Saturday, May 18, 2024

Much More Than Blurb

When I lived in Germany, I belonged to an ex-patriate group whose name I forget, but it was nothing at all like Real Housewives of the Taunus. They had a DIY ringbound cookbook which they published among themselves and probably to a wider audience, but this was well before the internet.

It was called Much More Than Mushrooms, and it was very helpful for Brits and Americans who were living in a strange land, and cooking with strange ingredients (including the morel mushroom that looks like grey, thoroughly chewed chewing gum) and an unfamiliar system of kitchen measurements.

I cannot find it through a quick Google search, although I did find a lot about magic mushrooms, radioactive wild mushrooms and game. Some of that radioactivity could have come from Chernobyl...

That cook book is the inspiration for the Much More Than part of my title.

Blurb is not only the promotional prose that we writers craft with great precision and care, and then refer to with a term that sounds self-deprecating. 

Blurb is also a rather good, DIY publishing platform and bookstore that I would say works best for scrapbooks, hobby books, project books, memoirs, special event commemoration, coffee table books with lots of illustrations and so forth.

I've helped my husband put together six or seven car-related books using Blurb for our own private enjoyment. So that is the preamble.

Recently, I have been thinking about selling books, though not for myself. Lizi Dorney, the daughter of a dear friend, asked me to take a look at a marvellous little children's book that she has written called Rainbow Lane.

Lizi is an incredible artist, and you can find out more about her on Facebook or Instagram, but one has to log in to those sites so see what's what.  Here are some helpful articles from Blurb "influencers" that I have shared with Lizi, and am sharing today with you.

One of the most interesting points made by Dan Milnor is the importance of newsletters. He cites a Kinsey study that claims that using email (for instance for newsletters) is forty times more effective than promoting your books on social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram.

How to Sell Your Book with Dan Milnor

Dan uses the example of a birding book, and starting to interest and involve a birding audience before one even starts to write. IMHO, his article is well worth a five minute read.

Simon Batchelar blogs for Blurb about ethical marketing, which is a refreshing concept in today's frenzied, and often-of-putting marketplace of hyperbole and desperation.  

Behind the Book with Simon Batchelar

Simon's is a longer piece, but in a Q and A (interview) format, that includes a three-step plan and excellent advice involving charting. It might be worth bookmarking!

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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