Independent author and outright character Trish George has an author website up, and it is quite well done. An inveterate traveler, Trish has been all over Australia and promoted her work along the way. Along with her works of fiction, she has also written several travel books and is quite a raconteur.
On writing a series:
Writing in series is considered the way-to-go when it comes to romance. Romance readers are voracious! I attend the yearly RWA conferences and they often talk about the fact that some romance readers read 7-10 books a week! This means that when they find a set of characters or a world they enjoy, they want to keep reading.
As an author, it pays to have more books down the line to service this need. I was lucky to latch on to this pearl of wisdom while writing the first draft of Summer at Urchin's Bluff, so that allowed me to ensure there was scope to have a supporting character who will feature as the main character the next book, and so on for the following two books. I guess, in a way, writing in series is it's own form of promotion. Each book works to promote the next. Well, that's the plan anyhow!
My writing life:
I think like most of us, for me writing was always a hobby - something to get me out of my head when I was stressing about work or family or whatever. I've recently found myself with a little more time to write, and I'm loving it, but I'm yet to establish a routine around my writing. I've listened to podcasts and read books that say you should blank out some time each day to write (eg. 9 - noon). I should probably do that, but I'm loathe to, in case it sucks the fun out of it! I don't want it to feel like a chore, but I guess if I want to do this as a career, I might need to consider it. At the moment I write every day, but not at a specific time, or for a specified length of time.
Marketing and Promotion:
So, my plan with marketing is really to take it slow. I do plan to look at Facebook ads and Amazon ads (I have purchased the KDP Rocket software) for the promotion of Summer at Urchin's Bluff, but not in an extensive way. I figure once I have more books on my shelf, any money I invest in advertising will be that much more effective. I do plan to look at BookBub, but not for book one, or two for that matter. I know they're hard to get, so I might wait to start trying (maybe once all four books in the Seasons series are released). As far as social media goes, I'm only active on Facebook. I know it's better to be everywhere, but with kids and work, and the whole writing-the-books thing, I don't have the time to service a ton of social accounts. This is an area I need to become more confident in. Every time I'm about to post (even just on that one platform) I'm always thinking, 'is anyone going to care about this? Is it spamy?' (not a word, but you know what I mean). I do know that building a mailing list is super important, so I'm working on that but it's slow going. I'm okay with things taking a while to build. I want to be doing this in 20 years time, so being number 1 from day 1, with book 1 is not really my goal (I mean, I wouldn't be upset if it happened!). I guess what I'm saying is that everything I do around marketing and promotion, for me, needs to be about steadily building a readership.
Summer at Urchin's Bluff is a contemporary seasoned romance (seasoned is the term we use in the romance world for a heroine over 40). It is available for pre order now across most platforms.
Available from these outlets.
Scottish born James Pratt, the son of a coal miner, is a man from humble beginnings who rose to the top of his chosen profession. At the age of 15 he, (as he describes it), ran away to sea and joined the British Merchant Navy before settling in Australia at the young age of 18.
He worked as a radio lineman in outback Queensland for several years then moved into sales and marketing, then General Management. By the time of his retirement, he had reached the very top of his profession as a Telecommunications Executive.
He held several senior positions, including, Chairman of the globally renowned GSM Association, was the founding CEO of Peoples Telephone Company Limited, a substantial mobile telephone network operator in Hong Kong, (now China Mobile Hong Kong), a former Managing Director with Telstra and the President & CEO of GlobeTrac Inc. He served as a non-executive director on several boards until his retirement.
He honed his writing and communication skills on business reports and strategy papers and had numerous articles published in various global Telecommunications magazines.
Well travelled, he has been to almost 100 countries, meeting some of the most famous and influential people around the globe.
His first stop inside a departures lounge at any airport was always the bookstore where he would purchase a novel, usually an action thriller. He read almost everything by Le Carre, Ludlum, Forsyth, Cussler, Clancy, Harris and many more, most with enjoyment. However, over time, he concluded that he could write more entertaining stories than those he was now buying to read on those long flights and was finding it increasingly hard to find a book he could relax with and enjoy. So, upon retiring, he turned his hand to writing his first novel, Telekom, which he released several years ago with quite some success. He has just released his second novel, The Sleeper Project and had started work on his third, to be called, “Cassidy’s Conflict.”
A sinister mushroom cloud, the White House gently glowing in the radioactive light, a menacing submarine — what more could a reader want?
Another radioactive cloud, skippy, Sanuel Johnson and a medieval scholar — the first time they have all appeared on one cover…
Our client’s author wished to use an existing artwork. so we worked in two panels of text with the art just showing through, keeping it clean and letting the rather odd couple speak/rattle for themselves… Typefaces used include basic sans and Taberna Serif.
An update on an earlier post — two more iterations on this cover. Sometimes it is a long and winding road to a final cover…
For beautiful, jaw-dropping science graphics, the quirkily named TableTop Whale is an essential destination. Maintained by Phd student Eleanor Lutz, the work is astonishingly good. Hopefully she will produce something in print so I can read it to my children…
Michael Pert has written a taut, intelligent thriller based on Australia’s role in the troubled birth of East Timor. In the above draft cover, we blended images of Timor and a stark colour palette, and used the striking Franchise for the title typeface.
A small selection of colourful cookbook covers completed over the past few years. Anything involving food is always fun!
Thrillers are an enjoyable design challenge — very bold use of highly condensed type, high contrast, extreme emotions and a certain cinematic touch. The Fatal Path is no exception to this general pattern. Here are three alternate versions of the same cover.
Wanissa Somsuphangsri is an extremely talented calligrapher and illustrator based in Melbourne. If you need some highly individualised and polished work, she might be the person for you. We’re currently putting together a cover for an author client who engaged Wanissa and the results are amazing — will post the full cover in due course. Wanissa is also a member of the Letterettes.
A few versions on the theme of ‘digital parenting’ — a thoughtful attempt to promote a rational balance between time on and off screen in a family context, and summarise the latest research on the topic. Published by Hybrid Publishers.
Troy Simpson’s Funny Dictionary (National Library of Australia publishing) catalogues numerous amusing mis-definitions perpetrated by students. One of his fans painted the illustration above — Troy holding the book cover (WorkingType Design).
See here for an account of the amusing speech given at the launch of Troy’s book.
James Pratt has written a cracking thriller novel set in the near future. A resurgent Russia invades an unprotected Europe, with only a small group of special services veterans standing in their way. If they are able to bring an extraordinary secret weapon to bear, they may be able to save Western civilisation. Our cover incorporates some of the elements of the story and uses dramatic colours and high contrast to attract reader attention. Typefaces used include National and Franchise. Published by Silverbird Publishing.
Wayne Pappin has written a heartfelt tale about a small Australian town, focusing on two young men and their travails. He wanted an image of the bridge that features at the heart of the story, which we combined with the two swimmers. The title typeface is Northwell and the subtitle Charcuterie Flared.
Janet Doyle’s fascinating book was launched at The Book Wolf, a charming bookshop in Maldon which also hosts discussion groups and music events. Guests enjoyed readings from the book, performed by John Curtis, Mike Smythe, and Janet herself. Musician John Curtis performed two pieces of music written especially to evoke the mystical town of Ldjakhion in which the novel is set. The audience asked many questions of Janet, and were particularly interested in aspects of the background research and the choice of names for the various characters. Signed copies of the book were sold on the night. We will post a sales link to the book shortly.
Many authors have never heard of Bookbub. The service is essentially a regular email offering selected discounted ebooks to a massive subscriber list. Most of the titles promoted therein are from major publishers, but a significant fraction are from independent authors and small publishers. Publishers and authors pay over $600 per title just to be considered for inclusion in their featured deals. They are extremely powerful in the world of ebook sales and massively profitable.
Peter Ralph has done a stellar job analysing the performance of bookbub and advising authors how to get one of the sought after featured deals. Other bloggers have useful posts about setting up effective ads for Bookbub, Others point out that while the sales spike created by bookbub is real and substantial, it can be rather short lived. This author suggests that the real benefit of being featured on bookbub is exposing the rest of your published work to a new audience.
In a world where bookstores, though gamely hanging on, represent a decreasing fraction of overall print sales (not to mention ebooks and audibooks), authors have to come to terms with the necessary techniques for online sales success, and letting the market know they even exist.
Victoria Argyropoulos composed a book of poetry (Dear Diary) exploring the nuances of a relationship. She wanted a fairly stark cover with a subtle texture. The book was interspersed with her own photographs and many solid panels. She was very pleased with the print job:
We highly recommend the print management services of Tenderprint Australia. More news later re. the availability of this interesting volume.
Have registered with Reedsy, a service designed to ”connect and collaborate with a worldwide network of authors. “ Reedsy allows designers to apply to become service providers. As all the designers and other service providers have been carefully vetted, the theory is that users will receive professional quality assistance with their book, in contrast to mediocre crowdsourced design interfaces such as Fiver.
Peter Stokes has researched and written a very entertaining account of early colonial life on and around the Gippsland Lakes. He brings to life many interesting personalities and the yachting regattas held during the 19th century. The regattas were a major focus of social life in the region for many years, reflecting the importance of fishing and shipping before railways and cars came along. We received the following update from Peter recently:
Regatta is available here.