Who in their right mind would put me on the radio?
Someone who hasn't met me, clearly! namely Tom Cannon from #CroydonRadio
However, I behaved myself and was quit professional about the whole thing. We had a nice lighthearted chat about my books, my writing process, and growing up with dyslexia and I didn't swear once. My mum did call to tell me that I said 'Oh God' a few times. I don't remember, but i'll take that over the f-word on local radio. Sorry mum x
If you missed the show, don't worry I found their a pod cast :) yay! click the link below and you can listen to me being very professional and not embarrassing my friends and family like I normally do!
The show is two hours, so to hear my interview simply fast forward to the last 25minutes of the show and there I am :) enjoy x
Life is what you make it....
I left school with the reading age of a elementary school child. I decided to take fate into my own hands and taught myself to read with the aid of a dyslexia specialist and lots of self-help school books, I did this at a ripe age of twenty-five. Part of my process was to practice writing. This is where my book 'Gut Feeling' was born. I originally published my first book 'Gut Feeling' in 2009 for my own self-accomplishment and for friends and family to read.
I want to encourage people with dyslexia to write their stories, but, to the best standard possible. So, I decided to un-publish 'Gut Feeling' because it was not a good representation of my current writing ability. My younger self had also not worked with an editor on the basics!
There are a few original copies being sold on amazon in paper back.
If you would like to read a copy of the original 'Gut Feeling' I would be happy to email you a free ebook copy for your private use.
If not, and you buy the version on Amazon today--I'm sure your enjoy it more haha.
Life is what you make it.....
First things first, have a clear plan of what you want to achieve, is it a mailing list, reviews, noticeability, book sales?
So where do you start? The answer is everywhere. Get set up on all social media platforms if you are not already, think about the image you want to portray to your readers and followers. Now comes the juggling act. There are lots of ways to make your social media life easier, like linking your pages so that you can pin a pin on Pinterest and it automatically posts on your Twitter and Facebook page, the same with Goodreads. Then there is Buffer, a handy app that lets you schedule tweets and pins in advance and posts them for you.
However there comes a time when you need to focus on what works best for you. The vast majority of successful authors will tell you that whilst they have mastered the social media juggling act, they focus their attention on just one or two social media platforms that work best for them.
Social Media Platforms
Twitter - Great for brand awareness and networking with bloggers.
Facebook Fan Page - Great for brand awareness and showcasing.
LinkedIn - Great for networking with professionals in your field and forums.
Instagram - Great to connect with your readers in a fun creative way through images.
Pinterest - Great way to advertise and connect with readers in a fun way. It is the latest BIG buz in the author world so make sure you have a business account set up and widgets on your website and blog.
But lets look at Goodreads and YouTube more closely.
Goodreads is the biggest book club out there. It has forums, groups, authors and bloggers and most importantly die hard readers. This is where you want to be spending your cyber days. Start to friend readers and follow authors, also make sure you are posting ratings and reviews.
Direct message - Message the people, who have marked your book ‘to read,’ you could offer a free down load in return for an honest review.
Goodreads Giveaway - Your book will be seen by hundreds of readers and the lucky winners of the Giveaway can be added to your mailing list. This not only helps build your mailing list but also builds it with readers who want to read your genre, and who will be interested in reading further books you write. They will also hopefully review your book and build on your review numbers.
YouTube is a brilliant way of getting you, the author, and your books out there. Create your own channel and set up a YouTube platform. Here you can showcase you and your book. Show people who you are with fun videos and book trailers.
Not confident in the art of video making? Click here and for $39 you can have SolaFide Publishing do it for you.
All you need is a storyboard and a YouTube channel. There are some great sites out there like Animoto.com where you choose a template video, add your pictures from your storyboard and out pop’s a professional video. Animoto.com. You can pay for one months use for around $20 and make as many videos as you like and for as long as you like. I would recommend about a 1 minute for a book trailer.
There are also sites like Flixpress.com were you can make video intros to add onto your book trailer. In the same way you choose a template, add in the words and out pops an intro trailer.
Now that you have an intro trailer, a book trailers you will need to cut them together. You can do this in YouTube editor. Just upload your trailers to YouTube, but remember to mark the clips as private so no one can see them. Then go to YouTube Editor and you will see the videos clips in your editing page on the right hand side. From there you drag and drop, and cut down the video as required. After you’re done you will need to select a project at the top of the page and wait for it to appear back on your YouTube Chanel, now your ready to mark as public and share.
And if you need help with the juggling act find a Book Publicist
Publicists like SolaFide Publishing will manage your publicity. If you want to go down this route it is important to choose wisely and work with a publicist that is well connected. A publicist will do a number of things for you depending on what you are looking to achieve, book tours, generating reviews, interviews, book cover reveals and social medial promotions. The larger publicists have a large list of bloggers to connect you with and even connections with online publications to further spared your noticeability.
Good luck x
It is very hard to describe to a non-dyslexic how I see the written word, however I think I hit the nail on the head today.
My husband and I were travelling, south on the M25. I was staring at the vehicles as they drove passed, and one read FS Contact. At first glance I read FS Connect, then I focused my thoughts and read the word correctly. I set about trying to explain to my husband, that I automatically guessed the word from my memory bank, but once I told myself to actually read the word I decoded it, and read the word correctly. My husband found this very interesting.
I sat staring at other vehicles for a while and realized I was still not automatically, registering a lot of the words written on them. I pointed to one lorry with lots of writing on the back. I did not register any of what it said until I told myself to read it, and then I saw the word 'Transport'. I thought, this is a perfect example, and so I pointed the lorry out to my husband.
I said "Do you see that grey lorry to the left of us?'
He said, "Yes."
I said, "I was staring at the back of that lorry but did not read the writing. It's as if it is written in a foreign language." I took a second look and focused my thoughts to read the words and then said, "Oh wait it is a foreign language." We both laughed a lot at this.
The only English word on the van was Transport! And it wasn't until I told my self to read that I decoded the other words and realized I could not decode them. Until that point it was all a foreign language to me, even the english word.
Maybe if I had decoded the word POLAND it would have helped. But the fact that worlds are written in uppercase is another issue. It adds to the effort needed to decode the letters into words.
So for me looking at the English language is sometimes like you looking at a foreign language. I have to focus my thoughts to decode the letters into words. But until that point it is all foreign to me.
So if you can now imaging what it is like for a child seeing words in this way, you may find you have a bit more patience with them.
It is tiresome for any adult to constantly focus your self on a task. Can you imagine what its like for a child to have to do this with a task that you, (a non dyslexic) finds relatively effortless, and then they have other distractions going on around them. Its no wonder dyslexic children get easily distracted. But shouting at them or losing patients with them will NEVER solve the issue. They just need a lot more of your time and effort to learn and store words. I left school with such a small amount of words in my memory bank this now makes decoding the English langue as an adult harder for me.
I hope this helps you understand a little more about dyslexia.
Having low self-esteem can be sole crushing. It is like an unbearable lack of confidence and some times even deep-set hate for yourself. Most people will suffer in silence, maybe even some of your closest friends and you don't even realize. This can give rise to anxiety, depression and other serious illnesses.
So it is understandable for people to think that if you can cure the world of low self-esteem you can cure the world of other debilitating illnesses. But lets first talk about what self-esteem is.
There are two types of Self-esteem, Trait self-esteem and State Self-esteem. Trait self-esteem is how you feel about your self the majority of the time; state self-esteem is how you feel about yourself at a given point in time. If you were to ask how you feel about your self at different times you will probably have different answers. Some days you may feel good about yourself, maybe you pleased your boss at work, other days you may feel low about yourself, maybe you did not hit a dead line you needed to or wanted to. Your state self-esteem changes due to your experiences day to day.
Self-esteem is like a measure. Think of it like a gage. We all have self-esteem, some high some low; we are all effected by it too. And it all comes down to how you think people perceive you.
It is built into our make up over thousands of years. Back when our ancestors lived in tribes, being excepted into a group or not was very serious for survival. It could mean the difference between life and death, so judging how others in your group perceived and accepted you was very important. This basic survival instinct still resonates in humans today.
It is basic human instinct to want to belong. If someone is rejected or not listened to this will lower their self-esteem. If their personality is different or odd they may be rejected from mainstream groups at school or in the work place, leading them to strive for acceptance in other groups with lower acceptance values, mainly the unsociable and delinquent groups. Unsociable behaviour will lead to acceptance from this group but further rejection by the original desired group leading to lower self-esteem.
So to understand your self-esteem look at your surroundings, and your past. Ask what has lowered your self-esteem and then change it. Surround yourself with positive people and don't give so much time to negative people. Do things you're good at, and do them often. Look back in your past and come to peace with the rejection or negatives, leave it in the past and look at changing your State self-esteem to a higher one more often, this in time will then change your Trait self-esteem.
The answer is curing the things that lowers your self-esteem
Getting noticed is my main goal, and so I am always looking for new ways to get my name and book out there. I thought that by asking friends, family and readers on my mailing list to post pictures of themselves reading my book would be a fun way of getting some much needed PR. And it is. I would recommend this to all new authors. It is a time consuming task but well worth the effort for three reasons. Firstly it helps to lift your confidence by seeing your book that you have put so much of yourself into, in a reader’s hand. Secondly it is a brilliant way to interact with readers on your mailing list, and thirdly, it gives you a great marketing tool to build on.
Getting reviews on Amazon. This can prove to be more difficult as people live busy lives. The importance of Amazon reviews is paramount and can really get you noticed, so to sweeten the deal you could offer free copies in return for a review. Book reviews are important for two reasons. Firstly you put a lot of effort into writing your book and most writers do this because, like me, they want people to read their work, (and hopefully enjoy it.) and Secondly, reviews are GOLD! the more reviews you have the higher you sit on your Amazon page. And if your goal is the same as mine, this will get you noticed.
The first people you should approach for reviews are friends and family. However this is normally your least successful avenue. If you have already started to build a mailing list of readers then email your mailing list. Then get onto Twitter and make friends with bloggers. Be nice to bloggers because they can get you noticed and it is a labour of love for the vast majority of bloggers.
Getting to the top page in your Amazon category?
Keep a log of where your book is ranking in the category you chose. If a self-publishing company did this for you then check with them where you rank. You can change your category in KDP and Createspace to a less competitive category so that you are listed higher on the categories page. For example if you are in the category, General Romance you will be competing with thousands of other books, and books that have hundreds of reviews. Your book will never rank high in this category in its infancy. But another category with less books, and with lots of reviews from your friends, family, readers, and bloggers could push your book to the top. You can then make claim to being a number one best seller on Amazon. Even if you were only competing with fifty other books in that category!
Keep it simple & smart (KISS)
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My book launch is in 3 months and the last 3 months are alway the busiest. There are magazines to contact, newspapers, radio stations the works. This is why you should have a media pack ready to hand.
Publicity Media Packs
What’s in yours?
Do you have one?
If not, get one set up!
I have 11 things in my media pack. I may not need them all but they are all there in a file ready at a moments notice.
1) A press reales: This should have the following information:
A. The Headline. About 25 words long, this is mine: (Normal girl next door defies dyslexia writing chick-lit novel, teachers said she would not amount to much so she based her characters on the girl she became.)
B. The approach or angle. (My angle is an author with dyslexia )
C. All about you as an author of fiction and what makes you a credible source for the story.
D. All about your fiction story. (Synopsis)
E. Your contact information.
2) A tag line: My tag line for my first book "Gut Feeling" Was "Who do you trust if you can’t trust yourself"
3) A 40 to 50 Word synopses:
4) The official blurb: Your back cover synopsis
5) The elevator pitch: Have one prepared practiced to a tee so when people ask you "So what’s your book about?" dazzle them so they will run out the metaphoric lift and buy your book. Or if you are talking to a publisher or some kind your aim will be a request for more information about your book, or even a lunch meet.
6) No stone left unturned synopsis: This is for media only. If a publisher or newspaper wants to know the whole story they may ask for a full synopsis so they do not need to read the book, you need to include everything including the ending.
7) 5 to 10 Funny facts about you: Good to have to hand incase bloggers or newspapers ask you.
Book trailers: You can make a good book trailer your self. I use sites like animoto and flixpress
"My Book trailer for Third Time Lucky – The Honey Trap"
9) Author videos: Let the world know who you the author are. You can do this with a video of pictures or a video where you talk to the camera. I am currently working on the latter.
10) Short bio: This is a bio about you as an author here is mine. Victoria was born and raised in south London and now lives in California. Victoria left school and qualified as a dental nurse, she worked in Harley Street London before moving into the world of real estate. During this time she qualified as a mortgage broker and eventually opened her own real estate agency which she sold in 2012 and published her first novel 'Gut Feeling.'
With a great deal of determination due to dyslexia Victoria progressed to where she is today, living in Santa Monica, with her Husband and cat Poppy. Victoria enjoys reading Sophie kinsella, Cecelia Ahern, Danielle Steel, Sebastian Faulks, J K Rowling / Robert Galbraith, to name a few.
11) Long bio: this should include more about your childhood, qualifications etc. Here is mine.
"If I can do it, you can do it"
You can do anything you want with enough passion and the right support. I finished writing my first book Gut Feeling in 2009 after a long struggle with dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a cruel disability for a creative writer to have. I started writing when I was ten, however the vocabulary in my head did not match my spelling ability. I would find myself substituting words on paper in order to make my writing legible, unaware that is only detracted from my writing impact on the reader.
Frustrated and angry, I got into trouble at school and left with poor grades. I put my writing to one side and focused on a career to pay the bills instead. I kept reading and writing in private with great difficulty until I sought help at the ripe old age of Twenty-five.
One day I was happily reading Can You Keep a Secrete By Sophie Kinsella. As I read, I started to think that my book had a similar feel good factor and that my writing was nearly as good as Sophie's / Madeline's (minus the spelling errors and bad gamma). So I researched and found an editor. I asked him to appraise my manuscript then worked with him to polish it up ready for release in 2012. And the rest is history.
Life is what you make it.
Good luck x
The importance of a Business plan for a writer is paramount.
Having an internal plan helps you understand the gaps in your business model. It will also help you understand your personal and financial goals. The key to this plan is the “know your customer section” this is the section you should spend the most time on. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Do not think you know it all. Ask yourself questions and then find the answers.
I have listed out the key questions you should have in your plan, you may want to add other questions depending on your business model. For instant, you may also be a public speaker or a life coach; maybe you want to write articles for magazines and newspapers. You can adapt your business plan any way you like.
And do not forget your business budget plan. You can publish for as low as $1000 and as much as $25,000 this is why a business plan is paramount, it allows you to understand your goals and lets you set a budget so you can achieve them. I personally work out my business budget plan in excel and my business plans in word.
Type of business
- Limited Company / sole trader? etc
Unique Selling Point of my product/services?
What resources, expertise & equipment will be needed?
- Hosted etc
- You, the author
- What will you need? – Laptop – phone – printer etc
Knowing your customer
What are you customer’s needs?
- Research this
How would my typical customer buy my services?
- Research this
Customers will use my services because:?
- Research this
Would buying my services be a one off purchase? And why.
- Research this
Knowing my market
Is my market in decline or growth?
- Research this
Knowing my local market
Is my local market in decline or growth?
- Research this
Who is your competition?
- Research this
Short-term business goals
Short-term Financial goals – Year One
Long-term Business goals
Long-term financial goals
Advertising my business
- Where? How?
Promoting – special launch offers
- What? & How?
Skill gaps in my business
- e.g. Graphic designers
- e.g. Accounts
- e.g. Editing
How will I fill these skills gaps?
- e.g. Commission a designer for my book cover and web banners
- e.g. Find a good accountant
- e.g. Commission an editor and proof reader ect
I factor in the following cost:
Editing and proof reading
Graphics for book cover designs
Graphics for web banners or face book fan page banners
Web site costs
All advertising costs eg:
Headed paper for press release letters
Flyers for book fairs
Google add words
Book convection administrations
Good Luck x
As a young girl I remember my mum reading to me “The Famous Five” by Enid Blyton. As I listened to my mum read, her words would capture my entire imagination as if I was one of the characters in the book. My love for books grew with each story my mum read to me, along with a quiet desire to be able to read the words for myself. My first attempt at writing a story was age ten. I somehow managed to scribble a few pages into one of my brother’s old school exercise books, before giving up frustrated that I could not spell the words I had in my head. It was a horror story! I stayed struggling with this genre throughout my childhood and into my teens. A few short stories or scenes from my imagination made their way onto paper if they were lucky. At this point I had no idea that I had a talent that needed to be nurtured. I used to think, how could someone who can’t spell be a writer? So I never told the adults in my life how I felt about reading and writing so I put down my pen. I would not write again until I was about thirteen where the horror genre continued along with a fantasy.
I fell into my first real job at seventeen within the dental industry. I studied to pass my dental nurse qualification. As an adult I would still write short stories and scenes from my imagination however my genre was not horror or fantasy but erotica and romance. I managed to struggle though every page of Rider’s by Jilly Cooper and had fallen in love with the Mills & Boon section at Waterstones in Oxford Street. I would show my writing to the other nurses who thought it was outrageous but loved everything I wrote. This gave me the confidence to keep writing. At aged twenty I was writing erotica poetry and also some general philosophy. Looking back I can see the natural creative path I was taking myself on. Just like an artist I was trying different genres and writing styles.
Dyslexia for a creative writer is a cruel disability. I carried a vocabulary in my head that did not match my spelling ability. Spell check and computers where not around when I was younger, so I would find myself substituting words on paper in order to make my writing legible, unaware that this only detracted from my writing and the impact it had on the reader. Aged twenty-four I sought help, determined to learn to spell, I found out that I had a weak short-term memory. In short, it went in one ear and out the other! So now all I needed to do was get the information to go in one ear and stay there. I worked on developing my memory with a therapist called Margaret Chawke, which helped me go back to basics and teach myself to spell. Towards the end of my program Margaret asked me to write a diary to help develop my reading and writing skills. I explained that I did not like writing diaries but I did write erotic and romantic scenarios. Margaret suggested building a beginning and an end to one of my erotic or romantic scenarios. This was the birth of my first book Gut Feeling
Hello, my name is Victoria I am an author. I would like to share with you my opinion & experiences and I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.