The first thing I learnt after posting my launch blog is that nobody could see it. That means zero visitors. All that came up was a blue screen with strange information and icons. Luckily I learnt about this from Len Koosman in Australia, who is well advanced with publishing his successful books – one of which deals with the war in Angola. (Len went to Dale College with my brother in the late fifties – so that connection helps!). He sent me an email, telling me that I had a glitch. Then my website designer, Liza, took a look at this problem. “Honest, Jos, I have never created blogs before, I only do blogs, but I will see what can be done.” The result was that the blog link is now on my author’s website, and when I type the my blog WordPress address in Google, up it comes. We might not be out of the woods yet, but it is a good start.
The next important piece of information is that I finally worked out what the cost of my book would be if I had CreateSpace print it in the US and ship it across by courier at Standard Freight Rates (takes 6 weeks). Result: each book (paperback 360 pages) would cost would R63 and the Freight per book would cost R33.67. Total cost to me R96.67 per book. Plus of course Vat at 14%. So the cost to me is R110.20. The book shops take 40%…so that is another R44..and the balance between R154.28 and the selling price would be my profit. Now I am going to whip around a couple of book stores with these figures and see what they think. Am I going to make a lot of money and be able to retire in style? I doubt it. But a little always helps.
Then in between doing some work for Scharrer Advertising (looking at a new brand identity, and new stationery for an existing client) and following through on queries and bookings for Longtom Foods (talk about having several irons in the fire), I paid attention to journalist schools in the UK. They are definitely not as easy to contact as the journalist schools in the US and clearly for some reason are highly suspicious of emails. I persevered, however, and at least noted one email address per school. So starting Monday, when most of the Universities will be back in their stride, I will commence contacting them and see what the result will be. I have the email addresses of over 400 Journalism schools at universities…so it will take a few days. South African universities I will look at next week. Sales to date to friends and family are about 24 paperbacks sold and 8 Kindles. Will I ever reach my target of 1000 paperbacks? Only time will tell.