It was a great honor to be featured at The Reading Extravaganza in Laurens, SC. This free event organized by Michelle Caroll, an area teacher, offered free books, school supplies, food, and entertainment to area children. What a great way to get children excited about reading and the upcoming school year! To read an article with details about this event, click here.
That’s the title of the article written by Cheryl Allen in today’s Greenville News. To read the rest of the article, which also discusses trends in youth literature and the indie-publishing boom, here’s the link: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20120714/NEWS/307140015/Fairy-tale-comes-true-Simpsonville-writer?odyssey=nav|head&nclick_check=1
The very wonderful Cheryl Allen from The Greenville News stopped by earlier this week to interview me about The Fairytale Keeper. In the following clip, I discuss how I came up with the idea for series. http://www.greenvilleonline.com/videonetwork/1722683468001?odyssey=mod
A huge thanks goes out to Judith Brown and The Laurens Advertiser for their lovely front-page article about The Fairytale Keeper. I’ll be signing at The Bookstore (also in Laurens) tomorrow from 3-5pm. I can’t wait! To see the full article, click here.
So today I had my first signing. I was pretty nervous, but the people at Mr. K’s (Greenville, SC) were so gracious. I had no idea what to expect because this was my first signing. I (somewhat naively) ordered 100 books. Unless you’re JK Rowling or have some sort of cult following, it’s unlikely that the turnout for an event is going to be huge so needless to say I haven plenty of books left over for the other two signings that I have this week. That’s okay. It would be a real problem if I had to cancel a signing because I couldn’t get enough books shipped to me.
All in all, I met some amazing people and did rather well in sales. The staff even told me that people had come in earlier that week to request the book before it had even been released! I owe a huge thanks to Ken M., Nancy C., Greg C., Becky K., Alyssa K., Katie C., Lydia C., Dana W., and the wonderful staff at Mr. K’s for making my first signing such a positive experience.
If you’d been keeping up with my posts, then you’ve heard that I have been having a horrible time formatting the final copy of The Fairytale Keeper: Avenging the Queen. Yesterday, I bit the bullet and sent it off to a formatting company and what a weight was lifted of my shoulders! I should have the final copy in a week. No more ARC’s though. (Sorry bloggers!)
When I sent the final copy off, I thought I’d start picking up some of the books I’ve been dying to read, but nope. The characters started having conversations in my head and the writing bug has bitten again. Now I’m off to rewrite the beginning of the second book in The Fairytale Keeper series. Wish me luck!
I had a great time yesterday visiting my art teacher from high school Ms. Eva Esrum. She really inspired a love of art and history for me. It was so nice to see her again and talk to her students about the writing process and careers in publishing. They were a great audience. I think there might be a few future authors and illustrators in that classroom!
March has been a whirlwind for The Fairytale Keeper! I received my first copy of the book a few weeks ago and since then have sent off a dozen or so copies to reviewers. I started a Facebook fan page two weeks ago and already have 450 fans. The first chapter was posted about a week ago and the reviews have been very positive so far. In fact, I was the featured author on The Secret Writer on March 22, 2012.
I’ve been talking to wholesalers, distributors, and the like to make sure my readers can order my book from independent bookstores, major book sellers (Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Borders), and online retailers (Amazon, Createspace, Apple). And I’m happy to say that on June 1, anyone who wants a copy should be able to get one pretty easily! Here’s hoping that April is just as productive a month as March!
So my mom finished reading my manuscript yesterday. I’m floating on cloud 9 right now because it seems she couldn’t put it down. When I gave it to her on Tuesday, she told me to give her a while to finish it (which I assumed to mean a few weeks). She finished it in two days!!!
I’m sure some of you authors out there can relate to this: Having an unpublished novel is like having read an amazing book and having no one to discuss it with. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t talk about it anyways, but this one-sided conversations usually ended in someone changing the subject with good reason, I suppose. A huge thanks to my mom for giving my book a general thumbs up, giving me some well-needed feedback, and giving me someone to talk to about my baby.
I spent a full eight hours yesterday trying to make this website easy for people to find. I knew it was going to be an uphill battle because I share my name with a blues singer who has a lot of YouTube videos, go figure.
When I googled myself yesterday at 8 am NOTHING came up. This morning, I googled myself and I was the number one suggestion! How do you like them apples? I like them apples. I like them apples a lot! So what exactly did I do?
I did a little research. I am reading The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier which has many marketing tips. I also read WordPress tutorials on how to increase traffic to my site. Then, because I am not very technologically savvy, I read more tutorials on how to actually do the things suggested in the WordPress tutorials. –But by reading and following the instructions in this post, eight hours of work can easily be condensed into one.
In The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, Ross and Collier suggest some free websites that will register new blogs with dozens of search engines for (drum roll, please) FREE. http://www.addme.com is one example. It took me less than five minutes to fill out their online form. Ross and Collier also suggest that I go to the search engines themselves and register with them. This will get a blog recognized more quickly. WordPress suggests this too, so I’ll discuss exactly how to go about doing this in a minute.
WordPress wants its bloggers to succeed. They give many great suggestions for how to increase traffic to new websites. Here are the ones that I found most useful.
1. Check out blogs similar to your new site. Leave comments, like their posts, and follow some of them. This is a great way to let people know your here. I did get some traffic from this and a few followers to my blog.
2. Create tags and categories for your posts. It is incredibly quick and easy to do. Just follow these instructions: http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/tags/
3. Register your website with Google, Bing, and, Yahoo. Here are some links that will help you with this process. It took me two hours to do this, but using these links, it should only take a few minutes.
4. Create a Gravatar. I don’t know why this is important, but it is. Here’s the link on how to do it: http://en.support.wordpress.com/avatars/gravatars/
5. Link your Facebook account and Twitter accounts to your blog. This is also very easy. Just follow the steps suggested in this link provided by WordPress: http://en.support.wordpress.com/facebook-integration/
I hope these suggestions help you like they’ve helped me. I literally went from off the radar to number one on the search list over night. If any of my readers have any other tips, please post comments so I can share them!!