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Had a super time at Woodbridge Library with the Waveney Author Group

https://waveneyauthorgroup.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/at-woodbridge-library/

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Welcome Richard, please tell us what you’ve been up to since you were last here.

Richard Hardie

What’s going to happen in 2016 for me, Suzan?……….In two words, Authors Reach!

Authors Reach banner

Last year, I and four other authors decided to pool our expertise, resources and knowledge in marketing and publicity and see what we could come up with. Individually we were all doing well in one aspect of the market, or another. I had always sold (fairly) well in shops, as well as to schools and libraries, whereas the others were far better than I at using social media and sites dedicated to marketing books to a wider audience.  It struck us that our combined skills lacked only one aspect before we would be able to call ourselves publishers. We needed to edit, design covers, arrange print runs, sort out distribution and supervise uploads.  The easy bit?

Actually it then occurred to us that one of our small group (Gina Dickerson) is a very gifted cover artist and in fact has a small company doing just that and websites, we all edit savagely and know freelance editors who we’ve worked with in the past, and I’ve had the odd positive conversation with the country’s leading small-run book printer and the UK’s leading distributor. Just maybe….

Hence Authors Reach, a limited company that does pretty well everything its five authors could want of it. I and Sarah England came to an agreement with our publisher to buy back what remained of our book copyright contracts and we became the owners of our own destiny. Sarah took the lead, publishing a new edition of her “disaster” RomCom, Expected, publishing it in eBook and paperback on Amazon. Sarah has always sold well on Amazon and has carried on doing so. However I have always preferred selling in book shops whereas my eSales have been minimal, though I would love them to go stratospheric! I therefore talked to Nielsen and bought 10 ISBNs under the Authors Reach banner, for use as we needed them, contacted Gardners, the distributors, and arranged for them to take a minimal stock of our Authors Reach books so shops could have next day delivery, and opened an account with Lightningsource to print our books and upload to Amazon.

My first two books, Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords, have now been printed by Lightningsource with Nielsen ISBNs, are in Gardners repository and already on some book shop shelves.  Now it’s down to legwork, getting shops to take my books and invite me to do a signing session. I’m a sort of guinea pig and Sarah England, Catriona King, Gina Dickerson and Shani Struthers will be following me and probably overtaking me soon.

Richard Hardie~NEW Trouble With Swords ecover Richard Hardie~Leap Of Faith ecover

www.rhardie.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Hardie/e/B00BEZ21R0/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1453752275&sr=1-2-ent

We have a number of radio and local TV interviews lined up and our plan is to have many more during 2016. Book shops may not be as easy to work with as Amazon, but they do create a “fan base” and are great fun to visit. It’s also the only way to actually meet existing readers face to face, and to create new ones.

Authors Reach has great potential, Suzan. Many thanks for letting me tell you and your blog readers about us.

www.authorsreach.co.ukAuthors Reach circle logo

 

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Get Writing!

The Waveney Author Group (WAG) had their first library event at Southwold Library yesterday (Mon 17th Aug 2015). A lovely small library, managed by Charlotte Clark. Although small it has nearly everything, in fact it would be hard to find what it doesn’t have.

Before starting this author event a holiday maker popped in with some courgettes that had grown into marrows (she had popped home to Norfolk to check on her garden) and asked Charlotte if she would like to sell them, along with the plants that the library was selling. The courgettes /marrows were huge!

Here are some photos, in no particular order:

Pam talking about her new book   Pams cover~FINAL

Pam Finch talking about her new book, Minho Moments

Helen Milligan aka Helen Meneghello Helen Ms cover

Helen Milligan talking about her new book, ‘…and the ship sank’

Enid  Enids book cover

Enid Thwaites talking about her book, Petals of Laughter

Helen Thwaites  Helen Ts book cover

Elizabeth Manning-Ives talking about her new book, Living Under The Shadow

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With my author hat on I attended the first East Anglian author fair at the end of July at the fabulous Coconut Loft Art Gallery on Waterloo Road. This gave locals an opportunity to ‘meet the author’  with twelve authors from across Norfolk and Suffolk, including: Helen Thwaites, Caroline Way, Hannah Precious, Ian Robb, Terry Tarbox, Pam Finch, Bronwen Grono, Jocelyn Blakey, Helen Milligan, Patricia Peters and Ann Bowyer.

All the authors~done with my camera

The centrepiece of the event were five newly published authors who had risen to a ‘get published’ challenge set by themselves during a writing workshops last November. They formed the group Waveney Author Group (WAG) and go on tour later this month.

Gina cutting my cake with the WAG authors looking on

I’m looking forward to The  2nd Annual event which will take place next July and an interim ‘meet the authors’ weekend will be held at the Coconut Loft on the 5th & 6th Dec.

Author places are selling well, with only a few places left. For more information pop along to www.getwriting.co.uk

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I know you don’t spell ‘writery’ like that but I say it so I wrote it. And it is an exciting time…

Last November I led a set of writing workshops and had the fabulous authors/tutors: Glynis Smy, Ann Bowyer, Rosy Thornton, Jayne-Marie Barker  and Jo Wilde run some sessions. 6 of the writers set themselves a challenge to write and self-publish before July 10th. I decided to join them in this challenge. We decided on the name Waveney Author Group (WAG) as we all live within the Waveney area.

Our first meeting was at The Coconut Loft Art Gallery and we were grateful for the support of The Journal newspaper who came to do an article on us and took this picture.

Group photo~24th Jan 2015

The Coconut Loft Art Gallery became our place to meet. Firstly on a monthly basis and now we meet on a weekly basis to enable the writers to achieve their goal. The Coconut Loft Art Gallery is a great place to write, an inspiring place that not only sells lovely food but also Richard and Gina, the owners, are always willing to help, whether it be to help one of the writer’s sort her blurb out or help another writer sort her page layout.

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The owners Gina and Richard watching new author Pam Finch press the button and upload her work to Create Space (and within a short space of time her book, Minho Moments, was on Amazon).

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Gina helping a writer with her formatting.

Helen and Enid~WAG Meeting Coconut Loft~11th May 2015

Helen Thwaites helping her mum with her tablet.

Helen, Helen and Enid~WAG Meeting Coconut Loft~11th May 2015

Enid and Helen Thwaites and Helen Meneghello.

Helen, Pam, Richard and Enid~WAG Meeting Coconut Loft~11th May 2015

Richard helping Pam Finch with her blurb (watched by Helen and Enid)

Pam Helen Enid and I at the coconut loft~June 2015

Helen Thwaites, Me (Suzan Collins), Enid Thwaites and Pam Finch writing in The Smugglers’ Gallery.

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Enid Thwaites, Helen Thwaites, Bronwen Grono, Pam Finch, Helen Meneghello, Me (Suzan Collins) and Jo Wilde.

All writers have either now published their books or will in the next week or so. #excitingtimes

The Waveney Author Group will be joining other authors at the pop-up bookshop at The Coconut Loft this July. For more info please go to www.getwriting.co.uk

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My work is saved in Word and then I save it in pdf, print it out and read it through. The best place for me to concentrate and do this is on the train or at my favourite art gallery and coffee shop. I don’t like coffee so very often have a cup of tea and a cake, they have a variety of cake and I usually choose the carrot cake or cheese scone. (Part of my author bio includes ‘eating cake’). Anyway, where were we? Oh yes…

After I have printed out I read through, write on it if needed and when I get home type up the alterations.

Some people read aloud but I haven’t tried this yet.

It is then time to send it out to my Beta-readers. I have two groups, one for my fiction work and one for my non-fiction.

My next post will be on choosing Beta-readers.

coconot loft carrot cake and tea~13th Feb 2015

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Peoples%20Book%20Prize%20logo

Held at The Stationers Hall. A Grade I listed building, close to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Staionary Halls front

Upon arriving we were asked to show our invites and then led up the stairs in the beautiful historic building of Stationer’s Hall. We were then shown into a large room where others were gathered and waiters were holding trays of drinks.

Before the ceremony started I met some fabulous authors-

Me and Carol Wyer                 Me and Mary

Carol Wyer                                          Mary Jordan

Ruth Killeen Literary-Agent, authors Carol Wyer and Colin kopite Chapman

Ruth Killeen Literary Agent,  authors Carol Wyer and Colin ‘kopite’ Chapman to name a few.

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 Time to go into the hall and sit at our allocated places at the tables.

Our table

Menu

Starter

Kentish Peas

Garden Pea Mousse, Cumbria Ham,

Confit Lemon, Honeydew Melon

 Main Course

Gressingham Duck

Pam Roasted Breast, Fondant Potatoes,

Cherries, Glazed Cabbage

 Vegetarian Option

Butternut Squash,

Mushroom and Spinach Pithivier

Fondant Potato, Cherries, Glazed Cabbage

 Dessert

Summer Trifle

Pimms Jelly, Lavender Custard,

Mint & Cucumber Sorbet

 Coffee & Chocolates-The Loving Cup

This ancient ceremony is based on the tradition that King Edward the Martyr was treacherously stabbed in 978AD, while drinking from a two-handed cup. Ever since, such ceremonial drinking has been accompanied with an elaborate ritual of precaution. (I will post a youtube link for you at the end of this blog).

Me 1         Window

Official photograph              Fantastic window behind the stage

Mary Jordan Georgina and Me

Mary Jordan and I with our fab editor, Georgina Bentliff

Me and Mary Jordan

Mary and I

Author Marie and her publisher John Hunt

Author Marie Yates and her publisher John Hunt

Marie and Mars

Marie and Mars

Our table 1

Our table

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Carol Wyer and Colin ‘kopite’ Chapman

Frederick Forsyth, Patron of The People’s Book Prize, was due to give a speech but was unable to attend. He wished us all a fun evening via video.
After dinner the categories were called out, non-fiction was first, followed by fiction, children’s, new author and Best Achievement Award. Authors in each category had to walk along the hall to the right side of the stage and wait to be told to walk onto the stage. Once on the stage author names and titles of their books were read out and the winner announced. All being televised live by Sky TV.

Winners:

Non-fiction-Carol Wyer

Fiction- Scott Caladon

Children- Rob Jones

Best First Time Author- Primary School Children

Best Achievement Award- Tim Wotton

After coffee and chocolates we had to perform the Loving Cup.

The Loving Cup

This ancient ceremony is based on the tradition that King Edward the Martyr was treacherously stabbed in 978AD, while drinking from a two-handed cup. Ever since, such ceremonial drinking has been accompanied with an elaborate ritual of precaution.

Difficult to describe, please watch this youtube clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA64dnIPnOo

Thank you

I would like to thank everyone who voted for my book, ‘Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother’. It was a FINALIST in the non-fiction category and a lovely surprise on the night was to be SHORTLISTED for Best Achievement Award. I couldn’t have wished for more. I had been on the stage twice and each time in my head I raised a toast to my late mum, to my sister and brother, and to all of the lovely people who voted for me. Thank you.

I have received a lot of feedback from readers who have bought the book and they said how much it has helped them. I also know some people have bought the book for their relative in care or in hospital and have put it on their bedside cabinet. The book does talk about poor practices but it also talks about some great staff with very strong values and good practices.

There are a lot of fantastic staff out there and we need to praise them for the things they do well. Unfortunately there are some who do not do their job well and they need to be told. After all, if they’re not told, how can they improve?

 Cover BMC~FINAL COVER

If you would to purchase a signed copy of ‘Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother’ please go to www.suzancollins.com

               

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