Discoverability – Have a book list card

Today I am going to talk about getting discovered again. This comes from an idea my author client and fellow children’s author, John Caritas, suggested to me on Monday to do with my own books as he helps me promote my books for me. So, here is the idea, if you haven’t done this already. John suggested that I create a card/leaflet that has the titles of all my books on and where they are available. So, I am going to make a hand-made card with the same information I put on the back page of my ebooks. It will have all my books/ebooks on it. I will print out several copies on card I already have and give some to John to hand out to people he knows. Another idea is to have some sort of logo on there. Mine will be a rainbow.

If you have published several books, this is a good idea. Especially if you attend various groups.

Have creative fun with this.

Writing exercise – an autistic child

As this month is Autism Awareness Month, I am going to give you an exercise based on my book ‘Billy and the Sparkling Socks’. Billy is a 10-year-old boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. He wants to be a presenter but because of his autism he finds it hard to communicate to people. Until he discovers a magical world at school that shows him how he can be confident with an alternative persona, which he copies.

This is the exercise. I want you to create a character, adult or child, who has autism and also has a skill or talent. Write a page where he starts to become confident at school, home or elsewhere, using this skill/talent they have.

Here is an example from Billy

Billy stopped. Should he carry on? Then he felt his socks … move on him? And he saw his pen glow silver, just like his exercise book had when he began writing. He knew that he had to carry on. So he did, saying the long words louder than the others. “I was watching television when I saw my neighbour walk past outside. He seemed to be chewing bubblegum. He was so busy chewing that he didn’t see our other neighbour driving his car out of his space as he went to cross the pavement. But I had.” As he read, he got into his story, waving his hands about for emphasis to his words.

I went to the front door to warn him, but I didn’t see the cushion on the floor, and I tripped up ….” he pretended to trip, stretching his arms out as though falling … “and the sweet I’d been eating flew out of my mouth.” Billy stopped. “That’s as far as I got, Miss.”

You can find out how Billy gets on in the book, available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Billy-Sparkling-Socks-Rainbow-School/dp/154264853X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491395003&sr=1-1&keywords=billy+and+the+sparkling+socks

Happy writing. Let me know what you write as I might create a story from your character.

Discoverability – Local businesses

I have found another way to get discovered, esp in your own area where you live. Connect with any local businesses where you shop regularly and have made friends with the owners/workers. My example is our local garden centre which is just a few minutes walk from my house. My mum is a keen gardener, so we go there often to buy plants etc and we know the people who own it and work there. We chat to them in a friendly manner and have a laugh with them at times. Anyway, in the recent past, I have managed to get them to display promo stuff for my books, so when we went over there on Sunday, I thought, let’s take a poster promoting my library event and ask. So I did. One of the family who owns it asked me if I am on Twitter, I said yes. She said that if I follow them, tweet about the event, then they can retweet it for me. They took the poster to display. So, that morning I tweeted about connecting with local businesses putting their Twitter name with it. Later I shall tweet again but about the event.

So, if you know of any local businesses who might help you promote your books and you can connect with them on social media as well as face to face, then why not ask. I did, and I have Asperger’s Syndrome.

Library Event

Want to know more about Asperger’s Syndrome and autism? As part of National Autism Awareness Week (27 March – 2 April), I am having a library event to raise awareness of this condition that I have.

I will be relaunching my children’s book ‘Billy and the Sparkling Socks’, handing out leaflets and cards about Asperger’s and answering questions about living with Asperger’s. The event will be on Saturday 1 April at Sydenham Community Library, SE London, UK from 10.30 am to 12 noon.

If you are in London and the area, please pop in and say hello.

Writing exercise – Sci-fi idea for me

Today’s post is a writing exercise that I want your help with. As well as trying to write fiction for women’s magazines, I also want to try to write short sci-fi stories. I already have one idea for a story, which I will write soon (want to enter a story competition first) but would like more. Yes, I know I might be a glutton for punishment. Thinking about science, I have realised that it is behind a lot of things we either use or eat/drink. Here is a list of things I thought about:

Medicine

Technology

Weather

Transport

Nature

Clothes

Cosmetics, lotions etc

The future

So, I want you to think of an idea for a sci-fi story that features one of the above, and has a good person and a bad person. Eg the bad person is attempting to harm everyone and the good tries to save us. But what happens next? It is up to you. Give me a brief summary of your idea, and I might turn it into a story to write.

Good luck.

Discoverability – Being a member of an organisation

There are lots of advantages to being a member of a writing organisation, but today I am going to talk about ways you can get discovered through it.

I have recently posted about how I can get discovered through being a member of ALLi, now I am talking about things I have done in the past to get discovered with other organisations.

Years ago when I was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association I used to go to their conferences and meetings. At their conferences, members were asked if they would write up about the talk they went to. I did a few of these, which went on their website and in their magazine.

I am a member of the Society of Children’s British Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) who all write for children. If you blog about writing for children, your blog can be picked up by their own blog called Words and Pictures. Mine has a few times over the last couple of years. Also, like the RNA, if you go to their classes, someone is asked to write up about the class for the blog. I can’t remember if I have done this yet but I might do later this year as I will be attending a few of their workshops.

So, if you can afford it and have the time to go to meetings and classes, joining a like-minded group is a good way of being discovered, esp if you offer to blog about it.

Discoverability – Guest blogging

One of the ways to be discovered for what you write, is to appear on someone else’s blog. It can be another author who writes in the same genre as you, or a like-minded writing organisation. Here is an example of what happened to me:

A couple of months ago, I was asked to write a piece for their blog about writing about children with Asperger’s by the blog’s organiser, Debbie Young. She said that she would put it up when my book went live. The post went up last week and you can read it here http://selfpublishingadvice.org/children-asperger-syndrome-autism-books/

Then a couple of days ago Debbie asked on the FB group for ideas on out-of-the box marketing for our books. I posted about wanting do a library event during National Autism Awareness week. It was picked up and put on a blog post, which you can read here http://selfpublishingadvice.org/book-marketing-in-the-dark-wacky-ideas-that-really-work/

After this, I have realised that my biz is now going to be writing children’s book about children with Asperger’s, autism and other health issues, and raise awareness of them by doing events at libraries, if I can.

So, if you know of either an author who writes in the same genre as you or a writing organisation such as ALLi and get the opportunity to write a blog post for them, take them up on it. You never know who might be reading it.