Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting the book out

For those new to this blog, I am a children's book author. I gave up trying to find the right publishers for my stories and instead partnered with a talented young artist friend of mine to do the illustrations and self-published my first book "Hal the Unwashed Dragon" through the print-on-demand service

Now I am at the stage where I received the proof copy of the book and approved it for retail distribution. Within the next 6 to 8 weeks it will become available worldwide on Amazon's international sites as well as through the largest book wholesalers. BUt I am not counting on retail sales. For one thing, because of the mark-up, my royalties on retail sales are very small.
Instead I have ordered 125 copies for myself to sell. Because there is a bulk order discount, and shipping is less for large orders, and there happened to be a sale on when I ordered, I've brought my cost per unit down considerably. I'm also shipping it to a store just across the border in the US so that shipping is cheaper and faster. There are advantages to living just 5 minutes North of the Canada/US border!
I have begun offering signed copies of the book to family and friends for $20 Canadian plus $5 shipping in Canada. Note that I am no allowed to sell the book for any cheaper than the set retail price - that's part of the publishing agreement I signed with Lulu. The retail price $18.98 US - so roughly $20 Canadian.
I have a number of pre-orders, some paid, some not.

My next steps are:
1. Get the local library their copy and offer to do readings.
2. Get local bookstores on board with buying copies directly from me, and doing book signings and readings. By local I mean Creston, Nelson, Cranbrook, Trail, etc.
3.  Provide a press release to local media outlets about the book release once the first signing has been arranged: area newspapers. Free papers. local radio, etc.
4. Get some copies to my parents and other relatives willing to distribute to people who know me back in Manitoba and other places.
5. Get a table at the Christmas craft fair and sell copies there.
6. Go a little further abroad to bookstores in cities a little farther away and into the US. Sandpoint, Coeur D'aelene, Spokane, Kalispell, Kelowna, Calgary, Lethbridge, Vancouver, Edmonton. etc.

Looks like an exciting adventure. And this is just the first book. Many more to come in the future.  Like Teevert (pronounced T- vare) The Little Green Leaf.

If you're interested in a copy for yourself, just email me at
You can preview the book online here: Lulu Bookstore: Hal preview.

Wish me luck.