A book gift to keep readers warm

While we’re sweltering here in Australia, readers in the US and UK are reaching for their blankets and a good book. That’s why Australian author Melissa Pouliot is offering the Kindle edition of her #1 #besteller Write About Me for just 99c in the US and UK. Another reason the book has been discounted from $4.99 to just 99c is to celebrate it’s new cover!

Follow this link to download your copy

And please feel free to share with your friends. It’s a huge boost to authors when readers enjoy their book as much as they enjoy writing it!

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Handing your ‘book baby’ to your readers

For the past 12 months I have been nurturing and looking after a book baby. The process is much like a real baby in many ways. First of all there’s the time where that baby is yours and only yours. Hidden from the world. Safe and protected while it grows.

Once that baby comes into the world you protect, love, feed, live and breathe that baby every waking moment – and sleeping moments as well. It wakes you in the middle of the night and you have no choice but to get up and feed it some more. It interrupts you time and time again and you find it impossible to concentrate on anything else.

My book baby is called Find Me, and finally it’s time to hand it over to my readers. It is a daunting and scary feeling but one that I will never forget.

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  • To one of my first readers Prue in Australia, who finished the book the same day she purchased it and posted this 5-star review: Heartbreaking – Congrats on a fabulous story of which I could not put down. My heart cried for all those families that lose some one. And to those that are lost.
  • And to my Sunshine Reader from Knoxville: Love Australian setting! Deals with an important issue, too. Wow. This book transported me into another world. I loved being in the Australian outback, complete with cowboys and “B&S Balls” (Bachelor and Spinster Balls). This story contains a delicate balance of romance, mystery, crime and sadness. It is obvious the author has an affinity for missing people and it’s interesting how she highlights they different types of people who go missing.
  • Then there’s Ariel from Boston: I love the 80s – the music – I love the 80s – the music, the fashion and the simplicity of life without the modern technologies we have today. But what Melissa highlights so well in this book is the lessons we can learn from the 80s, especially when it comes to missing persons. She gives a realistic perspective of so many issues from what it was like to be a policewoman in the 80s to what it was like to be the family member of someone who is missing. Beautifully written. This book will stay with me for a long time.
  • And Kristina, also from Australia: The voices of the missing must be heard with new ears. I have been waiting for this book since I read Melissa’s debut Write About Me. And it’s been so worth the wait!! Another page-turner written from the heart. Couldn’t put it down. Congratulations to an exciting new Australian author.

Thank you to all my readers for taking care of my baby. Enjoy!

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Write About Me moves bookshelves into mystery, thriller and crime

One of the best parts about publishing your book on Amazon is the incredible opportunities it provides for self-published authors. As Amazon aims to keep pace with the ever-changing book publishing world, authors and writers can stay on the front foot and be continually finding new opportunities to sell more books.

As a new self-published author I am learning every day and one thing I’ve discovered is the importance of which category or shelf your book is on in the biggest bookstore in the world.

After seeking advice from other authors and doing my own research, Write About Me has now changed shelves. These are its new categories which align more closely with the type of book it is.

I will keep you posted about what happens from here as I roll out my new virtual marketing strategy – stay tuned!

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The art of selling books – hints from an author and her best stockist

I am still new to the fiction writing market. Although I’ve been writing my whole life through my journalism career and media business, I am a debutante self-published author. Since launching my debut novel Write About Me last year, I have stumbled and raced at rapid speed around the steep learning curve of selling books.

Today I had an enlightening conversation with my most favourite stockists of Write About Me as I hand-delivered their 8th order of books in 6 months. This has prompted me to share with other bookstores and stockists of books the art of selling paperbacks for new authors. 

Selling books is not rocket science, but the reality is that books don’t sell themselves unless of course you are Jodi Picoult, J.K. Rowling or Hannah Kent. But until an author reaches global domination, they need to be continually working with their stockists at how to best reach their target market – readers.

MJP_FB header Feb 14Hint 1. Just because you are stocking a fantastic book which is a #1 bestseller, has been seen on television, in newspapers, magazines and every social media platform known to man (as is the case with Write About Me) – doesn’t mean your customers will have heard of it. Talk to your customers about the book, let them know you have a #1 bestseller in your store. This will immediately get their attention.

Hint 2. Ask the author for signed copies. If a customer knows it is personally signed they will be more inclined to purchase.

Hint 3. Keep in touch with your authors. Know what they’re up to. Follow them on Facebook, twitter, Instagram or whatever social media platform is your favourite. That way you can share with your customers all the excitement that’s happening around that book and any future books they’re working on.

Hint 4. Read the book. Know what it’s about so you can tell your customers a little bit more about it. Share some of the highlights and pass on what others are saying about it. Write a review and stick it to the shelf in front of the books. Invite your customers to submit reviews and stick them to the shelf.

Hint 5. Be realistic about how many you can sell. If you’ve genuinely made the decision to stock the book, it is in your best interest to sell as many as you can so you can collect your commission. But don’t expect every book to sell out on the first day. Just because your author is not Bryce Courtenay or Stephen King, doesn’t mean their book is not a great read. It just takes a little more effort to spread the word.

It makes sense for stockists and authors to work together to sell books – it’s a win win for both. You never know, your debut author might be the next big thing to hit the book scene. And you can be rest assured, it will be the stockists who went the extra mile to sell 50 books that your author will remember when she’s selling 50,000.

 

 

3 top book publishing tips

TWM_Be originalHere are 3 top publishing tips from Melissa-Jane Pouliot, an Australian self-published/indie author whose debut novel “Write About Me” has reached #1 several times on Amazon and has become a high-profile platform for raising awareness around the world about missing persons – the theme of her novel, inspired by a true family tragedy.

1. Stick to your own writing style, even if you are told it is not strong enough for the current fiction market. 

I have a simple, straightforward style. Coming from a media writing background, I am trained to write in active voice and short sentences. In the media world you have to tell the story within the first three paragraphs. Flipping into fiction writing was a challenge when it came to being descriptive and filling in the blanks and you could finish my first draft in about two hours. But there is a balance between long and boring and too quick and slick – just stick to your own writing style and writing goals.

My writing goals are to minimise overwriting, be true to my characters and create a pace that keeps people’s attention and keeps them turning to the next page. Your style might not be considered as literary genius, and you do have a responsibility to your readers and yourself not to stray too far off writing that makes sense – but every writer has their own individual style that makes their writing “theirs”.

It is also important to edit your book, but it’s just as easy to over-edit your work. Be careful not to lose your characters and plot through over-editing. This is another fine balance that all writers are constantly aiming to achieve.

2. Maximise every single marketing opportunity that comes your way.

First of all you need a marketing/media plan – no easy feat when you’re trying to finish a novel! This starts well before your book comes out and can be overwhelming – even for someone like me who has a strategic marketing and media background! Notebooks are perfect for this. Scribble down ideas when they come, then don’t forget to reopen that notebook at least once a week to remind yourself of all your brilliant marketing ideas.

The marketing tools available for self-published authors are a mile long, and the options and opportunities match the number of stars in the sky. Facebook, twitter, wordpress, Instagram, Tumblr, SnapChat, traditional print media, online blogs, author groups, literary associations – honestly, where does it start and finish? So you need to stay focussed and select the tools that you believe will work best for you – and that you can afford.

Then you have to be prepared to drop everything else in your life when a marketing and media opportunity hits you in the face and make sure you get the absolute maximum exposure for your book. Because once that opportunity is gone, it’s gone. Old news is no news – new news is news. 

It’s important to remember you don’t have to do everything right that very second – map out a plan, be prepared for the unexpected, and do the very best you can as that’s all you can do.

3. Keep in close touch with other indie authors – and write down every little thing they say as you’ll never know when it will come in useful for your own self-publishing journey.

Once you start looking you will find so many self-published authors trying to make it big in one of the biggest ponds in the world. Where do you belong? Is your novel best listed in mystery? Or Crime? Or Literary Fiction? Who is your audience? How do you find them? It can be likened to trying to find the missing plane from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – and that is not being flippant in any way. Finding your own place on the giant bookshelf where your readers have no shortage of options is one of life’s biggest challenges and for many, biggest mysteries.

So you need to seek out other indie authors and share share share – we are all in the same boat and none of us want to be left at sea.

Love being on top!

We knew that would get your attention! That’s the power of words.

But in author speak, on top means #1 and that’s exactly where Write About Me is currently sitting. And we’re pretty excited here at The Word Mint for our author Melissa-Jane Pouliot. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, pack some tissues, don your best 80s gear and enjoy the ride.

  • Write About Me is available on Amazon as a Kindle and paperback
  • It is also available as a paperback from a range of stockists in Australia

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Write About Me hits more shelves

It is so fantastic when new stockists come online @ The Word Mint! This week a batch of personally-signed copies of “Write About Me” are making their way to the shelves of Tamworth Newsagency in NSW, who are among a number of new stockists who want this self-published book by a brand new Australian author on their shelves.

WriteAboutMeConfrontingPicWhen Melissa-Jane Pouliot first published her novel and set up The Word Mint, we weren’t sure how we’d get it into bookstores but it seems that although we don’t have a huge publisher/publicist and distributor behind the book, it is still gaining significant traction and popularity having reached #1 on Amazon several times prior to Christmas and our list of stockists growing each week. Most importantly, Melissa-Jane gets at least one personal message a day from a reader who has been moved by her book, and she is getting some great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

In terms of paperback sales in Australia, we have needed to increase print runs significantly over the past two months to meet demand – thank you! Doing all the marketing, networking, social media, research and distribution ourselves The Word Mint still has a lot to learn but learning as we go along makes the journey so much more exciting!