On the road again

Well, not 2 weeks back from Kingston, and I’m on the road again back to ottawa. The need for a new laptop that much more evident by the uber-crappy battery life on this one now. I think that plugging it directly into the generator in February was the killing blow. I’m lucky if it will chug along after it’s down below 60%… not a happy thing.

So “why?”, you might ask, “why are you back on the road again?”… well you see it’s like this…

I was contacted by CJOH, the local Ottawa CTV affliate, they are doing a feature on living cheap in Ottawa and one of their reporters, and a cheapeats ottawa celebrity – Kim Brunhuber, suggested they contact me. Wooo Hooo.

They wanted 1 or 2 of us to take them around town introducing them to cheapeats – interesting and fun spots Monday and/or Tuesday. So I arranged to be joined by Andrea Tompkins, whose husband coincidentally works at CJOH, and away we go…

Well, no. That explains why I would be heading to Ottawa on Sunday night, not Wednesday afternoon.

While I was in NB (more on the bunny fiasco eventually), Andrea (see above) sent me an email letting me know that cheapeats ottawa was the #1 Best-Seller at Collected Works – Wooo Hooo yet again!

As is my wont (sp??), I pulled together a press release and sent it out. I was immediately contacted by Leanne Cusak from CJOH asking if someone could come do a live segment with her Thursday on News @ Noon. She teased with “it’s the top rated show in Ottawa”… so there was no way we were going to miss this opportunity… and since I don’t have anyone prepped to do media – and only had 1 person indicate interest… I’m headed down for tomorrow’s show.

Now, here’s the kicker… In the midst of all this Quill & Quire called. No small thing for a self-publisher to be contacted by Q&Q – I nearly burst… I did attempt to keep bursting to a minimum while on the phone with them… god only knows if I was actually effective.

Some interesting questions that came up during the interview:

  • what percentage of our sales are through Indigo/Chapters?
  • who are your writers… this is the 2nd time today I’ve been asked this… so are they asking for a profile or names?
  • when will we get a publicist?
  • have we/will we consider moving to a large publishing firm – I suggested that I might be naive but since the advances are dropping, promotional support is almost non-existent unless you are huge, and the cut per books is significantly lower – the only benefit I see is the distribution. He countered almost immediately that we could get our own distribution – so this
  • Scott even suggested a distributor we might consider that seems to work well with other self-publishers.

I did an interview w/ Scott from Q&Q today before jumping on the bus to head to Ottawa with a suitcase, my laptop and a case of cheapeats ottawa books. 1/7th of our remaining stash… I think we may need to request a reprint if they keep selling at this rate of approximately 100/week… we have just enough to keep us until Xmas. But not if sales pick up – which we hope this media push will cause.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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