A Newspaper Has Offered To Do A Book Review On My Latest Book – Oh Yay!

This is how I shared the good news on my Facebook Author Page: MJ Cope… cause I’m a serious author.


So a newspaper offered to do a review on my book,

Funny Australian Letterboxes.

My First Book Review!

Now onto an unrelated topic:

Here’s a pic of cute kittens practicing their Ninja skills.


Yes folks, because Writer/Author updates are pretty dull; one has to jazz them up any way possible. Cute and violent kittens are always a winner.


Yay!!! My Second Newspaper interview for my new Book was…



a monumental disaster, read on – you’ll enjoy this:

The Cannington Times responded to my press release for my new book, Funny Australian Letterboxes. I completed the one page email interview. It was a basic questions and answers chat, but I added sparkle and wit – of course. They asked if I could come up to Perth for a photo shoot the next day. It’s an hour and forty-five minute drive to Perth and I had a book interview for a local newspaper that same morning…

I can squeeze it in. It’ll be a mad rush but…

the publicity will be worth it.

The photo shoot was fun. I visited my old high school where I was treated like a minor celebrity. The photographer decided to get a few photos in the library, so we dumped a row books from the book shelf and I was photographed with my head and book poking through the gap. Quite a creative shot.

I was told in an email the following day that the photographs looked great (of course they did. My hair was foofed and I slathered on my favourite lippy). Also, I could expect the article and pic in Tuesday’s Cannington Times.


With the impatience of a toddler demanding an ice cream

(yes it wasn’t pretty folks) I waited for Tuesday and…


No article. I shot a query email and was informed that next Tuesday would showcase the wonderful interview and great photo. So next Tuesday rolls along and, hello it’s not there. I had to send another email – yeah I’m feeling a bit like a nuisance now – the conclusion of this saga is a response email stating, “Sorry, we didn’t have the space for the photo but the story is in on page 16.”


No probs, I flicked to page 16 to check out the amazing… what is this?

Really?! One paragraph squished up in a bunch of advertising. I composed a wonderfully sparkling info email and drove all the way for this… also I had so much lipstick on I could hardly talk – I don’t know how celebs do it… I did look fabulous.


The author roller coaster is never boring:


This is the ‘article’ people:


New chapter for letterboxes

SOME of Australia’s most interesting letterboxes feature in the new book by a former Lynwood resident. (hello, I’m not a Lynwood resident)

Author Mj (It’s MJ …OK I’m being a little pedantic) Cope created Australia’s Funniest Letterboxes after noticing unusual letterboxes while working.

“The idea came from many weeks of ‘letterboxing’ for my church rally last year in February,” she said.

“I started taking my camera and I photographed all the letterboxes that were bizarre, creative or amusing. I now take my camera with me whenever I go out and capture creative letterboxes, odd signs or something humorous.”


 That’s It.

I’m sure not one person read that teeny-tiny article. I’m all dark on you Cannington Times. Feel my wrath *shakes fist and grumbles*. I feel better now.

I told so many of my Perth buddies to grab the local newspaper so they could read my fascinating article with fabbo pic… it’s so bad… it’s funny.



Hey Authors! You Could Get Published Here!

Look what I found on my Facebook page. I just sent off two pitches to Blemish Books.
Get in quick. It finishes at the end of February… I wish I had seen it earlier too.
Blemish Books, a Canberra-based independent press, is after your best 5 Page Pitch! The press invites writers of all styles and genres to send their freshest and most innovative work. To submit, send a single-page cover letter and the first (or best) five pages of your manuscript. Pitches will be accepted throughout February 2013. If your pitch excites the press and it wants to see more, it will contact you for a copy of the full manuscript. There are no restrictions on word length, style, genre, etc. See link for details and submission instructions.

Blemish Books – Submissions


Best Of Luck!

How To Avoid Being Ripped Off As An Author

So eBay was selling my book, Funny Australian Letterboxes for eleven dollars more than I had originally priced it for… what to do?


I sent an email to eBay requesting that they change the price on my book. I stated that it was only a soft cover and I didn’t want the customer to be disappointed paying $23.95 that I, the author, had set at $12.28.

Polite but direct.

Also Amazon CreateSpace has inaccuracies tracking their sales through other avenues, so no accounts for these sales and I would not have received any royalties from the eBay sales.


Back to the story – two days later eBay contacted me: see email below.



The end of the matter is that eBay have withdrawn my book.

I win and I lose… dem’s the breaks.

The seller Booktopia, doesn’t have my book anywhere on their book selling website… just overpricing it on eBay…tsk, tsk.

Uncool Booktopia.

The question is do I bother next time  or should I just be glad that my book is selling?

Dear mjcope,Thank you for your enquiry. As mentioned on the listing, this is not an item kept in stock and needs to be ordered from the supplier meaning we do not have control of the price. As such, we have ended the listing and removed the item from our website.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience and if you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

– booktopia_australia


Should You Self-Publish On CreateSpace Through Amazon? The Good And The Bad.

Choosing a Self-Publishing company is a tough choice: the cost, time, reputation ect, all takes research. Also you want your ‘baby’  in safe and capable hands.

I chose Amazon’s CreateSpace.

Which is good and bad.

Here’s the low down on what to expect:

CreateSpace is free, until it asked me if I wanted to cough up 25 bucks for an extra distribution channel (of course I want that – extra avenues for my book being sold means more chance of gaining a larger readership. 25 dollars is a small amount to pay for that added bonus). The whole publishing process is easy… but not quick. Formatting and uploading the book takes time but the prompts and advice on the way make the process easy. It’s just time-consuming – set aside a week because formatting is a tedious task, creating your cover takes time and crafting blurbs/descriptions need to be just right.

So the distribution cost of $25 dollars for Amazon’s CreateSpace is worth it:

There are many online carriers now selling my book: Barnes and Noble, Nile.com, Book depository etc. The one teeny-tiny problem with CreateSpace is its unreliable tracking of sales and royalties – (I called them gross inaccuracies in my complaint email).

I’ll level with you. I priced my book, Funny Australian Letterboxes as low as Amazon would allow me: $12.28. So royalties is not an issue. I’m more interested in getting my book into the hands of my readers.I promoted my book on my author page ‘MJ Cope’ via Facebook and know of two Holland sales, one UK sale & twenty Australian sales: CreateSpace January sales show four sales of Funny Australian Letterboxes.

That was it.

It takes 72 hours for the sales tracking to be updated so I waited… and waited… we are now half way through February and I have only one sale for this month… hmmm. So I researched CreateSpace’s reputation concerning sales & royalties. There are hundreds of blogs complaining about the same problem. I received an email response assuring me that the tracking was correct (then strangely the UK sale turned up in my January sales – now five sales).

I composed an email back but the futility weighed on me: I felt like a krill chatting with a whale. “Hi there big fella, I have a problem with you eating me…” see, that is not going to end well. The whale is already squeezing lemon juice on me and opening his mouth.

I am grateful to Amazon and their self publishing platform Createspace because it was straightforward to format and uploading my book was very cheap, but I am profoundly disappointed in their recording of sales and hence delivering of royalties.

While I’m having a good old Australian whinge, eBay is selling five of my books for $23.95! Palm-to-forehead. Amazon will not show these sales and the middle man is profiting from my work.

Welcome to the world of self publishing and being a small time author… however, I’m still loving it.

O.K. Rant over.

Keep Smiling People.


Author rejection… How to get over it.

I entered my first book into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel award.

The first round of the Amazon book awards listing was published today… and no THE ENTERPRISE to be seen anywhere.

Dude, I crashed and burned at the first round.

There are four rounds… and it didn’t, *sniffle*, even make it to the second, *burble – no I’m not crying, there is a lot of dust in here* round.

What a blow.

So here I am lying in my sackcloth and ashes… doing a good impersonation of Job (without the whole scrapping boils off with a pot shard – gross) and I decided to pick myself up and get on with my next book, which I’m half way through.

As an author you gotta roll with the punches… chin up.

O.K. back to work… with a smile on my face – that’s how you get over it (a whole bag of brightly-coloured, sugary lollies also helped a great deal).

Here’s the fish that John West rejected…. Aussie injoke:

KC Chris Watkins - The Enterprise Cover Art

My New Book Is On The Local News!


Me and my Funny Australian Letterbox book are on the Telly… and I’m not the crazy Letterbox Lady, *wipes brow and sighs with relief*.


Apparently, I’m the lady who loves letterboxes. Pfft! I’m not that sad. They just amuse me. O.K. I’m a little sad. BUT I’M ON THE TV ma-ha.


Check it out. Remind me to get a makeup artist and a hair cut before my next interview.


GWN News Interview here


Whether they mark out your place on a long country road, or simply give the postie somewhere to chuck those endless catalogues.
Letterboxes are a fixture of every Australian home. And one woman found them so unique – she’s even written a book about them.


Book Published, Interviews, Celebrity Status And…..

Three book interviews in one day!

I’m such a celebrity now!

The local paper popped in and asked a bunch of questions and snapped off some zany photographs of me holding my book, then GWN – the local news station heard about my amusing book and gatecrashed my house. We did the sit down interview, the walk-chat shots and me reading a bit of my book – it felt super awkward and the reporter refered to me as the ‘Letterbox Lady’.

Dear God no!

It reminds me of the ‘Cat Lady’ – That weird old woman down the road with the hoards of feral cats, crazy unbrushed hair and three blackened teeth. I don’t want to be that. Shh! It’s publicity for your book – suck it up and grin (at least I have all my teeth).

Then I drove to Perth for another interview and grinned for more photos at my old High School.

When the paper and interview comes out, I’ll blog them so you can all laugh at my manic grin and the crazy Letterbox Lady T.V. interview.

After all the attention and photographs, I drove home to…. no red carpet; my silver platter of colour coordinated M&Ms was no where to be seen and nobody had poured my iced mineral water with a hint of lemon, no, I was greeted with a mess in the fridge from soggy tomatoes, and, “What’s for dinner?” and, “There is an unusual mess in the toilet.” Dude you’re all teenagers… how can there be a mess in the toilet… I don’t want to know.

Oh Real Life – how I missed you.

P.S. My brother-in-law heard about my Funny Australian Letterboxes book. He is the CEO at KULCHA (KULCHA is the peak body for multicultural arts in Western Australia with national and international connections. It promotes and presents multicultural arts and artists in W.A.). He offered to connect me to more publicity for my book, seeing as he is well acquainted with the top people from various publications. I thanked Jon and rubbed my hands together with glee.


What To Wear For A Book Interview…

What should I wear for my book interviews tomorrow???

I want to look cool.
Might go the gangsta look – where’s my chunky gold chains, backwards sportz cap & extra baggy pants?

cool black dude

No! I know what I’ll wear – something eye-catching. I want to stand out. This dress will do the trick.

Just need an electricity socket or five packets of batteries.


 Wait! I have the perfect outfit for my book interviews!

I’m going to be turning heads in this outfit.
Right, just having a pray I don’t say something stupid. I want to be taken seriously.


No, really! A red top always looks good in photographs and it will contrast well with the green cover of my book… with jeans, because I’m a down-to-earth kinda person. I’ll slap on a bit lippy and brush the hair – I’ll be ready.