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A Writer Writes

It’s easy to think that a writer’s life is at the very least a romantic one. Perhaps we all sit in our plush leather chairs behind our grand desks and wile away the hours tapping effortlessly on our Macs? Sadly, the reality is much closer to TOO MUCH reality! I work from 8am until 8pm every day of the week, breaking only when I travel for literary events and festivals where I am also working. It’s hard and frustrating and tiring and like most writers I wouldn’t change a thing! In this new-look newsletter I am going to note some of my highs and lows to let you see how tough being a self-employed scribe is. For example, this month I have had endless technical problems with my email and I have wasted hundreds of lost hours trying to solve them. Sometimes it’s soul-destroying and I have to remind myself that

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A day in the life of author – Maggie James

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels. The first draft of her first novel, entitled His Kidnapper’s Shoes, was written whilst travelling in Bolivia. Maggie was inspired by an impending milestone birthday along with a healthy dose of annoyance at having procrastinated for so long in writing a novel. His Kidnapper’s Shoes was published in both paperback and e-book format in 2013, followed by her second novel, entitled Sister, Psychopath. Her third novel, Guilty Innocence, has now been published, and like her first two, features her home city of Bristol. She is currently editing her fourth novel, The Second Captive.

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“A Paroxysm of Nausea”- author Tim Adler tells us why he writes

 “…just as a paroxysm of nausea swept over him,” I finished, looking up from my exercise book. My schoolmates looked bored, and somebody flicked a chewed-over paper ball at me. Paroxysm. Not a word you hear used much in everyday language, but I’d read it somewhere and decided to shoehorn it that week’s chapter. My English teacher was thrilled though. Every Saturday I was persuaded to stand in front of my class and read the latest instalment of a serial adventure I was writing. One month it was Doctor Who, another it was my version of a James Bond yarn. No sex, just gadgets. Not that I needed any persuading. I loved storytelling. Being an only child, a lot of my time was spent drawing comics and poring over books while my idea of heaven was taking the bus to the local library and just trailing my hand along the

First novel – top ten tips

John Mountford has been a keen commentator on this blog for many months. Has has just published his first novel, and I asked him to share some tips about his experience with us all.  I have just Amazon-published my first novel, KILL MANDELA, two years and ten months after writing the first word. Despite the plethora of help for new authors on the web, I took my fair share of wrong turns along the way. And so I decided to give something back by adding my bit to that vast pool of self-publishing help – and where better than the blog of one of the most helpful writers in the business, Rachel Abbott. A quick disclaimer: these tips are from my personal experience, and may not perfectly match your circumstances. Nonetheless, I stand by them.

Rachel Abbott and Paul Finch – in conversation: self vs traditional publishing

I’m enjoying my journey as a self-published author very much and that’s partly because one of the great things about the self-publishing community is how supportive indie authors are of each other. We often compare notes, and offer each other advice. But I don’t really know many traditionally published authors, so I was delighted to be introduced recently to Paul Finch, whose novel Stalkers has been in the Kindle top 100 for over a hundred days. We had a chat about the similarities and differences in our experiences. RA: We are both lucky enough to have been in the Kindle top twenty recently, but we became bestsellers by quite different routes I think. Would you tell me a bit about how Stalkers came to be published? PF: The idea behind Stalkers came from one of my brain-storming sessions, where I simply devote a day or two to hatching high-concept ideas and jotting

Two Sides of the Publishing Coin – a guest post by David Treanor

As the debate about traditional vs indie publishing goes on – and probably will do for some considerable time – it was great to hear from one author who has experienced both. Author David Treanor has kindly given us his perspective on the two sides of the publishing coin. In my old life as a BBC journalist I would occasionally have to interview people for jobs. I’d take home a stack of application forms — maybe a-hundred or more — and try to draw up a shortlist of twelve. I used to like it when people made spelling mistakes. It meant I could rule them out right away. But I know I didn’t always get it right. Then would come a couple of days of interviews. Sometimes I felt that half the people I’d seen would be great at the job. But there was only one vacancy. So I did

From Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist

Author Luke Murphy talks about his journey to becoming a published author – and his book is currently free on Amazon.com until 20th February – see link below.  From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life. In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing professional hockey in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged. I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

Goodreads Giveaway – Only the Innocent

I am delighted to be able to report that next week sees the long awaited launch of Only the Innocent in paperback and audio formats in the US. And to celebrate that fact, 25 copies are being given away in the Goodreads Giveaway. A brand new cover has been designed by my publishers, Thomas and Mercer, and I think it really does the trick. It creates exactly the right atmosphere, and those who have read the book will know what I’m talking about. As those of you who follow my blog know, I write mainly about marketing with the aim of sharing some of my experiences of getting to the top of the UK charts with Only the Innocent. So I’m going to be following this giveaway with interest, to see if it does actually impact upon the early sales of the book. And I’ll report back. If you fancy trying to bag

Marketing in a nutshell : A year in the life of a self-published author – Part III

This is the third in the series of blog posts to celebrate the first year anniversary of the launch of Only the Innocent, and today I’m going to talk about the Marketing Plan. Yes – I know that I’ve done several posts on this already, and you can find them here and here – but I couldn’t talk about the last twelve months without talking about the marketing plan, and even in this short time, I would change my approach to marketing. Those of you who have followed these blog posts in the past will be aware that I didn’t actually have any plan at all at the launch of my book. That was a very significant mistake, because I had taken no time at all to build a sales platform and could only rely on friends and family to buy in the initial stages. (A sales platform can be

A year in the life of a self-published author: Part II – Preparing the book for launch

In the second part of this blog series to celebrate a year since the launch of Only the Innocent, I want to talk about everything that happened between the decision to publish, and the actual launch date. I will touch on the things that I did, and more importantly the things that I should have done – the lessons that I have learned. In the world of technology, things move at a remarkable rate. When I was preparing Only the Innocent for the Kindle, the process I went through to convert my file from a Word document to a mobi file was very long-winded. I couldn’t find any really good converters, and there were plenty of warnings about bad output from Amazon’s own system, so the first thing that I had to do was spend time considering how best to format my book.