In 2013, I had published my children’s picture book, Dana’s First Fish with Tate Publishing. At first, it was a pleasant experience. But after my book was published, I began to find discrepancies, which I had blogged about; another author’s picture and bio posted on most websites (there is more than one author named Jennifer Adams out there), was my biggest issue as it was never corrected no matter how much I complained. Another complaint I had was that they did not want to print 100 books within a few weeks for a book signing event I was to have at Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble then told me that they could not work with me. I’m crossing my fingers that I would have better luck with them with my next book.
It wasn’t long before I stopped receiving my royalties check, yet I was constantly asked if I wanted to purchase more books for book signing events, or to possibly consider publishing another book with them. I continued to pass on every offer that they had sent my way and am so glad that I did.
In January of this year, Tate Publishing had closed their doors. A lawsuit was filed against on embezzlement and fraud. There are over 35,000 authors who used Tate Publishing. Most of us had not received our royalties in years. Most authors had not received books that they had ordered. I was fortunate to have received my shipment of books that I had ordered.
Before Tate closed, I was sent an email request that I send them $50 for my files, copyright info, etc, oh, and to sign a waiver saying that I will not sue them. I didn’t bother signing it, nor did I bother to send them any more money.
It’s a hard life/job being a small time published author, especially when you first start out. You continue to market yourself time and time again, in hopes of getting your work out there. My first year as a published author went really well. I had quite a few book signing events, which led to being invited to other events where I was able to set up a table for more book signings. I’ve sold quite a few books by myself alone; through social media, emails, word of mouth, leaving postcards here and there. But that’s just small marketing. it takes a lot more effort, time, and money to really get noticed.
Recently, I’ve been doing some research on how to boost sales, broaden my marketing area, and strengthen my marketing skills. A very good friend of mine can tell you straight away, that I’m not very good with computers, yet I try and I am a quick learner.
Social media alone is the largest self-marketing tool that I know of, but word of mouth from readers can be a much bigger step in having your work noticed.
“After you hit 50 (ratings), you get more visibility on Amazon.”
In this line of work, I believe reviews from readers are extremely important. It helps me, the author, know that my work is being purchased, that my work is being seen by others. It also lets me know what people actually think of what I have written. It also lets me know that my work is getting out there.
It takes a lot of time and and a lot effort to put a book together and get it out on the market, yet it takes little effort to write up a review.
If you read a book and truly love it, be sure to let the author know. There’s many webpages out there where their work is being sold. Be kind and leave a quick review. I’m a big Goodreads user and love to rate author’s books. I also click which ones I’ve read, want to read, and have purchased. I then write up a short review on what I thought of each book I’ve read. And if I loved a particular book, I let them know.
I’ve even written reviews on books and posted them here on my blog, tagging their name and a link to where you can purchase that book or see other works by that author. This all helps us authors in many ways. It gets our name out there. Word of mouth goes a long way, it is a small part of marketing, and it does help the author. You never know when someone is actually reading that review; it helps make that decision for them to purchase that book.
He’s right. Just by posting on my blog here, I’ve been able to bring attention to my work and what I do. I’ve had guess blog spots where I talked about what I do and how I got started and why. Other author’s, whom I have reviewed and shared their work here on my blog, have seen my posts and have thanked me.
Small steps can lead to big adventures, yet you have to take those small steps.
With all that said, if you have purchased my book and would like to leave a review, click here and it will take you to Amazon. Also, feel free to purchase a copy if you haven’t already. If you would like a personal signed copy made out to someone, click here. To rate my book on Goodreads, click here.
I will be finishing up my last round of edits on my last chapter of my young adult novel and will be sending it to my editor very, very soon. After the last draft is finalized, I will be sending it off to the publisher. As always, I’ll keep everyone posted.
I love it when I stroll through the aisles of my local bookstore and the employees recognize me as one of the local authors. It makes me feel proud, happy, and excited. I’m no Charlaine Harris, but still, I need that little nudge of encouragement, a boost of motivation. It hasn’t been a successful start as a published author. I’ve paid to have a marketing team help me put myself out there and it started out a little rough, but the wrinkles are starting to work themselves out, finally.
If I were a betting person, I’m not, but if I were, I would bet that if you googled Dana’s First Fish or my name, Jennifer N. Adams, a nice looking picture of yours truly would pop up. 🙂 Go ahead, google me, it’s okay. 😉 Granted, it took a lot of work and quite a bit of time for that to happen, but Dana’s First Fish appears as my book now and not the work of the other children’s author who shares my name. Since she’s written and published quite a long list of titles, I think it is I who shares her name and not the other way around.
When you spend all that time, money, energy into creating something and not receive credit, wouldn’t you be upset? I was. I would show up to events and the coordinator would frown as they were expecting the other Jennifer Adams to show up.
I’ve had a few people personally ask me to get with them in a few weeks (when they’re starting to book events) so that I can set up a date to have a book signing with them. I love when someone asks for me to do that. Make sure you keep your eyes open, as I’ll start setting up book signing events for late March or early April.
I still have a few copies of Dana’s First Fish on hand if you would like to purchase one or two of them. Just make sure that you make a memo as to whom I’m making it out to in the comments section before you check out completely.
I’m often asked, “How did you get published?”, “What all do you do to get published?”, “Did you do the illustrations in your children’s book yourself?”, “Do I have to do my own illustrations?”.
About a year ago I wrote a blog post on how I got published, the steps I took, and the process I went through (click here). I thought I would share it again with everyone as it seems to have helped those I shared it with and answer quite a few questions.
Publishing your book can be a lengthy process, but worth the wait. Also, never give up on getting published. Just because you continue to receive rejection letters, doesn’t mean you should stop sending in your work, it just means they weren’t the publishing company for you. Stephen King was rejected several times before his first book Carrie was accepted.
I found another blog by Jane Friedman on some interesting, yet very helpful tips on how to get published.
Check out those links and see if those are helpful to you. I wish you the best of luck in all your writing endeavors!
I have not abandoned my blog, nor you, my followers. It has been a rough few months in my household, between my daughter and I passing head colds and the stomach bug back and forth, I think we’re both on the way to recovery. I swear that if only I had gotten sick more often as a child, I would not be getting sick as often as I am now. Though with my daughter’s weak immune system and being in daycare, I guess it’s only natural that I catch whatever she gets.
This week is the last full week of classes. Next week is all about finals, finals, finals. I have filled out my graduation paperwork, as I have one more semester left until I get my Associate’s Degree. Then I am off to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where I will be working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology. I am already looking forward to getting away from the basic freshman, sophomore classes and taking the real classes that have to do with my future career.
As soon as I am done with this semester, and on winter break, I will be picking up the slack on my writing. I have started working on a children’s book on hippo-therapy. I’m anxious to have it completed soon. I think I will be looking for a different publisher though. I just have a few issues and complaints, mostly with shipping and distributing, but other than that, the rest of the team is great. It’s still hard seeing my book out there under someone else who shares the same name as me. I had hoped that it would’ve been corrected by now, but it hasn’t. So, if you see my book Dana’s First Fish out there on the internet, it is me, just not my picture and bio; that’s the other author Jennifer Adams who also writes children’s books. What’s odd is that my picture and bio is on the back cover of the book, so it’s easy to see who the actual author is.
I hope to be back on here writing full time, just waiting to be done with finals week first. Hope everyone is staying warm and having a great holiday season.
Yesterday, I received my Dana’s First Fish coloring books. And yesterday I decided to start a little contest on my author page on Facebook. All it takes to enter into the contest is to ‘like’ and ‘share’ a picture of the cover of Dana’s First Fish from my Facebook wall. Then post in the comments section below to say that you have ‘liked’ and ‘shared’. One winner will be randomly picked and I will announce the winner on my Facebook page. I will then contact that person to let them know they have won so that I can get their mailing address from them in order to ship them their gift bag.
The gift bag give away will include a Dana’s First Fish story book and coloring book, along with a few fishy toys. I will pick one winner each week from now until the week before Christmas – 8 Nov – 19 Dec. It makes a great Christmas present for that special little one you have in mind.
Come stop by my Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of my book, Dana’s First Fish http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferNAdams
Dana’s First Fish tells the story about a little girl whose mom is taking her to get her first pet. Dana has decided that she wants to get a goldfish. But where do goldfish come from? Dana and her mom go on an adventurous journey to find out!