Radio Interview and Literary Agent call back all in one day!

Cliff and Dougie

Radio West’s Hot FM, Fun Team – Cliff and Dougie, interviewed me for my Funny Australian Letterboxes book today. I’ve waited on the call-back for over a month – worth the wait! It will air on Tuesday morning. They gave my book a great plug, even telling their viewers where to pick up their own copy (cheeky but great). Then the phone rings and it’s an assistant from Australian Literary Management showing interest in my Funny Australian Letterboxes Edition Two… (I’d like my third book traditionally published because the self-publishing independent author job is a tough gig).

Yesterday I was just thinking about getting a real job

and wondering if I had a future in writing… all authors have these days.


Today, I’m back on track – I’ll work on my book proposal and send it off to Australian Literary Management… and then act like an insufferable celebrity waffling on about my entertaining radio interview with my best-buds Cliff and Dougie.

There is a glimmer of hope for my

writing career…


Calling Literary Agents

I’ve completed my third book Funny Australian Letterboxes Edition Two – another amusing collection of unusual Aussie letterboxes with comic captions. I’d rather not self-publish this time. Amazon is great but they let themselves down by inaccurate accounting of sales and  not delivering royalties. I hope to secure an Australian Publisher…

But are they interested in novelty humour books?

Today I called twenty Australian literary agents regardless if they requested to be contacted by email first. I have waited three weeks for a response from Literary agents just for an initial query email and I’d like my rejections – responses today.
I pitched my Funny Aussie Letterboxes 2 and it’s not good news people. Eighteen Literary agents were unable to help me, bemoaning the publishing landscape. Publishing houses are in a difficult situation battling with ebooks and are not interested in novelty books – especially photographic books as they are expensive to produce. Two literary agents would like to see my book… but didn’t feel very enthusiastic about it, so I spent the next five hours, I kid you not, breaking my book into four parts and compressing the files to send electronically. Cyber snails were employed by gmail to deliver emails today. I was doing a lot of Grrrs and what now! and oh for-goodness-sakes as I had to resend the emails several times.

Seven Glorious frustrating hours later I sent off my first two submissions.

I emailed ten other literary agents that I couldn’t get hold of their phone numbers and I have already received two rejections – Best Rejections Ever!
Janet Reid sent me a most encouraging rejection:
Dear MJ

Thanks for sending me your query and pages for FUNNY AUSTRALIAN LETTERBOXES.
I regret this one isn’t for me, but I encourage you to query widely. Not being
a fit for my list has nothing to do with the caliber of your work. Think of this
as redirection to more suitable agents, not rejection.


Thanks J, and another goody ~
Hello MJ Cope,

I admire your chutzpah.

No, we are not taking on new work, too busy trying to sell the books we have already.

Good luck with Letterboxes 1.


Julia Beaven
Submissions Editor

I have chutzpah… It’s hard to become upset over rejection letter when they are worded so positively.
I’ll continue working through Literary Agents in Australia. England and America and hopefully one… one will be interested – if not, I’m off to score my dream job as a fry cook, flipping burgers at my local hamburger joint.

Bayden, Justin Bieber and Lighthouses

I caught up with my little buddy Bayden and I snapped a pic of his creative Australian Letterbox for my second novelty book, Funny Australian Letterboxes Edition Two. His dad made this lighthouse letterbox. I’m going to pop over to his house next week and take a photo of it lit up at night.

You have to admit it, Bayden looks like a little Justin Bieber

Baden's light  houses

I call him JB. I’m MJ, so we decided our initials make a cool musical duo, so we are working on a rap song together… just in case this author/ book thing doesn’t take off.


I can see us now, sideways cap, gold chunky jewellery,

shoes that are three sizes too big and we are on our way to bustin’ rhymes.


Despite my new musical career, I’ll still call my long list of Australian literary agents and pitch my new book to them tomorrow.

This is my least favourite part of being an author.

So How Was The Webinar ~ How To Market Your Book?

Amazon invited me to a Webinar on How To Market My Book To Increase Sales.

I’m up for that.

I have a marketing plan but I can learn more tricks from someone who has been selling books for over twenty years – Brian Jud.

I received my reminder email ~

Create a Marketing Plan to Sell More Books
Join us on Thursday, March 21, 2013 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT


Thursday at 4pm March 21st, not a problem.

Hang on, I’m in Australia… so that’s 4 in the morning.

Oh my poor crunchy eyeballs.

Toughen up Princess – Writers sacrifice for their art.


I dragged myself out of bed at 3.30 am, mainlined coffee and downloaded the app softwarey stuff for the Webinar. I popped my earbuds in and heard the shuffling of papers, a distinct clearing of the throat and then a slurping of a hot beverage – have I downloaded the wrong thing? I heard the faint sounds of a computer game and more shuffling of papers… I think this is it and they’re unaware that they are live… then a friendly American woman, Amanda, welcomed us to the Webinar.


After the obligatory technical difficulties were fixed, Bri-Bri discussed pragmatic solutions to prioritising time and handling poor sales, with mind maps, charts and evaluations. I was looking for specifics – who to give the press release too, if it goes unacknowledged via the normal channels and other avenues to sell books like supermarkets ect. It was a general recap of what I had learned but nevertheless a good reminder.


They only answered two questions, so the Webinar was not interactive.

Was it worth getting up at that unholy hour – No, as Amanda from CreateSpace, announced that this audio would be available on the website soon.

I took this bit of info in my good natured way –

mutter, mutter, grumble, give me the blankey and pillow.

If Someone Asked You To Jump Off A Cliff…

I read this on LilyLovesPaint Blog and I thought… why not.



Anyone who reblogs this post by March 23rd

will have their url written on some paper

and placed somewhere in New York City.



As long as it’s not placed in a New York bin.

How could I resist having my url scribbled on a piece of paper and stuck up in New York City… I’ll ask the Fabulous LilylovesPaint to photograph the poster sized laminated url out the front of Starbucks or the Lincoln Memorial…  or the White House itself.

I met her on Twitter – she’s smart, sassy and funny.

The Funny Australian Letterboxes book has Fans!

I’m still on the publicity road for my second book, Funny Australian Letterboxes. I have a few more media appointments…. but the local letterboxes have found out and I can’t even go to the dentist without getting harassed by wannabes.


Here I am, reading magazines waiting for my dental appointment and an Aussie letterbox strolls in and starts harassing me about being in my second Funny Australian Letterboxes book.

Look at this letterbox. He’s just not funny, unusual or down-right-ugly, so I refused him.

Letterbox attack


 Boy, did he carry-on. Dude leave me alone.

You’re so generic.


Letterbox 2

He nagged, showed me his profile and flipped his lid. I called the postie who handcuffed him and dragged away… really.


O.K. I’m sorry for this post, but who has a letterbox in their dental surgery? I couldn’t resist.


I really do have a fan – I was recognised by a Baden, who then invited me to his place to check out his lighthouse letterbox. He told me to come over at night so he could turn the light on – nothing dodgy about this invitation – Baden’s nine (dead-set ringer for Justin Bieber. I told him he looked just like him and who knew, he’s a fan too. I asked, ‘Aren’t you a little young to like JB?’ He quipped, ‘Aren’t you a little old?’ We decided JB has a broadening demographic. So we chatted about our fav songs for the next ten minutes). Anyway, I arranged with his parents to pop around next week.

Looking forward to this letterbox.

Scored A Regular Radio Spot on the ABC!


And this came about from a little press release announcing my Funny Australian Letterboxes book!


From Self-Published Author to Radio ChatBack Regular…

I was invited back to the ABC radio to be a panelist for the Wrap Up of the week’s news. There was three of us throwing our opinions around concerning the Harlem Shake mining sacking (shame on you Barminco Mining) & International Women’s Day – Go the Ladies.


….I hope they don’t ask about the State Election – yawn… 

They did. I had to think on my feet for that one. People have given their lives so we can enjoy the privilege and the right to vote and here I am, swanning around in the political pool for Team Apathy.

Here’s the good news, they invited me to join the ChatBack roster (I’ll be on the ABC radio once a month). I’m a self-published author, we can’t get enough of shameless self-promotional opportunities, so I said yes and phoned home with the good news.


So I’m in insufferable minor celebrity mode again…

Roll out the red carpet family, Ms Diva is coming home.



I didn’t come home to hoards of paparazzi taking a break from harassing Justin Bieber… in fact the beds needed washing & I had to cook dinner.. I love reality!

How To Get Media Exposure For Your Book


If you’ve written a book and self-published it, the next step is publicising it through newspaper articles & radio interviews.

Hint: Don’t send your press release for your book via the traditional electronic channels  – emails and websites.

Go to the station. Introduce yourself & give them a free copy of your book with the press release.

Here’s my short but amusing interview for my second book, Funny Australian Letterboxes, on the Afternoon Drive show with Barry Nicholls via the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) radio ~


The Elevator To Success


The elevator to success is out of order.

You’ll have to use the stairs…

one step at time ~ Joe Girard


So I pounded the streets of Bunbury distributing my press release for my latest book. Meeting people personally rather than sending the PR electronically, secures interviews and contacts. So get your walking shoes on and front up – it works.

Hint: Don’t wear flip-floppy, clicky-clacky girly shoes…


By the end of the day I ruined my shoes… look at these supa-cute slides and I busted them walking all over the city (as tiny as Bunners is).

Busted shoes

I trekked from one side of town to the other because I knew WIN – the local TV station was located in the North. In the blistering hot Australian sun I finally reached my destination and the local TV station had… moved… with no forwarding new address sign. So I Googled it and WIN relocated to Perth – that’s only an hour and 45 minutes drive away…

Win u suck

Anyway, I just got a call from Cliff – HOT FM – Bunbury’s popular radio station for an interview next week.

So the busted shoes were worth It.

I’ll tell you how it goes.

On The Publicity Highway for the Second Book

The next stop on the Publicity Highway, after newspapers, are the radio stations – I haven’t exhausted the newspapers, but for the sake of  variety, let’s visit these guys and see if there is any interest in my funny little book. I thought I would pop in rather than sending in my press release. I feel most press releases end up in the press release slush pile, so I’m going to visit radio stations and newspapers from now on.

The casual pop in was successful because

both Hot FM & ABC radio requested interviews.

I dashed into the ABC office today & enjoyed a great chat with the host of WA Regional Drive, Barry Nicholls. My radio interview was played at 5.45pm on ABC Regional Radio 684 AM and it was awesome. No curtsies – the whole interview was played in its entirety. *High Five*

Thanks Bazza & cheers for the photo.

Bazza with Book