I have learned a lesson! It's one thing writing books and self publishing but quite another thing selling them! I've realised I'm not very good at that side of things. I now fully appreciate the work that was done in the past by my publishers. I did dip my toe in the online ocean of Instagram and Mumsnet but after a brief flurry of interest, sales of my 3 Wahoo books have gone a bit dead. I have been told you have to keep posting, posting all the time to keep people's interest and it is not something I have given enough attention to. I'd much rather go outside and do something 'in real life' like chopping wood or weeding carrots.
At the moment Wales has just gone back into lockdown again so I have no excuses not to attempt a bit of sales and marketing work. Oh Joy!
Eureka! After many frustrating, hair tearing, attempts I have finally managed to format all the Wa-Hoo series as e-books. They are all now in the Book Store. I'm hoping for enough sales so that I can then afford to publish Wahoo 3 as a 'proper' book. Part of the reason I designed the series in this small square format was to make it easy for small hands to hold; wandering around with sticky fingers on mum's i-phone isn't quite the same!
One problem I'm facing is getting publicity for the series. I am getting sales from word of mouth but I'm not exactly being overwhelmed!
My current cunning plan is to approach some of the fertility sites to try and get reviews in the hope that will generate some positive responses.
I'm also starting work on Wahoo 4 which will feature same sex parents.
For most of this year I have been writing and illustrating the third version of Wa-Hoo! which is for the children of Solo mums. I have just about finished it. It's not in paperback format yet as I can't really afford to publish it but it I have been trying to design it as an ebook. Another steep learning curve! I've nearly got there and hope to have it ready for sale very soon.
WA-HOO! and WA-HOO! 2 have just got back from the printers.
These are stories about and for donor babies. I was asked to do this by a counsellor who works with donor parents. Apart from the 'My Story' books published by the Donor Conception Network, the books currently available to read to very young children are few and far between. Many of them are US publications and don't necessarily work for UK readers.
All the latest research suggests that donor children should be introduced to the subject of their origins as early as possible, in fact the younger the better. I've written WA-HOO! to explain, in easy to understand language and child friendly pictures, all the different ways babies are made. The book is also deliberately tiny (11cm by 11cm) which makes it really easy for little hands to hold. (I've road tested it on my 13 month old grandaughter, and she loves it, although she insists on reading it upside down!)
WA-HOO! is the first book I have illustrated myself. I wanted the pictures to be as simple as possible. Although I have been drawing one-off pictures for my cartoon cards for years, doing a series of 32 drawings was a real challenge but it was a lot of fun.
WA-HOO! is also my first venture into self-publishing. Mainstream publishers I approached liked the book, but the potential market just wasn't big enough. It is true that the number of donor conceived children in the UK is comparitively small but these children still need books, like WA-HOO!, that speak to them about their lives.
Wa-Hoo! is about Dad donors. (Heterosexual parents)
Wa-hoo! 2 is about Mum donors. (Heterosexual parents)
Wa-hoo! 3 will be for single mums.
I am also writing Wa-Hoo 4 for same sex parents.