Book Launch: Till the Cows Come Home
It's almost five years since I crowdfunded for 'Would You Marry a Farmer?' Hard to believe. As you may know, I've self published two other farming books since then. I also researched and wrote a book about a girls boarding school last year.
My big news though is that my latest book 'Till the Cows Come Home', a farming memoir spanning three generations, is being launched on 30th May at 6pm in Dubrays Bookshop in Kilkenny. Should any of you be near Kilkenny and able to come along, I'd love to see you. It's being launched by Ann Fitzgerald, journalist with the Farming Independent and is published by Black and White Publishing.
Many thanks again for helping me to get started on my writing journey five years ago :)
All the best, Lorna
How To Be A Perfect Farm Wife is published
Goodness, it is two years since I was writing and editing Would You Marry A Farmer?. I just wanted to let you know that my second book, yes, in a similar theme, has just been published. How To Be A Perfect Farm Wife addresses issues such as How can you get your farmer away for a holiday?
How can you feed eight contractors with ten minutes’ notice?
How can you get along with your mother-in-law (especially if she is an Irish Mammy)?
What do you do with a wellie with a hole in it?
I know what it is like to have the village appraise your signature dish, how to stay calm during the dreaded “testing”, how to interpret “farm speak”, and what to do to keep the hens happy.
More importantly I know how to cheat to give the impression you are a PERFECT farm wife. This book is packed with history, advice, recipes, hints and tips (and quizzes along the way to see how you measure up).
I'm going to be at the Ploughing this week so do call to Row 24, Stand 412 if you get the chance, I'd love to see you. I have some press coverage lined up but am unsure of dates as yet. As far as I know, I'm being interviewed on Beat 102103 tomorrow morning and on Newstalk on Tuesday morning. It is getting a mention in the Farming Independent on Tuesday and the Kilkenny People. The book is also available in independent bookshops this week and should be in Easons stores very soon. It's also on sale via my new website.
I didn't have a launch but am organising a 'Farm Author' event in StoneHouse books in Kilkenny for November, there will be 5 or 6 authors of farming books there. I'll be posting more details on the website and newsletter nearer the time.
Thank you once again for pledging in the crowdfunding campaign two years ago. It really started something and I have many more books planned.
All the best, Lorna
Quick update on 'Would You Marry A Farmer?'
I hope you are well. A quick update to let you know how the book has gone since I last sent you a message. I organised another print run of 1000 paperback books in early February. In total - between the hardback and paperback, about 1100 have been sold and the paperbacks are now available in all independent bookshops now. I'm experimenting on Kindle with KDP and it is on offer for a week starting 1st May so it will be interesting to see how that goes.
I've been invited to judge the Macra Blue Jeans Country Queen contest in Athboy during the June Bank Holiday weekend and I'll be signing books there on the Saturday afternoon. I'm also hoping to be at the Gorey Sheep Shearing Championships later in May - it would give me a good test regarding what some of the agricultural shows might be like.
The writing bug has well and truly bitten. Amanda and I wrote a social media ebook in March which is entitled 'The Banter, The Craic, The Business: Ten Ways How Being Irish Can Boost Your Business' which is free to download at http://www.weteachsocial.com if you would like to read it. We are planning another ebook for later in the year.
I'm busy writing a second book at the moment and yes, farming is the theme again. I'm doing the #NaNoWriMo this month which is a worldwide campaign whereby writers are encouraged to write up to 50,000 words in a month. I'm aiming for 40,000 (am up to 36,000). I'm not sure when it will be published so watch this space. :)
Many thanks again, Lorna
Merry Christmas & An Invite
This is just a quick update to let you know how things are going since the book arrived. Many of you will have received your books by now or there are winging their way towards you. I do hope you enjoy them. If you haven't received my email asking for your address details (there are about 4 or 5 of you), can you email me on email@example.com or I will find you on twitter or Linked In I guess :)
For those of you waiting for the ebooks, it won't be long now I promise. I had to get some expert help which has delayed things but it should be available within days.
Would you like to come to the virtual launch? It takes place this Friday on Facebook and will be 10 hours of sneak peeks, competitions, prizes and fun (all on the hour). One of the prizes will be for the best photo taken of the book - be it in a quirky situation, beautiful location, unusual setting, with a farmer ..... so do get snapping. You can join the event here https://www.facebook.com/events/514541198652992/?fref=ts and I look forward to seeing you on Friday.
The sales are going really well. Approx 225 were down to the crowdfunding and I've sold a total of approx 430 now so I am a very happy girl. It has been mentioned on Agriland.ie, Irish Country Living and the Farming Independent. I was interviewed on RTE Countrywide last Saturday and Ryan Tubridy is interviewing me tomorrow morning between 10 and 11 on 2FM.
If you would like to listen to the Countrywide interview, the link is here and I'm about half way through the programme on 7th December.
6 bloggers took part in the virtual book tour and wrote wonderful reviews that really described the book so well. I had got to the stage that I couldn't see any humour at all in the book and it was so nice to read about their favourite parts in the book as well as the sections they found most funny. I had wondered if people would enjoy the largely historical first section and I've been getting great feedback so I'm delighted I included it.
Thank you once again for being a part of my crowdfunding journey. It wouldn't have happened without you. It has been an incredibly busy six months and who knows what is in store for next year. I do have another book planned (no crowdfunding for this one!) and I hope to start writing it in February.
Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you at the virtual launch on Friday :)
Best wishes, Lorna
It's going to print!
We're nearly at the finishing post! I checked the poof copy yesterday and the book goes to print today. The hard cover takes an extra week but 1,000 copies will be delivered here by 29th November and I will have a busy weekend getting 250 copies ready to post out on Monday 2nd Dec so you will be receiving them that week, all going according to plan. It will be going up onto Kindle within the next week or so too.
I will be emailing all of you over the next week to get address details etc from you. Thank you so much again for your support - I don't think I will believe it has all actually happened until I see boxes of books in my hall!
I am so glad I crowdfunded. Apart from the vote of confidence and added brand awareness,it gave me such a fixed deadline. I can see how it could be very easy to just keep editing forever and then it would be 'over-edited'.
The website will be live any day now - we are just waiting for the hosting company to switch it from the old blog to the new website. I'd like to thank Spiderworking.com for their work on the website, Derbhile Graham for her editing and Joanne Condon for her superb illustrations (if you pop over to http://irishfarmerette.com you will see a sneak peek of two illustrations and the full cover in the last blog post) not to mention my beta readers - thank you all too.
I haven't forgotten about the recipe booklet - it is just i haven't baked in ages and need to set a day or two aside to ensure my measurements are correct (as with many of these recipes, I measure some of the ingredients by eye!) and take some photographs. I must share a story about my biscuit cake. It is my 'fall back' on recipe that i know everyone will enjoy and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. I made one recently (in ten minutes - beat the biscuits into submission in seconds) for the tea after the Harvest Thanksgiving service. Arriving at church at 7:55, we thought it was a bit strange that it was so quiet and yet there were so many cars around. Going in, we discovered the service was nearly over - it had started at 7:00! After the tea, I thought I'd better get started on the washing up as I hadn't helped to decorate the church nor arrived on time. I was wondering why two or three people were asking me if I had made the biscuit cake as they brought out dishes to be washed. It turned out that the visiting clergyman from Derry had made a short speech to thank everyone for the tea and had waxed lyrical about my biscuit cake, describing it as divine and the nicest he had ever tasted! I'm glad I was out the back washing up or I'd have gone through the floor as the person who did the least and yet got all the acclaim - thanks to the biscuit cake.
My daughter has made me promise to bake with her tomorrow so I will make a start on photographs for the booklet then, all going well.
I'm off to Wales on Monday and I will be talking about my crowdfunding experience at the ACT conference on Tuesday which I am looking forward to. Hard to believe this journey started with my last trip to Wales in May.
I'm not having a launch party as such but I am thinking of having a virtual launch party as an event on facebook so no matter where you are in the world, I do hope you will pop in. Planning fun, games and competitions - I will let you know when it is.
It has been a busy six months - writing the book, co-organising the blog awards and launching We Teach Social, and I have enjoyed every minute. Once I catch up on sleep over Xmas, I will be raring to go again and yes, I have another book planned for next year .........
Thank you again (If you don't receive an email within a week, do check your spam or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org but hopefully all will work as it is supposed to )
I hope you have a lovely weekend, regards, Lorna
I hope you are having a good autumn. It is starting to feel a little like Christmas is only around the corner.
The writing on the book has gone well and I'm at the final editing stage. I love the book cover and it is almost finalised. The illustrations are coming along nicely too. The new website will be live in about ten days and the book will be out towards the end of November. I'll be signing and posting them as they come hot from the shelves so for those of you who purchased them for Christmas gifts, you'll get them in good time.
I will soon be in contact by email to ask for confirmation of your address (or for the recipient if you are gifting it) and who you would like the inscription made out to.
Some pledgers have started their social media courses and all are going well. I'm off to Northern Ireland in the morning as I'm a judge for the 'Farmers Wants A Wife' charity event in Armagh which sounds like it will be a lot of fun.
Many thanks again and I will be in touch soon.
Kind regards, Lorna
Thank you all once again for your pledges, I didn't realise I couldn't send an update while Fundit were collecting in all the pledges so apologies for the delay. I really appreciate each and every one.
There was huge excitement in the last two days of the campaign as a huge surge of pledges came in and the goal was reached with 15 hours to go. It was just before midnight and it seemed like so many of you were refreshing the page and tweeting and messaging me (it gave me a glimmer of what an election night might be like!) There was €82 to go and then the goal was reached as one lovely person upped his pledge and I was bombarded with tweets, texts and facebook messages. Great excitement.
There's a busy couple of months ahead but as everyone who knows me well realises, I work well to deadlines - busy editing at the moment - chatting to illustrators and website designers this week, book designers end of next week, sending sections to my editor this coming weekend.
I will post the occasional update here but if you would like to follow the book's progress, do like my Irish Farmerette page on facebook for regular updates there. https://www.facebook.com/IrishFarmerette
For those of you who pre-ordered copies of the book, I will be in contact in early November to get the address details for the recipients as well as details for the signatures. If you opted for a social media course, I will be in contact next week when we publish our full Autumn term of courses. All pledges of €100 or more will also receive a sidebar ad on my new website and I will be in touch in three or four weeks concerning those.
It was a very exciting five weeks and many many thanks for being an important part of it.
Last Update Before The End
My last update before the end and I have an extra day. Or, I should say, a day that I didn't realise I had! I really believe the mathematical portion of my brain must be shrinking steadily since I left school - it must now be the size of a pea!
When the project was going live, I calculated it was finishing on 1st August and when the Irish Independent journalist queried the final date and I worked it out, the number of days left looked like it was coming to an end on 31st July so I just presumed I had made an error. When I phoned Fundit yesterday to ask for the exact minute of ending, it turns out that the 24 hour countdown will start today at 2:55pm and will count down until it ends at 2:55pm on Thursday 1st August so at the moment there's about 29 hours left to go. Feeling a bit silly but delighted to hear the good news!
Thank you all so much for your support, to those who pledged on the first day and gave me huge encouragement, to those who pledged during the lull in the middle and to all those who pledged yesterday and gave it a huge boost. I admit I was getting worried two days ago but with 16% to go and 29 hours to do it in, it really feels like it is going to happen. Fingers are still crossed.
These 35 days have been a rollercoaster, a really exciting journey and yet it's just the start. I hope you'll stay with me and tune into my blog (I'll post occasional updates here too) as I edit and rewrite and work out different formats and choose illustrations and everything else that goes with self publishing.
I'd also like to thank you all for the fantastic support on twitter and facebook - the number of shares, tweets and retweets has been phenomenal and I appreciate each and every one.
Here's to a last push for the final hours - see you all on the other side hopefully :)
Update with approx 40 hours to go
Not long to go, less than two days and it's been an incredible rollercoaster of a journey. I'm sure that what is to follow with the publication of the book will make this seem like a tip of the iceberg but for now it's been pretty exciting.
Not quite as nailbiting as a selfpublishing crowdfunder who managed to achieve her final 70% of funding in her final 24 hours but we still have a little way to go with 65% achieved to date. However, the Irish are a nation of 'putting things on the long finger' so you never know ;)
Thank you most sincerely for your pledge. Many of you have been sharing on facebook and tweeting too, all much appreciated. Just to mention that if you would like to avail of any of the new rewards such as the ebook of recipes (with my coveted and secret biscuit cake recipe) for all pledges of €25 or over or the sidebar advertisement on my website for a year for all rewards over €100, you can increase your pledge. Thank you to the businesses who are making these pledges and you'll all see their advertisements on the website in September.
Social Media Courses
We're increasing our range of online social media courses at We Teach Social for the autumn term, they will include courses on Facebook, blogging, twitter, google + and pinterest. You can pledge to book one of the courses as one of the rewards (and avail of the sidebar ad too) if you wish.
I've been writing about the crowdfunding process on both blogs (Write on Track and Irish Farmerette) from different perspectives and I have to say I'm enjoying the challenge and connecting with so many pledgers on twitter.
All going well, I'll be contacting illustrators on Wednesday. I can't wait to see the farmer and his wife come to life!
Many thanks once again, Lorna x
Have You Got What It Takes To Marry A Farmer - update
It's been a busy week here at Garrendenny - 2 family birthdays, 2 parties, a night out and the harvesting of silage (photos of the silage making are on the blog this morning if you would like to see them)
We're adding some new rewards for all the lovely people who are pledging and helping to make this book become a reality.
I'm creating an ebook from my favourite six recipes (some of which have been handed down from my mum) and every funder that pledges €25 or over will receive the recipe ebook by email. The ebook will contain photographs showing the process of the making as well as the finished product. It will also contain my recipe for biscuit cake which has been as closely guarded as a State secret - partly because it is so scrumptious and every slice is eaten when I bring it to school or parish events (and I didn't want others knowing how to make this quick and scrumptious treat as then mine wouldn't be special!!) and partly because I add some of the ingredients 'by eye' and have never measured them out - but I will for the ebook!
The other reward is for sidebar ads on my new website. Every funder that pledges €100 or more can have a sidebar ad on my website linking to their website. It will be available from mid-September and I'll let you know the dimensions so you can create the image/ad to send to me. There was a huge spike in traffic to the blog in June but traffic seems to have settled now to an average of 500 visits a day (15,000 a month)
The sidebar ad is an add-on reward to all rewards of €100 and more.
The project has received some publicity during the week - being featured in local newspapers, the Irish Independent and Irish Central. It's also been featured on some blogs too including Got Ireland, World Irish, An Irish American Mom and Irish Fireside.
It's at 36% completion now and I have a target in mind for 40% by tonight and 50% by Wednesday evening. Please continue to tell your friends, particularly those who might be wondering if they have what it takes 'to marry a farmer'. ;)
Yours in farming,
Would You Marry A Farmer? Update from Week 2
It's been a fabulously hot week here in Ireland with record-breaking amounts of hay made and cows heading for shade under the trees.
Thank you all so much for your pledges. Writing is so much more enjoyable and less scary when you know people are looking forward to reading your book and giving it as a Christmas gift.
As you know, the book is a type of social history of Irish farming and marriage with a liberal pinch of salt and dose of humour. It will have a serious side as it works to remove the invisibility that farming women have experienced for centuries and acknowledges their work as farmers, yet will make us laugh at ourselves (and others). I was interviewed on a local radio station last week regarding my thoughts on the 'grass ceiling' in farming and the invisibility of female farmers. It's certainly topical at the moment, not just in Ireland but globally.
I'm putting up part of the first draft of some chapters on the blog week by week. The latest one is 'The Farmer Wants a Wife: Dating Tips for Farmers' - do have a look and see if you can think of any tips to add ;) http://irishfarmerette.com/2013/07/11/the-farmer-wants-a-wife-dating-tips-for-farmers/
I think my favourite of the terrible chat up lines has to be 'How would you like to be buried with my people?'
The campaign has achieved 24% completion now with 53 funders which is great progress. I estimate it will need another 150 pledgers for pre-orders of the book for the campaign to reach completion and ensure this book is printed and produced in time for Christmas. If you can tweet a link to the fundit campaign and share it with your friends, that would be wonderful.
I love writing (no surprise there since I'm writing a book) and part of my top reward (of which there is only one) is to create a blog which will be written from the perspective of the funder's own adopted heifer calf as she is born here next February and moves into the Garrendenny milking herd when she is two years old. The blog will be updated once a month and once the pledger has named her, 'Daisy' or 'Gertrude' or 'North' will have the story of her life and her thoughts revealed to the world.
I'm delighted to say that the media have shown interest in featuring my book and the crowdfunding campaign especially as I had heard from other crowdfunders that they don't tend to feature campaigns until they have finished and are successful. It is to be in both local papers next week and a journalist from a national newspaper contacted me with a view to the story running next Tuesday - I'll let you know more details next week.
I hope you have a great weekend and thank you once again,
Yours in farming,
'Would You Marry A Farmer' - First Update
Many thanks to everyone who had pre-ordered a copy of 'Would You Marry A Farmer'. It will be out in good time for Christmas so whether you've bought it for yourself or for someone else as a gift, it's not too long to wait :)
30 people have pre-ordered copies to date and I have to say I'm finding the whole crowdfunding process exhilarating, exciting and slightly nail-biting!
It's been a busy week here on the farm with the annual herd test and a visit to the Moorepark dairy research day (photos and vine videos up on http://irishfarmerette.com. You just know that your farmer husband has your best interests and safety at heart when he advises you to bring a sprong instead of a stick when bringing in the bulls for testing!
Did you know that farmers are now seen again as a 'good catch' and many are some of the most eligible bachelors out there? This week's blog post on marrying farmers looks at how one might find an eligible farmer to marry and will serve as a 'first draft' to one of the chapters in the book. http://irishfarmerette.com/2013/07/01/i-want-to-marry-a-farmer-but-how/. Judging by the comments I've received, tea dances are still one of the most popular places to find an eligible farmer :)
Part of another chapter of the book will be going up on the blog this weekend too - this one will be entitled 'The Farmer Wants A Wife' - Dating Tips for Farmers - do keep an eye out for it and let me know what you think.
Until next week, I hope you have a lovely weekend, it's going to be a very hot and sunny one here in Ireland