From My Perspective…

I remember being so green when it came to being a new author. Even though I had an internationally known Publishing House behind me, there really wasn’t alot of advice or direction given, in order for me to flourish. It was difficult, watching people alongside me, relishing in their new found role as ‘published author’ and yet for me, there seemed to be, a whole lot of…..nothing.

So, after plowing through my contract and seeing what I COULD do, I set about a plan. Or actually, I stumbled through every day, wondering what I could do next?

It seemed to me, that having a Publisher in England, was not actually beneficial to me. There wasn’t phone support, emails were sometimes disregarded, there wasn’t a ‘person’ I could touch base with, but there was something I had, that other’s didn’t necessarily have: an inquisitive nature.

Not only did I set about finding all the search engines available to me, I learnt the ISBN numbers on my e-book and softcover books, by memory. I went about, spending hours and hours, finding all the databases and websites, where my book eventually ended up on. I found it on over 400 websites! And I marvelled at how little old me, could be all over the world!

I then went on and compiled similar lists for friends who had published books around the same time as me. I wanted to see them succeed, but it seems that wasn’t reciprocated. I was used for my knowledge, and left behind in the dust. The truth is, I wasn’t very good at marketing myself, and I actually found myself in quite a depressed state.

My daughter took it upon herself to take the posters that the Publisher had sent over, and got about our village posting them in several shops. Some shops consented to having the small postcards and bookmarks in their shops as well, which was very generous.

I got to blogging about where I was at, and what it was like being a ‘published author.’ It was the weirdest of times indeed!

My contract said I wasn’t allowed to approach any bookstores, distributors, magazines or newspapers, as my inexperience could jeopardize my chances of having my book supplied with them. Meanwhile I watched a fellow author, market herself until the cows came home! Still, she was self-published, and I wasn’t, so there are different needs and strategies there.

I approached our local and national library, and even though my book wasn’t published in New Zealand, because I was a local author, they took my book on anyways – yay for me! I then found the ‘book request’ section on the Auckland Libraries website, and asked them to order the book in – they ordered in three! And it was booked for eight solid months in a row – that was good!

I sent my books to some of my favourite Ministers etc, and that was rather disheartening. After all, who am I and what is this book that I was sending to them for free? My Publisher hadn’t done me any favours, in terms of the blurb, or the artwork. I look back now, and I cringe! Why didn’t anyone step up and say the original cover wasn’t up to parr? Never mind my feelings being hurt, honesty is the best way.

The former Publisher had a section where people could write their reviews, and 99% were fantastic. I knew I had a story that had been God-inspired, but you just never know how things will be perceived. In the end, I don’t write for others, I write what my Abba Father puts on my heart – that’s it.

Going forward, it all fizzled. Nothing was really happening, sales were dismal. And the Publisher was in breach of contract, several times over. So, I found myself a Literary lawyer, who incidentally had been a journalist for over ten years in England, and she knew her stuff. I got my rights back to the book, and formally ended the contract. It ended on a positive note, and so I could move on.

My husband and I had established a indie Publishing House, two weeks before covid hit, and the first lockdown gave us a chance to re-educate ourselves. Watching endless tutorials on the whole publishing world, alongside the fact that I had been studying publishing/editing in Certification, plus all the knowledge I had garnered from my own experience – we were off!

Our experience lead me to publish a small book on my journey with my Dad into the world of Dementia. Funnily enough, without any advertising here in New Zealand, the book is doing well internationally. I never expected that, and am only now ready to market that story nationwide.

We then felt ready to (not really, but full of faith nonetheless) to bring on some other authors. I would say the rest is history, but there are a few more things to share yet!

It’s one thing to write a book, it’s another thing entirely to find an audience for this book. You may have written the most inspired book of all time, but if you don’t have an audience, you’re finished . An author needs to quit writing, and start investigating, start researching and start learning the world they have now found themselves in. Alongside their Publisher, they need to be thinking about alternative marketing, advertising and sales strategies, within the context of their Contract. They need to OWN the work they have created, and educate themselves continually by watching and reading tutorials, articles etc that will give them a greater edge. They need to avail themselves for interviews, both in person and in print, and they need to be open to advice. If they are constantly making excuses for not maintaining their own blogs, websites or social media, then they are doing themselves a large disservice.

Watch this space – SparkleMoon Publishing is aiming for the sky 😉

SparkleMoon Update

Hello friends

I hope this finds you all well. There certainly seems to be alot going on ‘out there’ in this crazy old world, but we’ve been more concentrated on the ‘in here’ and keeping our noses to the grind.

SparkleMoon Publishing has gone a bit nuts! I’m completely understating it here, but we truly have gone out into the ether now, and our books are slowly but surely, heading out the door. Actually, when ‘Awakening of the Heart’ finally arrived from the printers, we were sold out the next morning! I did not expect that. My prayer has always been, ‘slowly but surely Lord’, however it seems the Lord had other plans.

The new updated version of Mirabelle has come back from the printers, and to be honest, it makes me quite proud. I am no longer the person I was two years ago, sitting wringing her hands desperately worried what others think about the book; I simply stand by every word written. It’s not a stretch to say, I poured myself into this novel, as I most certainly did. However, the Lord has poured so graciously, back into my soul, so that I can continue to write the sequel – and boy have I been having fun with that!

Currently we are not ON Masada, we are IN Masada. There are treasures galore! The new book starts with a battle scene – it’s fair to say though, that writing a battle scene has been a huge stretch for me, but I am pretty happy with how that turned out. I love how the characters are branching out in this second book, and with the addition of some new characters, there are some amazing storylines popping up!

If any of you are interested, we are on Facebook only as a company page. Here is the link:
https://www.facebook.com/SparkleMoon-Publishing-105293494578984

Also, here is our company Instagram if interested:
https://www.instagram.com/sparklemoonpublishing/

If you are interested in following along with the happenings at SparkleMoon Publishing, feel free to follow or subscribe to our website at:
https://sparklemoonpublishing.net/

Mirabelle Revised by Sandi Wilson
Awakening of the Heart by J.L. Dawson
From Tears to Triumph Devotional by Sharmaine Dobson
George’s World – Where is my Dad? by Sharmaine Dobson
My Way – A Daughter’s Journey into the World of Dementia by Sandi Wilson

These are the books that are currently stocked, and all their details and blurbs are on the SMP website.

Anyhu, just thought you might like to see what we are up too!

Currently, we are trying to master the marketing side of publishing – my goodness what a wild ride that is 😉

In the meantime, take care and be blessed wherever you are in the world. Stand strong, the battle belongs to the Lord!

Sandi 🙂

Utterly Unbelievable

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

I have sat here these past few days just scratching my head and marveling at what seems a miracle to me 🙏 Since the announcement of our first SparkleMoon Publishing book coming out over on that blog (www.sparklemoonpublishing.net), we have been viewed over 500 times!! That is something a small time Blogger dreams about, and yet here we are. Thank you Lord!

I have spent more hours than I can count, editing and proofreading, working out a new system online, making sure all the vocabulary is in American, as that is how the Author has written it. Dealing with creative types (myself included) has had me in tears, praying for abundant grace and answering dozens of texts! Internet crashes, school holidays, uninstalling and reinstalling the right apps, computer crashes, marketing, advertising, collaboration with my Authors, correcting overseen errors. Where is the time going?

I know. I have absolutely no right to complain, and I am not, not at all. But I am sharing what this crazy life has become of recent weeks.

Saturday night just past, saw me submit all the approved files and covers, to the printing press. Phew! That has been a journey and a half, and it’s not over yet. This I guess is the calm before the storm – but I am enjoying this moment of respite.

These past few weeks have had me learning new ways and pushing myself in ways I didn’t know I could. I’ve learnt so much and realised I am far more capable than I give myself credit for! I’ve also come to realise that I am incredibly hard on myself, and have a high expectation, regarding myself as a Publisher. But that’s not the point. The point is at 50, I finally feel like I am in my element. I love being a wife and mum – nothing compares to that – but there’s something incredibly gratifying about stepping into your calling and stepping up to the plate. It’s either sink or swim, and I am learning to go beyond doggy paddling!!!

In other news: the New Zealand elections are fast approaching us here. Saturday 17 October, will be the deciding factor between life and death. We have two referendums along with out national election: legalizing marijuana; and euthanasia. Personally my views have been God, life, Israel. I’ll stand on that mountain and there I shall stay. But I fear what is coming. Many of my elderly relatives believe in the right to choose when they die – I believe that is God’s choice alone. And I say so. Respectfully of course.

Currently, we are finally back down to Level One here in the open border compound of New Zealand! Yes I’m being sarcastic 🙂 Our borders remain ‘shut’ but they never have been really. We have ‘crushed covid’ a second time, but of course it’s at the borders, just not in the community. Or maybe it is; I’ve had other priorities these past few weeks.

I was able to go and see my Dad two weeks ago, but now they have an outbreak of Gastroenteritis in the home. Thankfully Dad is ok, but the whole compound is on full lockdown/quarantine until things get back under control.

People say that 2020 has been a nightmare of a year; I disagree! I turned 50 back in January, and I was told this was my Jubilee Year, and whilst bad things have happened, the Lord has been so good and magnificent to me. I will write a bit more about that shortly, but in the meantime, as Believers in Yeshua, let’s stop looking to government to fix us, and keep our eyes upward – He IS coming soon. Of this I am most certain.

Much blessing

Sandi xx

SparkleMoon Arising….!

Check out our website http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net for more details.

It’s been a while in the making, but suddenly we are off and starting to push forward in the artistic direction of one of my authors and the first of her series of six books.

What a blast!

Suffice to say that I never dreamt that I would be helping other authors in this magnitude, or that I would be working with family!

Much to my surprise, I am currently working alongside my brother who is a Master in the world of Advertising and Graphic Art. I didn’t know if my suggestion to collaborate would manifest in anything, and yet here we are meeting and chatting about artwork, book covers, marketing, advertising, photoshoots and all things literary!

To that end, I have made a decision that seems to be a natural progression for me: I am going to rebrand and remarket my novel Mirabelle. I am not completely satisfied that the artwork or the blurb were the best design for me, nor was I happy with my Publisher taking out two important pages in the beginning. Having a Publisher over in the UK whilst I am here in NZ, is not ideal. Whilst I was naive, green and eager three years ago when I landed my Publishing deal, I have learnt a great deal since, and am alot less eager to please. My desire to have part of my story out there in fictional form is good, but it should be more than that. The picture of myself on the inside of the book is a far cry from who I am today, and the profile of me is not me at all now! Gosh how my life has changed, and how things have gained more clarity as the years have passed.

I still am ridiculously excited that I get to help others publish their beautiful literary masterpieces, but I also haven’t finished writing mine either.

I am looking forward to the next few weeks and months and all the decisions that have to be made, the work that has to be done, but also holding that precious first book in the series, in my hands!

The last thing I thought I’d mention, is that we are fundraising towards the cost of the artist and the marketing genius. Please check out our page on Givealittle, and see if you would be willing to donate any amount, towards these important outlays.

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/helping-nz-authors-be-published

Till next time Dear Ones, be blessed and keep on rocking!

Sandi