Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Google Alerts - and my author copies

Something weird has been going on with my Google Alerts. You know - the system you can set up so that you get notified whenever your name, or any of your books, are mentioned on the internet? I hope I'm not the only one who uses them - it already makes me feel a bit vain and self-obsessed, but I'm so pathetically excited whenever one of the books gets a mention, even if it's because it's being sold for 0.1p on E-Bay and described as 'in perfect condition' (in other words, nobody's even bothered to read it!).

Anyway - I had a couple of Alerts come through today, and suddenly realised I haven't had any for ages. I suppose I'd just assumed nobody had mentioned my books for a long while! :( Well, by the time I'd finished reading those two - a whole lot more were coming through, until my in-box was almost full of Google Alerts! What was it all about - some kind of backlog? I checked my Google Alert settings (I have to admit, I had to look up how to do it), and the instruction was still as I set it up - to check once a day. Nobody had sneakily changed it to once a month or whatever. So I can only assume there had been a log-jam or some sort of constipation going on in Google Alert Land.

And yes - most of them were offers for sale on E-Bay, although there were a couple of mentions of one of the books being stocked in a library in the USA - which is always an exciting thought. Oh - and a posting about one of my books being left in a pub. Not by accident, but by someone taking part in 'Book Crossing' (where people with good intentions but no thought for impoverished authors not getting their royalties, leave their used books lying around for other people to pick up, and post the location of the 'drop' on the website). Well - I hope someone picked it up and enjoyed it, and goes on buy the others!

Never mind - I feel quite cheery today, having got my six free author's copies of 'Tales from a Honeymoon Hotel' in the post. And the cover looks even better 'in the flesh' so that's a good start!


  1. That's very strange with the Google alerts thing! And as for the person who left a copy of your book in a pub they should buy all your next books coming out to make it up to you!

    Julie xx

  2. I didn't know you could do that - the google alert thing. Just out of interest, what do you do with your author copies?

  3. I agree with you, Julie (about leaving my book in a pub)! But I think that getting upset about what people do with their used books just ends up making you bitter and feel like bashing your head against the wall. At least he/she presumably bought a copy in the first place. Second-hand books being sold on, or given away, is just something we have to accept, although I must admit my sales would be a lot healthier if it were otherwise!

    Gonna Be - Google Alerts are great. Saves 'googling' your name every day, which feels even more self-obsessed!! My author copies? Well, as I only get six free, I keep two for myself and give the other free copies to my closest family members, who deserve them for putting up with me when I'm mid-novel and getting tetchy! I have to pay for any further copies I want (with a discount), so unfortunately nobody else gets them free, unless they've won a competition or whatever, or it's an actual birthday present etc!

  4. It must be great to be able to say 'I'm a full time author. I'm jealous but good luck to you. I have a book in libraries (self published at a loss) but royalties, what are they! Seriously you are way beyond me concerning knowledge of the book world but never mind eh!

  5. Hi G.O.K., good to see you here, and I'm sure you're not really grumpy! Trust me, I'm not at all knowledgeable about the book world - only the things I've found out by my own limited experience. And as for royalties - I'm lucky if I get any at all; books have to sell enough copies to exceed the amount of the advance that the publisher pays, before you start earning any royalties. And in today's climate, it's not easy to get past that stage.
    But this is not a complaint (or a 'grump'!) - I am indeed lucky just to be published. And well done to you for taking the gamble of self-publishing - at least your book is out there in the libraries (so I hope you are earning PLR). Good for you.

  6. I promise that you're not the only one who checks their Google Alerts. You can get daily updates? How did I miss that?

    And obsessing about second hand books will just make you miserable. I've been checking my Amazon stats for one title which is selling like billyo, but not the "2 new available" which have been available for weeks; it's all the used ones for 1p that people are buying. But at least they want me and I'm trying to smile about that.