Friday, 7 March 2014

Working Together


Recently on Jervis Bay, they had the Hobie 16 World championships. This event was 18 months in the planning, and resulted in 901 athletes travelling from 24 different countries to participate in the 16 day regatta. 60 catamarans took part in the event. It created a great amount of interest from local  people and from visitors to the area and looked very colourful.  Below are a couple of the photos we took of the catamarans.


It was a huge coup for the area to host such an event. This event could never have happened without the co-operation of a huge number of people working together, many of them behind the scenes.

Sometimes writing can be a bit like that. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that readers never see. They just want to find books on the shelves of shops for them to read.  As authors, don’t we all crave readers who like our work? Much as we might like to, we cannot always buy every book we would like. Recently I happened to mention on Goodreads that if people cannot afford to buy a book they really want to read, they can always ask their library to buy it in.  Another member of Goodreadspicked up on that comment and asked their library. The library ended up getting in three copies of Streets on a Map.

Later I was talking to someone on the phone and mentioned the incident. ‘I didn’t know you could do that,’ the person said.  While I was on the phone to her, she went to her computer, got her local library and asked for my book to be bought. Yet I suspect there are a lot of people like those two who don’t know you can do that or have never thought of it. So if you have a favourite Aussie Christian author, even if you already own the book, why not ask your library to order their book in? Even though it doesn’t sound much, since it’s only one book, the more libraries that hold an author’s books the more it brings in PLR, (Public Lending Right) which is the amount paid to the author in compensation for having their books on library shelves. Financial incentive aside, it all helps to get books out there and authors known and their books read by more people.

Another time a fellow writer on another group said she had just put up a giveaway of their book on Goodreads. She received a good response of people interested. Now, okay, it may not always mean every person will buy or read the book but it does bring it to the attention of more readers. Even if only a quarter of them decide to read the book and hopefully review it, it is worth doing. After all the more reviews and word of mouth as people talk about a book the more interest it promotes. I occasionally enter a giveaway and have won a couple, but only if I think the book is something I will read. Then I add it to my to read list.  If I don’t win, at least I can still check it out at the library or buy a copy.

From Australia Day I had a giveaway on my site. Over 800 people entered.  Only around half of them added it the book to their to read list. The winners were chosen by Goodreads and the books sent. I guess I’ll see in a while how many people choose to buy Streets on a Map, read and review when they didn't win.

Another effective way of helping other authors is to read and review their books. When I read a book I review it on my blog or on Goodreads or both. If it is a Christian book I try to also review on Koorong’s site or on this blog. You will find my most recent review on this site here. Another way of helping a fellow author is to buy their books either for you or for gifts. But if money is tight as it is for many of us then at least talk about what you have read and enjoyed. Another idea if you are in a book club is to suggest one of your fellow authors’ books as the one to read one month.

I’ve been taking part in marmarmino which started in March. It’s just a way of writers trying to help other writers. After all don’t we all want to be a blessing to our fellow authors and find more ways to help each other in this business of books? I’m sure some of you can think of other ways to help authors.  Why not share them so we can all benefit?
 
Dale writes fiction and poetry. Her latest novel, Streets on a Map, is now available as an E book. She has also written children’s books, bible studies, Sunday school material, devotionals, and articles about marriage, home and Christian living. She has recently finished revising and sent off her new novel, Sandstone Madonna.  The next fiction project, as yet nameless, is already underway.
 
 

18 comments:

  1. Good post, Dale. It's good to hear some practical examples of low-cost ideas that help get books into the public mind.

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    1. Thanks Iola. The library idea seems to be one not many people know of.

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  2. Thanks for all your sensible and thoughtful suggestions here, Dale. I had a Goodreads giveaway recently too and will wait and see what that translates to re sales, but as you say, at least it is getting the title of the book out there.

    Another way I've found to support fellow authors is to suggest them to churches, groups as potential speakers, just during a general conversation I might be having about speaking somewhere. Or sometimes if people ask me if I know any Christian children's book authors, or someone who has written about a certain topic, or someone who writes poetry, for example, I point them to the websites of authors I know. It's all about networking and helping where we can, isn't it?

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    1. Thanks for those other suggestions Jo-Anne. As you say every little bit helps.

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  3. on goodreads I enter to win books there but always unclick the to read box. I have to say I have bought very few of the books I enter. Part of the reason is I can't even remember what books I enter although most are Love Inspired ones. I know a lot will just enter to win a book but there will be some who will see the book and want to read it.

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    1. Thanks jenny. Interesting how we have different ways of approaching the giveaways.

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  4. Thanks for your post Dale and some great suggestions of how we can support writers. Requesting that one's local library get in a book is a great one - and also makes that book available for others to read who may never have come across it otherwise. I like your idea to Jo-Anne - suggesting fellow writers as potential speakers. Another one is asking a fellow writer along to a group - Lynne Stringer came to one of my book club meetings and everyone loved that night.

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    1. And authors I know Jenny always check their local library to se if their book/books are in or out. One author I know always turns his face out or puts it back on the shelf of books returned so people will see it and borrow it more. Thanks for your other suggestions too.

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  5. Thanks for a helpful post, Dale. I'm also in marmarmimo and bought a slug of books by Penny Reeve for my little nephew's b/day. Plus two other Aussie authors I've been meaning to get for some time. One way not to feel guilty about spending is to set aside loose change. It adds up!!!

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    1. Yes, our family get their share of great books by Aussie authors too. Loose change adds up quicker than we think. What better thing to invest in than books and maybe changed lives?

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  6. Yes Dale, most libraries will let you request books particularly new releases. However it is best to only request one at a time - libraries don't have big budgets, especially country libraries.

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    1. Yes, good point. It should only be one book requested at a time Susan.

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  7. Thanks, Dale. Yes, these are things we can all do. I'd encourage anyone who passes, because they seem like a drop in the ocean, that authors and publishers appreciate these drops, and that the wheels turn very slowly without them. I've enjoyed doing more along these lines too.

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  8. Thanks Paula for adding your encouraging words.

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  9. Hi Dale, Thanks for sharing your tips on helping other authors. I've also requested books for my local library and purchased Aussie books as gifts. If we all do something, even if it's small, it will make a difference.

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  10. That's for sure, Narelle.

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  11. Informative and practical, Dale, thank you. Love your photo, BTW!

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