Friday, 25 April 2014

Oat drinks - a product comparison

Due to a dairy intolerance, I can't eat/drink cow's milk so I had to find another milk to have with my breakfast and lunch etc. I tried soya, but ended up being intolerant to that as well. I tried nut milks but they also disagreed with me. I then tried oat milk and hit lucky. That was several years ago now and I still have oat milk, and it still agrees with me. But over the last year or so, I have noticed there are more oat milks out there than when I first had it. So, over the last couple of weeks, I have tried another one and compared it to my normal one, Oatly. Here is what I thought:

I tried oat drink by ProVitamil. At £1.29 it was 10p cheaper than Oatly. I tried it with cornflakes and porridge. I have to say that I didn't like it as much as Oatly. It didn't have the creamy look and taste to it that Oatly has. It tasted blander.

Whereas Oatly oat drink, as soon as you pour it out, you can see it looks creamy, and it does tasty creamy with cereal or porridge.

My verdict - Oatly is the best out of the two.

There are more oat drinks out there, and I might try them later on against Oatly. We shall see.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The London Book Fair - Part 2

So after I had lunch at the busy cafĂ©, I went back to the Kobo stand where I knew the next talk would be - Opening up to Indies by ALLi. I managed to find a seat so I didn't have to stand or sit on the floor. While the audio was being set up, I chatted to the two older ladies sitting next to me about writing ebooks and we swapped cards. I also had said hello to Lorna Ferguson, (Hi, Lorna). Then the talk happened by Debbie Young and Dan Holloway, who told us in their own ways how they came to write the book. I laughed at the image of Debbie being a teacher and being chased by young girls because she had told both groups they were sorry. The book  is all about helping other bodies like libraries, agents and publishers etc to open up to indie authors and help them be discovered. Then it was time to mingle again. I chatted to and listened to Debbie talk to Denise Barnes, then another author, putting my points across when I could.

After that I decided I'd go to find the publisher in the other court. With my map, I found the stall, but was disappointed that it wasn't as I expected it to be - a stand with book samples and no publisher. I then went to the restaurant, but it was too noisy still so after several minutes I left and went to find the pub in the Strand for the social later on.

So that was my LBF this year. I doubt it I'll go next year as it is moving to Olympia, a bit further away.

Friday, 11 April 2014

The London Book Fair 2014 - What I learnt

So I went to the London Book Fair at Earl's Court on Tuesday. I managed to get there earlier than I expected so I had time to sort myself out then find the stand I wanted to go to for a talk. The first talk was called 'Book Discovery for Authors' and was a question session to the panel of Mark Coker (Smashwords), Andrew Rhumberg (Jelly Books) and Joanna Penn (author and member of ALLi). It was all about how to get your books discovered by readers. I took lots of notes, but will only do a summary of the main points I learnt.

The challenges that authors face is shelf-space. Now that more authors are publishing ebooks. Joanna said that they solutions are to write and publish more than one book, and grow your email list. (This is something I plan to do now, and next ebook I publish will have a message on the contacts page asking if they wish to join my newsletter). Joanna also said it is a good idea to join with other authors writing the same genre and create a box set. Andrew said to have a great cover, be consistent on social media and write interesting stuff not just buy my book. Readers will determine your success. Mark said that you need to take your readers to an emotional high and make them say wow.

Joanna, who also writes non-fiction, said that when you publish a non-fiction book, check out keywords on Google etc. Don't give the book a title that readers won't look for.

Mark mentioned the 'Pre-order' he has on Smashwords. This makes it easier for readers to find the books in estores. And, if you put your ebook for pre-order and you get readers buy then, when the ebook comes out, you get the sales on the first day. Budget for this in your launch.

How do you know what works? Joanna said that indie authors are more focussed on what works.

The single most important thing to do to get discovered more - grow email list. Mark said the book.

Put your contacts page at the back, as readers want to know what you write before they know you. Price your book good, lower is best. You want to eliminate friction from reader between giving them the sample and them purchasing the book.

Then book trailers were mentioned. Don't pay too much, it's for a special audience but if you enjoy doing it, then do it.

Later at the weekend I will talk about the rest of the day. See you then.