Jackie Parry – author


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Popular Sailing Memoir Comes to Audio

I’m rather chuffed to announce that

“Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman”

is now available on Audio.

 

Here’s the official announcement/Press Release:

New Street Nautical Audio is proud to announce its publication of Jackie Parry’s superb Of Foreign Build: From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman, already a bestseller in digital and paper editions.

After suffering an emotionally-brutal bereavement, Jackie made a bold decision and stepped into a new life. With a new husband, and no prior experience with boats, she entered the obscure but fascinating nether-world of the cruising lifestyle.
pic for audio book

Her world would never be the same again. A floating home with no fridge or hot water, and a dinghy instead of a car.

The first off-shore voyage took Jackie into a ferocious storm, which battered her physically and mentally. But amid those raging seas, Jackie shed the fear she’d been harbouring. Soon she was blissfully voyaging around the world, but she still carried the mixed emotions of losing one man while falling head over heels in love with another.

Not only did Jackie deal successfully with the challenges of her new existence, she also battled with the testosterone fuelled nautical world to become both a professional captain and a qualified maritime teacher.

Most importantly, Jackie found herself.

Narrated by Britain’s Michelle Michaels, the New Street Nautical Audio edition for Of Foreign Build runs 14 hours, 43 minutes, and is available from Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. (Listen to an excerpt here).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Originally from the UK, Jackie Parry is now an adopted Australian. But it’s hard to pin Jackie’s location down at any given time. She’s currently exploring French canals on a Dutch barge with her Australian husband.

For more information, click here.


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You Know When You’re A Writer When…..

.. you can write anywhere…

Sailing (and writing) in my slippers along the NSW coast

Sailing (and writing) in my slippers along the NSW coast

How do you know you are a writer?


7 Comments

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?


2 Comments

Memoir Reviews

As an author of memoirs, I indulge in this genre more than I ever did before. I do read all genres and enjoy the vivid and varied styles and stories.

Here are two reviews for memoirs I’ve recently finished. So much enjoyment! So many books – so little time….

African Ways by Valerie Poore51epNPjYfdL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_

A Compelling Read

Moving to South Africa with her husband and young girls was a challenge Valerie Poore tackled with endearing humility and humour. Their time there is a picture story created through vivid prose.

As she recalls the unique culture and charming characters I was taken on a journey where I could experience the countryside and feel her frustrations while enduring the tough challenges that a new culture brings.

This is beautifully written with down to earth, honest style.

I’ve read other books from Valerie Poore and I shall be reading more. This lady is smart, courageous, warm and funny – and this book will put a smile on your face.

 

No Damage: An adventure in courage, survival and the pursuit of dreams by Kathryn Hodgson

A roller-coaster read

Here’s a lady with enormous human spirit and a knack to laugh at herself.

Told with searing honesty, Kathryn takes you on a journey of love, loss, heartache, joy and redemption. Her most intimate decisions are shared, discussed, analysed and carried out with equal measures of humour, sadness, fear and validation.51Rg4v9F+jL._SX353_BO1,204,203,200_

Although at times I felt a tiny bit uncomfortable with her self-justification for some of those decisions – I still couldn’t wait to settle down each evening to be carried along with her sentiments and emotions. I wanted to see which one of life’s challenges would knock her flat next – and how she’d stand up and slap it right back!

These ‘life-lessons’ are experienced by us all, but Kathryn makes it a fun ride that’s all wrapped in the chaos of two lunatic, adorable dogs.

If you are a similar age and you like an entertaining read on handling the lumps and bumps of life that is loaded with sentiment – this book is for you.

I would have loved to have more written dialogue between Kathryn and her dynamic friends, to really hear how they carried her through the difficult times – but that’s just a personal perspective and takes nothing away from a great read!


8 Comments

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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Barge Renovations Update

We’re still buried in the bowels of our little ship – renovating away, only popping up for air when we need feeding.

Below are galley progress-pictures from a month or so back (where has the time gone?). Some people liked the painted cupboards, but we changed them for several reasons:

1) The photos looked so much better than the real thing.

2) My eyes couldn’t stand all the hectic patterns and clashing of colours, stripes and frills (frilly net-curtains, red curtains, striped curtains, and the stencilled flowers on the sky-hatch windows) – something had to give!

3) I like fresh, simple decor that creates the feeling of space.

4) We didn’t like them!

Getting ready to sand

Getting ready to sand

Some of the paint was very thick (dobbed on!), I was glad we had the electric sander!

Some of the paint was very thick (dobbed on!), I was glad we had the electric sander!

I couldn't wait to lighten this lot up!

I couldn’t wait to lighten this lot up!

First coat - there were five coats in total!

First coat – there were five coats in total!

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Sitting on the stove top!

 

Much better!

Much better! (Ignore the timber door on the right, we currently have a vagrant door just sitting there in the way!)

That's better on the eyes!

That’s better on the eyes!

This one?

This one?

Or, this one?

Or, this one?

Currently, we are finishing off the front cabin and that is the end of the renovations for now.
Photos appearing soon-ish!

What are your renovation success stories?


4 Comments

Hot Spring Deal – Virtual Travel & Adventure for 99 cents / 99 pence!

I’m rich – that’s what people think.

While I may not be driving a Rolls Royce (yet), I am enjoying best-seller rankings with my recently published book – “Of Foreign Build – From Corporate Girl to Sea-Gypsy Woman”.

Reality
Few authors make ‘good’ money – that’s the reality. For me, my sales graph provides great pleasure as it snakes across the page continually placing “Of Foreign Build” in the top ten rankings (and often at No. 1). Yes, I am quietly satisfied with my achievements. The reviews say it all.

“Resolute” “Stimulating” ”Rousing” “Moving” “Unconventional”

An orangutan 'moment' in Borneo

An orangutan ‘moment’ in Borneo

Marketing can be just as hard as writing a book!
If people don’t know that your book exists, they aren’t going to buy it! This has become the little mantra in my head that keeps me going. Marketing costs money and time – lots and lots and lots of time!

FREE!
‘Give your book away for free’ is the advice these days. I am uncomfortable with this for several reasons:
1) How many other industries do people slog away for years and produce a product that people expect you to give them?
2) My work has value!

We experienced the world

We experienced the world

I won’t disregard all my options, maybe by my twentieth book I’ll consider a freebie to the masses. I have held (and will hold) many giveaway competitions, but they’ve all been within my control – so far. Keep an eye on my website and sign up here to be the first to know about freebies.

Promotions are important
I do understand that due to the vast choice readers have, it’s important to promote, and I am really excited about this promotion!

We made beautiful friends

We made beautiful friendships

My Promotion
This week (7th March – 14th March) I am reducing the Kindle version of “Of Foreign Build” to 99 cents/pence (for the UK and USA).

mock cover book image

That’s just 99 cents or pence for over 400 pages of:

  • Adventure
  • Fear
  • Love
  • Storms
  • Pirates
  • Finding out why my husband worked in a brothel!
  • Whale-smash!
  • Abduction
  • Redemption…
    … a nine-year odyssey

Experience the world right now from the eyes of a corporate girl that morphed into a sea-gypsy woman!

All for 99 cents / pence. Not convinced yet? Read an excerpt here.


** New Release ** May 2015 *** A Standard Journey ***

**5 horses, 2 people and a tent **

50% of proceeds going to help rescue more horses! Details here.



4 Comments

Yo Ho Ho & A Bottle of Rum!

A little while ago I wrote about the mysteries of the maritime world and how to get through your first few times on a boat at the helm.

I received many great comments – one, in particular, is important:

“Great encouragement and advice, Jackie!
Also, want to toss in the thought that not all women are the ones being persuaded to go sailing/cruising! While most sailors are super friendly, etc. it really does bug me when I run across people who just assume that I’m only there (or any woman is only there) because her husband persuaded her to be!”

Thanks Ellen You are right. It isn’t always the man’s dream to sail off into the sunset. Women are leading the way too and taking their partners or single-handing.

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Ellen goes on to say, “It’s a lack of recognition of the fact that I am (or other women are) realizing dreams that we’ve had since childhood, and the sense of accomplishment that it gives us. So my bit of advice is, when you meet people in an anchorage, to wait and hear their story before jumping to the conclusion that Girl is valiantly supporting Boy’s dream :)”

Pink and Blue Jobs
Well said! And leads me nicely into blue/pink jobs. I can understand some jobs fall to the woman and some to the man. But on our boats both of us could and can handle every job necessary, from every aspect of maintenance to navigation. For us it was the safety aspect, for me it was independence. That’s just our choice; many couples have wonderful years on board with defined jobs.

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Ellen adds
“That’s not to discount the bravery of those who do fit that narrative, just to point out that it’s not the only one! E.g. we met the skipper and cook on a luxury chart yacht where she was the captain/engineer and he the cook!”

Men vs. Women
A recent FB post on a sailing group made me smile, the magnitude and range comments that followed this question were hysterical, some thoughtless, but many were thoughtful:

drinking bottle

Image courtesy of kjnnt at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

“Sailors, what do you say to a woman who gives you lip about drinking rum on your boat before noon, and then also tells you that your plan on someday circumnavigating is ‘scary’ and ‘inconceivable’?”

Responses varied from “throw her overboard” to “go to AA!”

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Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

My response was along the lines of, “I wonder why so many men tell us their partner won’t sail with them? How about showing her how conceivable your plans are and proving they are not scary…. as for the rum, well, sometimes it is important and sometimes not, however – never at sea!”

What do you think?


19 Comments

There’s no such thing as bad press! (And win a freebie!)

Last week someone wrote derogatory comments about us on a forum.

What happened?
A few months back, two complete strangers told us we were not qualified to offer our new boat training service. They’d garnered this lofty view from our personal website and holiday snaps! Politely we explained our professional qualifications and experience on email, even though we didn’t have to.

It seems that wasn’t enough. So last week they voiced their concerns publicly. Others didn’t like our strong ‘come-back’. I wonder how many times they’d let someone do this to them before retaliating – twice was enough for us!

The blind
What these people didn’t see was the reams of private supportive messages that clogged our email. People who wouldn’t write publicly as they didn’t want to be ‘next’ on the target list (some had, disturbingly, already been there).

In droves, people said that this is exactly why they didn’t partake in this site any more.

The result?
Well, they say, there is no such thing as bad press and now having been on the end of it – I can attest to that!

  • People with fantastic websites are now linking our websites to theirs – providing us with tonnes of free advertising
  • Enquiries are up
  • Book sales have spiked
  • With over 300 hits on both our websites in just a few hours, Google algorithms love this – it’s a great boost!

Apology
We asked for an apology. A few people on the forum have apologised privately. The instigator has not, but that’s okay. Not because of the extra business, sales and wonderful new connections and friends we’ve made – it’s okay because they’ve shown their true colours.

In summary
I wouldn’t want to wish this experience on anyone. Initially we felt alone and bullied. But the enormous private (and some public) support was a soothing balm and a real eye-opener.

It makes you think
During our years of teaching commercial maritime and working internationally on all kinds of boats (yes, barges on canals too – sigh). We’ve learned a lot:

  • A broad experience is imperative – it’s about having the ability to adapt to every situation
  • Claiming that one-niche experience is a complete experience, is a dangerous mistake
  • We don’t know everything, only a fool would admit that!
  • You never stop learning, once you think you know it all you are a danger
  • We all have knowledge to impart

Win an Ebook
Our website was criticised too – here it is www.bargetraining.com tell us what you think – CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is always welcome. A free ebook (choice out of three) goes to the most crazy, funny amusing or helpful comment.

Website WIP – but here’s more info:
We’ll list a few more details on our website soon – it is a Work In Progress – but in the meantime here are a few more high-lights of our experience:

As well as the European Canals (on our boats, on commercial boats, on other people’s boat  – recreationally and commercially) we have also traversed the following inland waterways/canals and rivers (and hundred’s of associated locks):
New York State Canal System
The Canadian Heritage Canals
Lake Okeechobee Waterway
Trent Severn Watery
Rideau Canal
Erie Canal
Potomac
St Lawrence Canal
Sanitary Canal
St Lawrence Seaway
The Mississippi River
The Ohio River
The Illinois River
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Cumberland River
Tennessee River
Lake Okeechobee Waterway
Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway
Hudson River
The Great Lakes
Missouri River
The Nile
Rivers in PNG, Borneo, Australia, Ecuador, Panama, Asia, Morocco… and on it goes…

Here’s some pics – these are mostly holiday and travel snaps, most of our professional pictures are stored away at home in Australia.

If you want more information about us just drop us a line, telephone us, call around for a chat – the kettle’s always on.

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vmr adjusted1


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Travel the world from your armchair

Living on board a compact ten metre boat is not for the faint-hearted!

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Cruising is not all about calm seas, wind propulsion and dolphins at sunset. For a start moving from land to boat is confusing, frustrating and tough! You have to sell or store all of your belongings and live without ninety percent of what you usually live with!

Here’s more cruising realities you may not be aware of:

  • Flexibility is a must. Even with a large engine room you’ll have to learn to bend yourself into a pretzel.
  • Once in the engine room, you’ll learn how to perform miracles to unscrew, twist, replace…
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  • The top of the mast sways a lot, even at anchor in dead flat water.
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  • Bruises accumulate. The vice in the workshop bit me every time (until I told him to stop!)
  • Finding free WiFi on anchor is incredibly exciting.
  • It’s possible to live cheaply on board (read Cruisers’ AA to find out what I am talking about).
  • While preparing your boat for oceans, riding your bicycle sixty-seventy miles a week while balancing the equivalent of a small truck load, will become perfectly normal.
  • Movies, concerts and shows are replaced by slowly swinging on anchor, devouring the three-sixty-degree moving vista, and watching the sunset.
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    Barbados!

  • Just a couple more knots of wind can make the difference between a peaceful sleep and a fitful one.
  • Resourcefulness becomes your middle name.
  • It is a fantastic relief to be cut off from emails and phonecalls (which is how we cruised).
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  • You will never have enough rags on board.
  • The laptop and camera become cherished items, to constantly capture those memories that fade with wine, oops, time!
  • Life on board is hard work, but immensely satisfying.
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Here’s some of our memories of sailing around the world

And here’s the whole story…

Do you prefer to go adventuring, or read about it from the comfort of your armchair?