Burnout and reassessment since my last communication has given me a new focus.
Giorgie’s Chirstmas Dinner, the second book in The Spiritual Heritage for Children Series was published on 1st November and I had a few hectic weeks travelling to a number of expo’s and market days in Brisbane, Maleny, Bundaberg and Rockhampton. I worked hard to market the books, achieving exposure with the general public, and receiving a great deal of encouragement from people who loved the books.
Time to Relax
This new activity along with my health care clinic and work at home brought me to the point of burn-out. Over Christmas I took three weeks off to relax and chill out. As I reassessed my priorities I regained my energy and passion for life. I had five wonderful days with my family on the sunshine coast and had my best Christmas for years.
Just prior to Christmas, I made the decision to let my premaculture garden lapse. It was a sad day for me but was a great day for the chooks. They were finally free from the dome to roam the fenced enclosure of the veggie garden.
The chooks are still doing a great job of scratching and fertilising and I have a crop of pumpkins doing well. Two patches of sweet potato are covering a fair area- one orange variety and the other has white skin with purple flesh. So far the chooks are not disturbing them.
New marketing options
My marketing initiative of having a gift certificate offered for reviews of the books was hugely successful with over ten thousand views on Facebook. I got 5 star ratings for both books on Goodreads and a number of great written reviews as well.
Goodreads is a site dedicated to the bookworms of the world and is very beneficial for getting word out about books. I placed three giveaways on the site and got over 700 entries for each one; with over 300 people stating they wanted to read each book. One book went to USA; one to Canada and the other to the UK. I will focus on more giveaways on Goodreads in the future.
Reassessment and my new direction
As a result of my reassessment of where I was, and where I wanted to be in the next few years, I am now focusing on the next five stories that are all in some form of development on my computer (and USB sticks, Cloud and Dropbox- just in case of a computer malfunction).
The third story in the series, Josie Goes Home has been past the critique group Scribophile and my beta readers, and is now ready for illustration and source file development.
A fourth story called The Carpet Snake Adventure is posted on Scribophile. With the critiques to hand, I have been able to tighten it up to make it a more enjoyable read. It will soon go to my beta readers; friends who go through the story with fresh eyes, spotting the spelling and punctuation mistakes, as well as giving me ideas for improvement.
I have to fill the stories with all I want to say, before going through them and asking myself – ‘Can I say that better? Does that add to the story or is it irrelevant? Is that in language a child can understand?’
Each story goes through a dozen or more drafts before it gets to completion.
The big question – how to fund the series
Each book is taking around $5310 for illustration and creation of the source file before it’s ready for publishing. Alec Meets Sheikadee and Joshua and Stranger Danger were both funded through my own resources, taking me two years to fund each book.
Last week I learned the Arts Council of Australia , a Federal Government initiative, is also offering funding for art projects. I put an application in for the development of The Spiritual Heritage for Children Series for funding the next five books. Being mindful of my age, I feel another 10 years to get the books into publication may be a little too long.
I have always said, “Nothing ventured – nothing gained. Applications closed on Tuesday and I was able to get an online application uploaded at 10.30 am; prior to the 5.00 pm deadline. Just made it by the skin of my teeth.
Thank you so much for your support – it is so deeply appreciated!