I’m very excited to hear Peggy Kennedy, the author of Approaching Neverland, speak about becoming a newly published author at the upcoming San Francisco’s Writers Conference I’ll be attending on February 13th.
In fact, I was so excited, I decided to interview her!
A bit about her book: With brutal honesty and surprising humor, Peggy shares the turbulence of growing up under the shadow of Barbara’s illness, of being shuffled from one family member to the next, and of visiting her mother in the mental institution. As the years pass, the shadows of Barbara’s challenges become a loving legacy in Peggy’s quest to achieve happiness and fulfillment in her life.
A vivid, haunting portrayal of one woman’s struggle to understand how the past fits in with her future, Approaching Neverland is as inspiring as it is beautifully written, and will stay with you long after the last page is turned.
Here’s what Peggy had to say.
How did you get Approaching Neverland published?
Published in March 2009, Approaching Neverland got its start by winning first prize in the non-fiction category at the SF Writers Conference in 2008. From there, I went on to find a publisher, but to my surprise I still had a difficult time finding a “traditional” publisher, so I decided to use her 1st place prize from the conference and use iUniverse as my publisher.
What’s contributed to your books success?
Approaching Neverland has been both critically successful and publicly successful. My sales are still going strong. It’s vital to find a publicist that understands your book, your market, and how to get your message out.
What’s the most important thing you’ve done as an author to sell/promote your book?
Really, it’s been a combination of many things. Originally I started with personal contact with everyone I knew, which then went to word-of-mouth. I’ve also found it important to do as many speaking engagements as possible and I’m also sponsoring events that tie-in with the subject of my book, mental illness.
Is there anything you would do differently next time you write a book?
I would be more particular where I spend my money when it comes to Public Relations. It seems there a lot of people in the PR business, that tend to over promise and under deliver. Unfortunately, you usually don’t find out their value (or lack of) until it’s too late, and you’ve spent a lot of money. Some of the things I’ve done that I wouldn’t do next time are:
• Hire Public Relations individuals who don’t get results
• Pay to have my book at Book Fairs
• Putting an ad in RTIR – This is the Radio and Television Intel Report that I got zero results from
What advice do you have for new authors like me?
Stay focused and on track of your book sales. Social networking is a must, and look for natural tie-ins that work well with your product. For example, my books about mental health, so I target speaking opportunities that reveal my expertise, such as mental health conferences.
For more information about Approaching Neverland, please visit: http://www.approachingneverland.com/
Come listen to Peggy speak at the SF Writers Conference on February 13, 2010.
For details about the conference, go to http://www.sfwriters.org/.