean, some of the writing is very emotive, bereft and possibly self-referential.
I knew it was going to be horrible and it was, from the second I stepped into the bright hall and smelled the familiar old school smell…..hard to believe that the world had ended and yet somehow these ridiculous activities kept grinding on.
The strange thing: the last day I’d been in the building, she was alive. I kept on thinking it, and every time it was new: last time I opened this locker, last time I touched this stupid fucking “Insights in Biology” book, last time I saw Lindy Maisel putting on lip gloss with that plastic wand. It seemed hardly credible that I couldn’t follow these moments back to a world where she wasn’t dead.
View all my reviews

It’s just a painting of a chained bird on its perch, but The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius has become a pop icon. When I last saw it at the Mauritshuis in The Hague it was singled out from other paintings, roped off, almost like the Mona Lisa. Now it is to be exhibited at the Scottish National Gallery. Will the crowds there from 4 November match the 200,000 people who queued to see it at the Frick Collection in New York in 2014?
The popularity of this 17th-century Dutch painting has been hugely enhanced by Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch, whose narrator steals it when he is 13 years old. Yet the true story of The Goldfinch and the man who painted it is stranger than fiction.The novel and the real life of Fabritius have one thing in common: an explosion. Tartt’s character walks off with The Goldfinch (it’s a small painting) after a bomb goes off at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The key to the true, tragic story behind the painting is, as it happens, a picture of an explosion’s aftermath that hangs in the National Gallery in London.
Egbert van der Poel’s painting A View of Delft After the Explosion of 1654 depicts a city laid to waste under a sky full of cloud and smoke. The cosy world of a Dutch town has been turned inside out. A body is being carried over a canal bridge. Houses stand ruined, their charred rafters open to the cold sky. A row of trees have all had their leaves blasted off. Their skeletal bleakness is terrifying. As shocked citizens help the wounded and search the rubble, birds fly darkly against the iron clouds.
Among the victims in catastrophe was the painter Carel Fabritius. Born in 1622, this gifted artist was killed in 1654 when a magazine containing at least 90,000 pounds of gunpowder blew up in the heart of Delft. His life was taken, at the age of 32, by this absurd, random accident. The Dutch republic was armed to guard its independence – as Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (1642) illustrates – but the explosion in Delft did not happen in a battle or invasion. It was a meaningless disaster. Someone was careless with a match. Read more of the article on The Guardian.

US Writing Residencies, Yaddo Pt.1

I first heard about Yaddo from a writer who I spent time with in a residency in Barcelona. When you’re among other artists often the talk is about other residencies, how many they have spent time in, have recently applied to or intend to apply. Setting my sights on American was never on my bucket list, however, since my forthcoming novel publication is through a US publisher, the plan is to visit New York and possibly read my work at the Strand Bookshop, Broadway, Manhattan New York City. Albeit a costly trip, however, writers do have other alternatives and I am applying to Yaddo for a residency in order to help with the cost of visiting the US. Applications for the US summer June to September close on 5th January 2020! I don’t know if I’ll be lucky enough, but I have my fingers crossed.
Yaddo first established in 1926 was named after the original owners Spenser and Katrina Trask’s daughter Christina. The building, a Queen Anne Revival Mansion, stands on forty or so acres on which are now the principal buildings of Yaddo. Left without immediate heirs by the deaths of their four children, the Trasks bequeathed their fortune and estate to the establishment of a residency program for artists. They founded the Corporation of Yaddo in 1900. In their letter of intent, they expressed the hope that Yaddo be a place of “rest and refreshment [for] authors, painters, sculptors, musicians and other artists both men and women, few in number but chosen for their creative gifts.” Over time Yaddo has seen more distinguished activity in the arts than any other piece of ground in the English-speaking community and perhaps the world. Collectively, Yaddo artists have won 76 Pulitzer Prizes, 29 MacArthur Fellowships, 68 National Book Awards, and a Nobel Prize (Saul Bellow, who won the Nobel for Literature in 1976). Notable Yaddo artists through the turn of the millennium include James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Aaron Copland, Philip Guston, Patricia Highsmith, Langston Hughes, Ted Hughes, Jacob Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, Martin Puryear, Katherine Anne Porter, Amy Sillman, Clyfford Still, and David Foster Wallace. More recent guests include Terry Adkins, Laurie Anderson, Jeffrey Eugenides, Sheri Fink, and Matthew Weiner.

Yaddo currently welcomes approximately 220 guests a year from all over the world. Though much has changed since 1900, Yaddo’s mission has remained constant. In recent years the Board of Directors has reasserted Yaddo’s commitment to aesthetic daring, social egalitarianism, and internationalism, and the support of artists at political risk.

The Last Asbestos Town: the novel’s pre-promotion and does it work?

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My debut novel: The Last Asbestos Town
One of the requirements of getting a first novel noticed, either after or before publication, is a tad of self-promotion. I have now completed the manuscript and it’s waiting diligently on my laptop for a final submission. I think it’s just as nervous as I am. Things go through your head, will people come to my book launch, will it be read, will it be purchased, will readers like it and above all will the publishers be pleased with my efforts to promote the novel? After all, I’m here in Australia and my publishers are ‘WAY OVER THERE” in America. There are several oceans in between, but thanks to the internet we have squished those humongous barriers into a quick shore to shore hop and onto “email”. The book will also be on Amazon, either in hard copy or ebook.
Nevertheless, with self-doubt slipping down the slippery dip, whoosh, bang, let’s land it in the sand. Brushing myself off, out of necessity, I have been promoting the novel in small bytes of text on Instagram. I don’t have many followers on that social media, only a few loyal ones (writers mainly), so I do hope some of my words are getting read. These little snippets are really only a taste of what is to come, are not reflective of my characters, Isaac and May, and the text is not in any cronological order. Suffice to say, I have been trying to show my best writing and since the book won’t be released until April 2020, I intend to keep focusing on the pre-promotion. It might add some suspense and someone thinking “what’s it all about?” BUT I have to tell you it’s not about ‘WITTENOOM!’