Previous Finalists




Hi everybody,

I just got a message from an author who won the bronze in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards asking if this will help her to sell her book. Well, here’s the thing. It will, if you see the medal as a tool in your marketing tool box.

For example, when I won the UK People’s Book Prize, I put it on my author page and I put it on the front cover of all of my books. This helped a little. But it helped BIG TIME when I was trying to twist the arms of schools to allow me to visit them and present my literacy workshops to the students there. In the past, when I sent a message to schools offering to do my workshops, I’d get a response of approx. 1%. But, when I put ‘Winner of The UK People’s Book Prize’ in the box at the top of the message, I got a response of approx. 12%.

You see, 99% of readers have no clue how good or bad a literary award is. They simply see ‘Award-Winning Book’ and they think, ‘Oh, it must be good’. In my case, the teachers in the schools see ‘UK People’s Book Prize Winner’ and think, ‘Oh, he must be good’ and they book me up for a visit.

So, to sum up then, yes, being a finalist or winning a medal in The Wishing Shelf Book Award can help you to sell your books, but only if you have a marketing strategy whereby you utilize the win to further that marketing strategy. Let me put it this way, after winning the award I now sell an average of 75 books at every school I visit. Before I won the award, I sold an average 45 books. The difference: I had a marketing strategy and every poster I now send the schools says ‘Winner of the UK People’s Book Prize’ in bold, red letters at the top. And the letter the schools send to parents to tell them a children’s author is visiting and they can buy a signed book – well, I bet you can guess what it says in big, bold letters at the top.

See winning an award as a tool in your tool box. But it you don’t take the tool out, it’s not going to do you any good.


I hope that helps,





The finalists of the 2017 Wishing Shelf Book Awards are now on the website. Check them out:


My Animated Film

This month, I thought I would tell you all about the animated film I'm producing for my book, The Boy Who Piddled in His Grandad's Slippers. Not because I want you to watch it (it will not be on Amazon for another few weeks) but because I thought it might be interesting to authors looking for additional income streams.


Firstly, the book. Well, it's a picture book approx. eight hundred words long that I self published a year or so a go. It's pretty popular, particulary amongst children aged 4 - 7. Also, it's very visual. Visiting schools, a lot of children would ask me if there was a film of this particular book and, to be honest, I got sick of saying no.


So, the first thing I did was try to find a company who could make the film. I wanted it to be very funny with a cool narrator, good music and, of course, excellent graphics. I started off by contacting UK-based firms. Well, for a fifteen minute short film, they were quoting anywhere between £20,000 and £50,000! Well, after a stiff drink, I did what I did when I recently went looking for an illustrator for my latest picture book, The Hungry Grasshopper. I went to a website called Fiverr. On here you will find lots of very talented people who can do pretty much anything at a much lower cost.


I spent approx. two days going though all the animators' work until I finally picked a comany based in Pakistan. The illustration style reminded me a little of South Park. I didn't want Disney so this was perfect. I contacted the company, sent them the script and they came back with a quote of $1,500! Yes, it's not a typo. And, even better, I don't have to pay a dollar until the film is completed and I am totally happy with it.


So, I thought, why not? I can't go wrong!


So far, everything has progressed swimmingly. Every week or so, the company sends me 2 - 3 mins of film which I watch; I then send them feedback and they alter the film to what I want. They re-send it to me, and so on and so... They also sent me seven or so narrators' work to pick from. I did not like the first six but the seventh was marvellous. Later today, the company will be sending me the complete film fully lip synced. Then they will be sorting out the music and the credits at the beginning and end of the film.


But I know what you are asking: what should I do with it when it's finished? That's where Amazon Video Direct fits in. If you didn't know, you can also publish a film with Amazon which works very much like Kindle Select and Createspace. Once my film is listed there, I will get a royalty for every rental and for every purchase of the film. Also, customers on Prime can watch as part of the monthly subscription and I will get a royalty for every minute watched.


As many of you might know, I visit a lot of schools as a children's author. Every year, I meet with approx. 100,000 children. Now, when I visit a school, as well as promoting my books, I will also promote the film. A child can then ask mum or dad if they can watch it on Amazon. If they say yes (if they are on Prime, why not), I increase my income.


So there you have it! Will it be successful? To be honest, I don't know. It helps that the film is based on a picture book and is not too long. This keeps the production costs down. Also, it helps a lot that I meet with so many of my readers and I can directly say to them, 'If you don't wish to read book, check out the short film on Amazon.' But will it make a profit? We will see. I will let you know in a future newsletter.


I hope that was interesting for you all.



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