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 😉

A Sneak Peek….

So I thought I’d be really smart and privatize this site just so that you guys could have the first look at my secret project – but that didn’t work! It turned out that you had to login or register via email, and that caused some issues, by some of the language I could hear in the other room!

Well, before I go ahead and do my reveal, I just wanted to give you a background on who Mirabelle is and why this book is important to me.

Mirabelle is based on a woman who was a dear friend for many years. She underwent most of her cancer journey before I met her, and over the course of getting to know her, the story she shared really impacted me.

I didn’t know many people who have had significant body parts removed in order for them to survive, but she is one of them. A large softball size tumour was discovered inside her that encompassed her bladder, bowel and internal genitalia. She had to have all three reconstructed over the period of a few years, and still to this day she doesn’t function fully. But you would never know. You wouldn’t know that her bladder is made from pigskin. You wouldn’t know that her bowel is made from some of her large intestine. You wouldn’t know that her internal genitalia were the last thing to be constructed, and she went without those organs for eighteen months.

So yes, to me she is one of the most inspirational women I have ever had the good fortune to meet.

Unfortunately, our friendship went south not long after I got married. My dear friend is someone who has an incredibly stubborn streak and if you seemingly wrong her, she cuts you off in the most powerful way. You don’t even know, she won’t even tell you, but slowly and surely, she backs off, like she did to me. And she will hurt you on purpose. Because so far, she has been able too.

It took me nine months to process the demise of this once incredibly close relationship. I’d never had a friend where things were shared so openly and honestly, so brutally and with so much humour! We were a dynamic duo when we went anywhere, and behaving wasn’t something that either of us thought to do 🙂 Going to Israel with her and with Neil was fantastic; I did feel sorry for the Tour Guide though – I don’t think he’s ever met a duo like us!

In amongst the pain, the despair I felt and the anger that would rise in wave upon wave, the Lord came to me one morning and gave me such love for this friend. Ex friend. I never call her that, but I guess that is what I am to her now. She has this book, and my guess is that she’s darn angry with me, but as I said to her, what started out writing about her, turned into a greater story that the Father wouldn’t let me leave alone.

I know that she loves Yeshua incredibly deeply, and I know one day we will reconcile. I also know that it will be different.

The character of Alex is based on me. It was with fear and trepidation that I wrote so much of my own personal story within these pages. To bare my soul so openly, I did query the Lord on this? But sometimes in order for others to heal, they need to know that some have been through the same thing. They need to know that they can reach out and touch someone who is similar to them. I know I am just a chick from Snells Beach, New Zealand, but God sees me differently to others.

When Mirabelle was released just over two years ago, we had just come back from a disastrous trip to Israel, and I was suffering from depression. I wasn’t in the right place to own this novel, or to accept the path that the Lord was leading me down, but somehow it seems right to do so now.

So, with all that background in mind, I am so pleased to show you the new cover that my brother (a 100+ Award winning Creative Director) has designed for when we re-release Mirabelle back out into the public!

We are currently working to get me out of my old contract with the Publisher in London, so that soon I can release this on our own logo.

Well, there you have it!

Until next time

Shalom
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

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 🙂

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 🙂