Jackie Parry – author


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Personal Notes from Around the World

Most weeks I receive messages from people I’ve never met.

Complete strangers take the time to drop me a personal message about one of my books they’ve just read – and I love every single one!

Today, I received a fabulous note, I’ve connected with this person previously on FB, but we’ve not met – and this made my day.

Hi, Jackie. I finally got around to reading A Standard Journey (told you I was a bit behind!). I took it to bed with me last night intending to read a few pages which is usually all I can manage before falling asleep. Guess what? I read the whole thing in one go!

I absolutely love the way you write – interesting, informative, real and full of raw emotion. You put your whole self on the page. I felt I was out there with you and Noel and it was wonderful to be on your journey. What a gutsy girl you are! And I love how you love your boys (Noel included!!)

I also owned an ex trotter (or rather he owned me) – a 17hh handsome boy with the wonderful name of Woollygoogs! This name was chosen by my daughter who was about 3 or 4 at the time. I understand why you support them – a worthy cause.

Can’t wait to start on This is It! So glad it’s all going well for you and I appreciate the effort you put in to make it all work for you.

And now to write a review.
Isn’t that wonderful?

Relating to A Standard Journey and my ‘boys’ I have a big announcement! It’s a new adventure that’s causing mixed feelings but mainly incredible joy…. post and announcement coming in a few days!

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Whirlwind UK Book Tour A Success! And Cake.

Two radio interviews, two events, and numerous roast dinners!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of family and friends catch-up and events for my recent release A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent.

The story is about how we adopted five Standardbred horses, trained them (and they us). The seven of us then set out into the Australian bush for several months; all our belongings carried by horse.

I donate 50%+ profits to horse/animal charities and this led to me a guest appearance at the Redwings Sanctuary at Oxhill and their stand at The Horse Of The Year Show.

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At Redwings Oxhill, just before the reading/signing. I tried not to reveal the outcome of a dramatic event in the book, but the audience were desperate to know!

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Redwings do a wonderful job – their team at Oxhill are extraordinary in their passion and care.

I had a wonderful time at the Horse Of The Year Show connecting with readers and helping Redwings raise money via their merchandise (including A Standard Journey), to help rescue more horses.

Redwings Stand and their wonderful team. My books are near the front.

Redwings Stand and their wonderful team. My books are near the front.

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They did a lovely job with my table and I added the bookmarks and koalas which went down a treat!

Radio!

Between the mayhem of driving around the country I was invited onto two radio shows (one with Noel).

Firstly, with the incredible Carol Graham. Carol is an author, radio talk show host, health coach, motivational speaker, blogger, businesses woman, mum and grandmum!

Carol is a wonderful interviewer and here you can hear her easy-listening interviews with extraordinary people. She deftly shares their laughter and inspirational stories, and encourages everyone to never… ever… give up hope.

My interview will be appearing shortly – I’ll put the link here and give another shout out when it’s ready!

The BBC

Lastly, we met Nick Coffer from BBC 3Counties Radio. We had great fun chatting to Nick (who thinks we need therapy!), and left mini koalas hanging all over his studio to make our presence known and remembered. Here’s the link to listen, jump forward to around 37 minutes – the interview runs for about fifteen.

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Having fun before we went in the studio.

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With Nick Coffer, having a great time!

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I could get used to this (note the koalas taking over!)

Roast Dinners

Several yummy roast dinners, care of my lovely mum, kept me going (and tightened the jeans somewhat).

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… and CAKE, you’ve got to have CAKE!

I learned a great deal from all these events. Switching from social media to ‘getting out there’ has really worked for me, and is so much more fun.

I’ll write a blog soon on what I learned and what I’d do differently next time.

Has anyone else had great success and fun ‘getting out there’?


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Come & Say G’day!

Best-selling author appearance

I’m excited to be on Redwings Horse Sanctuary Stand at The Horse of The Year Show at the NEC in Birmingham this week.

I have gifts and fun stories just for you!

On 9th, 10th, 11th October, stop by and say g’day.

  • Read an excerpt from my book that is helping Redwings to raise money for their rescued horses.
  • If you like the book you can purchase a paperback or an ebook.
  • You get a great story that will stay with you forever, and with that you help a wonderful charity!

Redwings Horse Charity (4)


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Book Reading and Signing

Fabulous stories to make you laugh!

Learn how to trek with horses in the Australian Bush

Sunday 4th October at Redwings Charity – Oxhill – Come and meet us!

We adopted five Standardbred Horses and set off into the Australian bush.

Redwings Horse Charity (1)

Redwings Horse Sanctuary – Oxhill
Banbury Road, Kenton, Banbury, Warwickshire

Redwings Oxhill in Warwickshire is part of Redwings Horse Sanctuary and is home to almost 90 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.

This quality assured visitor attraction has a café, gift shop and children’s play area on site and entry is free of charge. It is open every day until the end of November from 10am to 4pm.

The centre can be found 10 miles south of Stratford upon Avon on the A422.

A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent

A Standard Journey front cover v2 reduced


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My Success at 99 cent / 99 pence Promotion

A few people have asked how I made my promotion a success.

Success
Firstly, I want to define success.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Magic answer/Over Night Success!
There is no magic answer. I continue to enjoy a good average of sales each day that I am happy with (more would always be nice, of course).
What works for me may not work for you. My three books are non-fiction. One ‘text’ book and two memoirs.
I spent twelve years as a freelance journalist for international sailing magazines before I published my first book, that’s not an over-night success! That first book was about my sailing adventures, and I received many (great) reviews in top selling sailing magazines in the Australia, America, and Europe.

Promotion
The biggest question seems to be, ‘Who did you promote through?’ But that isn’t the entire answer, not by a long shot.

But let’s get that out of the way first.

I used the following paid services:

Each element contributed to the sales, but I do have to say that the day I was with ENT there was a significant spike on the sales chart.

Unpaid marketing
When I promoted Of Foreign Build at 99 cents / pence in March I went berserk. I paid for a lot of advertising and ran myself ragged. It worked, but it wasn’t enjoyable.

This time I paid for far less, did far less, and achieved the same results.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My theory
It’s not just about the promotion.

  • Every single chance I have of putting a profile up on a site (free), listing my books on a site (free), an interview, an article, a mention – anything. I do it.
  • I never stop marketing, I try to do one thing a day, above and beyond tweeting and FB.
  • I help others where I can and receive reciprocal help in sharing, RTing etc.
  • I’ve joined relevant groups on FB, for example, We Love Memoirs and BooksGoSocial Authors group
  • I write two blogs a week, on two different platforms Jackie Parry Author and Noel and Jackie’s Journeys
  • The slightest mention of my books or my profile anywhere could mean another sale, that sale could lead to more – I never miss an opportunity.

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Extra help
A couple of days ago I received a fantastic review in a Caribbean sailing magazine, I knew nothing about it, but it made my day, “…this is the best cruising book I’ve read. The author is a real firecracker….. I believe she has captured the essence of cruising…. I predict this author will be the next big thing.”

What else….? The trouble is…
We all know that you have to write a good book, have a great cover and back cover blurb. But even that is not enough. I know of many books that are a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read, which are not gaining the sales they deserve.
I feel like it is all coming to a head. Now, it is so easy to publish a book some people are just chucking them out – I’ve read a few of those too.
I am not saying I know it all or that I have the best books… my years of freelance writing has certainly helped me, but I have a horrid feeling people are fed up with the deluge of ‘quickie’ books. I think the reader is going to choose, more and more, the ‘known’ author – and that’s my goal.

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What next?
I do contemplate offering a free book, but I am still not convinced. If we don’t value our work how can others? That said, perhaps when I have launched my ninth or tenth book, my first may become free…. we shall see.
One author told me recently, ‘I can’t even give it away!’ And that’s from a highly respected, professional author with many delectable books available – that made me sit up straight!
For me, I’ve just increased the price of my first ebook Cruiser’s AA (Accumulated Acumen) from $3.99 to $4.99 (it’s a large text book) and I may decrease the price of my most recent, A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent from 3.99 to $2.99 (Amazon’s recommendation).

What I know
What I know is that I don’t know enough. The more I learn the more I realise how little I know. Every day I read articles on writing and marketing. I don’t have time to do that, but I make time for what is important. I have to keep learning to have a chance.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Long-term
I often work fifteen hours a day writing and marketing (as well as being a full-time traveller, and maintain a boat, and run other businesses) – which is still a lot, but much less than I was doing before. My main goal is to produce more quality books.

I hope that has helped. Through trial and error I have whittled down my marketing strategy to what I consider good enough – for now.

Have you found a marketing strategy that works for you?


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An Exhilarating Tale For 99 cents / 99 pence

Let me transport you into the Australian bush….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s only Noel and I and five huge horses!….. We did have a tent too!

Here’s our story of our adopted horses, trail riding for three months without support and a woman who questions her life while she falls in love with horses all over again.

50% of profits of this book will be donated to *horse charities

NO – YOU don’t pay more. I donate to charity from my earnings!

Get wrapped up in this thrilling ride – I’ll take care of the donations

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Here’s what’s being said already:

‘To enjoy this thoroughly, all you need to know about horses is that the head’s the front and the tail’s the back.’

‘For me, this is a book about journeys: why we do them; with whom; how they challenge and change us; why they are so difficult to end.’

‘Even the chapter headings are well-written – eg “Bucking and Farting” and “Here’s My Heart.”’

‘It has some very moving moments of unexpected kindness – human and equine – that stayed with me after I’d finished the book.”

“Heartily recommended”

“A story that will resonate with any animal lover, any adventurer, and anyone

who enjoys reading about ordinary peopleSAMSUNG achieving truly extraordinary things.”

Meet the stars!

The paperback book contains colour pictures and links into another world, but here’s the full photo album here: https://jackieparry.com/photo-album/ – meet the real stars of the story.

Please share – together let’s make a difference!

* Currently, supporting SPPHA – Standard Pleasure and Performance Horses Association and Redwings Horse Sanctuary 

MORE CHARITY ORGANISATIONS WILL BE DONATED TO AS BOOKS SALES CONTINUE


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Unique & Thrilling Journey For A Few Cents / Pence

Saddle up and hold on!

You won’t feel the pain at all – not like we did.

Allow me to transport you into the Australian bush.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s what’s being said already about our story:

“A hauntingly beautiful story.”

“Told with humour and humbleness.”

Let the tears fall as you witness a miracle

“Told with searing honesty.”

“This story will stick with you for a long time.”

“Even the chapter headings are well-written – eg ‘Bucking and Farting’, and ‘Here’s My Heart.'”

You’ll feel no pain, but you will experience ours.

Meet the stars!
The paperback book contains colour pictures, but here’s the full photo album for everyone to enjoy. Meet the real stars of the story.

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But wait – there’s more!
I will donate 50% of all profits to help rescue more horses. So please share these words with anyone who enjoys reading about ordinary people achieving truly extraordinary things – any animal lovers, or adventurers too.

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From 22nd July – 27th July you can purchase the ebook – A Standard Journey for 99 cents / pence (USA/UK) – what more could you ask for?

A Standard Journey front cover v2 reduced


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From Author to Calendar Girl?

A cheeky smirk played on my lips when I read the new message,

“From Wednesday you are our Calendar Girl!”

I’m giggling again now, as I can imagine your eyes scanning down to find the Calendar Girl shot – whether excitedly or in horror!

You must banish all of these visions dear reader, as the reference to me being Calendar Girl, is my photography! But do not despair – read on…. there are ‘exciting’ shots to follow!

Sweet Flower Cottage

Sweet Flower Cottage

This was taken on the Canal du Centre, France, as we puttered by on our 1920s Dutch barge – which is our current home, project, and escapade.

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Maybe this (below) is what you’d expect as a Calendar Girl!

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Admittedly, I am a few years older now, maybe a little softer in places and definitely sporting more grey hairs – I’ve earned every single one of them!

If you want to know why or how I’ve earned my grey highlights, laughter lines, and a life that is extraordinary, take a look at my sailing and horse-riding memoirs (Amazon link WITH excerpts):

A Standard Journey, 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent
Of Foreign Build, From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman

And just for being good sports and reading to the end of my post – here’s another recent picture that had Noel rolling his eyes! Well, a Calendar Girl has to have a beauty regime!

In the Rhone River, France, clay 'beauty' treatment (aka 'playing in mud!')

In the Rhone River, France, clay ‘beauty’ treatment (aka ‘playing in mud!’)

To find out more about this, you’ll have to start reading our travel blog

Do you have any grey-hair making moments on your travels you’d like to share?


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Giveaway

Win a copy of A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Standard Journey by Jackie Sarah Parry

A Standard Journey

by Jackie Sarah Parry

Giveaway ends June 22, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

GOOD LUCK! If you are not one of the lucky ones – the book is on sale on Amazon (ebook and paperback) Here: A Standard Journey

Don’t forget I am donating 50% of proceeds of this book to charity – I want to help rescue more horses!


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Make it happen – just do it!

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!”

An old friend (‘old’ as in long-time, not years – right DD?) inspired this blog. She has a lot to offer the world but doesn’t believe it.

So, I’ll say again…

“If you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done!”

I wanted to publish a book; I had to become an author, a publisher and a marketing expert (still a way to go with that last one!) It was tough, very tough (and still is), but I wanted it that badly I made it happen.

I now want to help rescue Australian Standard-bred horses. But how, on earth, do I do that from a boat in France?

I love these boys with all my heart

I love these boys with all my heart

I’ll keep writing. My next book is about two very sore bottoms, five ‘four-legged’ friends, one tent and a heart-warming, hysterical story.

Noel and I spent a few months riding along the Bicentennial National Trail of Australia. We adopted (rescued) five scared, scatty horses and set off with a tent and not much else.

A percentage of proceeds, from this story, will be donated to the SPPHA (The Standard Pleasure and Performance Horse Association), who do a fantastic job in re-homing retired trotters that are otherwise, set to be put down. Trotters which are usually young, worn out, badly treated and have so much to offer.

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Whether it is something close to your heart, naked cartwheels (see previous blog!), or taking those first tentative steps to putting yourself out there and earning money with work you are in control of … take those steps…. if you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done…

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In the meantime you can read of our adventures on the high seas here.