I've been a bit slowed up since the Slightly Peculiar Love Stories were released. Am having to avoid much keyboard time; find alternative ways to work; appraise.
However, I was blessed with a visit one evening this week by three determined angels: three friends with deep enthusiasm for Rosa Mira Books. We sat around the table and the teapot, and they asked me to outline the Rosa Mira story, from the night I woke (really, I was woken, very gently) and had the idea slid into my keeping, until now: two ebooks released, two in process, and others hovering — possiblebooks.
A remarkable story, they said. And in my best moments, I agree. It still surprises me that no one else in NZ is doing just this: taking original and exceptional work directly to digital publication. The potential remains vast. However, as with any new business, taking off takes a while.
We talked about potential revenue for the fledgeling business; about alternatives and ways forward. (In fact the way forward is simply to take the next step. I remind myself that this method has always held good, and that resources arrive when needed and seldom before. This may not be a model taught in business school, but the school of life imparts its own wisdom.)
And we talked about that old puzzle: marketing. Making the lovely products known. A large proportion of Rosa Mira's resources has been spent on help with media — hard copy and social media. Also, our writers and supporters have shared generously via their own networks. It's still not easy to see just what makes the greatest difference. Anyway, from our meeting this week, we each went away with a name or two of people we'll contact, who might like to discuss Rosa Mira Books with me on their turf, whether by radio, rag, or blog. And I still have a burgeoning list of websites to follow up for review: on entrepreneurial know-how; improving digital platforms; marketing your ebooks … information is liberally shared on the internet.
Someone whose blog I always find helpful is Dan Blank's. His mission is to help authors and publishers 'create compelling online content'. He reminds me that the magic lies in the passion one has for the work: in my case for seeing rich, zesty, exceptional work find its readers. And that passion, over time, will bring in the necessary ingredients, prove the pudding (in the eating), and bring new pudding eaters to the table.
Then what can be said to three friends who gave up their evening to bring their bracing, practical encouragement to me and to Rosa Mira Books?
(She googles blessings for an apt one…)
"May the frost never afflict your spuds.
May the leaves of your cabbage always be free from worms.
May the crows never pick your haystack.
If you inherit a donkey, may she be in foal."