Archives for category: Self-publishing

packing up

Now I am getting nervous. The book launch is on Saturday and I have made plenty of lists: What I have to take, what I have to buy, what I have to ask others to help me with and so on.

Yesterday I had to swing by the venue again because all of a sudden I realised I don’t even know where the toilets are and then I was told the fridge is broken. So I will have to organise a chilly bin for the milk and the butter. I don’t have one of those.

Today I went to the shops to buy flour. Surprisingly, the 1.5 kg bags were more economical, because they were on special this week. So I bought 8 packets of white flour and 4 packets of whole meal. The lady at checkout was so curious, she couldn’t resist asking me what I was doing :). I knew that will happen. Honestly who would buy 12 packets of flour in one go. It wasn’t really that cheap that it justified hording. So I gave her an invitation to the launch.

The worst thing is, I have absolutely no idea how many people will show up. I have had some replies to my emails and a lot of people said it is a great idea. I didn’t ask for RSVP as it would make it too official and I really would like for people to just drop by.

Dietlind Wagner dedepuppet and bun

Doesn’t the saying go: “Necessity is the mother of all inventions”. When the puppets got really desperate, they came up with the idea to make a book full of recipes with flour and water: The Artist’s Survival  Cookbook. The book is now available on CreateSpace and this Saturday we are celebrating the launch with a pop-up kitchen at the Methodist Church in Birkenhead. It is an interactive launch and the visitors can try their hand at a recipe from the book. I still have a lot to prepare and I have no idea how it will go, but that is the fun of it :)

devil hammock

I have started to prepare for my book launch, which will be a pop-up kitchen. I think this is very appropriate for The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. I have been running around to find a suitable venue that I can hire without breaking the bank. (I am back on a serious flour and water diet and unfortunately I can’t pay my dues in buns and doughnuts). There are gazillions of self-published books out there and everybody who has ever published a book can confirm, the most difficult part is the marketing. Particularly when you are a hermit, as a lot of artists are. But in the meantime I have sold some copies via CreateSpace. It is so exciting, when you log in and you see for the first time that the 0 has turned into real a number!

Though I still have to finish my Pecha Kucha presentation that describes why I am playing with puppets. Here we are at slide number 9:

When I first started I with puppets, I was particularly ingtruiged by their completeness. They are viusal, sculptures, actors, storytellers all rolled up in one.  Puppetry has been an anarchic and subversive art throughout history and Peter Schumann, the founder of Bread and Puppetry said: It is an art which is easier researched in police records than in theatre chronicles.


The first shipment of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook has arrived. Just in time for the Indie bookfair at the Northshore Event Centre this weekend. For all my overseas friends… the book is now available at Amazon. I haven’t quite figured it out, but they already discounted the book, strange. It is also available on the CreateSpace Store, but here it is my intended price. This is one way of robbing the author of their royalties. Why would anybody buy it on CreateSpace when you can get it cheaper from Amazon, and the shipping is also cheaper there too. Grrrrr. But that is not what I wanted to write about!

The Indie bookfair was a very intersting affair. The exhibitors were small publishing houses, self published authors and companies that offer publishing services for those who want to become published authors. The visitors were mainly the latter or people who knew someone who was exhibiting. So there weren’t many sales to be had all around. I had prepared little bags with one bean plus a Dede instruction card on how to grow the bean, and on the back there was info about the book . At least the visitors were very happy to take the little gift and hopefully they will grow the bean and look up the book on Amazon (slim chance though, but I got some attention). As I was invited by my friend Dee to share her stall, I still came out ahead and Dee herself didn’t do too badly. We both made good contacts with people we can work with in future. And that is invaluable. The comments about the puppets were also nice. A few people knew the puppets from their exhibition and from puppet month last year, so they are little celebrities in their own right.

Personally, I get anxieties when I see so many people in one place all wanting to sell their books. I am pretty sure every single one is worthwhile reading and everyone poured their lifeblood into their work and then there I am, with a book too and wanting to sell it! I think I will have to retreat and play with my puppets again for a little while :)

thank you_ copy

I am getting very close now making my famous Artist’s Survival Cookbook available on CreateSpace. After puppeteer-friend Tony had a good read and made correction, the lovely Heather went over the whole thing again with a fine comb. I have entered the latest changes and uploaded the complete file again. That is it now! In the meantime I have created a preview on CreateSpace. Everyone can look at and review the book here:

There is an independend book festival on first weekend in October. My garden guru friend Dee has organised a stall and offered to share it with me.  I also have seen the first proof copies from CreateSpace and I am happy with the print result. You guys can not believe how excited I am right now!




devil whisper

I have finally uploaded the Artist’s survival cookbook to CreateSpace and ordered two copies. It is not available for purchase yet. The next step is to proof the quality of the images. I have printed two copies here on two different digital printers and both came out a bit too dark, with the blacks clogging up. Knowing how tempramental printers can be (as many small digital printers are not regularly calibrated) I have to get a print from the machine the book will be printed on. Then I’ll have to make a call on whether I need to work on the images to improve the result.

In the meantime, good old Mouse is still on Devil’s case. No matter what Devil says, Mouse is deeply concerned that he is not coping well at the moment. After enough pestering, he finally he told her what he is currently working on, just to shut her up. But she is not allowed to tell anyone else. Now this is a real test of will power for Mouse, as she is such a big gossip. Surprisingly, she has managed to keep the secret so far, though she let slip that all will be revealed by next weekend.

group image small

Finally, the Artist’s survival book went to the proofreader this week. I will upload the file to CreateSpace and order a copy to see what the print quality is like. Then when it comes back from proofing, I can make the changes and thunderbirds are go! I am so excited about it all. You certainly wonder what took so long. The book was basically finished two or three month ago. Well, life has been a bit of a struggle last year, hence the book. However, having no money wasn’t the main problem. Of course the Dedes live the life of their Artist. Recently they had a full Dede meeting to discuss what project should be next. Pig wanted to embark on a potato cookbook. Mouse wants to make a book on how to set up a garden in a small space and someone else suggested a book on the nutritious value of nuts, called The Artist is going nuts. Everyone was laughing, but Devil. Philosopher who is a good observer said, maybe the home economic books should be put aside for a while and the Dedes should make a book about workplace bullying. Now the room fell silent and no-one quite understood where this was coming from. It was very awkward. Devil’s eyes became watery and he said: “We have to do it, for the sake of everyone out there, who has to deal with it, but I don’t know if I am ready just yet.” Who would have thought that the Devil get’s bullied?

ah well

3 days to go on the crowd funding campaign for the Artist’s survival cookbook and it is clear it didn’t work. Well,  to be honest, it would have been a miracle if it had worked, as I am not well connected. Though it was worth a try. It was an interesting experience. What surprised me the most, was how many times I had to explain what crowd funding actually is, even to young people. On a postive note, 7502 hits on the little film is a great result! It is definitely good to have in the marketing mix, though the question is how much effect it will have on the book. I had a look where the most viewers came from and first of course is New Zealand with 3300 views, but the second is Vietnam with 605 views. Even more bamboozling, there are more viewers in Nepal than in Brazil, where I know the Dedes have some really good friends. Beats me :)

Ah well, the Dedes will battle on…

Yesterday I had a workshop with kids at the Michael Park School in Auckland as part of their Art in Action event. The kids were absolutely fabulous. I am always amazed about the creativity and how they turn simple things into effective props.

My PledgeMe campaign isn’t going too well. Over 2800 views of the little movie, but only 7 pledges.Thank you so much Tony and Mike for your pledges!

No idea what else I could do. I do like the little film and Cash Cow really fainted.


Alien seems to be happy, but he is a happy chappy anyway, not a softy like Devil and Mouse. Anyway, he came into the kitchen today to give us the latest update on the campaign for the Artist’s Survival Cookbook. We have 4 people who pre-ordered the book so far and a whooping 870 people who watched the film.

“What’s there to celebrate?” asked Devil. “If only every eighth person would pre-order the book, we would have met our target by now. Nah, I don’t believe in this modern marketing stuff.”

“That is why you are no longer the spokesperson for the Dedes” replied Alien. “Let me have a go at it!”

“I only know I can’t do it anymore” said Mouse, and got herself a new handkerchief.