Being a self-published author is difficult. As someone wrote this week, ‘Remember writing the book really is the easy part – publishing is simple – but marketing is expensive, time-consuming, and complex.’ How right they are! Still, gotta keep plodding on.
Today I had a wonderful video chat with fellow memoirist Helen Bouchami — I can highly recommend her book Am I Still A Mother ? She and I discussed the highs and lows of being indie authors. We know that there is still a bit of a stigma attached to self-publishing. This may stem from the existence of ‘vanity publishers’ who offer contracts to authors expecting them to stump up a great deal of money themselves and then the company produce a rather shoddy copy of their book. There’s an interesting article from Writers and Artists you can check out here.
We think that we have produced excellent books, both in content and quality. The covers are as good as any traditionally published book — if not better— and although the road to publication was difficult with many bumps, twists and turns, we got there. We are not young and we’re in a hurry to get our ‘stuff’ out there. Finding an agent, who then finds and editor, before pitching to publishers, takes a long time, often years and even when you do land a contract, there’s no guarantee of success. Most authors still have to do a great deal of promotion themselves even when they have taken the traditional route.
Helen and I made a few plans to promote our books which I’m not going to share here yet. . .
However I am going to begin writing a monthly newsletter full of good things and letting everyone know what’s happening in the world of Dear Tosh as well as including lots of interesting news about books I’ve read, films I’ve watched etc. If you would like to sign up to receive my newsletter please click here
First of all I would like to thank those people who have put a review on Waterstones, Amazon and Goodreads. I have been reluctant to ask people to review Dear Tosh and I’m not really sure why. I think it’s because of the content of the book and I don’t want to be saying, ‘buy my book’ all the time. The truth is, I really want people to read it and that isn’t going to happen without me pushing a little bit.
Many people have written to me via text messages, my website www.ninettehartley.com or to my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Instagram. Everyone has given me the most wonderful feedback, some of which I have shared on social media.
If you have read Dear Tosh and feel that you could put a review on Amazon, Goodreads or Waterstones I would be so grateful.
I think Dear Tosh is a book that can be read by anyone, not just bereaved parents. I hope that reading it will encourage discussions about many aspects of grief and loss and how much friends and relatives can do to help those who have been affected.
I would be happy to send a few books out to book clubs too — if anyone can point me in the right direction.
It’s not about selling but about sharing (though selling is a bonus!).
The whole of July is National Bereaved Parents Awareness Month and today, July 3rd, is National Bereaved Parents Day. I am a bereaved parent and this epithet was given to me without my choosing. When I first lost Tosh I turned to the Compassionate Friends, a charity for bereaved parents and siblings. Through them I met other parents who had lost their children. This loss can happen at any age and for any reason.
I will be thinking of the parents and their lost children throughout the day today. I remember being surprised at how many there were and how those numbers increased every single day. As a bereaved parent, you are not alone and we will all be talking about our lost ones today. If you know anyone who has lost a child, take a moment out of your day to think of them.
Another charity is A Child of Mine They chose the theme this year #keepingtheirmemoryalive
Our family talk about Tosh all the time, keeping those memories alive and keeping him with us in our hearts. It is said that you die twice, once when you leave this world and the second when people stop talking about you. Let’s keep on talking…
Ollie S, Mark W and Matt W, Mark Wa, Fergal, Christopher and many more… Talking and thinking of you all today ❤️