A month ago I had my first radio interview. It was nerve-racking, but a lot of fun. Today I had my second interview – this time on radio 3wbc (94.4fm). The host, Barry, gave me no indication of what he was going to ask as, in his words, he likes to ‘play it by ear’ and ‘keep it loose.’ The fact that the show was being broadcast live added to my jitters, but I think I responded well to the questions I was asked. I was able to do a reading of the prologue from my novel Incite Insight, which is the first time I have read a passage from the book to an audience since the launch. I also managed to get in a plug for the Writers Group I’m currently chairing and their recent anthology (which I have a story in). Click here to open a powerpoint show with the audio of the interview.
I was recently interviewed on 3SER radio by Henry Grossek. You can hear me discuss my novel Incite Insight and publishing here. The other part of the interview deals with my experience in education. It can be heard here.
Apparently I have a great face for radio as I have also been invited to appear on another radio station in a couple of weeks. More on that once it’s gone to air!
Promoting a book you’ve already written is a great distraction from the one you should be sitting down and writing. To this end, I spent yesterday evening recording my first radio interview as an author. One of Tale Publishing’s authors was featured on the show a few weeks ago and with the contact established, I was invited to pre-record an interview for broadcast next week. I don’t know what I’d been expecting, but I was surprised at how much the studio was like the ones you see on the news when they speak to a talkback host. There were pictures of prime ministers and other notables who’d previously been interviewed by the host, Henry. And here he was interviewing me…
I was nervous. At the start it felt like an interview for a job you’d forgotten applying for, especially since the first half was about my experiences as a teacher. I began to relax, but then came a curly question that could identify the school where I work, and that was better avoided (like most schools, we have a strict media policy). There is no ‘kill switch’ in a pre-record, but there is an editor/producer and he assured me I would this bit would be cut. He also said I’d be amazed at how I’d sound in the broadcast, which made me wonder if I’d met a miracle worker. For someone who spends much of their day verbally communicating, I’d really noticed my ‘ums’ and ‘ahs,’ and knew I’d repeated myself a couple of times. It will be interesting to hear how it all turns out next week. I’ll post a copy of the interview once it’s aired in a part 2 to this post.
Lots has been happening in my writing world. Last year I sold a story to The Gandhi Experiment for use as part of a lesson plan for teachers. There are many interesting lessons you can get from this site and many are free.
My editor has given me her edits on the first half of my next book. It will be a collection of short stories based around the theme of shifting perceptions. As I move into trying to market that book in the lead up to its release, I’ve decided to have one last marketing splurge for Incite Insight.
The e-book for Incite Insight is on sale from now until the 3rd March at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk for 99c/99p. Please let friends and family know if you think they’d be interested in reading it. This will most likely be the last time I discount it until the new book is out.
The book will be featured on many websites over the next week. I’ll post a wrap up about them in a future post. In the meantime, if you see the book advertised somewhere, please drop me a line to let me know.
Until next time,
Thanks to thebentonet.com.au and Ashfield Library, I’ve had my first media interview published. The full interview is below and you can obtain a copy of the Ashfield Gazette here. The gazette contains interviews with other authors such as Tracy Joyce (who I had the pleasure of being on a panel with at the Continuum Convention earlier this year) and Queenie Chan (Author and owner of thebentonet), so is worth a read. If you have not picked up a copy of Incite Insight yet, you can do so here (in either e-book or hardcopy).
When I was at the Continuum (Speculative Fiction) Convention in June, promoting my novel Incite Insight, I was on a panel with Steve Cameron, who by everyone’s measure was a successful writer. He’d had about 30 stories, scripts and articles published, had great reviews, won some major awards and been shortlisted for others. He’d been regularly published in major magazines and anthologies. In short he was someone people like me are envious of. His success was daunting and here I was sitting next to him (feeling a little out of my league) on the appropriately themed panel of “writers and doubt.” Like me he had a day job as a teacher.
During the panel Steve casually mentioned something that raised my eyebrows:
“I make about $300 to $350 a year from writing. It’s enough to keep me in teaching.”
I recall a few jaws dropping when he said this. I mean he was a success and that was all he earned? What hope did the rest of us have of making a profit? But this served to remind me that the reason why I, and the reason why nearly all writers write, is because they have to. It is an urge that we have to satisfy. Simply put, I don’t write for money or glory, I write because I want, and well, need to.
I recently entered Incite Insight into a competition. In order to enter, I had to list all the marketing for the book. When I wrote it all down, I was surprised at how much had been done:
– Book launch at Readings Bookstore (+inclusion in their catalogue and display window at store).
– Paid inclusion in Ingram’s Advance Catalogue.
– Paid promotion of e-book through Book Gorilla, Booksends, eBook Lister, Fussy Librarian, and eReader News Today, in conjunction with KDP Select price promotion.
– Social Media Campaign (Facebook and Twitter).
– Panellist at Continuum (Science Fiction) Convention (additionally, bookmarks promoting the text were included in the gift bag given to all delegates.)
– Retail table at Continuum Convention.
– Free Bookmarks and book displays advertising the book at various retailers.
– Website of publisher.
– Website of author, including blog.
– Guest Speaking at Writers Groups.
– Amazon Marketing Service (paid advertisements on Amazon.com)
– Ditmar award entry.
– Book available for borrowing from 7 Libraries.
– Displays in 3 retailers.
– Emailed bloggers asking them to read and review the book.
All this has resulted in 300 sales. So not exactly setting the world on fire, but actually not too bad. As a comparison:
“The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, aka J K Rowling, could not have received better reviews. Yet before the secret broke, the Bookseller reported The Cuckoo’s Calling had sold a total of 449 copies through BookScan since its April release.” (SPN, 2013).
While I still have a long way to go before I reach 449 copies (and to be fair that was print copies – my total of 300 includes only 90 print copies), I am really happy with my progress to date. I’ll keep up the marketing and hopefully keep the sales coming while I work on my collection of short stories which should be out early next year.
Just under two years ago, I knew no one who had published a novel. I wanted to improve my writing and publishing contacts so I joined Writers Victoria and the Monash Writers’ Group. One of the Monash Writers, Katherina Fares had a book launch for her novel View from a Barred Window last weekend, which I enjoyed going to. The photo below was taken at the launch (I’m in the middle). What amazes me is that out of the seven people in the photo only one hasn’t published a story, at least not yet (they will likely publish their first story later this year). I’m proud to say that all these people have become my friends. Over the last two years they have been a great source of inspiration and advice, and have introduced me to my editor, helped me get my book into libraries, told me when I’ve headed down the wrong path and helped me get published. So my advice to people who want to write stories is to get involved in your writing community, you never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities it presents.
This weekend I will be on several panels at the Continuum Convention. This is a Science-Fiction specific convention that is fan run. There are many well known authors (Kylie Chan, Ian Irvine etc.) on the panels as well as lesser known and unknown ones like me. As this is my first convention I am not quite sure what to expect, but I think it will be a lot of fun having public discussions on topics that interest me (a not dissimilar thing to what I did with my first book – The Conversationist).
I will also have a table at their Sunday Market to sell copies of Incite Insight.
Details can be found here: Continuum.org.au