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Ruth Livingstone Shortlisted for Rubery Book Award

Our wonderful author, Ruth Livingstone, has just been shortlisted for the non-fiction category of the most prestigious indie award in the UK: The International Rubery Book Award. The Rubery is the longest established book award in the UK for indie/self-published books. The judges have a keen eye for quality, and this is not the first time one of our authors has been selected.

Ruth Livingstone’s book, Walking The English Coast: A Beginner’s Guide, was praised by the judges for its “deceptively straightforward style” and “practical advice that you feel you ought to know, but actually don’t, from what shoes to wear to how to deal with cows”.

ruth livingstone

About Ruth Livingstone

Ruth Livingstone is a GP and realised in her mid-fifties that although she gave people a lot of advice about living a healthy lifestyle, she herself had become a bit of a couch potato. Not one to do things by halves, she set herself a challenge: to walk the entire English coast. Of course, this was a huge undertaking. A steep learning curve followed. She wrote down everything she wished someone had told her before she started (from map-reading to dealing with blisters), and tracked her progress on her fantastic blog: www.coastalwalker.co.uk.

The blog became so popular that she decided to take it one step further and produce a beautiful full colour, large format book to help and inspire people on their walking journeys, whether they are just dipping their toes in or setting themselves big challenges. She covers everything, from how to map out and plan, what you need to buy (and what is not worth carrying with you), how to keep yourself safe, as well as sharing her own personal anecdotes, so you can learn from her experiences. If you plan to get outdoors this summer, this will have you reaching for your walking boots in no time.

“I wanted my book to read well and to look wonderful too. The editors at I_AM Self-Publishing helped me improve the text and created a great layout for the book – with photographs, highlighted boxes and a series of Top Tips. It was great to bounce ideas around and to have their professional help with the project.” Ruth Livingstone

Walking the english coast spread

Walking the English Coast is available now on Amazon and at other good retailers.


Just launched: Fall Out

The Story Behind Fall Out

Lizzy-MumfreyLizzy Mumfrey lives is a small, tight-night community and started thinking about what could tear such a community apart. She envisaged a terror attack that involved some but not all of the community, centred in London. It gave a very interesting psychological standpoint from which to test and expose friendships and prejudices. The story was partly triggered by thinking about the fallout from the horrific 9/11 attack. However, since the book was launched, the UK has sadly suffered two severe terror attacks. She comments, :”I find myself in a strange, uncomfortable place. My  curious mind imagined a situation where a terrorist act, specifically on May 25th, tore apart a community. I pictured how people would react if their children were caught up in such a catastrophic event. I wove a story about innocent Muslims being unfairly blamed and harassed, Mum’s offering to take on their friends children orphaned by the atrocity, people who were “nearly there” but providentially escaped. For months I lived the lives of the people I was writing about and got to know them intimately. They took over my reality.  My novel Fall Out was published in April 2017. To now read the fallout from the bomb at Manchester, May 22nd, has sent shivers down my spine.”

One of the reasons that Fall Out is so realistic is the incredible level of detailed research Lizzy carried out, going to her local police station to learn how they would cope with a major incident, down to who would be seconded where. She was worried that her sudden interest in bombs might put her on some sort of watch list, but thankfully the police are used to working with authors who want to get all the details right.

Lizzy Mumfrey

“Working with I_Am Self Publishing has been a truly enabling experience.  When with trepidation I made my first enquiries Ali was incredibly positive and encouraging. When I sent in my first draft Leila pointed out the enormous holes in it but pointed out the good bits too. She nursed me through the whole process, of which I was entirely ignorant, and with her support I was able to complete my debut novel.  The cover is stunning, absolutely inspired and inspiring. With such a fantastic image to work towards it made me work hard to get the content as right as it could be.   I genuinely couldn’t have done it without I_Am Self Publishing who have been simply amazing.  I can’t wait to work with them on the next one.” – Lizzy Mumfrey

About Fall Out by Lizzy Mumfrey

The sociable commuter village of Charlton is an ordinary neighbourhood, typical of many, home to a colourful range of residents, many of whose teenagers go to the local academy. An ordinary day becomes extraordinary when a school trip to London coincides with an appalling terrorist attack and everyone’s cosy, humdrum life is shattered.
The fallout affects every resident in dramatically different ways. Who lives and who dies is just the start – irrational suspicions, prejudice and misunderstandings lead to blame and persecution. Buried secrets are revealed, friendships fractured and trust destroyed.

Available on Amazon

How to make the most of your author marketing budget in 4 simple steps


1. Have a plan

rawpixel-com-252130Authors come to me for help with their marketing all the time. The first thing I do is ask them if I can have a look at their marketing plan, targets and goal tracking.

This is a slightly mean and loaded question because I know the chances of them having all of this to hand is pretty slim. Some do, but the vast majority haven’t properly planned it all out with a budget and a timeframe.

Their marketing approach is often like an ideological political manifesto. Full of big ideas and pie in the sky figures without thought about how much that will all cost or the work involved in achieving them.


2. Be efficient

sanah-suvarna-161883The best way to make the most of any author marketing budget, no matter how big or small, is efficiency. More ad spend does not mean more book sales. In fact, it can be quite the opposite – clever authors who nail their targeting don’t spend as much as others and get better results. I’m all about making life a little simpler. Those of you that have watched any of my webinars know that my book marketing mantra is all about EFFICIENCY. Spend less time and less money and get better results! Whatever your sales goal is, reaching it will be quicker, easier and cheaper if you can efficiently send the right messages to the right people in the right places at the right time. The more accurately you do this, the less TIME and MONEY it will cost you. Sounds great, right?


3. Know your numbers

william-iven-22449At the very WORST your author marketing campaign should BREAK EVEN. That means that the money you spend on marketing your book should AT LEAST equal the amount you receive back in sales.

There are a few key figures that you need to focus on to make that happen…

1. Your cost per lead

Cost per WHAT?? A lead is a potential customer – someone who shows a bit of interest in what you’re selling. Not every lead will end up being a customer, but these are the people who you are interested enough for you to pitch to. Think of them like a browser in a bookstore who has noticed your book because it was on a promotional table at the front of the store. They may just pick it up, they may read the blurb, they may even take it to the check out. The point is, they noticed your book and liked what they saw. Your cost per lead is how much it costs you to get each of those book browsers over to your promotional table – yes, some book stores charge for promotional spots.

2. Your conversion rate

Sorry, you lost me again… This is the percentage of your leads that end up purchasing your book. If your conversion rate is 25% that means you will need 4 leads for every sale. So for every 4 people whose eyes are drawn to your book on that promotional table, only one of them actually takes it to the till.


4. Put it all together

freestocks-org-73101Clear as mud? Don’t worry. The below video explains it in much more detail.

PLUS because I’m so nice to you guys… I’ve made a fancy spreadsheet calculator that I’ve built ALL of the formulas and maths into (if you don’t have a head for numbers – relax, I’ve done the tricky stuff for you).

All you need to do is watch the video to understand how it works, then alter the figures to see where you break even. This ensures you know what the MAXIMUM you can afford to spend per lead is, what the MINIMUM percentage you can afford to convert at and also forecast how long it should take you to achieve your results.

Please don’t throw your author marketing budget into a black hole. Know what numbers you need to hit and what you should expect for your investment.

Writing is a hobby but publishing is an investment. Treat it as one.