Sunday, 22 March 2015

Why I like doing talks

Yesterday afternoon, I gave another talk at Sydenham Community Library about ebooks. This one was about how to get discovered as an author. Only one lady turned up this time, and only because she worked as a volunteer there. But I had to persuade her to come as she was feeling down after a bad week and was thinking of putting her writing on hold. I said why and to go for it. It was saying this that made me realise that I like giving these talks. So it was just us two. While I was doing the talk, I was getting ideas on how the lady could start writing what she wanted if she didn't feel up to writing a whole novel yet. The more I talked, the more ideas I got and told her. The lady writes non-fiction about her past life. The ideas I gave her were blogging as it's free, writing letters to magazines if she read something that struck a chord with her (this is what I have done and been successful with) and finding magazines that dealt with nostalgia and travel that are connected to what she has written. I was with her an hour, talking about discoverability and how she can start writing again. By the end of it, she had found it useful and I had come away feeling that I had helped her back on track with her writing. This is what made me realise that I like helping people, esp other authors if they want ideas or that little push to get on with things.

I went to say goodbye to the other librarians. I listened to them talking. One of them was giving ideas on how they could promote my talks in the future. There was another lady there, whom I believed had something to do with a reading group there. Plus, she mentioned she was a part-time teacher. Out came my business cards and I gave her one. Another good contact made. Although whether I shall hear anything from her I don't know.

So, if you are an author, esp an indie one and new to publishing, and need that little push with ideas or help getting discovered, come along to one of my talks (listed on my website Or sign up to my newsletter at where you can get tips on writing, marketing, news on my ebooks and events. Or pop along to my Aspiepreneur blog at where I will soon be adding freebies to help authors with their planning.

Monday, 2 March 2015

A buzz after stress

After a few stressful days last week when my mum fainted in our utility room, went pale and blue in the face and I had to call paramedics, I had a buzz on Saturday when I gave my latest talk about publishing ebooks. (Mum is getting better day by day she tells me). Anyway, my latest talk was about platforms, pricing and royalties.

I got there early, even though there was a lot of traffic due to gas works going on locally. I had a chat with the boss of the library. I introduced myself at the desk, and the volunteer I spoke to said that she wanted to come to my talk as she is interested in writing. My talk was booked for 2pm. I found a nice cosy corner in the library, where there were sofas and chairs. I set my goodies up and sat. I was told one lady had come and was getting tea. I chatted to her for a few minutes, finding out she only lived a few roads down from me. Then I began my talk, chatting about what platforms there are for digital and print. Then the lady volunteer joined us and I recapped what I'd already said. I was asked questions about how to publish an ebook, what is needed to be done. What the platforms involve and how to get to them. My talk lasted half an hour. Then I had questions, which I did my best to answer as both the ladies wrote non-fiction with diagrams etc. Not my forte. I gave them the chance to sign up to my newsletter, which they both did. I await confirmation from Aweber for that. I also gave them a feedback questionnaire about the talk (an idea I got from an ebook by Joanna Penn). It was all good. The comments I got are 'clear, direct, well-structured' and 'simplistic'. Both said there wasn't anything that could have been done better. The one question I was keen to see answered was about attending if they had to pay a fee of 50p before hand. They both put yes. So I am now thinking I might do that.

After a stressful few days making sure my mum was going to be OK, I had a buzz at the library, esp when both ladies said they found it useful and were thinking of coming to my next one. Hurrah. For someone with Asperger's, I find that I get a buzz and enjoy sharing my knowledge of ebooks and all it entails.

My next talk is on Saturday 21 March at 2pm at the same place: Sydenham Community Library. It is going to be about discoverability as an indie author. So, if you want to find out ways on how to get readers to find you, come to my talk to find out more.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Why I want to write Pocket Novels

I mentioned in my post about my goals for this year that I want to write a My Weekly Pocket Novel. I now want to say that I do want to write for them and not just one, but continuously as a regular writer for them. Here are my reasons why.

1. As I mentioned in my goals, if I write one and send it in to the Romantic Novelist's Association (RNA) New Writer's Scheme and get accepted, then I can go on to become a full member. I've been in the NWS now for over 13 years.

2. I like their stories. They are my kind of gentle romance and family stories, and can include romance with intrigue, that I often read and write myself. They are the right length for me to write, too, at 50K.

3. I can be traditionally published if I get one published. This will make me a hybrid author.

4.As well as getting a flat fee for being published by them, I can offer the book to a large print publisher, who sends it to libraries, so therefore, I will be eligible for PLR.

5. Finally, I will get to see my name in print in the shops.

So, my new plan is to finish rewriting the book I am working on now and send it to the RNA. Once I've done that, I will rewrite a scene in my Asperkids first book and get that edited so I can self-publish it. Then I will rewrite another ms that I wrote years ago and is currently in my wardrobe ready to work on again, and that will become another pocket novel.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Now 'A Friend in Need' is published, I am back to tell you how to reach as many readers you can as an indie author of ebooks – this is the way I do. In my next library talk I will be mentioning ebook platforms, and this is the way to get to as many readers as you can – publish on as many digital platforms you can. I know that some indie authors have had great success with publishing exclusively on Amazon, esp with their Select programme, but for me, I want to reach as many readers as I can, to let them know what I like writing about: mainly hope and second chances. Ever since I became an indie author in 2011, I have published widely. Although, when I published ‘Snakeskin Boots’ I did put it in Select as an experiment to see what results I got – no sales. When the 90 days were up, I published it widely.  I will continue to publish on as many channels as I can. So, when ‘A Friend’ came out last week, I published it on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords for its own store and the US libraries and subscription services eg Oyster, and Draft2Digital for Apple and their new channel, Tolino. Now that D2D have this new channel, I am going to put the rest of my ebooks that aren’t on there, on there. I started today by putting ‘More Fish in the Sea’ on there. I have now put all of my ebooks on there. I have also checked Goodreads, and they are all on there, too. My next task is to update my website so that they are all on there, too, plus reorganise the pages for my children's ebooks. I also need to put them all on ALLi's website for discoverability.

So, that’s how to reach as many readers you want to – publish your ebook on all platforms you can find. If D2D add more channels, I will add them there, too.

Are you an indie author? If so, do you believe in being exclusive to one etailer or do you publish widely? Let me know.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Inspiration behind 'A friend in need'.

I have just published on Amazon my latest adult romance ebook in the Geraldine's Gems series. It is book 6 called 'A Friend in Need'. There are two inspirations behind the idea of the book and why I put bullying and counselling in the book.

The idea of the story was for Faith, who is bullied and suffers abuse from her boyfriend, to find someone else who was the opposite and she falls for him. The idea for a bullying boyfriend came from both agony aunt letters in newspapers and an article in a girl's magazine about someone being bullied by her partner and how she got out of it. Faith has a bit of help from her late Aunt Geraldine, and a colleague, Jenny. In the book, Faith is a teacher but with encouragement from Jenny and Ben, whom she falls for, she decides a change of career and wants to become a counsellor. There is a scene where a pupil is locked in the outdoor girls' toilet and Faith helps her out. This scene was inspired by a true experience of mine when I was at primary school. Two girls, whom I thought were my friends, did lock me in the toilets, but they let me out in the end.

So, that was what inspired me to write the story idea and that particular scene.

'A friend in need' is available from Amazon UK at
Amazon US at

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Name your favourite book of 2014

At the last RNA meeting in Holborn last Saturday we were asked to bring our fave book of last year. Here are mine:

1. How to write and sell short stories by Della Galton. I got this as a Xmas present in 2013. I started reading it but then got other non-fiction stuff to read. Then I went to a Women's Weekly Fiction Workshop last October where Della was the main speaker and I was inspired. I read the rest of the book, and it made me decide, that yes, I do want to become a womag fiction writer.

2. Having read the above, I wanted more knowledge about writing for womag's. So I bought and read How to write short stories and How to write ghost stories by Kath McGurl. I now want to write ghost stories too for womag's.

3. As an indie author who wanted to be more business-like this year, I read 'Write Livelihood - How to create a business plan for authors ' by Ryan Petty. This is the book that I have been working the last few posts on about creating your plan.

4. I also read the first ebook in the 3-for-1 set 'Indie Author Power Pack' which is called 'Write. Publish. Repeat' by Johnny B Truant, Dave... and I can't remember the name of the third author. Buy it, cos it includes the second version of 'Let's Get Digital' by David Gaughran, and the second version of 'How to market your book' by Joanna Penn. All a v good.

5. Business books for authors by Joanna Penn. Straight forward talking for authors.

So, what have you read last year and what was your favourite book/ebook? Let me know.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

My pricing experiment

I have hinted about doing this on social media, and I have actually begun it - a pricing experiment. Up until this year, all my ebooks were either free or 0.99c. Then I started to read Dean Wesley Smith's blog 'Think like a publisher' again and the new EU VAT law came in and I decided to increase the prices of most of them. I am going to do this for maybe three months to see what the results are. Here is what I have done:

The Guardian Angels
The Railway Angel, the first in my YA series 'The Guardian Angels' is still perma-free. I am keeping it that way to entice readers to buy the rest of the series and a thank you. I am still getting lots of downloads for that. Whether those are being read or not I don't know.
The rest of the series is now $2.99 each.

Geraldine's Gems
One Good Turn is remaining as 99c it being the first in the series. More Fish and Don't Get Mad are both now $2.99. The others in the series 'Life' and A trouble shared are both $3.99.

These are both $2.99 each. The last one, yet to be written, will also be that price.

All these ebooks are now at $2.99.

I have priced all ebooks between 5K and 10K at $2.99. All ebooks over that word count and under 20K are $3.99.

So, I will let you know how the pricing goes. What results in sales I get.