What a brilliant week I've had as I begin promoting But First Maintain the Wall. I've got some fantastic supporters locally and was thrilled to be able to deliver the first book from my stock to Caroline, who has been promoting my writing through facebook since we first met last December. May has been the best month for Kindle sales and readers who are discovering me for the first time are buying the other books as well.
I've been to chat with Liz at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre about a book launch but I was feeling a little shy so we decided on a 'meet the author day' which will be on June 7th. Liz has been so supportive since I showed her Secrets of the Shingle back in 2016 and now I have half a shelf of books there!
But a day after telling Liz I couldn't possibly stand up and talk about my books in front of an audience, I found myself doing just that in front of a packed hall at the Dymchurch Heritage Group's meeting! The group had kindly allowed me to take my books along as their talk for the evening was about the authors of Romney Marsh, I hadn't expected to be standing up and giving my own short talk about the novel. I guess it was good to be thrown in at the deep end and it has given me the confidence to think that, with a few notes, I could manage a longer author talk. Nice to spot Oliver Tidy, another Dymchurch author in the audience. And afterwards - a chance of a book signing. Lovely to have such support from the members of the group.
More book signings and a talk coming up... more on this next time.
With the proof copy of First Maintain the Wall looking good, it has been time to order from the printers. One of the issues was when could I be at home for delivery. I was ordering 200 books (100 of What the Monk Didn't See as well). It was hardly fair to expect a neighbour to take them if I couldn't be at home. While pondering on delivery, it came to me that perhaps I could collect them myself as I was due to go to Devon. A quick search on the map showed me Imprint Digital were only ten miles from the family I was visiting in Tiverton, Devon. On Tuesday, I called David at Imprint and asked if my books could be ready by late Thursday afternoon. He seemed sure they would be and so it was agreed I would confirm on the day, subject to traffic.
With delays on the M25 it wasn't a great journey, but an hour after arriving in Tiverton, I set off down winding country lanes to collect my books. It was fantastic to meet David and the team, and to have a tour of the printing works.
With eight boxes in the boot of the car, I headed off and the books are now back in Kent awaiting delivery to local shops.
Finally my proof copy of But First Maintain the Wall came through the post from the fantastic printers, Imprint Digital. How amazing to see the completed book which I started writing last June.
My local historical group, Dymchurch Heritage Group, had an open afternoon with lots of items on display and I was planning to go along, but hadn't expected to be able to take the novel with me. There was a lot of interest and support for me as a local author. In their next meeting they have a guest speaker who is talking about writers from Romney Marsh, so they suggested I take my books along. What a great opportunity for me!
So now I move onto a new stage in my author journey, as I follow up the invitations I have for book signings and author talks. The book has just been put on Kindle and I am hoping to have stock of the paperbacks within a week.