Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, decimated parts of the Philippines on 8 November, 2013. Two years later, the people of Tacloban continue to rebuild their lives, many of them still living in tented cities with no electricity and no running water. All profits from the sales of Tindog Tacloban go to help the organisations Claire worked with while she volunteered in the Philippines
Her mini blog tour is in memory of those who lost their lives and to remember those still rebuilding theirs.
Guest blog with bytheletterbookreviews
Thank you to Sarah and bytheletterbookreviews for giving me the opportunity to guest post on your blog as part of my mini virtual book tour and thank you for being such a wonderful first reviewer of Tindog Tacloban when I started out self-publishing.
Another rejection letter!
Like so many before me, I finished the last rewrite, added in all the missed out commas, amended the last of the spelling errors and saved my precious final manuscript lovingly to my computer. Now it was just a matter of finding an agent for my masterpiece.
And like so many before me, despite the carefully crafted query letter, the synopsis and first three chapters sent to numerous agents, strictly adhering to their submission guidelines, and the belief that my book was the next bestseller, I received rejection after rejection…time to self-publish!
Thanks to Amazon, we all have an option to publish our own books, and sell them. It’s not especially difficult to do, but like most things it’s worth doing properly and it takes time, quite a lot of it actually! And I wanted to publish Tindog Tacloban properly. I wanted to raise funds for the organisations I had worked with during my time volunteering in the Philippines, to help the people who had inspired me to write the book, so I wanted to sell as many copies as possible.
I had worked with mentor, editor and proof reader Anne Hamilton while writing my book and I cannot emphasise how important that was. However good you think your grammar and spelling is, it just doesn’t work on your own writing…you see what you want to say and miss so much. And don’t forget, you are putting your ‘baby’ out there, you want it to be remembered for the writing not berated the technical errors!
So what does self-publishing involve? Actually, it doesn’t really start with the publishing side of things. The most important thing you need to sell your book is customers. Friends and family will buy a few copies, but you need to reach a much wider audience, you need to market your book. Now that’s a word I recognised, I had spent 15 years in marketing, but things have changed, social media didn’t exist in those days, so I had to make friends with Twitter, Facebook, Virtual Book Tours, bloggers and reviewers. And that all needs to begin before publishing. Building a Twitter following takes time -there has to be some give as well as take, you can’t expect all these new, potential customers to just buy your book, you need to woo them a little. Tweet about things which interest you, take interest in the things your followers tweet about…all time! Then there’s Facebook – build an author’s page; LinkedIn – start adding new contacts; Pinterest – okay so that one I’ve still to master!
Then there’s the bloggers and reviewers, and at this point I’d like to digress and say a thank you to these wonderful people on behalf of all authors. We send them our books, they take the time to read them, and then they take more time to write about them, post their reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and tweet about them, for free…what better advertising can you possibly get, so thank you.
Preparing for self-publishing I researched some reviewers, which genres they read, if they are accepting books, what their review guidelines are. The first one I approached was bytheletterbookreviews, and she replied that she thought Tindog Tacloban would be a book she would be interested in reading and so I sent it. Four days later I received an email back and rather nervously read the review, promptly bursting into tears, my ‘baby’ had been well received.
I wrote Tindog Tacloban to raise awareness of some difficult subjects, subjects I feel people need to be more informed about, if I can do that and through sales of the book continue to help those causes, every minute of writing, publishing and marketing has been worth it.
Buy Tindog Tacloban at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014JGI0H0
You can watch the television interview with Claire about how Tindog Tacloban came about at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3tQbyPVpNw