Reasons to Publish in Print

 

Opinions are divided on whether or not it’s a good idea to publish in print as well as digitally nowadays. Certainly it can save a lot of time and added expense to only publish digitally, and some authors are achieving success without releasing a print version. However, I like to see a book in print, as do many readers so I thought I’d put together some of my thoughts on the argument for publishing a print version of your book.

1) Book shops – They attract a local readership and local publicity. For example, if you hold a book shop signing, you stand a good chance of being featured by the press in the area where the book Bookshopshop is situated. Regional authors often start by building up a following in the area where their novels are based. This makes sense because these readers will identify with the places and customs explored through the author’s books.

It’s a mutual arrangement with local book shops – you are supporting the business by giving something of interest to draw in extra customers e.g. a book signing event, and the book shop in turn is helping to get your book noticed.

2) Libraries – With a print version of your book you can sell to libraries, which gets the word out to a wider audience. Every copy sold to a library could be read by numerous people who may recommend your books to others. Some people who borrow books from libraries also buy books so they may become firm fans who will buy future books by the same author.

3) Reader preference – Some people still prefer print and, in particular, many people like to get their hands on an author signed version.

4) Goodreads Giveaways – This is where you put up a few print copies of your book on the Goodreads site to be given away to participating readers. Goodreads chooses the winners from the participants. The advantage of giving away a few copies is that many people add your book to their “to be read” lists when they enter the Giveaway.

Having only published one novel, the jury’s still out on this one for me. I would surmise that the benefits from having a Goodreads Giveaway are ongoing rather than an immediate route to sales. This is because many readers on Goodreads have thousands of books on their “to be read” lists so it could be a couple of years (if ever) before some of them read my book.

I wouldn’t underestimate the power of Goodreads though and I think it could be especially advantageous if you have more than one novel available. If my book reaches the top of a lot of lists in a couple of years’ time, and those people like my book, they may decide to purchase other books as well as recommending my book to other readers on the site. I can therefore see how the snowball effect could kick in.

5) Other opportunities – I have been invited to take part in a literature festival in the summer as a result of having my book stocked by a Manchester book shop. Having your book in print can open up similar opportunities.

6) Presents – It’s easier for people to buy print books for birthday and Christmas, presents for their family and friends. Although the bulk of books sold are now digital, sales of print books will boost your overall sales figures.Clipartsalbum_31410 Child

7) Amazon – Having a print version of your book available looks good on Amazon because Amazon shows the savings that purchasers are making when they buy the Kindle version. The majority of people buying books on Amazon choose to buy Kindle rather than print versions, so this is a good thing especially as independent authors tend to price their Kindle versions low.

N.B. Having said all the above, I have published my short story book in digital format only, but I have based this decision on the fact that it isn’t cost effective to publish in print for a book of that size.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic. Do you prefer to publish only a digital version or do you like to see your book in print too? Are there any other reasons for publishing a print version which I have not covered above, or are there any disadvantages?

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A Change of Plan

Now that I’ve published my debut novel, ‘Slur’ and my short story book, ‘Crime, Conflict and Consequences’ I’m pressing ahead with my second novel. I originally intended the second novel to be a disturbing psychological thriller called ‘Bad Brother and I’. Having already written about 10,000 words of this book, mostly in outline form but with the opening and concluding chapters drafted, it seemed the logical next step. In fact, I had also published the blurb for ‘Bad Brother and I’ in the back of ‘Slur’.

Then something happened.

As I was writing ‘Slur’ I thought of a great idea for a sequel. I had grown attached to one of my main characters in ‘Slur’, called Rita, and through my debut novel I had alluded to the fact that she hadClipartsalbum_31410 Child a rather colourful home life with a father who was a petty criminal and a sister who hung about with some dubious characters. Rita is feisty, foul mouthed and brash but she’s also loyal and has a strong sense of right and wrong as a result of her grandparents’ influence when she was a child. Therefore I thought it would be interesting to explore her character further and place her in an extremely challenging situation.

I decided that I would push on with ‘Bad Brother and I’ once I had published my short story book, and then write the sequel to ‘Slur’. My reasoning behind this was that I was much further forward with ‘Bad Brother and I’ than with any of the other novels I had planned. However, whilst I was getting ‘Slur’ ready for publication, additional ideas for the sequel were forming in my mind. I already had the plot roughly sketched and I was adding notes to it daily.

I was so excited about the idea for the sequel that I also typed up the opening chapter in draft form. Then, one morning I woke up at 5 am after a dream and I had the whole of the ending in my head. I couldn’t wait to get it down on paper. Fortunately, I have a notepad at my bedside because of my overactive imagination (these ideas always seem to come to me in the middle of the night – sod’s law!)

Clipartsalbum_57330 Clock

The following day I typed up the ending in draft from my handwritten notes and I could see the novel starting to take shape. I knew then that I didn’t want to put it off until I had written ‘Bad Brother and I’. After all, I was still immersed in the world that I had created and the characters were fresh in my mind so I decided to go for it. I changed the blurb in the back of ‘Slur’ and started work on the sequel as soon as I had launched the short story book.

I am now four chapters and 10,000 words in and I’m so glad I made this decision. There is no way I could have focused on ‘Bad Brother and I’ when all my enthusiasm was for the sequel. I’m really enjoying working on this book although it may have to take a back seat for a couple of weeks as I’m currently organising a couple of client jobs.

Although I was further forward with ‘Bad Brother and I’ than with the sequel to ‘Slur’, I actually think that this book will flow more quickly because I’m full of enthusiasm for it. There’s another advantage in writing this book next, and that is the fact that it is similar in type to ‘Slur’. Therefore, I can target them to the same readership.

Clipartsalbum_16620 BooksMy husband actually came up with an idea for a third book in the series. At first I wasn’t sure if it could be developed into a full-length novel as it was just the bare bones of an idea. However, the more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me and I began fleshing out the plot and adding detail. It is now definitely workable as a novel and, as a result, ‘Slur’ has become the first part in a trilogy.

So I think my Bad Brother will have to wait a while longer before he gets his turn in the limelight. Sorry Bad Brother but my female characters are just too dominant. I will get back to it one day though and I think that once I’ve taken the characters from ‘Slur’ as far as I can, I’ll be ready to work with a new set of characters and give them my undivided attention.

Authors, have you ever had a writing dilemma that has caused you to make a complete change in your writing plans? Or, perhaps you’ve had a character who has taken on a life of his or her own. I’d love to hear your comments on this.

 

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Book Signing Event

On Saturday 11th October I held a book signing for my novel SLUR at Thackeray’s Books in Denton, Manchester. The event went well and I enjoyed meeting members of the press and public.

Signing some Books

Signing some Books

It was good to get the support of the lovely Margaret, proprietor of Thackeray’s Books, and her husband, as well as my brother Barry who helped with the lifting and shifting. Some of my good friends also turned up to give moral support and were good enough to stay and have a chat and a cuppa once everybody else had left.

Margaret, Barry and Myself

Margaret, Barry and Myself

The event was attended by The Tameside Reporter, About Tameside monthly magazine and a representative from the Denton town team who kindly announced the signing on the news page of their website. The Denton town team was set up to support the revitalisation of Denton town centre based on the Portas recommendations relating to British high streets. It was lovely to meet the town team representative who also bought three copies of SLUR for Christmas presents.

The book signing will be featured in the Tameside Reporter, which goes to print on Thursday 16th October. It will also be featured in the November edition of About Tameside magazine, which is circulated at the start of the month.

Margaret and Myself

Margaret and Myself

Whilst I was at the event one of my very good friends invited me to a school open day to set up stall selling my books next Saturday. She suggested that my non-fiction books, Kids’ Clubs and Organizations and Great Places for Kids’ Parties would make ideal purchases for parents. Plus, some parents may even want to treat themselves to a copy of SLUR at the same time. After the success of my book signing event, I’m looking forward to taking part in the open day this coming Saturday. Ironically it’s at the secondary school that I attended many years ago.

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The SLUR Big Prize Quiz

Our last quiz for the SLUR book launch is the SLUR Big Prize Quiz. You have six weeks to find the answers to this one. Bye for now and enjoy reading. 🙂 Details below:

Heather Burnside Author

Now we come to our last quiz of the day, the SLUR Big Prize Quiz.

The Prize

For this one we are offering our top prize of a £50 John Lewis gift voucher plus a signed print copy of SLUR together with signed print copies of my other two publications, Kids’ Clubs and Organizations: viewBook.at/KidsClubs and Great Places for Kids’ Parties: viewBook.at/KidsParties. You’ll still need a copy of Slur before you can enter the competition though as all the questions are based on the book.

N.B. We welcome overseas attendees and are willing to exchange the voucher for the equivalent in the country of choice if the prizes are won by somebody from overseas.

You can buy a Kindle version of Slur for only £1.99 at: http://viewbook.at/Slur, and if you manage to win the signed print copy as well, why not put it away as a keepsake? I’ve started…

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General Knowledge Quiz

It’s not too late to enter our General Knowledge Quiz. Closing date is Tuesday 23rd Sept at 5pm (UK time). Details below:

Heather Burnside Author

And now for our General Knowledge Quiz. Again, there will be 20 questions for this quiz but you will have until 5pm next Tuesday 23rd September to get the answers to us. Please send your answers by email to: dianewriting@gmail.com.

The winner will be drawn from all those with 20 correct answers or, if nobody gets all the answers right, the winner will be drawn from all those with the most correct answers. The winner will be contacted shortly after the closing date, as soon as we have had a chance to go through all the entries, and will also be announced on the blog. We will also publish the answers on the blog after the competition deadline.

The Prize

As this is a General Knowledge Quiz, our prize will be general in nature too, so we’re awarding a £25 John Lewis voucher to the winner. That means you’ll…

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Literary Quiz

If you missed our Literary Quiz yesterday, you still have until 5pm next Tuesday to send your answers in. Details below:

Heather Burnside Author

We’re now moving onto our second competition of the day (or first for Saturday), which is our Literary Quiz. I’m very excited about this one as it gives me a chance to introduce some of my talented author friends who have kindly offered to contribute signed copies of their books as prizes.

We still have two more competitions to go, which are our General Knowledge Quiz later this afternoon, with a £25 gift voucher for the winner, and the SLUR Big Prize Quiz this evening. The winner of the SLUR Big Prize Quiz gets a £50 gift voucher and a signed print copy of SLUR plus my two parenting books. (Please note that some of these quizzes will be re-run on Saturday 20th September but times will differ. You can find full details of approximate times for both days at: https://dianewriting.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/launch-party-agenda/.)

But first let me tell you more about our…

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The Story of Slur

If you missed the party yesterday, don’t worry as we’re celebrating today too and re-posting some of our blogs starting with “The Story of Slur”.

Heather Burnside Author

The party’s started so grab yourself a cuppa and crack open the biscuits – we’ll save the wine and nibbles till later. I thought I’d start by letting you know what we’ve got lined up before telling you a little bit about the book. In fact, SLUR will be telling its own tale, and I have to warn you that with all this attention it’s become the diva of the book world.

Party

We’ll be running some fun quizzes throughout the day and are offering great prizes (more about that below). All quiz answers should be sent by email to dianewriting@gmail.com. We’ll also be publishing updates during the day so if you want to receive the updates by email, just follow this blog by clicking the box marked ‘follow’ to the right of the screen.

Where to Buy SLUR

SLUR is available from Amazon in both Kindle format priced at £1.99…

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