Of Festivals and Sales

My favourite quote this week comes from my favourite programme of all time, The West Wing:
“You disgust me”
“I don’t think we discussed you at all.”
That’s why you can watch this programme more than once or twice and pick up new things every time. The dialogue is so brilliant and witty and sharp and fast, you laugh and you miss the next thing. I believe everyone who wants to write dialogue for any form of writing, and especially for film and TV, should be made to demonstrate that they’ve watched The West Wing in its entirety before they’re commissioned for anything.

Last year I went back to Auckland a week after we moved south for the annual Readers and Writers Festival. It is on again in May, three days of lectures and workshops and social events and absolute fascinating bliss. Don’t know who the key speakers are yet, except for Stella Rimington and Roddy Doyle. The programme and ticketing will be released March 22nd. Absolutely can’t wait, this is one of the highlights of my year. 10 lectures, a couple of workshops, at least one dinner or hightea, 3 days of brain food!!

Last year I entered a competition there to win book vouchers and you had to come up with a pithy statement about writing. Mine was “My characters are the family I’d have if I’d been allowed to choose them myself.” And I won. I’ve emailed the festival organisers and suggested they don’t ignore the world of digital publishing, there is so much to learn when you first dip your toe into the water of publishing on Amazon and Smashwords. The faster you learn it, the more you’ll sell. A lecture on chosing your platform, the importance of a good cover and professional proof reading, pricing strategy, which promotional outlets to use, making use of the back pages of your books to plug your other work etc. would be gold dust.

Speaking of sales, I have cracked 20,000 and under the five month mark. The other retailers who distribute through Smashwords, itunes, B & N, Sony etc. report at different times and I know there are lots of 2012 figures still to come in. Barnes and Noble reported 1500 sales for January and the novel has had two short, but sweet, reviews. The other thing that’s nice about those retailers is that they pay 60% royalty, they keep 29% and Smashwords take 11% and you get the rest. So 1500 B & N sales pay you nearly twice as much as 1500 Amazon sales.

The siren call of the writing muse is ringing around the room and I must away, the second book of the “Blood and Wine” trilogy awaits my attention. And I promise there’s not a vampire in sight.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. M.C.V. Egan
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 09:19:03

    BRAVO JULIE! Great post, great sales and what a fun festival and workshops to look forward to!

    Reply

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