This is a first for the Bingergread Cottage. Today I am welcoming a group and as they couldn’t all fit on the magic carpet, I have used it myself to come to a meeting in a conference room in the UK.
I’d like you to meet the new gang on the block (as a bunch if not individually) – round of applause, please, for Authors Reach (hereinafter referred to as “AR”)
From the name I will guess you are all writers but who are you?
AR I’m Sarah England and I’ve been a magazine writer for many years – serials and short stories mostly, with a couple of books in the small press – and I now have a brand new supernatural horror novel out called, Father of Lies. With me are (in alphabetical order) me, Gina Dickerson, Richard Hardie, Catriona King Shani Struthers,
What gave you the idea of forming your (what are you – a co-operative, consortium)? What is your aim?
AR Yes we are a co-operative, which has come together in order to raise our profiles as authors both to readers and booksellers. We knew each other as fellow writers online and began talking about how we could best promote and market our books. We came to the conclusion that we’d have more chance as a group, pooling our collective resources, than alone. For example – Gina is brilliant at cover design and online technology; Catriona has over 12 books and a radio show, Richard is a dab hand at selling into bookshops and organising signings, Shani is now an international bestseller who knows a thing or two about promotion, and I have a background in marketing.
All authors, self or traditionally published face the same uphill tasks of publicity and selling their work to the public. Do you find that you have an advantage being an organised body rather than a lone voice?
AR Not yet – but we thought we would have more chance if five of us promoted a book or a launch party or an event, than if one did. We also have collective resources we can help each other with.
Our blogs & social network sites all add up to a higher online profile, and information which comes to each of us as individuals can be shared. We support each other massively too, and that helps the lonely writer!
How about bookshops? That is a major hurdle. Will the buying team look more favourably on you as a group?
AR _over to Richard for that one…..Yes. As a group we have nearly 30 books published, so as a negotiating group we have more clout. However shops will decide whether to stock book by book, or author by author. Being part of the AR group give each author gravitas.
I can well see that having the moral support of the others must be a help. Does the fact that you all write in different genres also aid in that you aren’t in direct competition?
AR -I think what we can do is offer the readers a variety of genres and again that helps to bring in more people, and in the case of booksellers it offers a more comprehensive service. There is no direct competition between us, and no competition at all – for example, Shani has just smashed all records sales wise and we are all thrilled for her. It is also hugely inspiring and shows it can be done. We are learning from each other all the time.
What advice would you give to other authors inspired by your example?
AR ..Be willing to learn all you can from other writers and support each other.
Anything else you would like to add? Obviously readers can zap over to your Facebook and Blog page to read up about your works.
AR AR is going to develop rapidly – not only are there many more book launches to come (two before Christmas) but more events, more news and some high profile interviews in the media..it is all very exciting so please do sign up for the newsletter our website.
Thank you so much. It’s been a great pleasure to see you all again. Coffee? Don’t mind if I do – makes a change for me to be given the biscuits by my interviewees. Then I must leap back on my carpet and dash back to France to write this up. Hi Ho Wilton .. Awaaaaaaaaaaaaaay (waving frantically to friends below)
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