Cheers! What a journey Pam and I have embarked on since we launched Looking For La La on an unsuspecting world a couple of weeks ago. Without our agent, Caroline Hardman, and Amazon’s White Glove program, I doubt we’d ever have found our way around the mysteries of e-publishing. We kept begging Caroline or Joanne Swainson to fill in the forms for us. Lots of panicked phone calls between Pam and I. ‘Colors for Print on Demand? I don’t know, what do you think?’ “Don’t ask me, I haven’t a clue.” Something like when my husband (then boyfriend) Gary was building what would eventually be our new home and insisted on asking my advice on bathroom taps. Who knew taps came in different styles? And would anyone care as long as they function? Apparently, yes, but you can hardly blame me since for the last few years I’d been living in grotty backpacker dorms or on a boat in Guatemala and purely grateful to have hot water. (I ended up ruining the finish on them anyway but that’s another story.)
So now I am trying to create this website using WordPress and no computer skills and believe me it is like a one-legged man trying to summit Mount Everest without his prosthetic limb. No, I take that back – I’m sure he’d do a better job than me trying to stumble around, sticking things on a draft page and then taking them out when I see what a disaster I’ve created. And..oh, s**t, wait, did that clumsy attempt just go out into cyberspace for the world to see? And why do I have six variations of the same page? This is a whole new world for a techno-idiot who still hasn’t mastered her smartphone. Oh, how easy it was when Arrow Books promoted our first two novels, their lovely publicity lady telling us where to show up for interviews, us arriving feeling like minor celebrities. OK, teensy-weensy-legends-in-their-own-lunchtime-celebrities. We still had to organize our own launch party, a festive bash in Reigate complete with pink champagne and cupcakes. This is a photo of Pam discovering the Italian translation of our book in Rome – oh, joy!
Got to admit though there’s something wonderful about being able to take things into your own hands and not be completely dependent on other people (i.e. the big supermarket chains) for your success or failure. Pam and I had definitely got lax. We didn’t much care for our first Ellie Campbell website so we’d taken it down. We didn’t even think of promoting the lovely La La until someone (thanks, Caroline) pointed out we needed a web presence to get noticed among the million of books on Amazon. You know the biggest asset of any author today? Other authors. Kirsty Greenwood, a raging success with her new novel, Yours Truly, was nice enough to recommend Design For Writers who came up with Looking For La La’s fantastic jacket. Michele Gorman, who’s just launched her latest book Bella Summer Takes a Chance invited us to join her week of fun Valentine’s Day’s Q and As. We’ve been discovering so many amazing blogs that I find it hard to imagine their creators ever have time to read a book – let alone all the novels they have reviewed and shared. Whereas between taking care of horses and trying to get a grasp of HTML, I have yet to put up a single review on my Goodreads page. I am now the proud owner of a Kindle Fire but I fall asleep after the first two pages of anything I start. Perhaps I’ll be luckier when I go back to Indiana tomorrow to visit Gary’s family for Passover – if the foot of snow we got today doesn’t close Denver airport. It is beautiful though.
Anyway if you like this website, I hope it might spark your interest in our blog… This time around we’re going to add to it on a regular basis, I hope. Although don’t be surprised if it has as much to do with horse training (I’m studying with the amazing animal communicator and horse whisperer, Anna Twinney ) or all those marathon bike rides that Pam’s husband Ian is always dragging her on as it is about writing. Whatever – I’ll let you know how the blatant self-promotion is going. It’s a hard road for two sisters whose parents and siblings always told them not to show off!