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 😉

SMP COMPETITION!

Hey Everyone!

Just wanted to let you know, we are running a competition on both our Instagram page, and Facebook page, to win all five books from SMP!

No need to do anything too strenuous – just like our page/s and tag someone else.

Free shipping worldwide to those entrants from outside New Zealand.

Ends 10 March 2021.

Winners notified by either DM or Messenger.

Here’s the links for you:

http://www.facebook.com/sparklemoon-publishing

http://www.instagram.com/sparklemoonpublishing

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

New Release!

I’m very excited to announce that my newest book is released worldwide today via Amazon, Kobo, Barnesandnoble and other good book outlets!

For all the details, go to http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net or Amazon.

Until next time…..

Be Blessed 🙂

Level…Madness!

auckand-skyline

I’m not here to bash our Prime Minister, I believe that she is doing what she can with the knowledge and resources available to her. Nor will I bash our Health Minister, because he again, is being guided by all the statistics, the resources and the information that is given to him at all times during the day. I won’t bash the workers who have relentlessly put themselves out there in the public, dealing with all the confusion of masks, handwashing, sanitisation, social distancing, and taking large pay cuts. I think of those who have lost their jobs and who now are facing an even more uncertain future. I am so mindful of the children, here at home, being homeschooled and trying to be taught by parents and care givers who may not have the experience, expertise or the patience to delve into academia.

But I will address, the New Zealand public.

By and large, I know that most people have tried their best to follow the ads on tv, the things to read on the internet, the messages from the Prime Minister and the Health Minister. I know that a large majority of us have tried to follow the rules, do what’s best and keep safe.

But there are those of us who have been horrible. Those who have blatantly flailed the rules, have gone out of your way to do whatever it is they wanted, when they wanted, and to hell with the rest of us. Those who have walked into the places where my daughters have worked, and have gotten up in their faces, have verbally abused them, have terrified them and have left them shaken. Those who have yelled and abused myself, my husband and my son when we were deemed Essential workers, and had no necessity to do so. We had the paperwork, we followed the protocols set out for us and yet, some felt that from their homes, from behind their fences and just from their front yards, they could just yell whatever they wanted at us. Well they can’t!!

We as parents, made the decision that even though we could have carried on, we won’t work under those pressures, nor allow our son to carry on in those conditions. Now that the level has dropped and the run has resumed, we have still said no.

I can’t count the amount of times that my strong daughters have walked through the door straight into my arms, bawling their eyes out after a shift of non stop abuse. But yet the self entitled ignoramouses think it’s ok to speak to others on the frontline, like they are a piece of dirt. I was more than mortified when it was named that OUR supermarket made the front page of the news for a woman my age punching one of the shop’s Managers. How is this ok? The other supermarket carpark had fights breaking out and brawling, over things that I can’t even remember.

In all my years walking the roads of Aotearoa, New Zealand, I have never been more ashamed and baffled with my fellow brethren. I can’t even begin to look at people the same anymore, because the fact is, we have changed – as a people and as a nation. We have a wonderful aspect to us, being Kiwis; we are renowned worldwide for our kind, caring and laid back nature, our welcoming attitude, but I dare say that has by and large changed now. It’s interesting that if you scratch the surface, what’s been festering underneath sure does come out, and this Lockdown has proved that to us, here at home. The insistance of over the top narcissitic monstrosities who think they are better than the rest of us, and do deserve the right to speak to others like they are dumb animals, well I do declare, that isn’t right!

I wish that this Lockdown had brought about a greater sense of community and unity amongst us, but to alot of us who’ve borne the behaviour of the walking dead, we’ve seen society’s nastiness in full bloom.

There is so much for us to fear, so much misinformation. None of us know who to trust, where to get information that is correct and true, rather than fitting the accepted narrative. There is also much for us to look forward to. But we as a people, we as a nation, we have to do better. We can’t expect to abuse each other and then when the final level of Lockdown ends, think we can just carry on with normal life – normal life has gone now. None of us know who and what, where and how things will be, laws that have quietly been implemented, technologies that have been invented and new rules that have been put forward.

I’m sorry that my honesty may have offended some individuals, but I can no longer sit back and allow people to treat my family and those wonderful Essential Workers nationwide, like utter crap.

Will we do better when the next thing hits?

I pray we do.

UPDATE 22/05/2020

When I wrote the above piece, I chose to leave out a very important part — I now have permission to write about it 🙂

Both our girls started to present with symptoms that were congruent with Covid-19.  At the insistance of the Manager at one of their workplaces, they both spoke to a Registered Nurse and were told to immediately head for the nearest testing station, in our case, up in Wellsford.

After the initial ‘brain tickle’, the girls had to spend a few days home whilst awaiting the results.  I had fortunately bought some high quality Silver Sol, which is more potent than Collodial Silver, and had administered this to them, alongside very high doses of Vitamin C.  We then had to lock our gates, put a notice on said gates and quarantine ourselves until the results were in.  I’ve never felt such stress in my body before.  It wasn’t until the very last morning that I got a handle on it, and by that afternoon we received the results.

To date, this was the hardest part of Lockdown!

So, until next time peoples, stay well and God bless you all <3

 

 

SparkleMoon

This last week has been rather a big deal for us here, getting up to speed within the Publishing business, getting our heads around drafting contracts, building websites, learning who to turn to and where to go when you’ve hit or wall or two. Now that we have the ‘official’ business up and running, there are so many things to think about and keep on top of. But we’re loving it!

You may be thinking, ‘who are we?’ Fair question!

We are a family. Mum, Dad, and a few kids, some adults and some teenagers. But it seems we are all in this together. And that was always the plan.

I’d had the concept of a family business come to me in two consecutive dreams, and after drafting it all out and planning for the first eventual business, it all went belly up! Nevertheless, I (Sandi) still felt like an obsessed monkey knowing that we should still register the Parent company, and so we did.

Next came Rodney Communications. That is Neil and Steph’s deal. Electronics, electrics, contracting all over the greater Auckland area. Installations of cameras, software, RT’s, Two way radios, and most things to do with trucks and heavy equipment.

Jules and I were and still are very keen to start a company aimed at women and for women, but the products we were going to import have become an impossibility at the moment due to the Coronavirus. We needn’t have worried, as the idea of establishing a Publishing Company was on the list, but WAY down the list.

On the insistence of a dear friend, whose defiant insistence wouldn’t let up, we finally caved. It’s odd the way it all came about, and yet all the best things I’ve experienced in life have come in a very topsy turvy way – so why should this be any different 😉

Anyway, the upshot of all of this, is now we have a bonifide Publishing Company with a vision of helping new and not so new authors from all walks of life, get their work published in a friendly and helpful environment.

Our website for this company is http://www.sparklemoonpublishing.net and if you are interested in how we can help you, fill out the form and we’ll get in touch with you shortly.

And now that the ‘promo’ is out of the way, thanks heaps for stopping by! Whilst our heads are still spinning and we have alot of things to contend with, it honestly has shaped up to be the most amazing 2020!

Till next time, take care.

Sandi 🙂