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All posts for the month January, 2012

Door to door

Published 29/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

Urgh! Don’t anyone ever tell me I don’t want this! I spent entirely too long over the last couple of days putting postcards through people’s doors. I always used to get cross with people that did this, I get no end of menus and info asking me to sell my house and it really bugs me, but having done it myself (in the pouring rain might I add) they have my sympathy. There are some rubbish jobs out there, but this one is pretty bad. Not only was it wet and cold, all the letter boxes were stiff and constantly snapping down on my already painful hands (the cold was making my fingers pink and blue) BUT! I had Jared Leto singing to my on my ipod so that made it a little better. What made it a LOT better was my other half coming out to meet me, even though it was pouring and grim, he walked through the estate to find me and keep me company. I am a very lucky girl in this respect. Plus we saw a double rainbow which also cheered me up.

I had thought I’d handed them all out so was relieved to return home, only to find a tonne more in my bag. yuck yuck yuck. But I figure if anyone asks, I’m proving my dedication to my work. I spend 100% of the time I should be writing advertising. I have NO idea about how to go about it. It’s not something they ever taught in school, but I’m learning through trial and error what gets results and what doesn’t. Leafletting – bad! Warm house after leafletting – good! But I do have more sympathy for the poor so and sos that have to do that for a job, all day, every day.

So anyone out there wanting to advertise their books…don’t leaflet, it’s painful and doesn’t seem to get results!

Bad day

Published 25/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

My Nana passed away this morning, she was in a lot of pain and the doctors suspected it was cancer around the liver. I’m relived in a way as she went in her sleep, but obviously I will miss her very, very much. I just wanted to pay tribute in a small way to a woman who I was always in awe of (She had 10 kids!) and love very much.

Covert Ops!

Published 24/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

I didn’t bother with my ninja costume, an was wearing a pretty obvious bright turquoise coat, but that didn’t stop me from some serious guerilla advertising.

I think my local library will be banning me pretty soon.

It started with me taking out about 20 books at a time, lugging them home, putting my bookmarks in them, then returning them. A backbreaking task when you don’t drive! But then, my brain actually started working, and I started bookmarking the books in the library. Makes more sense right? I am a little bit blonde. Unfortunately, I’m such a wuss, I spend the whole time popping my head over the bookcases like a bunny because I’m so worried someone is going to catch me and chuck me out. I look seriously suspicious, and the library staff now practically follow me around every time I come in. But! I’d say about half the teen fiction books now have my bookmarks in them, and no one seems to be removing them. Mwahahahaahahhaahhahhaa! I feel really naughty when I’m finished, which is ridiculous as I’m not damaging the books, I’m no even moving them around into the wrong places, plus the people who take them out get a pretty, free bookmark. 🙂

Anyone out there got any fun covert ops guerilla advertising stories?

 

Love and hugs

 

p.s Sorry about the infrequency of posts recently, everything is…difficult…in the real world at the moment which I’m not going to go into as I’m sure you all have better things to be doing, but things might be a little sporadic for a while as I’ve moved house (:( ) and am nursing a broken heart. x

FREE STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Published 20/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

Ok, practically free.

I’m giving the next 20 downloaders of my book all the stuff in the picture; (colours may vary!)

WIN ALL THIS!

I’ll need proof of purchase so either a screen cap or photo of the screen with the date and proof of purchase upon it. Once done, send me a message via here, or my facebook page and we’ll exchange emails to sort addresses etc.
This blooming bookmarks took me two full days of designing, printing, cutting, laminating, cutting and folding so I quite honestly will be glad to see them go! If you can’t see from the picture, you’ll get several bookmarks, a magnet, sticker and a couple of postcards. Give them all to friends/family or stick them wherever you want.
Unfortunately due to be ridiculously poor, this comp is only open to UK this time around, but I’ll see how this one goes then look into a US / rest of world one if it goes well.
So get downloading, the book is only 99p (you’d spend more on a can of coke and a bar of chocolate and they won’t last you as long as the e-book and bookmarks!)
 See my facebook for more pictures of the super sexy bookmarks and more info, or if you have any questions, facebook me, tweet or message through here.
Good luck y’all
Lily x

Woah!

Published 16/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

I am slightly oblivious in my little corner of the world. I miss all the gossip and action until it is long over, but if you haven’t heard about the huge blowup on Goodreads between authors and reviewers, this kick butt blog sums it up pretty well;

http://cuddlebuggery.blogspot.com/2012/01/first-five-days-on-goodreads.html

Anyhoo, when did it become acceptable to attack readers? When did authors become so wussy? You put your work out there, not everyone is going to love it. Not everyone loves Shakespeare. Not everyone loves GACKT and we all know he is a genius! (Go look him up ;p) But that is beside the point. If someone gives you a bad review, get over it. Seriously. It’s going to happen. There are no end of varying opinions out there, you can’t please everyone. Just chalk it up to either; bad luck, bad taste or bad day. Then move on. I’m sure the reviewer has. Get a big bar of vegan chocolate and nom until it all feels better. Go cuddle someone. Take a walk around the block, and then move on!

It’s bad etiquette, bad manners and bad publicity to attack a reviewer, especially when that person spent their hard earned cash on your book. I just honestly can’t believe authors and agents got involved in such a public way! They took one bad review and turned into into this huge thing, so now everyone hates them because of their terrible attitudes. The quality of the book is now no longer an issue because people will only know the author for the huge online campaign against the reviewer. They do say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and I for one have been seriously curious about some ‘bad books’ and end up trying them out just to see if they are that bad. But to actually go out of your way to attack someone online…I just don’t think it’s acceptable. Unless someone slates some of my work, then it’s perfectly fine ;p

Love and Hugs xxxx

When will I be famous?

Published 15/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

Something I have realised since seriusly trying to become a published author, is that you have to sell yourself. I was under thismisguided impression that an agent loves your book, sells it to a publisher, then THEY fund/organise the advertising. NUH UH. It now works the other way around. The industry is so difficult and cut throat now days that YOU (the author) have to make yourself famouos BEFORE approaching agents. Why would they possibly want to read the manuscript you spent years sweating over if you’re not famous? It’s not about the writing anymore sweetie. If someone from a reality tv show can get a book published when they have NO experience and no real want to be an author, why can’ t those of us killing ourselves trying to get our work read. It’s all about celebrity. If you were a famous singer/dancer/talent show contestant who has any kind of publicity surrounding them, you will be APPROACHED by agents. they will seek you out. They will offer you a book deal even if you haven’t any desire to write a book. They’ll advertise, smooze you and essentially get the thing written for you.

 To me, that just seems ass backwards. As a writer, you expect that you have to have written something to get a book deal. Not anymore kids. No, today if you’re famous, you get a book deal. If you’re not, you either have to get famous, or kill yourself advertising yourself wherever and whenever. Not for you? Me either. Self promotion has never been my thing. I’d rather my work spoke for itself. How is the noob writer supposed to even know how to get started? You learn from someone who’s already made the mistakes for you, so kids, feel free to ask me ANYTHING. I figure someone should learn from my mistakes 🙂

Love and hugs x

Advertising

Published 09/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

As I’m sure you all know, you could write the best book on the planet, but if no one knows about it, it isn’t going to sell.

A good place to look into is vistaprint. They do a lot of free offers including business cards and are always having a sale of some description. I’ve been very happy with everything I’ve ordered from them and they’re pretty reasonable. So far I have had pens, postcards, magnets, business cards done and they’re all been great, most of which I’ve only paid postage on, Yay! I don’t think there’s a person on the earth that doesn’t want to save a bit of money where they can.

If you know of any other great sites, let me know and I’ll pop them up here.

Love and hugs x

Beware writer!

Published 05/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

I write this blog as a writer, a reader and someone who occasionally likes to rant (I’m English, it comes with the territory) so this post has several viewpoints for the same subject.

I have a crappy retail job, I earn about £14,000 a year before tax. The economy is dying on its feet and is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Interest rates are going up, bills, groceries etc are all rising, but wages aren’t. I don’t have a lot of money…scratch that, I very rarely have anything at the end of the month. I’m being told to save for my pension as there probably won’t be one when I’m older (I’m 28 so not far off!) I should have savings for a rainy day and can’t get a mortgage as I don’t earn enough. As if this isn’t bad enough, I want a career that will probably leave me in debt and not even allow me to break even. I want to be a published author. I’m not talking e-books on Amazon, I’m talking physical books in print at my local bookshop. I want to hold something in my hand that I have made.

I am a reader. I love books. My happiness often depends on having something to read to help me relax. I like cheap books as I have very little money to spend. I buy from second hand shops or second hand from Amazon. I don’t feel guilty about buying from charity shops as the money goes to a good cause, but buying from Amazon is something of a problem with me.

Online bookstores are the death of bookshops. Online bookstores are the death of authors. Why? They expect to get the book cheaper than anyone else, by at least a couple of pounds. This means the publisher, author, agent etc etc all get less. This means publishers and agents are less likely to take a chance on a book or new author as it means they have to sell hell of a lot more books to make the same profit. That means that any book that needs a little tweaking, editing etc is unlikely to be taken up.

As a reader, I hate this as it means less choice. We get cookie cutter books that follow a similar formula with different characters because no one wants to take a chance. It means a thousand and one Twilight rip offs. It means less authors that are earning enough to live on. It means less authors.

Don’t get me started on e-books. I have spent years working on my novel ‘Of Darkness and Light’. It has cost me a small fortune in stamps, ink, paper, envelopes etc etc to send it to agents. When I didn’t get anywhere, it cost me a small fortune in editing fees. £600 for the book to be critiqued and copy edited. Due to a bad choice on my part, I was still finding mistakes in it after it had been copy edited. Due to all of this, I missed the boat. Angels were the new thing after Vampires. My book was finished about two years ago. It had a lot of interest with agents, but none were willing to take a chance. I had no choice but to either ditch it, self publish or go the e-book route. I can;t afford self publishing or the money involved in promotion, so e-book it was.

My biggest problem with e-books is the cost. A paperback sells for about £7, give or take. People won’t pay more than £2 for an e-book. No less work went into it because it’s not in print, but no one is willing to pay that much for something that isn’t a physical copy. My book is currently on for 99p and has had about 700 downloads. That’s nice and all, but how much have I made from this? About £5 in royalties as I had to put the book on for free for five days to get some interest. 700 copies downloaded and I’ve probably made about £5. I’m not naïve. I knew I wouldn’t get rich, I wouldn’t even get close. But to know that you put your heart and soul into something, spent hours and hours editing, rereading, pouring over the manuscript and neglecting everyone you love to work on it, £5 just isn’t good enough in my opinion. That doesn’t even come close to the paper, ink, stamps or stationary, let alone the editing costs involved.

The lesson? I don’t suppose there really is one, but I would ask that you make an effort to support indie authors. We don’t have the backing of a huge publishing house and most of us do full time jobs, working on our writing in our free time. We’re not advertisers, we have no clue how to get ourselves known. We’re fighting a losing battle and all we need is a little support, be it a book review, or a comment to let the author know that you loved their book and that they should stick with it.

Rant over. Love and hugs x

A rose by any other name…

Published 02/01/2012 by Lily Crussell

I don’t have kids, and from my naming of characters recently, I’m thinking that is definately a good thing. After some of the names I have heard celebrities come up with, I think their children should possibly be taken into care. Audioscience. Seriously? Do you hate your child? But! I can’t complain too much as I have spent a large chunk of the day looking at baby naming websites to name a couple of characters who wouldn’t tell me their names. By this, I mean that some characters come prenamed. As soon as they appear in my mind, they have a name, and they’re adamant that I’m not changing it. Some characters are personalities and have no appearance, and as such, no name. Some’s faces just don’t fit with any name I can think of, or know of, so I turn to the trusty baby namer sites.

My mother would be thrilled if she saw my favourite websites list and would start buying babygros and other baby things. Sorry mum, it ain’t happening any time soon. My ‘kids’ are already grown and are just waiting for me to catch up to them and write their lives and situations. For example; Elora from ‘Of Darkness and Light’ was named after the baby in Willow. It was a name I loved and hadn’t heard before and HAD to use. She was fully formed and telling me what was happening to her long before I had any clue of how to reign her in. There is NO reigning in of characters. They won’t have it. You are just a vessel for their story. Yes, it’s slightly like being schizophrenic.

Some characters I steal names for. I am fixated on J names so have had; Jack, Jackson, Jared, Jareth and several others as minor characters. If I have had a crush on a movie star or person in real life, I steal their name. Jack ofcourse is after Jack Sparrow, Jack Harkness (Torchwood) and all the wonderful Jacks that have come before. Jackson is the delightful Jackson Rathbone, actor and singer of 100 Monkeys. Jared…well, if you need to ask! The wonderful all singing, all dancing Jared Leto. Jareth is of course the Troll King from Labrynth. And on and on ad infinitum. Names are wonderful things heavy with such meaning that they can add another level to a character. Find out the meanign of the names you are going to use before you do, they can be completely conflicting with the person you are writing. This obviously can work to your advantage, but if your reader is as fixated on meaning as I am, it may grate on their reading experience. Readers also love hidden extra levels of characters and when the name has meaning it can be a nice little added extra fact that they know about the book.

On a completely unrelated note, I am completely obsessed with Adam Lambet’s ‘What do you want from me.’ Love it!

Much love xxxx

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