Book Sales

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Happy Sunday! A lovely day out today and I have only blogging and washing sheets on my agenda.  What shall I do with my spare time?  Ah yes, I have a book on the go!! I shall definitely get to that today.

For those of you who waited with your breath held for a blog last week, my apologies.  I was in Nova Scotia enjoying some time with one of my cousins.  It was a great relaxing time–reading, sunning on the beach (love the salt water!) and catching a video on the TV at night.  We also did a bit of wandering the country roads, including visiting some places that I visited as a child.  A great time was had by both of us.  Linda Ann is a better cook than I, so she was the cook and I, the bottle washer.  A great combination.  And oh, the seafood!

Today, I am going to share my book sales story with you.  As anyone who follows me knows, I have written four Christian children’s books.  Each with six stories, based on Bible passages, but told from an animal’s point of view.  Sales were really slow, and I knew they were meant for a rather small readership.  But then came the call from my publisher!

I self published my books through AuthorHouse (you can also buy through Amazon and various other online stores–and even find them here:  www.janetkwarren.com).  One of the AuthorHouse agents called me at the end of June to ask if I was doing a sales campaign in Africa.  I am not doing anything specific, however, I do have nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter and many are in Africa.  It seems that someone from Nigeria was buying a bunch of my books!

The fellow tells me that they were purchased on a credit card and they were concerned that it was not legitimate. I know that Nigeria has a bad rap from various scams, but if I were to steal a credit card, buying Christian children’s books wouldn’t be the first thing I would think of to buy.  Mind you, as a priest, if I did have access to a credit card that had a really high limit on it, I would love to buy, or build, a church building for our Community Catholic Church of Canada, and a new hospice for Northumberland County.  Prayers…

I suppose that I probably spend far too much time watching crime shows, so the cynical side of me says that it could be a way to launder money.  It’s a stretch, but stick with me here.  What if dirty money was used to pay a credit card and said credit card was used to purchase anything in large quantities. Then say those items were returned to put the money back on the card.  It might seem like legitimate cash.  Mind you, it is only cash on a credit card, which is difficult to use, as if it is taken off the card as cash, I think you get charged interest, even if the amount is more than the limit on the card. You see where I’m going here.  It’s likely a real stretch, but you never know and there are, unfortunately, lots of people out there to make an illegitimate buck.

The bottom line for me is optimistic.  I want to believe that the sales are real and true, but I won’t know until I have the cool cash (well the check, actually), in my hot little hands and that won’t happen until some time in the middle of September, at least that is for the books purchased in May and June.

I have been going out to the AuthorHouse website and running the sales report from time to time, to see if the sales are still showing.  So far so good.  As a matter of fact, since I hadn’t looked in over a week because I had no internet in Nova Scotia, when I ran the report when I got home, there were 60 more books purchased, listed as ‘AuthorHouse Web Bonus’ and that was dated May 31, although the entry didn’t appear until July!  Wahoo!

So, prayers for a check to arrive. And prayers that sales continue!

May your prayers be answered, as you are hoping!  God bless!!

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Shameless Flogging

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Happy Sunday! It’s a beautiful sunny day here in the resort town of Cobourg. It feels like spring!  Should we be so lucky?

I was at church this morning, at St. Peter’s Anglican Church here in Cobourg.  It is a beautiful old church and will be 200 years old in 2019.  This is only the second time I have been there and they have a new priest who has only been there three Sundays, including today!  I was there for three reasons, I guess.  One, I hadn’t been to church for a while, two, I had a book to drop off (more about that later) and three, I am studying to write sermons and I thought I should really hear a few, which I hadn’t done for a while.

I think the study of writing sermons is the most challenging of the priest course, at least so far.  I am learning so much, though and I actually look forward to presenting one day.  It will be nerve wracking, I’m sure, but it will be fine.  I have the study book to get through and a lovely mentor to work with, as well as the classes. How could I not possibly succeed?  I’m not expecting to knock my first sermon out of the park, but I believe it will go well.

So, back to my thought about the book at St. Peter’s.  As many know, I have written four books. They are children’s books based on stories in the bible.  I have donated copies to a few places, including St. Peter’s, but it was at the time when only three of the four were published.  So, essentially, I owed them a book, which I handed over to Jan, the Sunday School teacher today.

In light of my shameless flogging, I am shamelessly flogging my books, which are selling at a trickle at best.  I did sell one of each of the four yesterday to a friend, who wanted them for another niece or nephew.  At this rate, I shall not sell all of the ones I have in my lifetime, but who knows, if I keep plugging away, I may find the right group of folks who will buy a bunch of them!  I am the eternal optimist, after all.

For those of you who don’t know, the books are for children from about the ages of three to six.  Each book has four stories from verses of the bible.  Each story is from an animal’s point of view, which makes the story memorable for the children.

This blog is to remind folks about the books and, hopefully, entice you to purchase one or two, or all four!  You can find them at my personal website:  janetkwarren.com or the book website animalsofthebible.com.  They are sold online at Amazon and Indigo/Chapters, as well as quite a few other online booksellers.  You can go to any online bookseller and do a search on ‘Janet K Warren’ and you should find them.

The books are really good for teaching the bible stories to small children.  Because of the animals, they are more likely to remember the story.

Hey, another blog at an end!   Have a great week everyone.  God bless!

Book Marketing

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Happy Sunday!  A day of rest for most, I hope.  It’s a cooler day today, so I hope to get outside for at least part of the day.

As any author, or business person for that matter, knows, marketing their product, in my case books, is what takes most of your time, if you actually want to make any kind of income from it.  I never expected to make much income from my books, as I knew going in that I have a very small audience.  They are Christian books–four of them–written for three to six year olds.  The market is really their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. because three to six year olds aren’t generally shopping on their own yet.

What have I done so far?  I attended the Inspire event in Toronto and had a great time meeting many authors–Margaret Atwood, Chris Hadfield, Debbie Macomber and Neil Pasricha (he’s a delight!), to name a few.  I only sold six books and one was to one of my brothers!  I attended the Toronto Word on the Street in 2015 and did not even sell one book.  I attended the Northumberland Word on the Street and sold two books (to a library!) and with all the great Northumberland authors, I bought more books than I sold, but it was a great event none-the-less and with a cost of only $10 for my table, it was most worthwhile.

I have to also mention that last year I invested in having one of my books formatted for hardcover, purchased the booksellers return program and advertised in the Christmas insert for the fall Children’s Ingram catalog, just to see if it was worthwhile.  It did generate some interest.  One company bought a few of my book ‘Animals of the New Testament’ in both softcover and hardcover.  They must have sold because they ordered some more of both formats.

So this year, I invested in having the other three formatted for hardcover and the booksellers return program for all three.  I then paid to advertise ‘More Animals of the Old Testament’ in the regular fall Children’s Ingram catalog and ‘More Animals of the New Testament’ in the Christmas insert.  I should be able to see which catalog fits the books best and by advertising the ‘More’ books, the buyer knows that there must be other books.

We’ll see how it goes.  The results of this seasons sales will dictate whether or not I will invest next year.  There is also a Pictures and Words event coming up in Northumberland in November that I am trying to book a table for.  I did sell one set of the four to a friend of mine for her nephew’s baptism, so I have make one sale this year!

Marketing is tough!  I thought that writing was difficult, but marketing is way more time consuming and costly.

So, for any of you who are interesting in supporting an author, all four of the books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Abe books, Chapters and various other places, online, across the world.  As I mentioned, I have four books out so far, all in paperback and hardcover, all returnable by bookstores, if they invest and the books don’t sell well.  The four books are as follows:

  • Animals of the Old Testament
  • Animals of the New Testament
  • More Animals of the Old Testament
  • More Animals of the New Testament

Go out to your favorite online book store and do a search, or go to a website called BookFinder4U, search on one of the books and it will give you a list of online vendors and you can find the best deal!

Well, folks, I hope that you do choose to buy one (or all four!) and enjoy them with the little ones in your family.  God bless!

Shameless Flogging

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Happy Saturday everyone. It’s a lovely sunny day, although it seems like April is the one that came in like a lion. My flowers are coming up, but mother nature seems to keep bringing in the cold weather!  On a side note, my MS has decided that my fine motor skills should challenge me, so this may be a short blog if my frustration is stronger than my will to blog!

It has been some time since I have shamelessly flogged my books.  I must confess that the lack of significant sales has kind of taken the wind out of my sails for my books, although I haven’t totally given up hope.  Last year, I invested in three things for my second book: ‘Animals of the New Testament.’  I chose to invest in having a hardcover edition, I invested in the ‘Booksellers Return Program’ and I advertised the book in a Christmas supplement.

The Booksellers Return Program allows bookstores to purchase copies of the book, but return whatever they do not sell for a refund.  I, however, keep my paltry royalty.  The combination of the advertising and the return program, prompted 3 hardcover and 4 softcover purchases in October and 5 hardcover and 3 softcover purchases in November.  So, not exactly flying off the shelves, but progress none-the-less.  Keep in mind that I only get $2.18 per softcover and $2.70 per hardcover.  Mind you, that is in US$, so I earned about $50 CDN late last year.

So, I chose to invest in having the other three books set up for hardcover and the book return program put in place for those three as well.  I’ll decide later this year whether or not to invest in the advertising.  The difference between the US dollar and the Canadian dollar does not work in my favor on the investment side, of course.

For those of you interested in supporting this author, my books are on all of the Amazon sites.  In Canada, you can find them here:  https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=janet+k+warren

In the US, you will find them here:http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=janet+k+warren&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ajanet+k+warren

For those of you who don’t know, each of the four books have six stories and each story is a Bible story told from an animal’s point of view.  They are intended to help small children remember the Bible stories.  Children from ages 3 to 6 would benefit from them the most.

Okay, enough of the shameless flogging for now.  My fingers are tired and it’s time to switch laundry loads!

I pray that everyone has a great week and that spring will find us and decide to stay.  God bless!

Rejoice!

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Good Sunday morning everyone!  It’s a dull and cool day here in the lovely little town of Cobourg.  A perfect day for curling up with a good book.  The grass and the flowers need the rain that is falling on and off, so it’s all good.

I am rejoicing for something pretty small, but none-the-less, it’s kind of big for me.  I got a royalty check this week!  Wahoo!   Okay, so it’s only $2.18 (US!), but it means that someone went to the bother of buying one of my books.  That makes me very  happy!!  Of course, the ultimate would be to sell enough to retire on, but it’s worth rejoicing over the small stuff.

I have the Toronto Word on the Street coming up on September 27th and I am looking forward to the event.  Perhaps a few more sales!  I am staying very positive.  Quite frankly, although I don’t go to many of these events, I do enjoy them.  I love meeting other bibliophiles in general.  Unlike the Toronto Book Fair I was at last year, there are some really good deals to be had at this event.  I have only attended a few times, but it truly is an event worth attending.

For those of you in Toronto and the surrounding area, please come to the event, if you can.  This is the first time that small-time authors, like me, are able to have tables.  So, it will be a great event–everything from the big folks like Amazon, right down to the little folks like me, will be there.  If you do come, please pop by and visit (or even buy a book or two!).  I’ll be in the KidStreet indoor area.

There will also be a few authors at this event.  Quite a few, as a matter of fact.   You  may get to meet some authors you have only known through their work.  There is also free stuff being handed out–bookmarks, magazines, etc.  I am hoping for good weather that Sunday, as most of the tables are outside.  They are under tent awnings, but none-the-less, it is better with good weather.

Of course, for those of you who cannot attend, you may find my books here:  www.animalsofthebible.com or even on my own site www.janetkwarren.com.

So, happy Sunday to everyone and may God be with you as you go through this week!

Animals of the Bible

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Okay, folks, brace yourselves. This is my feeble attempt at marketing!

I have known all my life that I cannot sell or market anything.  So, you ask, why would I write and publish books?  I can’t imagine anything that needs sales more than books.  No-one, it seems, other than the publisher, makes much off selling a book.

I worked with a PR person who gave me some tools for marketing books and I have not used the tools for that, although I have used them to connect with people.  As my good friend Viv says ‘The 4300 Twitter followers I have are 4300 useless people, if they don’t buy books!’  Well, they are not useless people because I have learned quite a bit from them.  There are some that I follow that tweet stuff that I’m not interested in, but I am hoping that even though I seem useless at marketing my books through Twitter, I at least tweet things that are inspiring and let folks know they are not alone out there.

I am also on Facebook, and again, I am not using it to its full marketing capability.  I post mostly prayers on my business page that I either make up myself, or find on the internet.  I am hoping that those are also inspiring.  It is not selling any books, though, and I have only 60 friends who ‘like’ my business page.  How sad is that?

For those of you who don’t know, I self published four children’s books last year, aimed at the preschooler, to learn the stories of the Bible and each one is told from an animal’s point of view.  I haven’t repeated an animal yet, although I have a couple of different types of birds and cats.  I have donated more than I have sold and to be honest, I haven’t sold a single book this year–the few sales that I had, were last year.

I will be at the Toronto Word on the Street this year, on September 27th and Northumberland Word on the Street on November 7th.  I have also managed to get one of the books–Animals of the New Testament, that features Malah the mouse that lives under the manger –into the insert of the children’s Christmas books catalog that will go to hundreds of bookstores.  So, I have some hope before the end of the year.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing, they are sold by many online retailers, including Amazon.  You will find them here.  You will also find the website for the books here.

I’m afraid that this is as ‘salesy’ as I get.  I truly believe that these books are useful, or I wouldn’t have published them.  I believe that I was guided to write them, so that they could be enjoyed by young children.  God willing, they will be.

God bless you in all of your endeavors!

Just a Rainy Saturday

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A rainy Saturday, the perfect day to get caught up on a few things!
I’m looking for a ‘hot topic’ for my blog today and not coming up with one, I’m afraid. What is it about rainy days that make you melancholy?
I could whine and complain about the fact that my books aren’t selling very well. Mind you, I didn’t put them out there to make money, although I was hoping that the Christian market would see them for what they are: a way to teach the work of God and the stories of Jesus to three to eight year olds.
I could whine and complain about my MS. Now there’s a good topic! But then I have to admit that after 21 years, I am still working full time, only using a cane and managing quite nicely thank you, despite the myriad of funky symptoms that I have that are an annoyance, but still allow me to do many of the things I like to do.
I could whine and complain about the fact that I am still working, although I could have retired earlier this year. That one folks have heard before and if you have, you know that I continue to work because my youngest daughter isn’t finished university yet and I am happy to contribute to her education so that she has no debt, when she is done.
I could whine and complain that I never seem to get entirely out of debt for one reason or another. Well, this one is pretty much entirely my fault because I choose to spend my money where I do. I chose to support my daughter at university, I chose to invest in self publishing my books and I chose to put money into finishing off my house. Of course there were a few things along the way that I had to spend money on like my car, that I would rather not have to do, but it was a necessity.
So, I could do all that whining and complaining but I chose to consider the blessings that I have and know that the good Lord will get me through all of the challenges that I could whine and complain about! Having said that, I am well aware that my challenges are very minor compared to probably most folks in the world.