A Writer Writes

Feeling ‘drafty’: the highs and lows of editing!

What I love about editing As I mentioned in the last newsletter, the first draft of my book was sent off and I was awaiting the response. When it came, it was largely good – at least my agent and editor loved the story, the twists and the structure. But as is often the case (with me, if not with any other writer) there were parts of the novel that seemed as clear as day to me, but not to those reading it! Back came the comments, some so good I wanted to do a little jig around the room, others less favourable. And that’s when it becomes important that, as a writer, I love my job – because each of the comments should be seen as an opportunity to make the book better, to improve the narrative or strengthen the personality of a character. I want readers to have

Festival of Writing 2017

Festival of Writing 2017

I am delighted to be a keynote speaker at this Writers’ Workshop event on Saturday 9th September, along with Mark Edwards, talking about our routes to publishing success and lessons learned along the way Friday 8th September, Saturday 9th September, Sunday 10th September University of York http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/events.html

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Author Rob Sinclair on why self-published authors need entrepreneurial skills

I am very happy to welcome author Rob Sinclair to the blog today. Rob is the author of the Enemy series of thrillers featuring intelligence agent Carl Logan. He self-published his first novel, Dance with the Enemy, in 2014 to widespread acclaim and recently released the follow-up novel, Rise of the Enemy. Today Rob discusses why it’s important for self-published authors to understand that they are also entrepreneurs. Writing a best seller is easy, isn’t it? It’s just a process of stringing together 100,000 words in the correct order. If it’s good enough, getting the book to sell is then a no-brainer, of course. From your very first reader, word of mouth will simply take control and spiral outwards across the globe. Within weeks your book will be topping the charts, have been translated into several languages and you’ll have received several offers for film rights from big Hollywood studios.

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Reedsy and the changing world of indie publishing

I know that many of my readers are also writers who either already self-publish or are hoping to do so in the future. So when I came across Reedsy, I asked them to write a blog post to tell us all about their site, and what they have to offer. I hope it’s useful. When new writers decide that they want to write a book and publish it independently, many of them aren’t aware of just how much work it takes. Aside from the actual writing, there are so many other challenges that we face. How do you go about editing the book, or creating a cover, or getting it noticed once it is out there? As more and more writers choose to publish independently and the market becomes more crowded, it seems that these challenges will be greater in the future than ever before. We all need honest advice from people

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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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Self-publishing – A one day course by Rachel Abbott

If there is one email that I receive more often than any other, it’s one that asks, “Can you please tell me how to sell more books?” – and it’s a really difficult question to answer. Being successful as a self-published author is not easy. With over two million books on Amazon, it’s hugely difficult to get noticed, and I appreciate that I am one of the lucky ones that has – until now at least – been fortunate enough to sell a lot of books. According to the Daily Telegraph, I am the top-selling self-published author in 2014 to date on Amazon UK, which is a huge honour against some very fierce competition. But it wasn’t easy. I worked long hours, ate lots of biscuits, put on a ton of weight – all to try to get my first book noticed.

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SLEEP TIGHT – a story of obsession, deception and retribution

PRESS RELEASE – SLEEP TIGHT LAUNCHED TODAY Available for Kindle and in paperback from Amazon worldwide Rachel Abbott, self-published author of best-selling thrillers “Only the Innocent” and “The Back Road”, was inspired by some of her own experiences when writing her new novel, Sleep Tight, published on Monday 24th February. Sleep Tight is the story of an obsession that escalates from persistent stalking to something far more sinister – a powerful compulsion to possess. When the object of such potent emotions is slipping out of reach, tensions mount and control is lost. When Olivia Brookes disappears with her children, her car is still in the garage, and her purse on the kitchen table. The police want to issue an appeal, but for some reason every single picture of this family has been removed from albums, from phones, from computers. When asked about the subject of this novel, Abbott said, ‘Being stalked is a

Defining a winning strategy – update

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about defining a winning strategy. I laid out my ideas, and explained my thinking about pricing. I decided that today it was time for an update. (You can find the original post HERE if you haven’t read it.) Some of you eagle eyed readers may have noticed that – contrary to my last post – from 1st May the price of Only the Innocent and The Back Road both dropped to £0.99. You can check them both out by clicking the title links, but I thought I should explain what has happened. This is an intrinsic part of my strategy, and not a change of heart! I have to admit that after my last post, the temptation to drop the price of The Back Road to 99p did prove quite hard to resist, once I’d realised that only books that were

Do video book trailers work, and how do you make one?

I have been questioning the impact of video trailers on book sales for some time. I’ve seen some very good trailers – usually with specially shot video – and some very poor ones where scrolling text describes the whole story for seemingly endless minutes. I played around a bit with some utility apps that I had on my Mac (and I do love messing around with software), but I really didn’t know where to start. I checked out Animoto – a free app – but although it was quick and easy I didn’t really like the fact that I had no control at all, and with little more than the cover of my book to work with, it just didn’t seem to deliver – so I temporarily gave up. However, I was impressed with the impact that a good trailer could have when I went to one of S J

The Back Road to Success – defining a winning strategy

As many regular readers of this blog will know, my second novel – The Back Road – was launched just four weeks ago, and being my usual obsessive self I had a carefully considered (and very long) marketing strategy. Based on my experience with Only the Innocent and its startling success, I had tried to analyse what made it shoot to the top of the charts and stay there for so long, and my plan was based on identifying those key points and making them work for me again. My expectations were lower. There are not only more books out there now, but other authors are much more savvy about how to market them (I knew I shouldn’t have blogged about my methodology! 🙂 ). On top of that, until the day of launch there were still lots of 20p books in the charts, and my book stood no chance against