Wednesday, 10 March 2021

It's the little things!

I've sold a copy of one of my books!

You're probably thinking that's not big news and if so you're right. Of course I've sold books before but those were all through Amazon. Earlier this year I decided to become a bit more serious and professional about this whole being a writer thing. That's very much a work in progress, but I have published a few of my books through Ingram Spark and it's one of those which has sold.

Ingram Spark don't sell direct to the public, but to book distributers, who in turn supply libraries and bookshops. The libraries and shops can order in copies to go on their shelves, or for customers who request them. It's this later scenario which is most likely in this case.

There are advantages in publishing through Amazon (and I can do a post on that if people are interested) but there are drawbacks too. One is that some individuals don't want to buy through Amazon. Another is that shops and libraries are all reluctant to do so, as they don't get the discounts they do from book distributers. Shops need to make a profit and they can't if they're paying the full cover price. Libraries are spending public money and need to make it go as far as possible. I've been fortunate and a few of my books are already in a few UK libraries, but from now on it's much more likely that libraries will get them in if readers ask for them. Bookshops almost certainly will if customers order them.

If you'd like to read A Year Of Ideas: 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises you can still buy a

paperback or ebook from Amazon or read it free with kindle unlimited. If you'd rather support your local bookshop they should now be able to easily order it for you. If you'd prefer to get a library copy, it's worth asking if they can get it in for you. Some libraries have a facility where you can 'suggest a purchase' online, or you can ask at the desk. There's no guarantee they'll get it, but the chances are now much higher than if it were only available through Amazon.

The same also applies to my novels Paint Me A Picture, A Year And A Day and Leave Nothing But Footprints. I'll be adding more titles soon. Please let me know if you persuade your library to stock any of my books – I'd love to know where they are, especially once we can travel again and I might pass by.

In case you're not sure if you'd like to read the little purple book, here's the blurb –

A YEAR OF IDEAS: 365 sets of writing prompts and exercises

All writers need ideas. We need topics and themes, prompts to get started and a little encouragement to keep going. New writers may be wondering where to begin, daunted by a blank page and want help to transform thoughts into fiction. Even the most experienced have dry periods when ideas don't flow, or times when they appreciate a push to try something different.

Patsy Collins' methods are proven to work. She's employed them at workshops where she's never failed to get her attendees, from brand new and nervous to burnt out, not just writing but producing interesting scenes, snippets and stories.

Each of the daily sets of prompts in this book have been used in some way by Patsy, to create her own

work. She needs a lot of ideas as she's completed six novels, co-written
From Story Idea to Reader (an accessible guide to writing fiction) and produced twenty collections of themed short stories, averaging two dozen per book. Hundreds of her short stories have been published – mainly in women's magazines. She blogs, writes articles, wins competitions and is always working on something new.

Whether you're a new writer, or a more experienced one temporarily out of ideas, have hours to fill or just five free minutes, you'll find something in this book to help get you writing – every day of the year.

(I'll be back with more free to enter writing competitions soon.)


Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on selling your books! It sounds like your marketing plan is making your book available to different audiences.

Jenny Worstall said...

Well done Patsy!

Sophie said...

Congratulations Patsy - I'm really interested in learning how people are selling/marketing their work outside the traditional print magazine route.

Amanda B said...

Really interesting post, Patsy. Thank you, and yes please to a future post about publishing with Amazon.

Kate Blackadder said...

Lovely to hear of your success on a different platform, Patsy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's great! Now more of your books can appear in stores and libraries.

Cathy Cade said...

Back in the Dark Ages of the 70s when i worked in a UK public library we automatically purchased anything that a reader would reserve if it was in print. Of course, public libraries' budgets have greatly reduced since then, but I understand that they do purchase indie books and e-books that have ISBNs (although not kindle as Amazon uses ASINs instead of ISBNs for those.)
I've cheated and given copies of my books to my local library authority

Bendywriter said...

Well done, Patsy - and thank you for the insights.

Anonymous said...

Great news, Patsy. Well done! I'll see if our local library may be able to order some of your books. Good wishes Kate Hogan.

Patsy said...

@ Natalie – that's it exactly.

@ Jenny – thanks. A small step, but in the right direction I think.

@ Sophie – I'm happy to share my experiences if people are interested – and to host guest posts by others who've gone in a different direction.

@ Amanda – I'll get to work on that.

@ Kate – thank you

@ Alex – they can. Next I have to do stuff so they actually do.

@ Cathy Cade – I'm sure libraries would still like to order every book readers would like, but as you say budgets don't allow this.

Not all libraries put donated books on the shelves, but it's worth asking about that.

@ Bendywriter – I'm glad it's of interest.

@ Kate – That would be wonderful. Thank you!

ChrisC said...

Congratulations Patsy!

Linda Casper said...

Good job, Patsy. I love your positive and forward-moving attitude.

Anonymous said...

Well done on your book sale Patsy, hope there is more to come.

I would definitely like to read a post on how Amazon works please.

New girl on the block said...

That's great news. I'm definitely one of those who tries to avoid Amazon and support my local bookshops (including the lovely second-hand ones), so it's good to know that's a route which is still open.

Marguerite said...

Little things add up! Well done, Patsy. I know it must take some effort and a whole lot of perseverance - and time!

Liz said...

That's great, Patsy. Hope you get more sales! I think being 'wide' is definitely the way to go.

Marguerite said...

Lovely pictures! As for the first comp, definitely not fair - they obviously aren't worried though.