Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Words maketh blogger

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is an integral part of the The Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe Festival. Edinburgh, in the month of August, buzzez with people of every shape, size, colour, creed. Some are self-centred, some pushy, some reserved, even withdrawn - but, really, the greatest majority are fun people - and whatever I may think of individual foibles and imperfections, everyone is in Edinburgh to have fun and be part of the annual, amazing cultural (whatever that really means in this context)festivities. There's something for everyone from elevated to lower deck.

My contribution to the carnival was as a speaker at a Book Festival workshop last Monday with my co-author of "Sea Dog Bamse, WWII Canine Hero", Andrew Orr. The event was called "Selling The Story" and was targeted at would-be and struggling published authors looking for advice on marketing and how to get their book onto bookshop shelves.

Self and co-author Andrew Orr in the Writers’ yurt at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. We had just taken part in a workshop explaining how, working alongside our publisher, we marketed ourselves and our book and successfully turned it into Scottish best seller – Sea Dog Bamse, World War II Canine Hero ISBN: 978 1 84158 849 0

I've never bothered much with the Book Festival, and how I regret that now. But I've had three days at it this year and it's been an absolutely marvellous experience. What an idiot for not going before, but better late than never. I feel quite bereft at the thought that I shan't be playing with the big children again next year, with my pass to the writers' yurt (canvas encampment!) and talking to other writers I never expected to meet.

But I met and talked with other writers and found that some of my ideas were well received. It's so useful to hear their problems, but much more importantly, their successes - and see how I can put their ideas to work for myself.

And the workshop was a success. There's been positive feedback and I met the sister of one of my ushers at my wedding who I lost contact with about fifteen years ago. She bought my books and is taking them out to Canada when she visits her brother next week. A totally unexpected and welcome bonus.

I love meeting new people, I loved being part of the Book Festival - I want to do it again.

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