Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Launch of Inspired by the Epistles - an adult colouring book

Hi Everyone!

I'm so pleased to announce the release of my first adult colouring book:


Inspired by the Epistles

Cover Design

Making a colouring book has been so much fun, and another great learning adventure in the world of self-publishing.

My printers, The CopyPress, have done a fantastic job. Each page is perforated and designs can be trimmed to fit in your standard 8x10 or 5x7 frames.

Love Never Fails

I hope this inspires you to make your own colouring book, too, especially if it's something you've been thinking about. Even if you just make a few for family and friends, it's such a joy to do. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.

Please join me for the official launch of Inspired by the Epistles at the Botany Library on Saturday, 13th August 2016 at 2pm. Colouring demonstrations, group colouring project, door prize, and light refreshments. For more information contact me at edspublishing@gmail.com.

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Inspired by the Epistles follow this link: http://www.edspublishing.com/#!online-store/fmezm

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Inspired by the Church Episitles - A Colouring Book

Hi Everyone,

In my writing career, I've always been interested in trying new things and my latest project is something different, for sure. In fact, no writing was involved at all (except the blurb etc.). I'm releasing a colouring book! Here's a look at the first draft of the cover layout.
This will be released August 2016
I've always enjoyed line drawing, and of course, the Bible, so when I saw fellow-writer, X R Southcombe, http://www.zrsouthcombe.com/blog/, had produced her own colouring book to line up with one of her books, I thought, mmm, I could give that a go. So I did!

Sunday, 3 April 2016

How to Get Your Self-Published Book Reviewed

The answer is simple.


Really, that's all you need to do. Pick up the phone, talk to a real person, and ask. Nicely.

It helps to have a little run through of what you are going to say before you ring. Especially when they ask the inevitable, "What is your book about?" You don't want to answer with, "Right. Oh. Umm. Well, it's about a girl and she falls in love with this guy, see? But the problem is, he's wheelchair bound and then...Hello?"

Too late, they've already hung up on you. Think about the theme/s of your book and what the story is about in one or two sentences. You want that catchy blurb that hooks the person in straight away.

Now, I know, it's scary picking up the phone, terrifying even, but you have to do it. You can do it.

I started by calling the city paper (for me the New Zealand Herald). I was a bit intimidated, but I decided that my book had just as much right to reviewed by the 'big boys' as any body else's.  I found out who the person reviewing picture books was and asked to speak to them. I introduced myself, told them I had just written a great little picture book and asked if they would like to review it. They asked me, "What is it about?" (See, told you.) So I said, "Well, it's called Rabbit's Big Idea, and it's about perseverance and resilience. Rabbit wants to upgrade his local park, but he confronts no end of opposition, but he learns that for any big idea to come to pass he needs to be brave, and persevere and believe."

She said, "Okay, send me copy." So I did, the next day, and was sure to include a cover letter, reminding her of our conversation and thanking her for the opportunity. What I didn't do was ask for her to return the book after she had finished with it, or attach an invoice for the book. I was absolutely stunned to hear that people do that, so please don't make that mistake. It's so tacky and unprofessional. These people are doing you a favour, and remember, it's free advertising. Surely one book is worth that.

Also, I didn't harass my contact once I sent the book. It can take a long time, and you may begin to think they aren't going to review your book, but I've learned, patience is the name of the game. I think it took nearly two months for the review to pop up, and they didn't inform me, so don't expect that. Next time I might ask them to let me know when the article will come out if they do decide to review the book. I only found out about the newspaper review because one of my fellow writer buddies came across it in the weekend paper. Thank you Sue Copsey. (Check out her awesome book The Ghosts of Tarawera.)

The same thing happened with a local paper. It took a long time for the review to come through, and I honestly began to wonder if it would get reviewed, but finally it did. I've copied the review below, or see for yourself at http://www.elocal.co.nz/View_Article.aspx?Id=3196&title=Book_Reviews

One of the things she (Julie Halligan) said really spoke to me. She said,

One normally does not review Children’s Books but a very nice lady telephoned to ask if one would.  It arrived today and was devoured within minutes (it is a children’s book) over a nice latte.

See, I asked, and even though it wasn't a genre the reviewer normally dealt with, she did anyway. Because I asked nicely. See, mother was right about manners, after all.

There are also, many opportunities to be reviewed by various online communities. This is a resource I've yet to tap into, so if anyone has some good advice about that, especially for picture books, I'd love to hear from you. But I'm more than sure that the same rule applies. Just ask.

Thanks, and happy self-publishing!


Review in elcoal South East Auckland edition by Julie Halligan.

‘Rabbit’s Big Idea’
By Elise De Silva

Published by EDS Publishing, NZ.

ISBN: 9780473333560

Available at selected stores or at www.edspublishing.com

One normally does not review Children’s Books but a very nice lady telephoned to ask if one would.  It arrived today and was devoured within minutes (it is a children’s book) over a nice latte. The subject of the book is one we can all identify with, the ‘Big Idea’ we have all had at one time or another, only to have made the mistake of sharing it, to be shot down in flames for one reason or another and the said ‘Big Idea’ never again saw the light of day if we had been hammered enough with other people’s doubts and lack of self belief.

 Elise De Silva has brought this experience to children in a delightful manner, her artwork is very retro and uber cool, reminding one of the ‘Mr Men’ series one read to the little blister back in the day. De Silva’s main character is a rabbit, who has the good fortune to not only have a very good ‘Big Idea’ but who, after some negative setbacks, ends up meeting a helpful little bird who inspires the rabbit to just begin with the Big Idea, to just start. The end result is that the ‘Big Idea’ actually comes to fruition. This is a valuable life lesson encapsulated within a fabulous original package that one can never be too young to hear.  Thank you Elise De Silva, brilliant job well done.

(She gave it 5 stars, by the way. Just sayin'.)

Monday, 22 February 2016

Rabbit Helps Inspire in the Classroom

Some of the children from Point View School have really been getting stuck into the themes behind Rabbit's Big Idea. This blog post absolutely melted my heart.

I hope these kids really learn to reach for the stars and see their own big ideas come to pass.

Click on the link below:

PVS Learning Together: Rabbit's Big Idea:

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Great Big Launch of Rabbit's Big Idea

Sunday, 22nd November finally arrived, and Rabbit's Big Idea was officially launched at the Botany Library.

Wow, what a great event. I had a great turn out and sold lots of books. Thank you to all the people that helped, came along, and of course to those that bought a book, or two, or three!

Congratulations go to Kate and Nathan who won the raffle for my two prizes. Kate loves her plush Rabbit toy (handmade by yours truly) and Nathan was over the moon to win the cute library tote.

Thank you to Chris Marnewick, author of Shepherds and Butchers (currently being made into a feature length movie - awesome), for introducing me and for saying such kind words. You've a great mentor and wonderful friend.

One thing that worked well at the event was having a drawing table for the kids. I made colouring-in sheets asking them, 'What is your big idea?' They were able to colour-in Rabbit and draw their own big ideas. Some of them were so sweet. A lot of the kids said their big ideas was to be authors or artists. Go for it!

Of course, thank you to Leigh and the Botany Library for hosting the event. It was the perfect venue.

So, I can let out a great sigh of relief now, and take some time to think about my next book, or two, or three. I also noticed that someone has borrowed a copy of Rabbit's Big Idea from the Howick Library for the first time. Yay!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Article in Times Newspaper

One of the things we must do as self-published writers, is to not be afraid to brag about what we're doing!

I rang my local newspaper and told them about Rabbit's Big Idea and that I would be hosting a book launch at the local library. They were happy to write a story about it! Below is a link to the article for you to read.

Self Belief Begets Rabbit Book

Although I was nervous to ring the Editor, I did it anyway and I'm so glad I did. So if you have a book launch coming up, shout it from the rooftops, or at least to your local newspaper.

See you Sunday at the launch. Only three more sleeps. Ahh!!!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Tips for Hosting a Launch for Your Self-Published Book

Hosting a Book Launch

Like I have said before, I'm no expert, these are simply my experiences, and if you, like me, are venturing into the wonderful world of self-publishing, maybe some of my experiences can be of help to you. I certainly hope so! My book launch is scheduled for Sunday, 22 November 2015 so watch this space to see how it turns out, better still, come along and see for yourself!

As self-publishers, we are also self-marketers, so it's important that we put in just as much effort towards this endeavour as towards our physical books. Here are some things to think regarding book launches.

Set a Date and Select/Book a Venue

I set the date and venue for my book launch before I even started working on the illustrations for my picture book, Rabbit's Big Idea. This was because I felt that if I had set a date and actually booked a venue then I absolutely HAD to carry through with my plan to produce a book. Otherwise, my resolve could have easily dissolved and turned into a project that never quite got off the ground. I also chose a date that gave me plenty of time to produce my book, with room to spare. I wasn't sure how long it would take, so I gave myself a good buffer. I was doing everything from scratch, so my learning curve was quite steep. I probably won't have to book a launch so far out next time. I picked Sunday, 22 November because it was nice and close to Christmas (picture books make great gifts, don't they?) and also, choosing a Sunday means that most people should be free to attend.

I had some choices to make when selecting an appropriate venue. The most important factor for me was the location. I wanted the facility to be in my local area and to be close to shops so that people walking by could drop in. The public having access to ATM machines in case they did not have cash was also important to me (as I would be selling books for cash only.) Other important factors were the size of venue - not too big, not too small. I decided to go with my local library because I have an on going relationship with them, and my main contact there was more than happy to lend me a room for free. The library also has the added benefit of being situated inside a mall, with a glass wall visible to the public. I'm sure I will get plenty of walk ins! The library also has its own Facebook page so they can promote the event for me on there as well.

You can just as easily do a launch at your local bookstore or even at your house. It all depends on what you would like to get out of your launch, your audience, and your budget. Remember, you don't want to spend more on your launch than you will make in sales! Like most things, keep it simple.

Promoting Your Book Launch

I set a very small budget to have 50 good quality invitations made. I keep a stash in my bag so that I can hand them out as the opportunity presents itself. Having access to Facebook means that invitations can be sent this way, but having an actual, printed invitation makes a bigger impact and greatly increases your chance of people actually showing up, I believe. Below is a photograph of my invitation.

To make my launch more enticing I have promised people a door prize and cake! What could be better? My door prize, or should I say, buy a book prize, will be a basket with a soft toy version of my main character, a library book bag with a print from my book on the outside of it, and copy of my book. I made the soft toy myself, and I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Contact your local newspaper and radio station and let them know about your book launch - they may run a piece on it. Free advertising! I called my local newspaper and they will be doing a piece on my launch. I just rang up the Editor and let them know what I was up to. It was nerve wracking, but sometimes we have to do things out of our comfort zones and do some shameless self-promotion. If you don't, no-one else will!

Contact other bloggers about your launch and send them copies of your book to review. I have yet to tap into this resource. I'm actually not sure who or what is out there, but I've heard it's a valuable tool so I will definitely be looking into it. Having your book reviewed is scary, but very worthwhile.

Benefits of Hosting a Book Launch

  • Hosting a book launch builds excitement about your book and allows you to sell a big chunk of books at one time.
  • It helps to build your brand and let people know who you are.
  • Hosting a book launch opens up other avenues of marketing and distribution. For instance, when I contacted my local bookshop about stocking my book, the first question they asked was, "Are you doing any marketing of your book?" When I told them I was hosting a book launch at the local library they were very excited and more than happy to stock my book. Maybe they might not have been so enthusiastic if I was doing nothing.
  • Friends, family and the general public get to celebrate what an amazing thing you have done by producing a book! It's a big, and sometimes lonely venture, so having a time to say, 'Good on you,' is very worthwhile. You've done well, my son.
  • It gives you an opportunity to say 'thank you' to anyone that has helped you with your project.
  • It gives you an opportunity to do further networking and book yourself to do author talks at schools, pre-schools and other appropriate locations.
  • It gives you an opportunity to blog about it on your blog! Ha ha...
All the best and I hope you have much success with your book launch.