Thursday, 23 April 2015

The goal posts have changed

Remember in the new year I said that one of my goals was to write Pocket Novels? Well, that goal has now changed. I am still writing the current one, which I plan to send to the New Writers' Scheme of the RNA, but after that...I have other plans to work on now.

Over the last year I have been giving talks at a local library about ebook publishing and being an indie author. I have really enjoyed doing these, realising that I like helping and inspiring people to get writing and marketing and being discovered. Then earlier this year, I gave one talk to one woman who was very inspired by what I told her, and I hope that she got back to writing after I talked to her. This got me thinking. I already have a website to help new authors, esp indies, get writing and discovered,, I thought I'd like to take this further. I'd like to help authors personally, maybe with 1:1s. Last year I met a new author who wanted someone to help him get his story made into an ebook. At the time I wasn't keen and was busy with other things going on, and I said no. But this year, he is still wanting help as he is a novice and he is now my first client.

So, my new plan is building up a service of 1:1 mentoring for new authors, and helping other authors get back to writing, with a charge, of course. I have already chosen to use Wednesdays and Saturdays as my biz days, with the rest of the week writing ebooks and short stories.

So, if you are a new author, esp thinking of becoming an indie one, then check out my website link above. There is a contact page on there. You can also message me on Facebook if you are interested. I have 2 friends I am going to help on Saturday, and another two people possibly contacting me from people I have met at the library; my client and one of the librarians.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Make the most of your connections

The idea for this post came to me a couple of days ago when a fellow woman Aspie mentioned to me on a FB post I put up in her group about my new website to get discovered. I needed to work on this myself, as she said that I could get exposure and publicity for my ebooks as she is a book reviewer. So, I have messaged her asking what I need to do. I will message her again when I want to get a second ebook reviewed by her. So, if you have a social media connection that can help you get more exposure and publicity with her books, then make the most of it.

This got me thinking about how else I can get more publicity. I remembered in an email from my cover designer, who had put on her signature that on her blog she offers author and character interviews and book excerpts. So, I had a look to see what I have to do for this, saved it into a document and will work on this for publicity for my romance ebooks first. So, if you work with someone, eg your editor or designer, and you have seen that they have a blog you can appear on, then do take that opportunity.  I am going to note something down next week to email her next week to get on her blog.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I'm no longer a tortoise

Bet that got your attention? Well, it beats saying, 'I've come out of my shell.' Get it now? lol So, what do I actually mean when I have come out of my shell? I shall explain with what a friend said to me last Saturday at a writer's talk.

As you all know by now I have Asperger's Syndrome, so I find it hard to communicate in groups and with new people. Well, my friend Marjorie, a fellow romance author, who I've known for years since I joined the RNA said this to me. She was pleased that I have come out of my shell. She said that when she first met me, it was really hard to get me to talk. She described it as trying to get blood out of a stone. I had to laugh. I knew what she meant. Now that we have been friends for years, I can chat to her without a prompt. I said it was down to my AS. When I meet people for the first time, I find it hard to talk to them. Once I start getting to know them, and do so over time, I find it easier to talk, and esp if they are writers - like-minded people. I find it easier to talk to people after I've known them for a time, and if they do and enjoy the same things I do, mainly writing.

So, I have come out of my shell, and no longer a tortoise or turtle.

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.