Sisters, support and story writing

Kosser reflects on the help and support from fellow author and prolific writer Naima B. Robert. Don’t forget to sign up to Kosser’s mailing list (and get the first chapter of Tales of Mini Maryam for free), here. Buy the book from the IHRC Shop here and other platforms.

To say that I would have been okay without the use of Naima B.Robert’s ‘Amplify Programme’, would indeed be an understatement. I was lost and her programme was exactly what I needed.

I had just launched my first children’s book, ‘Tales of Mini Maryam’, and so entered the wonderful world of authorship.

I was pumped with adrenaline, full of excitement and beaming with
a sense of achievement ready to market my book, but was I ready for what was to come? I’m not referring to Covid, surprise, surprise, although that did slow our marketing campaign down.

I simply hadn’t a foggiest on what to do next; how to do my bit as an author and get my book out there into the world of the unknown. I had 5000 books to sell, I have family and friends, but certainly not 5000! 😉 So the pressure was on.

My mind was buzzing with questions, being so shy I wondered how on earth to approach people without looking like a beg-friend? What were the tactics of other authors? Which were the best social media platforms to use? What are the no-no’s in author marketing?

Now one of the best things that I did do when my book was launched, was to tweet Naima B. Robert….just. I didn’t know her personally but I knew of her amazing accomplishments through her books and her heart warming personality and I just wanted to let her know that, ‘OMG, I did it! I’m now an author too, Alhamdu’lillah’.

And as they say, from there, ‘One thing led to another’. Naima responded to my tweet and said, ‘Masha Allah, sis, the book looks LOVELY!!!, Congrats and mabroooook!’. Yep, a tweet I will keep for life! 😉

I plucked up the courage and a few days later contacted her again, this time to ask for advice on all the author-related questions that were pounding my head. Although she was unable to give me 1:1, she then introduced me to her Amplify Programme.

Through working on Naima’s Programme I was able to achieve an increased level of confidence and satisfaction. Her programme made me realise that if I wanted to increase my book’s reach, there were certain things in my life that I would have to do, changes that I had to make, people that I had to speak too.

And so began my continuing journey to success (Insha’Allah). The 6 weeks training programme took me 8 weeks to complete due to personal circumstances. Alhamdu’lillah I managed to complete most of the tasks set in the author checklist and with great pleasure one by one I ticked off my accomplishments, such as;

Update social media profiles with my author name
Set up blog
Create a lead magnet
Create a Facebook Ad
Decide on social media platforms
Plan a book launch

The extra resources that came with the programme such as the book launch planner, advice on where to publish any articles and accompanying templates were extremely helpful. Not forgetting the weekly post-recorded Q&A calls with Naima and Alexa Bigwarfe where they dished out a truck load of golden nuggets! Trust me!

Today, I can proudly confirm that I have mastered (not a lot 😉) the dreaded marketing tool, ‘ Mailchimp’, another tool introduced via Amplify. At times I found it very painful, especially trying to work mailchimp on my iPhone/ ipad. Will you believe that what took me 4 hours to work through at home on an iPad took only 40 minutes on a desktop at work!. After simple perseverance and watching a couple of You Tube tutorials on everything mailchimp, I began to target people with my author campaign. I have since managed to attract over 100 subscribers using my lead magnet through Facebook Ads which I paid a mere £20.00 for Alhamdu’lillah.

The Amplify Programme has taught me that success depends upon the amount of effort that I am willing to put in, success certainly doesn’t happen over night. I owe it to myself, where I have put so much effort into writing a book, seeking out a publisher, working with an illustrator and graphic designer, to continue to give it my all and get my book sold, worldwide Insha’Allah.

Thank you to my publishers for putting their faith in me and part-funding this course. Thank you always to Naima B.Robert.

Kosser Abdul Aziz is the author of IHRC Press’ first children’s book, ‘Tales of Mini Maryam’. Follow Kosser on Instagram and find out more about her work, writing and activities.