I’ve had huge technological problems this week. I couldn’t do anything about it so instead of screaming and stamping I thought - Oh Well, my post will have to be late. Better late than never …
I am a huge advocate of procrasination, apparently it’s the prequel to creativity (they’ll tell you anything!) but these last few weeks I have turned procrastination on its head. I am a publishing machine!(LOL)
Autumn, my favourite time of year. I’m so glad the heat has finally evaporated and I can enjoy the perfect blend of crisp, cool mornings with the sun’s warmth just peeking through enough to ease us in. I get a bit poetic in the Autumn - it’s my season.
I’ve been book signing at WH Smiths at Westfield. Unsurprisingly I found this most challenging - I HATE shopping centres and crowds. I think the 5 minute walk from the train station to the shop itself was my 10,000 steps done for the day.
I’m in menopause fog! I pass people I know in the street and can’t remember whether I’ve said ‘hello’ - it’s that bad. I’ve been in this mayhem for 3 years on and off and know it’s a phase that eventually settles (another advantage of talking to all these women) but I wish it would hurry up and I know it’s dull banging on about the menopause - but you know me, I do like to share!
Who would have thought I’d become a PR & marketing expert? Promoting a book is tricker than writing one that’s for sure! There was a programme on Radio 4 this week (alerted by a friend) about self publishing versus being a published author. I took from it that unless you are famous or very well connected you can either spend hours and hours and hours finding an agent and publisher or you can spend hours and hours doing it yourself, either way it’s a very time consuming excercise.
As the end of the year draws in, I am pleased to say my book has almost sold out. 1,000 copies down to 17 - not bad at all for a newbie, novoice, startup, beginner. It’s been brilliant and awful in equal measures.
Last weekend I did a whistle stop tour of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire seeing relatives, giving a talk at the library in Rawntenstall and restocking shops. On Sunday we stayed in Otley and came across this beautiful display of knitted poppies cascading down the local church.
October has proved eventful. It started off with ‘a day in the life of a super model’ - not really - it was just me; the photographer, the lady from the WI and an awful lot of cake.
I turn up to ‘Townhouse’ in Soho and was asked if I wouldn't mind ‘sitting’ amongst cake stands filled with delicate sandwiches, homemade jam and cream scones, battenberg and the most delicious chocolate torte - shouldn’t be too tricky!
Autumn is my Spring - for me there is nothing better than a crisp, fresh nip in the air; a low sun, blue sky and the smell that Autumn is on its way. The summer was hot and my hormonal complaints didn't cease so I am thankful for the cooler air - I feel inspired.
Since I last wrote I have got a house full - my two eldest are back from uni along with varying guests and the inevitable mess. The builders have been in and I know it's terribly British to moan about the weather but this heat wave is zapping the life blood out of me. I need a holiday - and thankfully one is around the corner.
I should be on stage with the drama I created about the whole TedX experience. It's taken me a week to pull myself together and get back to normality. The talk will be on You Tube at the end of July - I'll keep you posted but I for one wont be watching!
Focusing on more than one thing at once is something I find tricky and it's for that reason I haven't got stuck into part 2 - the men. Hopefully that will change this week by adding a little structure and focus to my day. Personal goal - to improve my multi-tasking skills.
I was thinking should I ask the men the same questions I asked the women? I asked friends on Facebook what they would ask men given the chance - these were some suggestions:
When I started this project (7 years ago) I never really thought the day would come when I'd have to put my money where my mouth was and write my book. It was so far in the distant I could never really see me actually doing it. I was paying lip service to an idea but then it became my default setting whenever someone asked me "what do you do"?
Gosh - I can't believe a whole month has gone by since my last post and I've not really stopped. The menopause and book promotion doesn't seem to be a match made in heaven but having said that I've sold 500 copies - half my stock, added another couple of shops to my list of suppliers - restocked shops that have sold out and been asked to do a TEDX talk! I cant decide whether this is a good idea or I am a glutton for punishment - time will tell.
Collecting Conversations is officially around the globe - #inspirational! Thank you for all the kind words, encouragement and support - I've sold almost half my stock. I'm taking a little chocolate break - well it is Easter. The kids are on holiday, the house is a pigsty and if I don't take charge there I could have a mutiny on my hands HAPPY EASTER.
After the launch I was inundated with kind words, comments - oh and tears! There have been a lot of people this week who've told me they've been in tears reading my book - I hope that's a good thing! The whole book launch experience was surreal and lovely. I sold lots of book and to top it all I got a call from Good Housekeeping magazine who asked if they could do a feature in their August edition - I'll keep you posted!
I keep wondering why I so tired then I remembered - I haven't worked this hard in years! The week continued in the same vein as the previous week - a friend came around having rung to say she wanted four copies - by the time she'd left she had seven copies under her arm!
Well it's been a week and a half - I've hit the ground running - well actually more of a plod - I'm not keen on running.
After my first shop window I got 8 more shops to add to my collection of stockists, a full page article in my home towns local press and I became a market trader for a day. Having sold just over 100 copies I am very happy. I've even had orders from: Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ohio and New Jersey - not bad for my first week of sales.
I thought I'd take you with me on my book launching journey - it's more fun sharing.
On Thursday a large lorry pulled up at my house with a pallet containing 50 boxes - after finding homes for all the books I started to realise the enormity of what I had achieved but also the mammoth task ahead of me - I'm a little overwhelmed!
Seven years ago I had an idea - this week that idea will be realised in the form of a book. Collecting Conversations arrived at Felixstowe port last week and once through customs will make it's way to my house.