For an author like myself, who’s recently had a book published, the lockdown has been a particular blow.
It all started out so well. I had a brilliant launch day, on World Book Day, where I gave a whole-school assembly talk, did workshops with the children and signed around 70 copies of my book.
From there, I have seen the book sales graph on Amazon, rise significantly, only to go into a steady decline.
This should have been the start of a year of visiting schools, attending literary festivals, getting out and meeting people – all things you do when promoting yourself and your books. But not any more. Not for the foreseeable future anyway.
The new Time School: We Will Remember Them is a re-launch, or second-edition, if you like.
The first edition was published in 2018 by Toubadour, but excitedly for me, the Time School series was picked up by Hashtag Press, with the re-launch of Book 1 happening in March, followed closely by Book 2 in June.
The new edition looks fantastic, has been getting great reviews and I was looking forward to getting out there to promote it.
Now, I’m not sure what to do. Is it right to be promoting my work when we are in such an insecure world?
For now, I’m focusing my energies into my business, Storymakers, which is a creative writing club for children. Before the lockdown, I ran weekly writing sessions at my studio, as well as workshops during the school holidays. Since then, I’ve moved over to using Zoom and it’s been working really well. It’s meant I’ve been able to complete the current term and I will be able to continue with my plans to run workshops in what would have been the Easter holidays (I had already started taking bookings for these before any of this happened).
I think it’s been a real support to parents as well – having a structured session for their children as they try to navigate their way through home learning whilst keeping up with their own jobs.
As for my books, well, I don’t know. Some places are still offering delivery, others have switched to essential items only. If you wanted to buy a copy direct from my on-line shop, I can still get them posted out to you.
You can also listen to me reading from my books every Friday afternoon on the Storymakers Facebook page, or following that, on YouTube. Here is the first installment in case you missed it:
The launch of Book 2 will hopefully go ahead, although I can’t imagine we’ll be at the stage where I’ll be able to do a proper launch.
My publishers are planning a huge book launch party for all those authors who’ve had to postpone their launches due to the lockdown. I will definitely be a part of that. If anything, I think we will all need a party once this is over, don’t you?