Lori-Ann Preston Author Interview

Thabo, the Space Dude

Lori-Ann 1

Lori-Ann lives in PE, but I met this lovely lady while she was in Johannesburg busy marketing her books to schools and shops here and she was a raging success. She was quite the inspiration to me even though we write in different genres and I thought it would be nice to share her story.

Hi Lori-Ann, thank you for agreeing to this interview with me.

I’m delighted that you asked me. Thank you.

Q: Tell me a bit about why you enjoy writing.

A: I definitely have an inner calling to be a writer.  It’s something I really feel passionate about. I actually started writing at the age of 8.  While I write I often find myself laughing and smiling as my words begin to take shape.

And, nothing gives me more pleasure than watching a tween read my book or receiving feedback from happy readers.

Q: What type of books do you write?

A: Books for tweens.  Children aged 9-12.

Q: What is the name of your latest book?

A: Thabo, the Space Dude:  Log Books 1 and 2

Thabo 1

Q: Can you please give me a short overview of your book?

A: Thabo and his family are the first people in the entire world to be selected to move to Mars.  Thabo is far less than impressed with this idea as it means he has to leave his friends, and school (although he is okay with that), no more pizza, PlayStation, or Wi-Fi.

Log Book 1:  His last days on Earth and attending Mars Boot Camp.

Log Book 2:  His trip through space, landing on Mars and encountering aliens!

Thabo 2

Q: As an Indie Author, how do you market your books?

A: I am extremely lucky to have SULA Book distributors market my book to all leading bookstores in the country.  They are doing an EXCELLENT job.   They have reps around the country who make appointments and visit store managers.  I also walk into stores myself and introduce myself to managers.  I must say, every single store (about 60) that I have been into has been AMAZING!  Bookshop managers are super kind.

It is really tough walking into stores.  But, as an Indie Author, I find you HAVE to be brave.  I sometimes get quite anxious and have even shed a nervous tear or two.

I hold FREE literacy workshops at schools.  The workshops include a PowerPoint, playing literacy games, a reading and a Q and A session. The workshops are full of fun, interactive and very educative.  Kind of like having a dramatized English lesson.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE holding the workshops! Tweens are the best!

Thabo - Workshops

Q: How do you go about doing book launches in different provinces and getting your book sold at various outlets?

A: I approach individual stores or my marketers approach stores and we ask if they’d be willing to allow me to hold a signing on a Saturday morning.

All my books are taken into the stores on a consignment basis so there is no risk to the individual bookstores.

Lori-Ann 2

Q: Do you have any advice for new Indie authors out there?

A: Yes.  I’m more than happy to share what works for me and if anyone has ABSOLUTELY ANY questions please do not hesitate to send me a mail: thabospacedude@gmail.com

My advice is to do your research.  Find out what your genre of readers are reading at the moment.  Read all the best sellers.  I read almost every:  Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, Captain Underpants, Geronimo Stilton, Middle School, Goosebumps, Treehouse Series, David Walliams, etc…

Make use of beta readers.  I always read my work to tweens to see how they react to it.  Are they bored? Do they laugh at my jokes? Do they understand my words?  I ask a school librarian if I can go in at break times to read to selected tweens or I read to a whole class during their library period once a week.

Try and learn something new about the industry every day.  Google, Facebook, and Instagram have successful authors in your genre and what they’re up to.  Reach out to someone every day:  Phone a school, visit a bookshop, post on social media, phone a radio station, chat with other authors, or phone a newspaper agency.  You have to keep moving forward with self-marketing yourself and your book every day.

If you feel discouraged phone a family member or friend who believes in you and tell them you need some encouragement.  My daughter and husband are brilliant at this job.

Lastly, accept CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and listen to advice from others.

If you would like to find Lori-Ann’s books, then you can go on Facebook under ‘Thabo, the Space Dude’.

Thank you for sharing your story with us Lori-Ann and I hope you go from strength to strength!

That’s it from me for now…

Please show me some love and comment below. If you enjoy what you see, please follow me for more features.

Enjoy the moments


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