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Unpublished letters reveal from Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead.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

Using Twitter: are you a writer, a brand, or a salesman?

Something else to think about … I recently wrote a few blog posts to help some of the people that I had met on forums to get to grips with Twitter. I said from the start that I am no expert, but over the last ten weeks or so since I launched Only the Innocent I have learned a lot more about Twitter which I’ve tried to share with other indie publishers.  I got some great feedback to the earlier posts, and some very interesting comments –  which have cast a slightly different light on things. I have concluded (and am happy to be disagreed with) that as authors, we have to wear three hats. The writer The ‘brand’ The salesman In terms of Twitter, these are almost mutually exclusive.

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Introduction

Why have I written this? Some of you out there will wonder why I’ve bothered writing this. Well, it’s because when I published my first novel, I thought I knew about Twitter. I had been using it for another business for years – and I just didn’t get it. I thought it was a waste of time. Before I launched my novel, I had just 9 (yes – NINE) followers, and so I have been on a steep learning curve. I certainly am a long way from being an expert, but I’ve found tools that work for me, and now I GET IT! I’ve met quite a number of authors on various discussion sites who write about not getting any interest in their books – and they say that they don’t use Twitter. And it’s really for these people that I have written this. The post is in 3 parts

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Part I

Twitter? What’s that? I must start by declaring loudly that I am NOT an expert. This is all about my own experience, what I have learned, and what I wish I had known first. But if you are thinking of becoming an indie publisher you may find something useful here. At least, I hope so. This post is aimed at the people I have met on my author journey who do not have a Twitter account, and don’t really understand what it’s all about. It’s a recognised fact that if you are going to be successful with your indie publishing venture, you need to create a PLATFORM. So what does that  mean? I will quote Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn – “The author platform is how you are currently reaching an audience of book-buying people, or how you plan to do so. It is your influence, your ability to

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Part II

The basic terminology and etiquette of Twitter. Now you have your twitter account, you’re going to want to start tweeting. One of the first things you need to understand is about the length of tweets and the impact this has on any web link urls that you want to add into your tweets. There are various web shortening sites that will do the job for you. I use bitly.com  because it not only stores the addresses, but I can get some useful analytics as well which show how many times my links have been clicked. All you do is paste in the url that you are going to add into your tweet, and it will produce a reduced length version. Click on the ‘copy’ button, and paste it into your tweet. When you look at other people’s tweets, you may see that there a lots of # tags incorporated. These

The indie author’s guide to Twitter for beginners – Part III

Twitter – Using the tools Social networking is a very time consuming occupation. When I first got going, I was clicking around all over the place trying to find people to follow, making sure that I followed people back, writing tweets at certain times of the day – like every 10 minutes. It was hard work. But you know what? It doesn’t need to be. I’ve sorted myself out with three different pieces of software, and an occasional use of a fourth. There are loads and loads of different Twitter apps out there, and it all depends on what you want to achieve. But for me, these three/four work perfectly. The first thing that I got was TweetDeck. This is free. I have got the desktop app – but I understand that there is an online version if you use Google Chrome as your browser. I haven’t investigated this, but

Faith Creation – All Lies Revealed by Christine Dougherty

Overview It’s important to say at the outset that isn’t a book about religion – which is what I thought when I saw the title. It’s actually about a young girl called Faith, and the first part of the book focuses on her early life with her twin sister Charity, flashing between the present and the past – but beautifully done. The novel starts with a remarkable opening line: “The first time my sister died, we were three years old” and builds steadily and consistently from this point, creating a sad tale of two young girls brought up in an apparently loveless home. It continues until Faith is in her early twenties. It has a mixture of styles, from heartbreakingly sad to tense and scary, and Christine Dougherty carries them all off well. In places, her writing is superb and her use of imagery excellent. Although it’s not the usual

Gray justice

Gray Justice by Alan McDermott

Overview Gray Justice is the story of a man who has lost everything, all because of the selfish actions of a joy rider. What he cannot tolerate is the fact that this joy rider seems to feel no guilt for his crimes – and, along with a vast number of similar criminals, nothing stops him from re-offending. The sentences handed out are risible, and it would appear that the government is going to do nothing to impose harsher sentences or develop strategies to reduce the number of recidivists. So Tom Gray comes up with an ingenious plan which involves the whole population of the UK, and requires some definite and positive action from the government. What he fails to realise, though, is that one of his clever strategies results in a conclusion that he had never anticipated.

Formatting your ebook – part II

In the last post, we managed to get rid of all the unnecessary formatting – the stuff that e-readers hate. And now, if you haven’t been using styles, you will have ended up with a whole mass of text without any apparent breaks. So we can fix that now SO easily. I’ll give you a step by step breakdown with explanation, and then a summary that might be quicker and easier to follow. Just remember, this is only the first phase of editing for Word uploads only – there’s a lot more to come!

Formatting your ebook

It’s taken me a long time to get round to writing this post, because it is complicated and I want to make sure that I get it just right for everybody. When I had finished my novel Only the Innocent, I wanted to get it uploaded as quickly as possible – but I also wanted it to look good. I read so many bits of advice all over the web, and much of it was conflicting. But in the end, I managed to pull some different strands together that worked for me. So in this post, and possibly one or two more to follow (as this takes some explaining) I will explain which bits of advice I used, which I rejected (and why) and my ultimate conclusion. I really hope this helps.

Preparing your ebook for publication

There are a number of very specific elements that you need to consider when you are preparing your ebook for publication. It’s not just about writing a good book, editing it and formatting it. At each stage of publishing your ebook, you will be asked for information and it certainly helps to have it all ready before you start. It will dramatically save time – particularly if you keep everything in one place on your computer. Here’s what I would suggest.