The journey

It seems that I’ve taken so many steps in this journey to publication that my mind is a whirl.

I’m into my second novel already. Unbelievable to think only last year my debut Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox was released world-wide. My spelling has become atrocious since I’m relearning words that are American English rather than straightforward English. One could argue that there is no such thing as straightforward English, because our language is mixed with other languages and constantly changing. I would even suggest that some of the words we use in English are weird, there are different ways of writing things, I before E except after C is one rule, which changes in certain circumstances, and that’s just the tip of it. Anyway, my excuse for poor grammar and spelling mistakes are down to the re-learning of American English from English. So no excuse really!

London 1950s and everyone has a secret: My debut!

The biggest thing I’m finding is keeping on top of what I’m supposed to be doing with regard promotions. I seriously thought I would write a story and then continue writing stories. No, silly me! Since the acceptance of my manuscript, which is a story in itself, I’ve had to sign a contract, fill in forms, do an IRS thingy and so much more to allow my book to be published. What I do know is that being traditionally published by smaller publishers is that you will have to do your own marketing. There is very little room given to help in this matter, and certainly no money. Everything you spend on marketing comes out of your pocket. In their defence, (defense) for my lovely American friends, the publisher has forked out for: an editor, a proof reader, an illustrator, the paperwork that is required for the American side of royalties, the contract, the ISBN, the copyright. The list is larger than that, but the publishers are taking a gamble on me. They have stated in the contract that I must have a blog and must promote my book. Fair enough. I was lucky enough to be offered a contract in the first place.

Everyone wants to know about the royalties. Well I’ll be honest, I’m not going to make a fortune because the royalties are limited to the volume of books sold. I calculate I’d need to sell several hundred thousand to have a really good income. That said, I’m retired, I’m not entirely dependent upon additional income, though it would be nice.

One fellow author told me that he bought his house on the back of his royalties. Wow! He is not with my publisher and I’m unsure what book it was that brought that kind of money into his purse. I have a sneaky suspicions it was a non fiction. I hear that educational works also bring in a regular income, especially if you write for examinations as this turns over annually. Nice one if you are that clever.

I’ve been invited onto radio, local and international (though I contacted the charitable international station). I’ve written to local newspapers to run a bit about me being a local author and this has been good. I’ve been to a couple of coffee shops on the hope that people might turn up, (not so good), and have been invited to zoom to the local Frome writers collective. They have asked me to join their social event to speak. Heck terrified I’ll blow myself out of the water, but actually I don’t care as I’m typing this. I am a member of the FWC.

The promotions bit with my publishers has hooked me into an email loop where other writers are similarly fighting for poll position on the sales side and we ask if they would share a tweet or insta or whatever. They are brilliant, supportive and will help. For example, I asked if anyone would spotlight me on their blog and I got quite a few lovely people bouncing back with a ‘yes’. So blogging apparently is another way forward.

I started a mini zoom with some of our UK authors as the ‘support/information’ evenings run in America doesn’t fit in with our time zone. I started out with 3 names. I’m happy with that as its growing and most recently someone from Paris joined us. Lovely.

From that I discovered a local author to me and we hooked up the other day over coffee to discuss a possible promotion idea. We have agreed to share a table, and the cost at the local book fair. From that she has offered to involve me with her friends who are also very established authors. We are hooking up over lunch in the very near future with plans to move forward on the promotional side. So all good.

Taking a breather now. Thinking about going for a walk. Another small step for mankind….

You are kind, if you are about to share my links that would be simply amazing! Thank you.

New release: Only a simple shoebox but with life changing secrets

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