Tag Archives: J Mary Masters

Another tiny step in my author life

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Well, as expected, Rocky turned on the heat for the author day at the local library: 33 degrees C = 91.4 degrees F. Bright, hot and sunny.

What was the best thing about the event? Catching up with my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in a while and relieving them of a bit of cash – they bought some copies of my book.

Cousin Christine has even read it and sent me a Facebook message saying she really enjoyed it and where’s the next instalment? Hey, guys, I’m too busy trying to get the first one out there!

Next best thing was meeting a romance author Alyssa J Montgomery who does a mixture of self publishing and traditional publishing …. and seems very successful at it. (Envy, envy!) Lovely person. She’s a speech therapist by day.

Unlikely conversation:

Me: Hello, and what are your reading interests?

Other person: Oh, I don’t read. I’m just here to support a friend.

My thought bubble: Who doesn’t read? Seriously? It’s the one thing I hate about travel and being away from home …. I don’t have access to my books.

So, an interesting experience. Others were much better prepared than me, but many were writing about local or family history.

I’ve included some pictures I took on the day, including one of where I used to live as a teenager with my parents, who owned a cattle (beef) property. So as not to intrude on the current owners I pulled up on the side of the road and just took a shot from afar. All you can glimpse is the roof of the house which was a typical Queensland timber home.

I also talked to the local newspaper reporter – the local newspaper is The Morning Bulletin so hopefully they will, out of local interest, publish a story about my new career.

 

 

 

More tiny steps for this novelist …

RockylibraryI am really looking forward to tomorrow …… I’ll be up early to catch the 8.25am flight to the city of my birth (Rockhampton in Queensland). Rocky, as it is mostly known, sits just above the Tropic of Capricorn on the eastern seaboard of Australia. It’s hot in summer.

The local regional library invited me to participate in their ‘local author day’. I qualified, not because I live there now, but I was born there back around the dawn of time (well, not actually but it sometimes feels like it).

Australian towns and cities and even smaller communities have a wonderful network of publicly-funded local libraries and bless them, they are buying my book for their readers. Yeah!

Rocky, of course, is heavily featured in my book – although not by name. Some of the places are real – St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral (my sister got married there with me trailing behind as a 12 year old), the Criterion Hotel (we had my sister’s engagement party there), and the hospital (I was born there).

It’s fun including real places in a fictional story. I find it helps ground the events and ideas.

I’ve co-opted at least one of my cousins to put in an appearance at the library so at least I’ll have a friendly face in what I hope is a crowd.

I’ll let you know how it goes ……

From a writer taking tiny steps on the road to …..

Christine_shop

My attention has been on other matters for a few months, not my writing career. Even so, I have been organising a few things to promote my first book ….. The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story.

Having decided the mainstream publishers don’t know what they are missing (in other words, no big money offers came my way), I’ve published the book myself under our own imprint PMA Books – http://www.pmabooks.com – and on Amazon.com – so there are now copies filtering through the bookstores and libraries in Australia.

This won’t make me a bundle of money, but I have the immense satisfaction of seeing my book in store ….. and I’ve been invited to library talks, the first one next week in my old home town of Rockhampton (well, birth town anyway). It is so appropriate as this is the setting for much of the book, although the town has another name in my book. Some of the locations are real though ……

Those with sharp eyes will spot the stack of my book at My Humble Abode bookstore in Brisbane.

So join me on this adventure trail of launching my first book and my writing career. I’ve been encouraged by the feedback of early readers of my book.

Oh, and by the way, I’ve promised to have book 2 published in 2016. And book 3 in 2017. All while pursuing my day job of publishing magazines.

To all those authors on the same journey as I am undertaking, I wish you the best of luck too ……

 

 

 

 

The hard graft begins: my hairdresser is stocking my book!

So, I’m getting seriously stuck in to getting my book The House of Secrets, Julia’s Story out and about and in the hands of readers – and reassuring those who have read it that the next book is well and truly under way.

I was thinking about it just now. I have to say there are many parallels between establishing a successful magazine and getting my first novel out there in the hands of the reading public.

Back in the early 1990s I had an idea for a magazine in the defence business sector in Australia – it took me a few years to get it established but today it is the market leader in its field. We publish monthly with weekly premium newsletters and a directory of suppliers plus host four major conferences a year. But I remember the early days when everyone was very discouraging and said ‘it won’t work’, ‘we don’t need what you’re offering’ etc etc. Only I believed.

I thought: well that’s what it’s like now. I have written a book that I am satisfied with, that the early readers say they really like and I know exactly who my reading audience is.

So I’m putting all my skills to work to reach that audience directly, bypassing the major publishers who can’t see the ‘wood for the trees’.

Have you ever thought of buying a book in the hairdressing salon you go to? Probably not, but my hairdresser Kelly has agreed to take some copies to sell to her clients, on commission of course. This is business after all.

So I’ll keep you updated on the success of my unorthodox marketing methods. In my opinion, wherever my target market gather in numbers, that’s where my book will be …… over the coming months, I’ll let you know if that strategy works!

Well, that was fun while it lasted …..

I had a bit of downtime today in my day job so I set out to explore promotional opportunities on Amazon.com for my book.

OK, I thought, I’ll do a giveaway. That’s easy. Invest a few dollars and see where that takes me. I opted for a small number of giveaways and it was all over in what seemed like seconds.

By the time I’d logged on to Twitter to promote it, it was all over.

Well I’m happy for the readers who will get a free book courtesy of the giveaway – which was the intention – but I did think I’d get a little more exposure.

C’est la vie.

P.S. I’ve got a countdown deal on Kindle for e-book readers – maybe that will help my exposure to readers.

Life imitates art … or is it the other way around?

Life imitates art - well, my book cover
Life imitates art – well, my book cover

I looked at these flowers this morning in my living room and realised just how closely they resembled the image I used on the ‘new and improved’ cover of my first novel – The House of Secrets: Julia’s Story. I bought them at the local farmers’ market on the weekend. Roses are so beautiful.

What I want to know is  – how do you combine a full time career – I’m a publisher of magazines for Yaffa Media – with the burning desire to get out there and promote my book and be a full time writer! Any ideas! Neglect my poor husband maybe? Don’t cook dinner and send out for pizza instead – we haven’t done that in years!

A couple of reviews have been posted on Amazon.com and on Goodreads.com – very positive. I was so delighted really because as a first time novelist, I need the feedback to tell me I’ve written something worthwhile. Now I know I have to do book 2 and book 3, because it will take that long to tell the whole story.

All advice welcome as to how to balance the two worlds……..

Read my book for FREE online ….

I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve made my book available FREE OF CHARGE – LINK HERE

This format does require some patience. Otherwise I’ve reduced the price on Amazon.com and Kindle – and also it’s available to Australian readers on www.pmabooks.com – also on special this month.

The House of Secrets