Tell me about your book. What is it about? Can you describe it in just a few sentences?
Jump Down Under contains six real life stories of what it is truly like to relocate to the other side of the world and set up a new life in Australia. Each independent story delves deep into the joys and the not so publicized hardships of making such a move, real life accounts with real life emotions, a few tears and rewards of making the Jump Down Under.
Why did you write it?
Thousands of people settle in Australia each year, whilst this is nothing new the whole experience can be very daunting and singular experience. Inevitably most singles, couples and families move on their own, not with friends or groups, hence they are unable to share or voice their concerns or receive insight from others in the know during the emotional rollercoaster and sleepless nights. I therefore wrote the book to help other people who might be thinking of moving over, or who have moved, and who would like to hear how other people have got on during their move to Australia.
What qualifies you to write this book?
I have moved to Australia twice, once when I was single after backpacking around Australia and deciding to give it a go in Melbourne only to return to the UK 2 years later due to work commitments, and then more recently when my partner and I moved from the UK to Sydney. So I have twice the experience of moving to Australia than most people.
Why do you think your book needed to be written? What will it do for other people? How will it help? Did you have any competition?
My so called ‘simple’ visa application, just like many other peoples, was far from straightforward and during the visa application and during subsequent dramas I wanted to read and understand other people’s stories of moving to Australia. I wanted to rationalize my emotions and to understand that what I was going through was normal, but I couldn’t find a book that provided me enough insight and the internet forums just didn’t contain enough details. Hence the idea for Jump Down Under was born. Why not fill that gap in the market, surely I am not the only person who has this need, I thought.
I have had great a deal of feedback from many people about the book prior to themselves moving to Australia, and they are grateful for the insight to the challenges and hurdles. And a lot of people who have already moved to Australia, including £10 POMES, have stated how they can relate to the experiences and events described in the book. Hence I think it hits the spot.
Who do you think will read your book? What made you think that there was a market for it?
I think anyone thinking of moving to Australia would be interested, especially ones with families. With the GFC and worldwide recession, many people are evaluating their situations and are looking for a change; Australia is often seen as the country with the perfect lifestyle, hence Jump Down Under is a good fit.
The market is full of self-help books telling you how to apply for a visa and what to do when you land in Australia. But there is very little support or written material of what it is truly like to move to Australia, with my and other people’s experiences I thought I could tap into this area of the market place and give people the reassurance and insight that they may be looking for prior to making such a life changing move.
It does not matter how good a book is, or how good your writing is if no one knows about it. What steps have you taken or do you plan to take to promote your book? Are you a speaker or trainer? Do you have a blog? A website? A newsletter? Do you use Facebook, Twitter or other social media tools? What about press releases and sending out review copies and free articles? Have you had any other ideas? Which methods do you think work best and can you give me any examples?
To promote Jump Down Under I am making maximum use of the internet due to the fact that I am living in Australia and the predominant market place for the book is in Europe. To keep things consistent I have decided to reference all my internet material with one name, not so surprisingly Jump Down Under, I have a website jumpdownunder.com which I blog on, facebook page “Jump Down Under”, Twitter “JumpDownUnder”, all of these are linked together with social media tools as well as LinkedIn. I have promoted my book on a number of Facebook pages, contacted many media / magazine companies and issued the odd free copy to key persons in the specific media areas for reviews and write ups. I am not sure what works best as it is still early days but targeting the key market audiences defiantly helps and gets the right attention.
What was your biggest challenge regarding the writing of your book? How have you overcome that? (I expect working with Joe was a huge challenge but it will not be helpful to the reader to know this)!!
I had a million ideas for this book and keeping them relevant and appropriate for the market was difficult enough but the hardest thing to do was to find the time to get the book written. I knew that if I kept the idea of the book quiet enough and didn’t tell my friends and family I probably wouldn’t have written it, so I told everyone and anyone which forced me to get on with it or lose face. Male pride can be a powerful motivator when you put it to good use. So hour by hour I just got on with it whenever I could, I kept going and blocking out hours in my day to purely dedicate to the book.
Now you have written this book, what has writing it done for you, your family, your self-esteem or your business? If your book is only recently released, please comment on what you hope its publication will do for you.
I am very pleased that Jump Down Under has just been released, I am proud of myself for developing the idea and seeing it through. It is still early days, with the book now written and printed I am onto the second phase of publicizing it and getting out to the market place where it belongs, helping others. As for my self-esteem, well it has certainly not been dented by the experience and I am proud of myself and determination to keep focused and get it completed.
If you were to give advice to someone else who is thinking about writing a book, what would be your number one tip?
Just do it, don’t delay, every journey starts with a single step and once you’re up and walking it just gets easier and your destination just gets closer with every step.
All the latest news, views, and writing tips from Jo Parfitt and the team at Summertime Publishing