TITLE: 75 How To Be A Bestselling Self Published Author with Alice Clover

Alice Clover is a highly successful self-published children’s author. Her first book ‘Girls Love To Fart’ was released in 2020, and Alice has just released her second book ‘Princesses Don’t have Stinky Bums’. Alice is passionate about encouraging girls to love themselves, and their bodies, and changing the narrative around bodily functions.

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome my first returning guest, Alice Clover, a self-published children’s author. Alice has sold over 14, 000 copies of her first book ‘Girls Love To Fart’ and has just released her second book, Princesses Don’t Have Stinky Bums.’ I was keen to catch up and find out how she has found the process of self-publishing a book the second time around, and what has changed. We discussed ways to market and promote a book yourself and the process for deciding to self-publish again.

Listen in to hear Alice share:

  • An introduction to herself and her work (0:56)
  • How the process has differed with her second book (2:38)
  • Why she chose to self publish again (7:28)
  • What she did differently the second time around (13:56)
  • How networking with other authors has helped build her audience (16:56)
  • The impact of the release of a second book on the sales of the first (22:03)
  • How she has marketed the book, and driven sales (24:09)
  • Using Facebook groups for advice and support (31:22)
  • Her main piece of advice for other self-published authors (37:22)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Alice Clover’s website

Princesses Don’t Have Stinky Bums on Amazon

Girls Love to Fart on Amazon

Alice Clover on Facebook

Alice Clover on Instagram

Alice’s First Podcast Episode

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Transcript
Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the, bring your product ideas to life podcast, practical advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products. Here's your host Vicki Weinberg. So I'm so excited today to have Alice Clover on the podcast. Alice is actually the first returning guests that I've had. Um, her last episode was out almost a year ago. So it was in September. It was episode 27. If that's one you want to go back and listen to. And since I last spoke to Alice, she's actually published a second book and that's what we're going to be talking about today. So hi, Alice. Thank you for being here again.

Alice Clover:

Hello. It's lovely to be here.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, it's lovely to have you. So, um, for anyone who hasn't listened to your first episode, Alice, can you just give us an introduction to yourself please?

Alice Clover:

Okay. So I, I'm a self published children's writer and my first book Girls Love To Fart has sold over 14,000 copies and became a best seller last year. And I have now just released a new book called Princesses Don't Have Stinky Bums, which is all about teaching girls that they can have adventures and be capable and, um, have that voice heard.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you. And as we record this, so we are recording this in June I think your book has been out for probably less than a week as of today hasn't it Alice. It's really recent that

Alice Clover:

It's four days. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow. So how's it going so far?

Alice Clover:

It's going really well, yeah, there's lots of interests and I've had loads of support. Loads of people resharing the posts on their social media. And, um, it's had a really good response so far. I wanted to get out there because, um, it's basically written because my eldest daughter who's seven likes to dress up and be a princess. And one morning I called her stinky bum and she said, princesses don't have stinky bums. So I thought that's really great for a book title. And, um, we've also crossed out the don't on the front cover so that it kind of makes more sense to whoever's buying it. And actually she asks for it most nights for bedtime because she loves the idea of it now and it's really helped her.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you. And, and so, so far, so I know we're only four days in, but it's really new, but is it, does it feel different from when you publish your first book?

Alice Clover:

Yeah, it feels different because I've learned so much since, and I've also been doing a lot more networking this time round. I've got a lot more connections who I can ask to support me with sharing it. Um, and I self-published through IngramSpark, and because of the sales of the last book, I've now become a pro member. So. I can contact them whenever I want. And they will always respond to me pretty much straight away and helped me through the process. Whereas before I was doing it blind, really, and yeah. My illustrator was having difficulty uploading the files, but now we can ask somebody else to, to help with that side of things and the support team. And that really helps. Fortunately, this time, the it's a different illustrator and, um, the files uploaded much, easily, much more easily. She also realized that she, um, uploaded them at too high a resolution. So the, some of the pages weren't coming out, how we liked. We solve that. And it's kind of been much more straightforward this time with getting the quality that we wanted.

Vicki Weinberg:

Okay. That was good. Who did you say you were self publishing with? Cause, sorry, I missed the name.

Alice Clover:

Oh, IngramSpark they're called,

Vicki Weinberg:

So what do they do is if you, so if you're looking self published, I had the, I had the idea that if you self publish there was. You could do it if nobody else involved. And I'm assuming you could do it completely on your own. Yeah. So what do they, what do they do for you? I'm just interested

Alice Clover:

They distribute for you, right? So they distribute it to every single outlet and then it's up to the outlet to say whether they will accept it or not.

Vicki Weinberg:

Okay um, were you working with them when you first published your first book or has that relationship started since?

Alice Clover:

Yeah, so, um, I was recommended to go with them by somebody else who was self-published and, um, so got in contact with them and did all that filled out all the information and everything. Sometimes it can be a little bit confusing because it's an American site. So all of the, um, categories are American rather than UK English. So. It kind of took a little while to understand exactly what it was I needed to type in to list my book, but now I know what I have to do. And, um, so yeah, to begin with, it was a bit tricky because like I said, the, the illustrations took a long time to upload and we weren't quality. We weren't satisfied with the quality. So, um, we. Um, had to keep going back and forth. And now fortunately we've been re able to upload the files properly. So, so the quality's as we want it. But, um, yeah, it's, it it's turns out much better than I dreamt of. Cause they said to me that last year I was one of their best selling authors.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, that's fantastic. And so did they manage the, um, the print on demand for you as well?

Alice Clover:

Yeah, the print on demand and the distribution, they don't market it unless, um, sometimes if you tag them on social media, they'll repost. Uh, but that's not what they're there for because a traditional publisher would deal with all of that side of things. But, um, I have, I've done all of the promotion and publisher, uh, marketing and, um, uh, advertising and everything for both books so that it kind of, in that respect, it involves a lot of work.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, definitely and I can see you've done a really good job on that. Um, because I mean, I think you're really visible in what you're doing and we'll definitely talk about that in a bit more detail. I'm just really curious. So with your first book, doing so well, do you think there would have been an option for you to have been traditionally published this time round? And I know that's not what you wanted. Um, I'm just, I'm just curious as to whether you think that could have been an option and also why you chose to self-publish. The second time around. And I know that was, I know that was your choice. Um, it just really good. If you could explain that to people, cause I'm not sure that everyone will perhaps understand the difference between traditional and self-published, so it might be good to touch on that.

Alice Clover:

Okay. So if you're traditionally published, you tend to have access to more places. So my book is available online. It's not in any shops, some shops won't even consider stocking your book because you're not traditionally published. So it does limit you. Uh, but because I approached several publishers in the first place and they all rejected the book, I thought I'm not going to do that again. If they want to publish me and they, they contact me and they give me a really good deal, then that would be a consideration, but I thought it's working really well. The self publishing route, it does take a lot of work, but I'm happy to do that. And I know that once the books are out there, more and more, well-known, they'll just take off on their own because that's, what's been happening. And I really believe in my heart that they are going to, um, so yeah, it's just worked out really well for me. And my, both my illustrators, because we know that the books will sell. And, um, like I said, we can have regular contact with people at IngramSpark so that we can get the support, as and when we need it rather than being in the dark.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I suppose there's traditional publishing fees or commissions, obviously a lot higher as well. So sort of financial wise you're not making as much. And I know that's not what it's about, but I guess that's also a consideration, isn't it?

Alice Clover:

Yeah. That's definitely a consideration because obviously, you know, as a self-published author, I do want to be able to have an income. Um, but yeah, the, um, fees are high and I don't want to. Well, I like having the freedom. So if I didn't want to go with IngramSpark anymore, I can self publish somewhere else and they would have no ties with me at all. Whereas quite often, with traditional publishers, you have to agree to publish X amount of books with them. And I like this flexibility as well. And also one of the things that I don't want is I've put so much hard work into what I'm doing the last three years. I don't want a publisher turning round and taking all the glory and, uh, reaping the rewards because I feel like I want to be recognized in my own right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely. And so you should be. And I think as well, you mentioned that a traditional publisher, you can get you into bookshops, but I guess in the past year, so many shops are being closed. I think most people are buying their books online anyway. So it's, it's not like, um, I don't know how many years ago, 20 years ago say we're being in, but we're being in actual stores was probably quite a big thing for an author because now so many people buy their books online anyway, that I, yeah, that's probably not so much of an advantage.

Alice Clover:

No, it's not so much of an advantage, but it is a good selling point when you walk past some of them and they've got the window displays.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that makes sense. Yeah.

Alice Clover:

I always think my books would look perfect in those windows because they're so colorful and the titles are so eye catching and I, I think that they definitely would fit. So who knows one day, that might be the case that they might realize that actually self-published books have just as much validation as traditionally published books.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah. I mean, I can't remember if we spoke about this last time. So it was, that was a year ago. My memory isn't the best Alice, but, um, I, I'm actually really surprised to hear that some bookstores won't put self published books into their shops that's actually really shocked me because I don't think it says anything about the quality of the books necessarily, I don't know. I guess that's just a misconception that they have, but I don't think, yeah, I'm, I'm actually quite surprised that that's the perception that they have.

Alice Clover:

Yeah, it might be, I don't know if it's snob factor or what, I don't know. Um, there is a particular book near me, a big bookshop near me that is, uh, Really popular. And, um, it doesn't matter how successful the self published authors is they will not stock the book.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, that seems such a shame. And I think the stores are probably missing out on loads of wonderful books as well, because of that.

Alice Clover:

Yeah, I agree. And I think, um, it's also not moving with the times because with the internet. Obviously people have access to much more than they did before. And, um, it works two ways. Doesn't it? Because you could come up with the best book title in the world, but unless you're willing to put the effort in to promote it and continuously tell people about it. No, one's going to know about it. And in fact, a friend of mine told me about another friend of hers who had written these really brilliant books, but they just expected them to sale and didn't market them or anything. And they haven't sold, even though the titles are very catchy and children would love it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's interesting. And yeah, we definitely in just a minute, we are going to come on to marketing because I think you've done such a great job of marketing your books and I can see you're, you know, you're doing it continuously and I definitely want to get sort of your tips and advice here. Um, but one final question about the publication of your second book. So have you done anything new or differently to what you did first time round? Is there anything that you've learned that you've, that you've changed for the launch of this book?

Alice Clover:

Yeah, we didn't advertise it until it was ready because I advertised Girls Love To Fart far too early and then had to have advice from other people about getting it finished because someone said that other people could steal the concept. I really did not want that to happen.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's really interesting. Cause I know that they talk about, um, and I, I talk about this to people with products as well about talking about them before they're ready, but I guess it's getting that timestamp right in that case. Cause I mean, I did see you talk about Princesses Don't Have Stinky Bums before the launch, but it wasn't that far before was that it was weeks I think. Is that, is that right?

Alice Clover:

Yeah. Basically when the book was finished, Um, myself and my illustrator asked on, uh, some writing groups on Facebook for advice. And, um, the front cover had to be changed slightly because other people on there were saying what they think would make more sense and how we could improve it. So, um, that's what started it. We knew the book was complete so that no one else would have time to take that idea basically. And make the changes that were needed, we did have to put the date release date back because we just weren't ready. So, um, then when, uh, we were ready, um, she created some, um, countdown posts and everything to fit in with the color on the front cover. So the everything kind of had a brand for it.

Vicki Weinberg:

And how far in advance are you doing that? Like let's say on your social media. So sort of how far we're about to be telling the public about it.

Alice Clover:

Oh, is it possible to pause this?

Vicki Weinberg:

Don't worry.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. Okay. So. Yeah, I did the countdown, uh, five days before the book was due out. And we, um, posted on all of our social media platforms. Um, I've had a lot of shares on LinkedIn. People have been posting reposting on, um, Facebook and, um, sharing in their stories on Instagram. So it's all been really well received and, um, yeah, so many people have been supporting the book.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing and, well, I think that's, a lot of that it's down to like all the work you've done. In the past couple of years, I would say, because you've been so visible and you've done such a lot to market and promote your first book that I think it makes total sense that people are behind you now because you built up an audience and a following. So I think that's totally down. It sort of, so is what I'm trying to say is obviously that it's not just for people listening. I don't think that's down to you doing anything perhaps different this time. It's because of all the work you've done up until this point.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. And I think because. I've also been fortunate enough to support other self-published authors as well. So, so, uh, for example, someone has self published, a book on Amazon and, um, uh, they did, we've got a group chat and a networking thing that I'm on and the, and, uh, Said they had two five-star reviews on there already and were really happy. And so I, so I left a five star review. I haven't read the book, but I know what it's about and I've chatted to the person who's written it. So, um, I said, oh, I've just left you a five star review and it came up and they then use that review as a promotional post. So. I feel like when people are supporting each other, it then helps us all grow.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely. And I know it's been really early days, but have you seen, uh, I'm assuming that you have, but let's ask anyway, have you seen more sales of this book in the first couple of days than you did with your first release?

Alice Clover:

Yeah. Lots of people have been getting it. And also, um, because of the things that have been going on with Amazon and basically it was. Monday morning. It was fine. Then by the afternoon it said currently unavailable. And now the listings gone a bit odd. Um, and I have a feeling it's because they print on demand, so they didn't have a backlog of stock. and they're trying to catch up with themselves. So all being well, they should reshare it relist it and everything should be like, cause it, first of all, it was one to two month's wait, and then hopefully when they've relisted it, it will be next day deliveries for people. So, um, it's been. Yeah, that that should resolve. It's been a bit frustrating because I know that people want it and people were messaging me saying, it says it's unavailable. When's it going to be available? And I was saying, oh, I'm trying to sort that out. IngramSparks were messaging Amazon trying to sort it out because it's self-published through them. Um, myself, my illustrator couldn't get any information from Amazon. So kind of been in the dark.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's frustrating. And yeah, I mean, I think I've spoke about this so much on this podcast. Amazon can be really frustrating, even if you can contact them in terms of the information they provide, but you, how frustrating to have. So how many steps was the first day of release that happened? Oh, my goodness. Well, hopefully, well, by the time people listen to this, it's going to be a few months on. And so it will be always available and hopefully back on prime, something we will definitely link to the book in the show notes. Um, yeah how frustrating, and I guess are you finding, you're getting a lot of repeat customers, so customers who bought your first book and then, you know, loved that book and then coming on to buy this one?

Alice Clover:

Yeah, a lot of repeat customers and a lot of people who tell me. Um, my work has changing. Like, um, someone said that, that my books changed their narrative around bodily functions overnight, and they've all become much more accepting as a family and, um, have been able to talk about it rather than feel embarrassed by it and say, that makes such a big difference to me knowing that that it's, it's changing, even if even if it's just one person that I've managed to help with their language and, um, understand things around natural bodily functions and also how this impacts on girls and their wellbeing. And, you know, if we're telling girls that what their body does is wrong or the how they are, is wrong, how they want to behave, then that carries on throughout the whole of their life. And if I can help. You know, like I said, just one little girl, just become much more confident in herself, then that's my job done, basically.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing. And I'm, I'm absolutely convinced that you're doing that. Um, so we talked a little bit before we started recording about the fact that you've seen an increase in sales of Girls Love To Fart since releasing your second book. Should we talk about that a little bit? Because I think that's really interesting.

Alice Clover:

Yeah, I think because people have been seeing my posts and they associate me with Girls Love To Fart. That's basically my, my, uh, main reputation, I suppose. I'd say more people know that book than they know me. Um, so yeah, they've, they've seen my posts and then when I guess on Amazon as well, the algorithms, it says people who looked at this, book then also looked at this book. And so they're looking at both books now and that's gone up. But last June, we also, that was when we first became bestsellers for that book. So, um, earlier on in the year it's been quite slow, but now it's going up.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think we were talking about this as well weren't we that, if you find an author that you like you do, then tend to go and see what other books they have. So hopefully you will see an increase in sales and both of your books, just because you have two books. And so if you're people like one chances are they'll go and buy the other.

Alice Clover:

Yeah, exactly. And that's why I've wanted to get more books out because I know that people will then a fresh interest will occur. Because I felt like with Girls Love To Fart, it was a little bit stagnant and there was only so much that I could do to advertise it and promote it. And now it's a lot of the time it's pretty much done its own promotion and marketing. I haven't actually had to do a huge amount. Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah. Do, you know, you stay that though, but I think you've done a great job of marketing. I see you marketing your books all the time, and I think you've done a fantastic job. And I'd like to actually talk a little bit about that because, um, we mentioned before you don't have a marketer, you don't have any sort of team behind you. So how have you kept up sales yourself? What sort of things have you been doing?

Alice Clover:

I've been reaching out to people. There's been a couple of influencers who've shared. And, um, one of the influencers shared it, uh, partner reading to their children and they have a fart machine and they were all really giggling. So that helped massively. Um, and also, um, I have been telling everybody about it. I did a photo shoot recently. Dressed as a whoopee cushion. And I was on a radio show based in Cornwall. And that was great. Um, and yeah, just kind of people talk about it and then like, people will say to me, yeah, I've heard of that book. In fact, a friend of mine was on a business, uh, networking call and, um, it's specifically for women, right? She was talking about how, uh, because obviously being self-employed is, is there's more challenges for women than there are men. And, um, So apparently the woman who runs it said something about, uh, someone farted in an interview or something and felt really embarrassed. And then my friend said about my book and, um, someone else on the call said, oh, I know that friend too. And she actually does another networking call that I do. So, um, yeah, like a lot more people are talking about it and know about it. And, and, um, when I reached out to the illustrator for Princesses Don't Have Stinky Bums. She said that her friends have talked about it and I mean, she's in her twenties. So there's kind of seems to be a lot of people. At least know about it, even if they don't have a copy.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it's been really visible I mean, you've been visible yourself, but I think also, so I've, I've personally seen you in the bestseller charts quite a few times on Amazon over the past year. Um, do you think that that does something as well for your sales, but when you get into those charts, do you see even more of a boost because you're a bit more visible.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. Definitely see more of a boost. And, um, especially when it's ranking next to other books that people buy, like there's some books that peop people in shops say they will sell those books every single day without fail. And my book's been ranking next to that. I mean, on one of the charts, it was ranking next to, um, Michelle Obama's autobiography, which is the best selling autobiography of all time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, wow. Yeah. That must be something for yourself.

Alice Clover:

Yeah,

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing. So I would love, um, and ,we are sort of getting towards the end of my, my list of questions, Alice, but one thing I'd really like to know is some ideas of practical things you think other authors can do when they're promoting their books. So I guess we'll take it into two sections. First of all, when they're launching or perhaps ready to launch a book, and then what kind of things can you do on going? Cause I guess, um, the longer books been out, perhaps the harder it is. To maintain that focus and attention to that. It'd be really good. If you could give us some ideas of things that you've done that have worked that, perhaps others might like to try.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. So I'd say to initially do the countdown and, um, get as much, uh, generate as much, um, exposure as possible, straight away and, uh, Networking's worked for me massively, but I appreciate that not everyone is comfortable networking. If you do a post and anyone comments always reply to the comments. If you get a negative comment. Don't respond. And quite often from my experience, other people respond on my behalf and then quite often I'll get sales then and there. So that seems to work, uh, negative publicity, um, and, um, yeah, be really, truly thankful to every single person who buys the book and support you, because if it wasn't for them, you can't get to where you want to be. Uh, also reach out for support from people. So if you know somebody who is an expert in marketing, but you can't afford to get someone to do your marketing, ask them questions and see how you can do it yourself. If you know somebody that, um, is. Skilled in, um, design and you can't afford, uh, an illustrator, whatever, get tips to see how you could, can do that. Or, uh, so with my illustrators, we've agreed to split profits 50 :50. Because I haven't been in the position to be able to pay because the average illustrator for children's book is around £7,000 pounds. And I would say that the majority of self-published writers are not financially in that position to do that. Um, I haven't got the skillset to do illustrations myself. Some people do. And if you're fortunate enough to be able to do that, then maximize on those skills. And again, promote yourself continuously on social media. I'm not very comfortable with doing lives or Tik Tok or any of that. And I know that if I did that kind of stuff, then it would generate even more sales, but I'm just working on the skills that I have. So I'm very good at communication and talking to other authors, supporting other authors, getting a copy of their book promoting their book, leaving reviews for other people and, um, just being present, really just say that people know that if, if they need to contact you reply to their messages or. If you can't reply to their message straight away to say, I'm really sorry. I can't respond right now, but I will respond to you just to acknowledge.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you. And you mentioned as well, you are, um, fantastic advice. Thank you so much for all of those tips. Those are really practical things people can start doing. Um, you mentioned earlier about being in Facebook groups. So is that something you'd recommend or joining Facebook groups for self published authors?

Alice Clover:

Yes. There's a lot of writers and authors, promotional, uh, sites. There's, uh, right. There's writing groups to give you tips. There's writers and illustrators groups. There's children's groups. Um, there's all sorts of different types of groups. So you've got to find what works best for you. But, um, that's where we got the feedback for the front cover and we changed it and I replied to every, but every person who commented saying that we've taken on board, what you've said did another post with the updated front cover and said, this is the changes we've made. Thank you for your advice. It was, it's really helped. And, um, just so that people know that actually what they're saying, isn't falling on deaf ears because that quite often feels the case in social media. I think you, you feel like you're a bit invisible and see all these other posts where people seem to have everything sorted in their life and forget that, actually a lot of work goes into that and, um, Quite often with people who have a book out and, um, say for a celebrity, for example, they will be traditionally published because their publisher will know that they'll get sales. So they have a huge team behind them working on everything that needs to be done to get the book out there. And for self-published people that's really daunting because you have to generally do it yourself, unless you're fortunate enough to have money, to be able to delegate tasks to the people who know. So, um, because I been able to go to different events, like obvious I met you in person and, um, if it wasn't for Thrive, I wouldn't be where I am today. Um, and other, uh, Business, uh, events that I've been to in the past, I've had so much support and information from people. And I think that it makes such a difference.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely. Thank you so much for saying that. I think that sort of connections and collaborations and genuinely wanting to help people, which I see you do all the time. Really. It does help because, um, yeah, I think relationships play a huge part in everything. So that's brilliant advice.

Alice Clover:

Exactly. And you've given me loads of advice. You've recommended different websites to use and different places to look for, whatever it is that I, um, need help with. And I really do want to create more products and merchandise in the future. And, um, working towards, um, expanding so that I can do that because I know that people would really want to have products as well as, as the book.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, well, thank you for saying that. I mean like you, I always, I come from the place where if I can help someone, I will. Cause I think you don't need to get anything back from it. I just think it's a nice thing to do. Isn't it, to be able to help somebody else is lovely. And I do think you do get benefits from that. But of course that's not why we're doing it, but, um, it's just nice. Isn't it. To be able to feel that you've been of use to somebody.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. Exactly and I feel for me, cause I have generated so much knowledge, um, I want to pass that on. And I've this week I've had somebody messaging who has written a romance and wants to self publish, and I've been doing a step by step guides to help her, um, Become as find it as easy as possible to reach the goal that, that, that she wants to reach because, um, it is very daunting, especially when you've done it for the first time. And, um, uh, like for example, a lot of self-published authors don't know who that target audience are, so they can't, um, then target people correctly. So I always say the first thing you need to do before you do anything is create the personas of your target audience and know those people inside and out. And, uh, it's recommended. I mean, um, you know, this already, but three people minimum. So that you can make sure every time you do a post, every time you market or anything, you are targeting those people. And then you're far more likely to succeed in whatever it is you want to do. That doesn't matter. What, what, um, business you have. If you don't know your target audience, then you're never going to get to the point where you can reach your full potential.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that's great advice. Don't they say something like, if you're talking to everybody, you're talking to nobody. I think that's the quote. And I think that's that you'd like to say. I think that's true for anything that you're doing. You just really need to think about who it is you're talking to and who your products or book or whether it's a service, wherever it is, is actually for. And having that person in mind definitely helps. Um, so yeah, and I do really appreciate how much you do want to help other authors as well. I think that's fantastic that you're willing to share your time and your knowledge with other people. And with that in mind, I've got one final question for you, which is what would your key advice be for other people, other self published or offers, or perhaps people who just even, even if they have in the back of them minds, they might want to self-publish at some point in the future, what things would you like them to know?

Alice Clover:

Um, just do research into how they would like to self-publish. Cause there's so many different options. I mean, you can, self-publish just through Amazon alone and that helps people who have absolutely no way of paying for any publishing. Um, because with the publisher that I went through, You have to pay an initial fee. Um, but with, uh, Amazon's KDP you publish through them and they provide you with a, um, uh, ISBN number, but it means that you literally cannot sell anywhere else. And the beauty of self publishing through other platforms is the, if you are trying to promote your book, not everybody likes Amazon. So, um, you have the opportunity to advertise your book and say, yes, it is on Amazon, but it's also available at these other independent bookshops and they really need your support as well. So don't feel like you have to just buy off Amazon. Um, but yeah, it just depends on everyone. What, what funds they have, what they feel would be the best selling platform for them and, um, how much time and effort they want to put in, basically.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that makes sense. Thank you. And I actually had no idea that if you published solely on Amazon, that was the only place you could sell. Um, I'm assuming that if you wanted to, you could go down the route of buying an ISBN. For yourself, if you wanted to do it that way and have a few more options. So yeah, it definitely sounds like some research is needed, um, into what works best for you because you're just, that small thing you've just told me that if you go on Amazon, you can't then sell that book anywhere else, I think would be a game changer for some people. Because as you say, not everyone wants to just have their book on Amazon.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. And I've known self published authors who have desperately tried to, um, self publish in other ways, I know somebody who did a Kickstarter and the Kickstarter wasn't successful and they wanted to get that book out. And the only option for them was to self publish through KDP. And that, um, probably means that like for their own ethics, it's not something they wanted to do. And also they've limited their audience. Um, I also know somebody else who's traditionally published and that books really brilliant, and the publishers will not stock on Amazon. They do advertising campaigns so that they can get their books out, but that's, their ethos is to not do that. Um, and, um, in this case, the authors sales have not been as much as they could have been. But then, um, a lot of people I know have turned away from giants like Amazon, because they want to keep independent bookshops alive and support them.

Vicki Weinberg:

Absolutely. I mean, we spoke about how in the past, you know, year, most people have been buying books online, but then on the other hand, now book shops are opening I think more people are going back to support them what's on their high street. So I think you're absolutely right. Okay, well, thank you so much for all that you shared today Alice. I appreciate it so much. Um, it's great to have you back. It's great to hear that you have a second book and that your first book is still doing well. Um, hopefully that's given a lot of confidence to other self-published authors that this can be something that you can do and continue to do as well. I think it's really interesting impact on launching a second book has had on your first book. Um, and the fact that I think if you know, a couple of years on your first book is still doing really well. I do think it's amazing and a Testament to also you and all the hard work you put in. Because as I say, I see you everywhere. You're very visible and you work very hard promoting it.

Alice Clover:

Yeah. And that's the thing, isn't it being self-employed is not nine till five it is literally all the time. That's I think that's what people kind of don't really appreciate because yes, you can take uh, time off and, and say like, if you want it to go and have a coffee in a cafe or something, you can go and do things like that. But then when you come back, you have to really crack on with whatever it is that you need to do. And quite like last night, I was sending emails to, um, a few people who are influencers that my husband found, this was like 11 o'clock last night. And, uh, I said to my you're giving me more work to do now. And it's just when he was looking for my book, these people came up and we, I thought, right, I've got to contact them straight away because otherwise either I'll forget or it just won't be an opportunity. So, um, yeah, it's, it's definitely something that you have to be prepared to put time into. And I am, I absolutely love what I do and it gives me a lot of freedoms, but I just know to get the books to the, um, to where I want them to be this, this additional hard work at the beginning is, um, absolutely necessary.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah. And it definitely looks like it pays off as well.

Alice Clover:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you again so much, Alice. I've really enjoyed talking to you for a second time. And perhaps if and when you launch a third book, but you can come back and talk about it.

Alice Clover:

Oh, yeah. Hopefully September has the next one.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's very soon.

Alice Clover:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

We're in June now. Wow. Okay. So yeah, we're we're going to finish off today and then, um, I might have to stay on the line and pick your brains about that a little bit. So thank you again. Thank you so much, Alice.

Alice Clover:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

As always, I really hope you enjoyed this conversation with Alice and I would love to know what you think. So do, please get in touch and let me know vicki@vickiweinberg.com. And I genuinely, always love to hear from you. Please do follow this podcast. So you get all new episodes. As soon as they arrive every Friday morning, well take care and have a lovely week.