So you probably know that I wrote and published my first book earlier this year. I’m often asked how it’s doing and the answer is …. pretty well, actually. The book has sold over 400 copies, brings in around £150 a month in royalties and has 24 reviews on Amazon UK, 22 of which are five star! Not bad for a self-published first book in a niche area!
But the bigger benefits are nothing to do with book sales or reviews, but are all to do with the “expert status” that you suddenly achieve when you write a book. This is an area that many people don’t think about – how writing a book can change your life – but for me it’s been the most exciting part of the whole journey. To give you a taste of what I mean, here are five things that will be happening for me over the next couple of months:
1. Speaking at a conference
When I was about to publish my book I sent it to a couple of ADHD charities to ask if they would review it. The ADHD Foundation did, and the CEO also asked me to speak at their annual conference, which takes place in Liverpool in October! It’s a big event with over 100 people (scary!) but it’s a great way to raise my profile and network with medical and educational professionals working in the ADHD field … and who knows what will come from that.
2. Author talks at libraries
To prepare for speaking at the conference I arranged a series of library talks across south Oxfordshire. I’ve done four already and the fifth one is next month. These have been intimate events with between six and twelve people present, mainly mums of children with ADHD. I tell my story and then other people share their stories too – which has been a fascinating and often emotional experience. I’ve also sold a handful of books at every talk …
3. Space in the bookshop at the biggest ADHD conference in the country
I’ll also be attending another conference this year – not to speak, but to man a stall in the bookshop. The ADDISS conference is aimed mainly at adults with ADHD and parents of ADHD kids and there will be over 200 people there. It’s definitely my target audience – I just need to work out how many books I’ll need to take to last out the three days!
4. Commissioned to write for magazines
I wanted to get some media coverage for the book so I wrote to several relevant websites and magazines and was commissioned by SEN Magazine to write a series of articles for inclusion in the autumn. The first one will be in the September/October issue, and whilst I haven’t been paid for these they will all include details of the book – which will hopefully lead to more sales and increase my “expert” status.
5. Appearing on TV!
Earlier this year I responded to a request from a TV production company who wanted a young adult with ADHD to feature in a TV programme. Following a meeting with the producer, my son and me, we were chosen and we spent several hours in March being filmed having breakfast with Olympic gymnast and Strictly winner Louis Smith! We’ve not been able to talk about it in public, but the programme will be aired on Channel Five on Thursday 28th August at 10pm … I’m really looking forward to seeing it! And while the book wasn’t even out when they came to talk to us, the fact that I’d written it was one of the reasons why we were chosen to take part – and if it makes the cut, the programme will include my son reading part of the book!
So there you go – five exciting things happening in my life, and all because I wrote a book! What could you write a book about … and where would it take you? I’d love to help you find out!