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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Do readers & writers want ‘real books’ or ‘ebooks’?

This is a big question for readers. And writers. Because writers are readers (or if they’re not, they should be!).

This time last week the first boxes of paperbacks of my second novel FIND ME arrived. What a moment. The book has been available as a Kindle for a little while now and when I hit the publish button there was a moment as well. But it was nothing like the moment when Deb in the post office opened the very first box to reveal stacks and stacks of books. And the response from my readers to the arrival of the paperback has far exceeded my expectations. And my supplies. Within two days I  had to place a new order.

So it got me thinking about the question we are asked every single day. What do readers want? Real books or ebooks?

I remember when a close friend received one of the very first iPads to arrive in Australia. To her it was a new gadget, a new toy and a MUST have. When I questioned her about why she MUST have this gadget it wasn’t because it was shiny and new, it was because she wanted to take it on her next holiday to Bali. With books on it. Goodbye heavy bag full of paperbacks. Hello shiny new toy with books on it.

And so it began. And so it continues.

I love laying in bed late at night with the iPad screen dimmed to the perfect light. You can read for so much longer this way for one simple reason – it takes no energy to turn the page. Just a tiny flick of your finger and there you have it – a clean new page full of words.

But as a reader, and a writer, the shiny new gadgets for reading ebooks that come onto the market every single day will never replace the lovely, beautiful, tactile sensation of holding a ‘real book’ in your hand. Running your hand over the cover – have they used gloss or matt finish? Is there any raised lettering? And then you open it. What kind of paper have they printed on? Is it cream? Is it white? You then have a flick. There are no words to describe the first flick of the pages. And once you have gone through all the motions, you sit in your most favourite reading place and so it begins.

And so it continues.

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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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Thanks Indie Author Land for connecting readers with authors

For the past few weeks a fantastic online marketing website genuinely set up for readers and authors has been posting messages on their twitter page about Write About Me. They have also published a fantastic interview about my book and taken the extra time to really get to know who I am, what my book is about and who would enjoy reading it. And all for no cost to me. Which is incredible. And awesome. And very much appreciated!!

Check out their interview here: Why you must read Write About Me

Thank you Indie Author Land for being a breath of fresh air in the complex and often overwhelming world of self-publishing. If you’re a self-published, indie author check them out HEREImage.

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.