Latest Newsletter

May 26th, 2017
Featured reader – Tracy Edley
This month’s featured reader is Tracy Edley from Dronfield in North East Derbyshire – thanks so much for submitting your thoughts on The Back Road. I have chosen The Back Road as it is the first book I read of Rachel Abbott’s and it’s still one of my favourites. It was my introduction to the very gorgeous DCI Tom Douglas. He’s such a fabulous character. It really kept me guessing right to the very end with its many twists and turns. I kept thinking I knew where this book was going then suddenly it went off in a totally different direction! Rachel is such a clever writer, and the end is always such a complete shock!
May 29th, 2017
Interesting Links
Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead. The two accusations are among explosive claims in unseen correspondence written in the bitter aftermath of one of literature’s most famous and destructive marriages. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/11/unseen-sylvia-plath-letters-claim-domestic-abuse-by-ted-hughes Lena Dunham on ‘Girls’, gender politics and growing up One of the world’s most famous — and outspoken — millennials talks about Trump’s America and life beyond the show that made her famous https://www.ft.com/content/aeef5ada-1eb6-11e7-b7d3-163f5a7f229c It’s that time of year again – time to plan a much-needed holiday – but why not try a holiday with literary benefits? http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/itineraries/the-best-learning-holidays/page/writing-holidays
June 14th, 2017
In conversation with author Clare Mackintosh
This month I’m in conversation with Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go and I See You, who I recently bumped into at The Crime Fair in Denmark and we agreed to have a chat about our publishing journeys. It was great to see you in Denmark, Clare. Was it a good event for you? It was my second time there, and it was really amazing. I’m still fairly new at this with only two books to my name and last time I was there only about two people – my editor and somebody sitting down because they had a bad back – were interested in listening to me speak! Coming back this year after I Let You Go, suddenly I had queues and a massive audience because the book did so well there. It’s a reminder of how much has happened in such a short time. I remember ...
June 14th, 2017
99p Special Offer on Only the Innocent
Only the Innocent was my first novel, introducing DCI Tom Douglas, and has now sold over 600,000 copies worldwide, with over 2,200 reviews and an average rating of 4.3. It was top of the Amazon bestseller list for four weeks. What set of circumstances could be SO BAD that a woman has no choice but to murder a man? Find out now. Read Only the Innocent for just 99p So what’s it all about? A man is dead. The killer is a woman. But what secrets lie beneath the surface – so dark that a man has to die? Women are rarely cold blooded killers. But when famous philanthropist Hugo Fletcher is found dead, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that the killer is a woman. And it is clear from the precision of the planning that this was no crime of passion. It was an execution. The victim was revered the world over ...
June 15th, 2017
Take time out to reflect on your writing
What a month it has been, and so exciting! I finished the first draft of a new book, and I enjoyed writing it so much it was hard to let it go. I’m now just waiting to get feedback which is bound to be full of heart-sinking moments when I realise that a paragraph that I thought was brilliant isn’t at all, and it needs to be rewritten. It’s all part of the process, though, and I wouldn’t change it. I learned a couple of new lessons with this book – ones that I’ve been subconsciously aware of, but have failed to really take note of in the past. I know that all writers have their own way of doing things so my quirks won’t apply to everybody, but maybe if you’re a writer too, they will give you pause for thought. And that’s the key. Pause for thought. When ...
June 18th, 2017
Pen the perfect postcard and post it to Rachel Abbott
I’ve been on a lot of book tours this year in all kinds of weather! But now it’s Summer and while I was at the Guernsey Literary Festival I found myself writing a postcard to a friend. It’s not something I’ve done for years and I was reminded how pleasing it is to jot down a couple of paragraphs, sticking to the point and recording a moment or two in time. So, what could be better than dashing off a fictional postcard? In keeping with our dark theme, you’ll need to tell someone why you won’t be coming home! It’s all part of my desire to get you writing. If you’ve never written before it can be scary but so many of you jumped aboard the First Line competition in April that I believe reading your Perfect Postcards will be just that – perfect! I’m looking forward to reading them ...

Recent Posts

UK Indie Authors – Tax on US royalties

If you are a non-US citizen and you have self published your books in the US, you will already be aware that there is a 30% withholding tax applied by the distributor, and if you’re selling a reasonable number of books, that could be quite a bit of money! But you CAN do something about this. I put it off for far too long, and when I eventually got around to it, I found a website with a great article by Karen Inglis – and I followed her instructions to the letter. The whole process was straightforward, and so I thought I would ask her to write a post for me to share with you. I should point out that I made the decision a few months ago to form a company for my publishing activities. That may or may not be the right way to go for you –

3 Ways to “Automate” Your Social Media Efforts—And Why You Should

I’m delighted to welcome back a guest blogger, Nick Thacker, whose post earlier this year resulted in some interesting feedback. He has some great ideas here, many of which are new to me and I am already planning to try out.  “Automation” is a word that tends to invoke thoughts of iRobot-style post-apocalyptic societies, machine-versus-human world wars, and other disturbing concepts. It’s easy to see why: we’ve gone from an unplugged, eating-dinner-at-the-table family lifestyle to a smartphone-wielding, status-updating and Pinterest-crazed world. There are automated banks, door-to-door grocery delivery services, and machines that will eat your money and turn it into a hot and “fresh” hamburger. But that’s just one side of the argument. We can’t forget that all of this automation and the fast-paced society we now live in have given us some remarkable innovations as well—including marketing innovations for authors.

The ongoing saga of the dodgy review.

Some months ago, I was moved to write a post about fake reviews. I got quite a stroppy comment from one reader who said s/he was fed up with authors telling readers about fake reviews, and we should trust people to have the common sense to be able to spot the fake reviews. Frankly, I was embarrassed that I may have caused offence, and I took the post down. And now I wish I hadn’t. In the last few weeks, there have been a endless articles, tweets and blog posts about fake reviews, and whilst I am prepared to accept that the amateur faker can usually be spotted a mile off, I think my previous reader had underestimated the seriousness of the whole sock puppet mentality out there. This is not about people’s family and friends writing one-liners ‘the best book I’ve ever read’, or their worst enemies writing ‘wish

Editing your book – great fun, or complete nightmare?

If I’ve been quiet for a while on this blog, it’s because I’ve been editing. And editing again. And reading out loud. Then editing again. And to my huge surprise, it has been a most absorbing and fulfilling experience. I don’t think I had understood what editing really was before now. I think I was living under the misapprehension that when somebody edits your book, they find all the bits that could be better, and they rewrite them. Oh no.  Nothing like that at all, as all you experienced writers will know. You get back your whole book with notes scribbled all over it. Things like “too much dialogue – let’s have more insight into what Tom is thinking” or “too factual – make it more personal” or “What sort of a voice does Tom have?” or even “There’s something a little odd about this line”. There were lots of

An interview with Chris Orcutt

Chris Orcutt is the author of the critically acclaimed Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, including A REAL PIECE OF WORK (#1) and the just-released THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT (#2). A writer’s writer, Orcutt has earned a living as a writer for 20 years through journalism, scriptwriting, technical writing, speechwriting, and his fiction. In this Q&A, we ask him about his indie-published Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, his influences, and about ebooks and publishing in general. Are you an avid reader of books in these genres (mysteries and thrillers), and is that why you were inspired to write one of your own, or did you write A REAL PIECE OF WORK and THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT for other reasons? Compared to friends of mine who devour books in these genres, I have read very few mysteries and thrillers. In fact, the only detective series I have read entirely are Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock

Twitter – a matter of personal taste or a set of rules?

It’s rare that I am moved to write a blog post on a whim, but today is one of those occasions. Over the last week, I have read so much stuff about how people should and shouldn’t behave on Twitter, that I felt compelled to add my two-penneth. The first blog post I read was the usual stuff – don’t use Twitter as a sales platform; don’t only tweet about your books or people will stop following you; make sure you use the 80/20 rule – 80% about other people, only 20% about yourself. Oh – and you should only tweet a maximum of six times a day. That’s another one.

Guest Post : More Indie Author Marketing Tips from Sean Campbell

I came across a great blog recently at 90 Days Novel and immediately asked if one or both of the bloggers, Sean and Daniel Campbell would be interested in writing a guest post for other indie authors. They have some great perspectives on marketing, and they have been kind enough to share them here. I’ll hand you over to Sean … Hello all! I’m Sean, half of the duo behind 90daysnovel.com Rachel invited us to guest on her blog to share our thoughts on marketing for indie authors, and we thought that the best way to do this would be to put together an outline marketing plan showing step by step exactly what we would do when bringing a book to market.

“The epublishing sensation of 2012”

Last week the London Book Fair took place at Earls Court, and I was fortunate enough to be invited along by KDP Amazon to speak at a seminar and sign some copies of Only the Innocent on their stand. As a new author, everybody assumed that this was the first time I had visited the book fair. They were wrong. When I first visited the fair – probably at least twenty-five if not thirty years ago – people didn’t know what to make of me. And guess what – it’s 2012 and they’re still not sure what to make of me!

Review: I Was in Love with a Short Man Once by Kim Dalferes

The Art of Storytelling is Alive and Well… This ‘Crazy Southern Irish Gal’ has definitely got the ‘gift of the gab’! Having been brought up in Florida during the seventies, she tells us about her life through a wonderful series of colourful characters, mishaps, confessions and events. I found myself completely drawn into her stories from the first page, recalling some of the personalities from my own childhood along the way. You feel privileged to have been part of her journey down memory lane. Her true gift of storytelling conjures up cleverly selected images from the seventies right through to present day. This book is well written, funny and covers the complete spectrum of topics and challenges we all come across in our daily lives, but we often take their significance or importance for granted. It handles sensitive issues with great openness, honesty and humour and will leave you with