From a writer to a published author
Finding a Publisher for my first novel
1995 -1999 - April 2001
My first glimpse of Kima Global Publishers from Cape Town was their website page. It had around twelve titles and three of the authors were personally known to me, so that was promising. Sending a query letter and a synopsis to Kima Global by email instead of normal post was hopefully acceptable.
I was overjoyed when an email from Robin (the publisher at Kima Global) arrived in my inbox two weeks later saying he was interested. He had not yet published fiction, but my topic intrigued him and he liked how esoteric knowledge was woven into fiction.
He asked me to send him chapter for chapter so his typesetter could transform these into a book.
We met in person in July 2001, when he personally delivered my first proof. My first title: My love we are going home was in print by August of that year. In November my decision to move to Cape Town to join his publishing company as the creative director was like a new chapter in my life. He needed my skills and that made me feel very wanted. The work he wanted me for was totally conducive to my kind of writing. The company motto was “Books that make a difference to people’s lives”.
Getting to know the publishing business
Robin’s one page website needed to be upgraded. Our first business website was done with Front Page, and after creating several illustrations for new titles we became partners. He taught me all about the publishing world and together we grew as a company at a faster rate.
In 2003 we needed a shopping cart for our website. A friend suggested going over to Dreamweaver. It took me a couple of months with the help of several classes in town to master this website builder program. We were still on dial-up for most of 2003 but during that time the birth of a new website under the domain name http://kimabooks.com/ was a milestone for us.
We exhibited at several trade fairs around South Africa and held a major publicity event to get Kima Global on the map so to speak. Ten of our local authors traveled to Cape Town from all over South Africa to be with us, and our first “Café of Conversations” stage production was born.
Tackling the typesetting
Because we received more manuscripts than our sole in house typesetter could handle, Robin paid for a teacher to come from Pretoria for three days to give me a crash course in the publishing program Corel Ventura. Typesetting my second manuscript Orphanage of Soul Mates (the sequel to my first novel) took several months , but it was in print that same year.
No more dial up
By September 2003 we were connected to an ADSL line; a great improvement, but our business website needed continuous updating since nothing was automated. The page for each title had to be managed manually. In December of that year we published my first workbook titled: The Language of Light. The typesetting and all the illustrations were done by me; a huge amount of work. Having facilitated these drawing and doodling workshops for some years was a good start with a ready supply of illustrations. My latest workshops were held in Cape Town, and after the workbook was in print, Tieneke, the art teacher character in my novel, took over in cyberspace.
Book and book cover designs
The design studio we used for our book covers showed me how to work with layered images in Photo Shop. Detailed knowledge of each new title gained through my typesetting enabled me to show them design ideas, which helped them a great deal until Robin felt that I was skilled enough to take over.
In the course of 2004 we needed to close down our warehouse in the USA. The costs were getting too high. Kima Global went over to the print-on-demand system instead, and all our titles could now be shipped from a location near the residential address of the purchaser.
New technical requirements for this system meant that novel My Love we are Going Home had to be re-typeset and re-titled as The Awakening Clan and Orpanage of Soulmates, was re-written in order to be split into two novels; The Astral Explorer and The Cosmic Traveller. New covers were designed making them into a series.
Newsletter and Blog writing
At the end of 2005 we closed our office in town and moved to a new home on the outskirts of Cape Town. We opened our office at our new address in Clovelly after major renovations.
Parallel to my day job at Kima Global, my own ascension topics monthly newsletter did well, probably due to my linking the headings to the articles on my website. We copied the idea for Kima Global and soon we got a monthly Kima Global newsletter out to our business clients (our local bookshops) and to our readers who signed up for our newsletters at the trade fairs where we had exhibited throughout South Africa. We also emailed a quarterly newsletter to our authors and our three sales reps.
After two years we found that we didn’t get the traffic we had hoped for, so our next initiative was to start a blog. We were not yet on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social networks. We had heard about them but did not think it was for us.
A group of telepaths explore what their world might be like in the years from 2012 to 2025. Ingrid Barendse lives a normal life, working as a maintenance administrator in Holland.
Community websites and trade fairs
By 2008 more and more website hosting companies offered templates on the internet and we tried one out. Community networks became popular and we signed up for two social network sites Ning.com and Spruz.com where every interaction was automated. We could even have a shopping cart for an extra monthly fee. By this time we were managing five websites three blogs, two network sites, and several newsletters, and we should have ranked higher on Google, but our hits were still minimal despite both of us working long hours.
We tried learning about Keywords, but it was all getting too much. Due to the demand for ebook files my typesetting job came to an end. Our typesetting program became outdated anyway and I was not prepared to learn a new program.
Between the years 2001 and 2009 we exhibited at the Frankfurt Book Fair. We made lots of good friends with other publishers and a few authors who came past our booth during those years. We also employed several freelance typesetters that we met in Frankfurt.
Seeing your writing in print
What is your motivation for trying to get published?
Our breakthrough into social networking
Our social networking break came after I signed up to a community network titled The Gold Ring. Many GoldRing ‘friends’ were on social networks and held internet radio shows. We finally signed up for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This was more to manage, but my skills on the internet were sufficient to know that by this time we needed a professional website for our publishing company. After trying several options and paying a lot of money for these services, we befriended a GoldRing member online who spoke my own Language – Dutch. She suggested that we join all our websites into one proper professional site with all the bells and whistles. No more Dreamweaver!
After all the years of doing my best to manage our websites, I realized that my skills were not sufficient to handle complicated interactions that happen in the background of a fully commercial website. She was keen to guide us in the right direction and when we told her what our monthly budget was, she agreed and became our webmaster.
We stopped sending newsletters out. We found that our Kima Global Facebook page(s) work better and it’s less work. Kima Global is also on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Wordpress, and Robin is also on several other social networks where he promotes his publishing company.
My job is now more to do with teaching Kima authors how to upgrade their social network skills, having first tried out several options myself.
Over the years many networks come and go, but we both hope that Hubpages is here to stay, because of the friends we already made in such a short time, and I learned that writing can pay off. I read incredible articles from other hubbers on how to make money with your hubs.
I’ve embedded the hub widget onto my own website pages plus adding the headings of my hubs onto Google analytics. By posting revised text from any of my hub articles on my Wordpress blog, with a link to the article in Hubpages, more blog followers have signed up and at the same time the hub article is shared over several social networks.
- Online writing for cash
A lot of people have found a way to help themselves out of their financial crises by writing articles on line. Bubblews – Hubpages , Wikinut and Teckler are just a few .com examples.
- Getting published in today's world
The world of publishing now offers a bewildering amount of choices, some of which will not lead to success and others are simply dangerous!