Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you've been in the industry?
Since beginning in this industry over 20 years ago, I've had the privilege of wearing many hats: published author, editor, mentor, festival director, radio host and founder of Creative Kids Tales. To make it in this industry, I knew I would have to invest. I began my training as President of a local chapter of the Children's Book Council of Australia. After three years I left and Creative Kids Tales was born. Fast-forward to today and CKT is almost 10! It's been an amazing journey, and I love provide the kid-lit community with support and resources.
I've also had time to write and publish a number of books, including Lulu (now available on Virgin and QANTAS entertainment channels!), Clover's Big Ideas, and In the Shadow of an Elephant. My stories have also been featured on Kinderling Kids Radio. You can read more about me here.
Describe your typical work desk.
Unfortunately, my workspace has become more a dumping ground for files, books and merchandise. I like to think of it as organised chaos.
I'll write wherever I can find a spot. On the train, in my garden or at my dining table. My favourite place to write is in the shower. I have a waterproof notepad and pencil stuck to my wall. A lot of my ideas come to me when I'm in the shower (probably because it is the only space I can be truly alone with my imagination).
What is most important for an author to remember when marketing themselves?
I immediately think of the big no-no's I see instead! When an author bombards sites trying to sell their books, or when they respond to posts and spin the topic around in an attempt to sell. Marketing should not be 'in your face'. Apart from any initial launch, it should be gentle but long-term. Get involved with groups both online and in person, especially where your book might be a good fit. This is also a great networking opportunity, but don't push your book on people.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I don't think there was ever one purchase. It's all about long-term investment: going to festivals, upskilling through workshops and so on. Anything you can do to expand your knowledge in your chosen genre is beneficial. Reading extensively in the genre you write for and being aware of trends with publishers helps too.
What is the most memorable approach you have seen to promote a book?
Merchandise is great! However, this is not always possible. Kids love getting something that ties into the book, and parents love freebies for their kids. It can be a stuffed toy, kid's watch or a bookmark or poster. This week I received an emoji pile of poo with a smiley face, that smells of chocolate. My kids love it! Launches with giveaways, book readings and signings are great promotional avenues. Kids love meeting their writing heroes.
Describe your panel for the Wombat Books conference.
Writing is only the first step in your investment. You need to network, market yourself, build your brand, polish your work and so much more. Participants will learn how to INVEST to build a healthy return. This session will equip you with the tools needed to take your writing journey to the next level, with topics spanning from the value of critique groups and writing competitions, building your author platform before publication, and social media.
For more great workshops like Georgie's, book your tickets for the conference now! Click the image below for more information.