In my book ‘Golf. A course in Life’ there is a lesson entitled Learn from Your Mistakes and that’s exactly what I hope to do after launching the book in New Zealand.
On the positive side, the book was well received in some quarters and effusively so in at least one instance. The latter being the controversial Kiwi sports commentator, Murray Deaker, who was supportive in a way I can never hope to repay. The book resonated with him so profoundly that he gave copies to friends in high places and urged them to read it. What will become of all this I can’t say but I’m hoping for the best.
In the meantime, reality slapped me with the realisation that, with retail distribution reaping 70% off the cover price and online sales 40%, I will never make money from selling this book until I get into large print runs and reduce the unit costs dramatically.
While the realities of breathtaking distribution and sales commissions are faced by all self-published authors, most are not quite so ambitious with the colours and layouts of their books as I have been, so their unit costs are often cheaper even on smaller runs. As well, I’m assured, many self-published authors aren’t aiming to profit from their book sales but, instead, to enhance their professional reputations to get more work and/or speaking engagements.
Well, call me old-fashioned, but I’m hoping to make money from my book.
Self-publishing might well be known as ‘vanity publishing’ but my ego does not need enhancing, my coffers do. While I’m aiming the book at the gift market, I’m not intending to give it away, which, effectively, is what I’m doing now in NZ.
I realise my apparent naivety in launching a book without being aware of the economies involved doesn’t speak well of me, but the Kiwi experience has had the effect of getting me more focussed — not only with future NZ marketing — but also with what I do here in Australia, which is my next target.
One of the problems I face in Australia is that at this point I have no ‘second tier’ of interest to underpin the launch of the book. Apparently, there are so many books launched every week that you have to have some other point of interest to get media attention. The book alone won’t do it. Being famous would help but I’m unknown in Australia. In fact, as some of you know, even in NZ, a journalist made the comment that it had been at least two generations since I was even relevant in New Zealand. A sobering thought and one I mean to redress in due course.
So I’m currently looking for that some added spin for my release here in OZ as well as a good (and affordable) publicist.
Speaking of publicists, one thing I did get right in NZ was to choose Lorraine Steele as my publicist. A warm and genuine woman who did a wonderful job and I commend her to you.
So that’s the golf book story so far and if I continue to learn from my mistakes and stay focussed I’m still hopeful of a happy ending.
Now … some music news.
In the next couple of months I’m going to do a digital re-release of an album I recorded in 1976. ‘Use Your Eyes’ was released right at a time when my then record company, PYE records, was closing down. This was in the days of vinyl LPs and the pressing for Use Your Eyes was terrible. Even though one of the songs off the album, ‘Nightlife,’ won me Composer of the Year in 1976, because the album only had a small, unsupported release, few punters ever heard it.
I always considered this unfinished business. A lost opportunity that became a lost album when the master tapes were lost. I looked for these tapes for years without success. Then last year, thanks to the efforts of a generous natured record industry man called Chris Caddick, the tapes were located in the bowels of Warners. I’m thrilled. The tapes are in good shape and Phil Yule, the original engineer, sent me a digital copy, which we will remaster and release through amplifier.co.nz
You’ll also be able to download individual tracks as well.
Still on the subject of music, as soon as I work out how to do it, I’ll be offering another free download on this website in the next couple of weeks as well.
John Hanlon, April 2012
So now, I’