Sunday, 21 October 2018

Two things from this week

Two things happened this week, which felt rather enormous.

Firstly I went to BookCamp, a writing retreat, but I think I'll blog about that later. It was the same retreat that I went on last year, in Somerset. On the Thursday of that retreat, I got a call from my agent to say that Harper Impulse were interested in my book. This year, on the Thursday of BookCamp, Sweatpants At Tiffanie's came out in paperback. It's been quite an exciting year!

Having returned to my town, I popped into my local bookstore. I'd already been in to ask them if would stock the book, but seeing it on the shelf was an amazing moment. They even asked me to sign them, which I did, because, you know, now they can't return them :)

Monday, 1 October 2018

#AidAnAuthor Month

So October is #AidAnAuthor Month*, and I’m going to suggest exactly how you can do that, given that they can be elusive little critters, squirreled away at their laptops, spinning story yarns for the enjoyment of the general public. Perhaps you don’t know an author personally to whom you can offer your help. Perhaps you do know one but they might be ever-so-British and not know quite how to say “yes please, I would dearly love your help” as authors are also human and aren’t always very good at asking for or accepting help from others.
  In fact you can help an author- relatively anonymously if you prefer, without even putting them on the spot by asking them- very easily and often at no cost to yourself. Here’s how;
*Cue fanfare*    Leave their book a review.

  Amazon reviews for an author are gold-dust. Reviews give a book visibility. Browsers will take other readers’ recommendations and, most crucially, if a book gains 50 reviews, Amazon start giving it more attention. You can see how this is valuable, yes? For a newbie author, it means they have a chance of getting noticed and can start a career. For an established author it might mean their next books get picked up too.
-It doesn’t need to be a long review. Not at all. You can just hit the stars button, or leave a simple line. (Only about the book please. You don’t need to drop stars because the packaging was scuffed…)
-It doesn’t have to be 5 stars. Be honest (but remember authors have feeling too.).  
-You don’t need to have bought the book from Amazon. You might have received it as a gift. You might have borrowed it from the library. You’ve read it, you can leave your opinion.
-If you’ve already left a review on another retailers’ sites, or on Goodreads, NetGalley, or your library search pages, you can cut and paste them into an Amazon review. Recycling is absolutely acceptable. Life is busy, time is short, right?
   So, please, if you are feeling benevolent and have a moment to spare, please spare a thought for authors this #AidAnAuthor month* and leave a review. Simply find the book page on Amazon, and midways down there should be a Leave a Review button to click. Hit up the stars and leave some words. Easy peasy. (If you've read my book and want to have a try, here's the link to the page :) ) 

(*#AidAnAuthor Month might not, in fact, be truthfully accurate, in so far as I might have made it up. But there are many causes claiming months, so why not this one? Either way, the fact remains that Amazon reviews help authors. Thank you.)

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Book sniffing

So my book is already out in ebook format, but I think there is a certain dream in any writer's head, which is to one day hold one's own book in one's grubby little mitts. That just happened to me. You can see how it went, my enormous eyeballs and some 
brazen book sniffing here;

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Me on BXP!

I think I mentioned before that I recorded a podcast with The Bestseller Experiment (BXP). It's a podcast I listen to every week and have found both entertaining a hugely informative since it started. When they heard I'd signed my contract they were lovely enough to invite me on, as a listener-to-debut story, and you can now hear my half hour of non-stop talking to/at the delightful Mark Stay here. If you don't already subscribe to the podcast I highly recommend it. There's over a year and half's worth of episodes so you can properly binge.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

It's out!!

So my debut came out 10 days ago! I can properly call myself an author!!
 It happened while I was on holiday, but I still spent the day looking at the magnificent weather out of the window, as I fielded many many tweets and facebook messages.  OH brought me cake for breakfast and I got flowers from my agent, which was delightful. 
 (I also spent the three days ahead of publication setting up a pretty website, only to find at the last minute that Squarespace wouldn't let me have my mailchimp email catcher unless I have a business account. Duh. Must do better research...)
  And now the reviews start. So far so good, the majority are lovely and so so heartwarming. Readers seem to be reacting to the characters just as I'd intended and hoped. Of course there are some not so heartwarming ones, (one that even decided to drop me a star between their Netgalley review and the amazon copy. ouch...) but it can't please all people and that is fine. (Although why the one reviewer kept reading when she hated it by chapter three I have no idea. Life is too short.)
 If you read it, please please leave me a review at your e-seller of choice, and if you have time please mark the other reviews as useful or not, as this also changes their position of what other viewers see. It is all helpful. 
  But mostly, if you do read it, I hope you enjoy it. xx

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

My long-overdue update

My debut book is out in 16 days. Aarrmmaaggaahhddd! I thought I should share a little update on what’s happened so far and what’s coming.
Sweatpants has gone through some routine edits, first a Copy edit to check for inconsistencies and random things that only make sense to me, then a Line edit, picking up on typos and grammatical errors. Then there was The First Pass, which was my last chance to make any changes, which of course made me have a little panic. It’s hard not to angst over every single word because this feels like the Set in Stone stage, but eventually I had to let it go, not least because having read it so many times now, my eyeballs are rallying for a protest march.  
 So now we are onto the marketing side of things. The book is up on Netgalley for bloggers and reviewers to request for a pre-read. I’m pleased to say I’m getting fab feedback. They thinks it’s funny!! Hurrah for that. (I’ve also had my first one star, which I knew would come and clearly she should have put it down pretty quick rather than carry on. Honestly, life is too short to read books that aren’t your cup of tea.) I've also had brilliant cover quotes from bestselling authors Cathy Bramley and Alexandra Brown which are both heartwarming and super helpful. 
  I’ve set up a Pinterest page with book-related pins. (Not sure about the marketing value of this, but I found it really calming. Procrastinating?? Moi???)
  I’m sending press releases out to local papers and publications in the hope that they’ll run something based on the local slant. I have to say that blowing my own trumpet like this does not come naturally at all.
 I’ve recorded little vids to be used on HarperImpulse’s twitter feed over the next week. I have difficulty retweeting those because It Me! (My eyes are enormous on them, but that’s just what they do.) And I was invited as a guest on a podcast. I blogged a year and a half ago about the brilliant Bestseller Experiment here, we've tweeted back and forth and when they saw I’d got a deal, they asked me on. That’s surreal, right, when you suddenly find yourself on a show that is integral to your Monday morning ironing routine. It should air mid August. The half hour flew by, I have little recollection of what I said, other than it felt like I talked non-stop at Mark. Poor chap. Hopefully there is something sensible in there.

And now, ahead of launch day I’m trying to write some little related articles that can be released as and when.

Sweatpants aside, I’ve finished the manuscript for Book Two, which I’m submitting to my editor shortly. Fingers crossed she’ll like it. I spent the last weekend hoofing around Copenhagen getting photos of the city for support purposes. If you are interested in seeing them they are on my Facebook page. (Facebook page???? I hear you ask astounded, as such things require technical abilities that we all know I hardly possess. But yes, I’ve done one of those too since I last posted. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT???!!!!)

So that’s what I’ve been up to. I think the next month will be mad. Please join in the mayhem on Twitter and Facebook and if you fancy a summer read, you can find the ebook on Amazon, Itunes, Kobo, and GooglePlay from August 3rd, (Paperbacks are out in October and can be pre-ordered.)

Wish me luck!!

Monday, 28 May 2018

A fanfare? Yes let's! Something to see here!!!!

For those reading this, Thank you for coming (can I interest you in signing up to my spiffy new Mailchimp mailing list? Just over there to the right...) and for those who have been here before a HUGE thank you for coming back after the GDPR apocalypse. I love each and every one of you.

As mentioned below, I have something to trumpet and about. My debut book cover is officially revealed today! WooHoo!!  (Yes, I know it has technically been on view on the planet's bookseller sites for a wee while, but today is the REVEAL because the world is currently backwards in many many ways, and why should my book be an exception?)

So Ta-Dahhhhhhhhhhh! My cover. Is ALL the Cute, no?

(For the beady eyed and historically or filmically minded amongst you, it is indeed a light homage to the original Breakfast at Tiffany's poster).

Points for how many boxing idioms you can spot in the blurb, which you can read here. (Disclaimer; Points have no monetary value and can only be exchanged for bragging rights.)

The ebook is out August 3rd 2018, with the paperback to follow October 18th. Both are available for pre-order now, if you like a RomCom and fancy a read.