As you know by now I've written a children's book.
'Yes - we know only too bloody well,' I hear you say with a resigned sigh. 'Do you really have to keep banging on about it?'
Yes I do and thank you so much for that collective groan - very encouraging! I am gratified that so many of you have heard the news.
It's coming out next April.
'Not another six months of this incessant waffle!' Afraid so, my blog dwelling readership.
You see the reason that I do keep 'banging on,' as you so eloquently put it is that now I have to sell the damn thing. And no, don't offer to buy one if only I'll shut up either, because I do need to sell rather a lot.
The self publishing process is not cheap. The artist, whom you'll all agree having seen the pictures, is excellent. But excellence does not come cheaply. The book then has to be printed, stored and shipped all at a cost to be borne by yours truly. There's the advertising, the marketing and lastly but by no means least there are the retailers.
Did you know for example that Amazon get to keep an arm and a leg of the cover price for every hard copy book that they sell. W.H. Smith and Waterstones will expect something a little less - just one limb will probably do! The publisher, Matador, would like a quick nibble of any profit which given their involvement is probably reasonable.
So that is why I would like to get the word out to as many people as possible on the off chance that I may make a little dosh myself and get to touch at least some of the folding stuff as I hand it over to the taxman.
To that end I've joined a marketing group on Facebook aimed primarily at authors. The idea is that we share each other's posts and promote each other in various ways - a sort of mutual admiration society. The theory being that the more people are talking about, sharing, or just liking any posts that we come up with, the better.
I'm also trying to get various retail outlets to take it by any means that I can, coercion, blackmail, bribery... I am shouting it from the rooftops so that DOGNAPPED! By David J Robertson and illustrated by Ian R Ward is on everyone's lips by the time the publication date comes around.
I have spoken recently to a couple of authors who are already published and by that token a bit further along the road. 'How have you got on?' I asked them both only to be met with a grimace, a shrug of the shoulders and a look of abject sadness.
Taking that response to be negative feedback in the extreme, my second question was 'How did you go about advertising yourself/ your book?'
They both looked somewhat taken aback by that. 'Well we told our friends.'
Remember the American t.v. comedy 'Cheers' from some years ago? You know, that bar in Boston 'Where everybody knows your name' - as the theme song had it. Well that's what I'm aiming for, brand recognition, except in a more globally dominating way and I'm afraid that you my Facebookian (making it up again, see!) friends happen to be in the firing line.
Never mind - there's only six months to go.
Oh - Did I mention that I'd just finished the sequel? Ian - Ian, fancy doing some pictures?