Hal's Plane

Home | Blog | Fair events | Classifieds | Ideas | Promo & publicity examples


Ruth and I have been discussing how we can best help independent authors sell their books. We have the information, but distribution has slowed me down. The first "mass emailing" raised suspicions of sending spam. Comcast was not very helpful in their suggestions about my situation. This is a very serious problem, as I could end up losing all email privileges.What good is a computer without email? 
Let's try this. If you mark it as one of your favorites, you will be able to go to it whenever you'd like, and it shouldn't be too much trouble to use. Janelle PS- I am still font-challenged. Bear with me. It'll straighten out--or not! JMH
Oh! If you're wondering why the strange website name (Hal's Plane), it's because I don't want this to be open to other writers. Why should we help our competition? I have not listed this site with any search engine, but that doesn't mean it won't be found...oy! JMH
Note: Augh! I've been trying to change the color of our front page on our book site to coordinate with the wonderful poster Kristi Coyne made for us, and the software isn't functiong...I'll keep trying as the border color of the box below it with our names is stuck in green now! J. ):

Two new authors:
Chellis Jensen and Dana Quade!
Another new book: Pam Pree's and Mike "Darkside" Beakley's Betrayal, Murder and Greed
Another new author!
Please visit Gerry Bradley's page on our Northwest Author's site.
Thanks, G. F.!
Our new author, G. F. Skipworth, has graciously given us mention on a page on his website:    
Give it a look (the link is on the top left corner of his homepage), and stop by his page on our site to read about his new novel!

Congratulations, Alice!
One of our authors, A. L. Finch (Child P.O.W.) has just gotten a movie deal! More information to come!

Selling opportunities
Things are quiet right now. Buy from each other.

Selling Your Books

   Selling books takes practice.

  My sales have been improving. Here are some of the things I've done:

1.  I'm working on keeping the readers' focus on my books, not on all of the clutter on my table. The last book event I took off all of the brochures, promo signs, etc. I did much better.

2.  Learn which markets are best for you. At street fairs, I don't do as well in Steilacoom as I do at Proctor. Heck, at Steilacoom one year, Bruno sold a German book to a guy named Garcia--now that hurt!

3.  If you're not selling, change what you sell. As fiction, my books didn't turn as many sales as they did when I admitted that my books were actually autobiographical fiction.I got this tip from Elfi, who at one show was selling more of my books than I was! Thanks, Elfi!

4. Try to give away something. Maybe a bookmark. I thought about giving away pencils one time, but they didn't pencil out (tee-hee!).

5. Drop emails or postcards to your friends and readers to let them know where you're going to be.

6. Are you using all the resources on our site? I sent around an offer to post marketing, press, and other materials on your page, and got little, if any, response. Check out the bottom of my page on our main site for ideas.

7.  Keep in mind that your goal is not only to sell books, but to build readership for the next book.

more to come...

In the news:

Book-signing, Judy Comer Franklin, Cold Passion, May 8, 2010

Pam Phree & Mike Beakley, Betrayal, Murder and Greed book-signing

Aline Lesage
Aline at a reading/signing in Oroville, Wa, June 1, 2008

We now have 11 authors for our November 13th book event at Freighthouse Square. A few notes:
We won't offer Visa, but there is an ATM right outside the building.
If you have a white cloth for your table, that would be great, but don't go out and buy one.
Signed up so far:
Betty Dost
Elfi Hornby
Pam McPhree & Mike Beakley
Chellis Jensen
Bruno Lange
Dana Quade
Casey Telling
Judy Comer Franklin
Ruth Anderson
Gerry Bradley

Book events
The holiday book event at Freighthouse Square is on!
Date: November 13, 2010
Time 11 AM-6PM (setup --I'm checking)
Fee: $15 per author
Deadline: Kristi would like to have the check by November 1st.
Make check out to FHS (Freighthouse Square)
Mail to:
Kristi Coyne
c/o Nine Lives Vintage Wears
602 East 25th St., Suite 63
Tacoma, WA 98421
ph: 253-267-0324
Thanks, Janelle
Update: So far, we have eight authors interested in participating. 
From Judy Comer Franklin
Event: Fern Hill Days
August 8th (Sunday)
Contact: Linda at Park Avenue Books
ph: 253-471-2099
She is not the one in charge of the event, but she has information  and can put you on the contact list.
From Charlie Brough
Event: Crosby Days
Where; Seabeck, WA
August 14, 2010
Sat. 9-5 PM
Vendor info to send in:
Type of craft
You want inside or outside space?
Need a table?
Need amenities? (May cost more)
cost per table or space: $15.00
Please call: 360-830-4270 for more info.
Please return entry to:
Deanna Durbin
P.O. Box 179
Seabeck, WA 98380
Please make checks payable to:
Crosby Community Club


I'm having trouble getting this brainchild (the apple graphic) of mine to work. I'm deleting it from our main website. It may be back later. I was going to use it on our main site to alert writers to check for messages.

Attention authors!

I haven't heard anything about the Google Settlement for months. Has anyone else?

There is a Google Settlement

going on. The deadline for action

is being moved, I think, to give people

 more time to react.

Search Google Settlement

on the Internet for more info,

and see my blog on this site.


On the Internet

Here are some links that

mention how to

 increase sales of your books

Angela Hoy, March 27, 2008

more to come...
J.A Konrath, why do I even bother?
It and more is all in his free eBook:


"It's easy, after all, not to be a writer. Most people aren't writers, and very little harm comes to them." Julian Barnes

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."

Kingsley Amis, courtesy of The Tacoma News Tribune

"I'm either going to be a writer or a bum." Carl Sandburg

"This is a smorgasbord of violence." Robin Williams (Popeye) in the Popeye movie.

“Writers are a little below clowns and a little above trained seals.”  John Steinbeck

"Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of the night." P.J. ORourke, AARP May/June/2002


‘Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking,
unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book.”
                       -- Edward Gibbon

"I expect to be revising in my coffin as it is lowered into the ground" Charles Simic, The Monster Loves His Labyrinth: Notebooks, courtesy of Copper Canyon Press.

We have a professional editor among us. Val Dumond, the author of several grammar books (among other things), can offer expert advice on editing your manuscript. Contact her for her fee schedule: JazzyVal@aol.com

Kindle anyone?
Contact me before you contract with iUniverse.
Rare Arts ( Kindle@RareArts.com ) did the first cover for my Bears in the Hibiscus book. It was changed by the paperback publisher when the book came out in paperback.RareArts did such a nice job! What a nice job! But it wouldn't work in the 9x6 format.
Five Rainbows Services (Walt@FiveRainbows.com) did the interior book design for my Kindle books. They did a very nice job. I highly recommend both of these companies.
Shotgun Marketing
Sometimes, the simplest things can turn a sale. I do it all, as long as it's free, so I call it my shotgun method of marketing...
Do you have a signature at the bottom of your email?
Do you have a book card? This is the size of a business card.
I tried to post some of your book cards, but the type wasn't readable. What a disappointment. Some of you have great cards!
Do you have personalized letterhead?
Do you keep a customer mailing list? Nowadays, because of the cost of mailing, mine is mostly email addresses.
Almost every year, I send out a Christmas card with my new book on it. This year, the cover wasn't ready in time. One year, I also did a Valentine email.
Don't forget to copy the address off of a check before you cash it.
Do you have bookmarks with your book and info on it?
Do you enter book contests? They're expensive sometimes, I seek out the more reasonable ones that will accept pod books.
Some writers put their name and web address on their car. The idea bothers me. You decide.
Exchange links with other writers if you have another site.
Don't forget to add your book-signings to our calendar. Email the info to me, I do all the work!
I have begun adding one of my bookmarks inside the bills I mail in. Why not? They sure load me up every month with their stuff.
Join Facebook and other social networks.

POD Publishers
No publisher is perfect and some have worse flaws than others. Be sure to check into ownership rights, ongoing fees for "services" (this seems to be a handling fee on some publishers' sites for listing your book that they're going to make money on...go figure), and other problems.
Tate is interesting because they offer audio recordings for an additional fee.

Elizabeth Lyon's new book!

All of Elizabeth's books are loaded with how-to and how not-to information. Get your copy soon.