Should You Market Your Book, Yourself or Both? (Part 1: Marketing Your Book)

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I love to ask myself questions that I don’t know the answer to and spend time considering them at length, then spend time discussing them at length in a blog post. So, somewhat surprisingly, when I asked myself the question “Should you market your book, yourself or both?” I realised I already knew the answer. Of course, all writers seeking an audience for their work must market both their books and themselves. It’s everything that comes after that realisation that tends to be a lot more difficult.

I’ve previously admitted that I have a problem with marketing myself and I’m not much better at marketing my books, not because I don’t think they’re any good but because a lifetime of reinforcement that humility is more important than confidence when it comes to self-promotion is hard to overcome.

So here’s an exercise in “do as I say, not as I do”. You don’t have to do them all – in fact, you probably shouldn’t, at least not all at once in an effort to avoid overkill. But by selecting the right combination over the right length of time, your marketing efforts may just pay off. Today I’m looking at marketing your book and on Thursday I’ll look at marketing yourself and together those two approaches will hopefully translate into book sales now and in the future. Continue reading

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Eulogies: The Hardest Writing Any Writer Will Ever Do – Part 2

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In 2005, I was studying for a master’s degree in writing. I was also into my eleventh year of living with my grandparents, Alf and Betty. What had been an invitation to stay with them when I was 17 and moving to Melbourne from Bendigo to study a bachelor’s degree had extended into another two-year course, my first job, my second job, my third job and my fourth job. It was during my fourth job that I decided to study for my master’s degree part time.

One of the subjects was called Writing History. Because I had such immediate access to Alf and Betty, I decided to write my major project about them. We had some wonderful conversations about growing up, when they met and their life together. The first eulogy that follows was taken from that project. I was also asked to write a second more personal eulogy, which follows the first. I almost can’t believe I had to write two. And even more unbelieveable is the fact that I actually got up to read the second one myself because I don’t do public speaking, ever, and my debut performance was at my grandmother’s funeral. Continue reading

Eulogies: The Hardest Writing Any Writer Will Ever Do – Part 1

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I am not good with death. Perhaps no one is good with death, although doctors and funeral directors must deal with it so often that they develop coping mechanisms. I haven’t developed any yet. Possibly (and luckily) because I haven’t been exposed to it too often. That was until the last few years.

In 2012, my cousin Scott died unexpectedly. In 2013, my second cousin Zac died unexpectedly as well. And this year, my 89-year-old grandmother Betty died. It wasn’t unexpected – at that age, it can’t be. But it doesn’t seem to matter if it’s unexpected or not. All types of death are equally difficult to comprehend, to accept.

For the funerals of both Zac and my grandmother, I was asked to write eulogies. Normally a writer is so pleased to be asked to write anything. But normally you don’t cry through every word as you type it on the page. Normally there’s a happy ending. Or one of your own choosing anyway. Nobody would choose this. Nobody who had a choice would choose death.

These are the times when I wish I wasn’t a writer. So nobody would ask me to write a eulogy. Because there are no words. Nothing that can make it right. Nothing that can do justice to who they were when they were still alive, nothing that can do justice to how perfect they were in their imperfect lives. Continue reading

To Write Or Not To Write During The Holidays

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One of the greatest difficulties most writers have is finding the time in their busy lives to write. We’re often lucky if we can find a couple of hours at the end of the day after working to contribute to a household of partners/children/pets, feeding partners/children/pets, cleaning up after partners/children/pets and trying to maintain even a semblance of a social life. So when you know you’re going to have a week or two without one or all of these things, do you spend it writing or do you spend it actually having a break? Continue reading

Letter to My Little Sister

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If you haven’t read the inspirational guest post by my sister, Genevieve Davey, I would encourage you to read it first.

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Dear Genevieve,

You were supposed to be Alexandra. Mum always wanted to name a boy child Alexander and when we found out you were a girl (and likely to be the last child), we assumed you would be Alexandra. When you were born, she named you Genevieve instead.

Continue reading