Whether creating a tsunami or having butterfly moments we change the world
It was 3 years ago that I first put Polly up onto Amazon and well, my cover was pathetic and I knew absolutely nothing about the book world. 4 months later I started a group called Indie Authors Networking and my world started to change. I don’t claim to know lots, but I have learnt an awful lot since those days, thanks to the help of some amazing people. Most importantly, I have built my tribe, a group of people who have helped me no matter what time of the day I have popped up in their inbox with stupid questions. They have helped me hone my writing skills and almost look like I know what I am about (ha, ha, ha).
Sian B Claven, Kim Hunter, Ashleigh Giannocero, Tamsyn Bester, Tammy Bradbury, Ange St Claire, Lee ay BK Publishing and of course Deborah Du Plooy – Debs if you had turned me away that first day, I think I would have given up, but you didn’t, you encouraged me, as all the people above have, and I am where I am today because of you all – THANK YOU.
Well, beta readers read your work whilst you are still writing it and gives you feedback from the point of view of an average reader to the author.
A beta reader is not a professional, but a keen reader who will be honest about your work, ideally someone who would form part of a writers target market. If the plot isn’t working, then it just isn’t working. The manuscript is usually in its raw state before going to edit or for proofreading, so it is more about content continuity and character formation than editorial mistakes.
An ARC reader is someone who reads an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) and gives an honest review. They usually receive an edited copy a few weeks before it is due to be published in return for an HONEST review – this is not your Mum or Auntie Sally, who lives down the road, but a reliable group of your target market readers.
They will typically review on Amazon or Goodreads and their opinions do matter. So, in the past couple of weeks, I have had a peaked interest from people willing to join my team, and I can tell you I am chuffed to meatballs about it. Getting reviews as a Children’s Author can be an uphill struggle, as your target market is the kids and they are too young to hold accounts to post to Amazon or Goodreads without adult supervision, and well, for middle-grade books that can be hard as parents often don’t have the time to support these authors. They are keen when the kids are young to share their child’s latest books, but as their parental reading involvement tails off they are less likely to post a review or rating, and only when the child is old enough to post as a young adult do the reviews seem to start to come again.
Reviews, especially for Indie writers are so important, as even brilliant books won’t sell if the marketing tools are not spot on and no-one knows about your book. Reviews are an important part of that marketing process and help the authors enormously. So if you have read a middle-grade book, or your child or school learner has, please be generous and help them by posting an HONEST review.
I can hardly believe all six Polly books are on their way up from Durban today. I’m counting down the days to the Kingsmead Book Fair, one of the biggest and most acclaimed book fairs in South Africa AND I’M GOING TO BE THERE!
Not only be there, but be presenting a workshop for 8-12’s on bullying and how to be less of a target for the bully. 10.15am See you there.
And Coming soon… Polly Returns to Africa
It is always exciting when you finish a book, but for me when I finish a Polly book, it is something special. She is the flagship of my writing, a special little bird who has crept into the hearts of many children and adults alike.
Polly the Parrot and the pirates head off to Ireland for their next Piralympics. There they are joined by Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, Fungie the Dolphin on a quick visit from Dingle Bay, a new crew in an unusual ship and of course those pesky Leprechauns; always trying to steal the Pirate’s gold!
I must admit it took a while to do the author’s edit, as essentially I had written the book 15 months ago – THAT IS HOW MUCH I HATE EDITING! But now that it is done, I am so excited to get it into print.
Bagpipes use by kind permission of Tony Jones – Talksense