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Debbie Flint

Debbie Flint

Debbie Flint

It's here! It's out! My new novel, Hawaiian Escape, is out on Amazon! Ready to download to your Kindle or your kindle app or your computer. 

£1.49 for limited period only.

It's the PREQUEL to Hawaiian Affair, and follows Helen, Sadie's sister and the intriguing events leading up to the trip to Hawaii. New era, new man, new career - but for which sister? 

Family drama, exciting trips to New York and Tuscany, and lots of humorous bits!

Do get it now, and let me know what you think! Go here!

best wishes

debs

x

 

 

So it's out! The new cover to my next novel, 'Hawaiian Escape' is revealed on this week's Read It Write It Sell It update - do click on the tab above to see it! 

And stand by for the online book launch party on facebook on 28th when it's finally available on amazon. Join me and the other Ladies of Posara writing group authors who are also launching too!

Plus the latest RiWiSi also features rom-com royalty Lynda Renham with her background and a competition to win a signed copy of her latest book.

Exciting week!

Best wishes

debs

x

ps in this week's blog - see pics of me with Daleks and the Tardis as Dr Who turns 50, plus fab funnies and sneaky peeks of QVC upcoming bargains! (click on blog tab above).

This week on RiWiSi Go Large –

-          Lynda Renham tells all! And win a signed copy of her latest rom-com.

-          My cover reveal – Hawaiian Escape out next week (28th!)

-          10 tips to make your self-published book look the business

-          How to write an effective blurb

-          And how to set up your Author page on amazon

But first – my cover is finally revealed! Do go over to my QVC Blog (click Blog tab above) to find out more about my new novel – coming to Amazon next week on 28th November. Eeeek!

Do join us on the day - online - for our ‘facebook launch party’ – and don’t forget to bring a hunk – ok, a picture of one. Or some cupcakes, that will do just as well.

 

How to attend our launch party online –

Click here to visit the facebook event page, and once you click ‘join’, you can come join in on the day – it’s 9am till 9pm on 28th - and features three other fellow authors from our writing group, formed when we met in Tuscany, called ‘The Ladies of Posara Say’ – Mary Jane Hallowell,, Isabelle Goddard and Carolyn Mahony will all be present with some fab competitions and a day full of early festive fun!

 

 

More Tips for Writers

Some fab info again from that excellent resource selfpublishing.org -

-          10 Tips to Make Your Self-Published Book Look Professional – click here – to find out more about Sarah Juckes’ excellent run down – every beginner’s bible.

 

-          How to write an effective Blurb -  that bit on the back of the book? And that bit on the ‘product description’ that people read to decide whether to buy your book? Sarah tells you how to do it here.

 

-          Setting up your Author Page on Amazon – more do’s and don’t’s – everyone needs one – make yours look great -  click here.

 

 

 

Lynda Renham Tells All!

Now it’s time for my extended author interview with chic-lit supremo Lynda Renham. Her novels have some fabulous titles, and they caught my eye on amazon, so I thought I’d find out more about Lynda’s latest novel, The Valentine  and Other Diabolical Liberties.

Click here to go to my main QVC blog where the interview begins. Here we continue it! See below for details about how to win a signed copy of her book!

                                                                                                  The Valentine Present - Lynda Renham

Q. – Lynda - what got you writing in the first place?

A. I’ve been writing since I was nine when I had a piece published in a children’s comic about my rabbit. I use to write under the desk at school during boring lessons too. I stopped writing for many years while in my first marriage. I didn’t function very well in that relationship. Mind you I don’t function most days unless I’m on Nescafe 3 in 1….

Q. - which book really established u on the romance map do you think?

 A . The book that really established me on the romance map was ‘Croissants and Jam’ it came out in December 2011 and has remained in the top 50 humour charts all that time. If I could work out the secret behind that book I would tell you (but then I would have to kill you.)

 Q. - what promotions or publicity do you do each time?

A. I’m pretty crap at publicity to be honest. I did a big online launch for ‘The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties’ and I say yes to everything, well not everything, obviously I mean everything connected to books. I share blog postings with other authors and do joint promotions but that is about it.

Q. - how do you write your books? Any tips for new writers?

A. How do I write my books. I usually tap away on my laptop and the words come up on the screen. It’s fabulous. Oh you mean how do the ideas come. I’m not sure, sometimes from something that happens to me or something I see. I then plan it a bit, discuss with my husband and then start writing. If it makes my husband smile then I know I’m onto a good thing. It’s difficult to give tips to new writers except to say always get your facts straight and write what you know.

 

Q. - is it a full time job now? How does it compare with what you did previously?

A. Yes, I write full time. I used to work in the health sector and believe me writing novels beats dealing with irate patients. For a start I can visit the fridge whenever I like.

 Q. - the books are all selling so well now, aren't they? What do you think is key for good self pub sales?

A. I don’t know if there is a key to good self-publishing. You have to be constantly on top of things. I’m lucky in that I’m not alone and have representation. But certainly a good cover is essential and this is something I am paying more attention to. A professional editor is essential too.

Q. - how important are reviews, do you think? (You've had some excellent ones eh!)

A. Reviews are essential I think. If only for your own self progress. It certainly helps you understand what the reader wants. It’s also helpful to hear what the readers thought of your characters. They can be hurtful too of course so I think it is important always to learn from them rather than be hurt by them.

 Q. You’re also available in Waterstones as well as on Amazon – what was it like to see your book on the book shelf?

A.Yes I’m in Waterstones. I did a book signing for them and consequently they stocked the book. I believe they are stocked in a few stores as people tell me they bought the books there. I was very excited to see my book on the shelves and you just kind of stare at them like an idiot for ten minutes before sneaking your phone out and taking a pic. I did the same with my local libraries where the books are stocked too.

 Q. - What's next for you, romance novel- wise?! X

A. I’m currently working on my next comedy romance which I hope will be out early in the new year. I can’t divulge more I’m afraid but if people want to subscribe to my newsletter they can find out more. Just go to www.renham.co.uk and subscribe there.

Plus see below for a guest blog from Lynda – written when she knew I was going to feature her! Funny! And a good example of her sense of humour.

You can buy Lynda’s books here and connect with her here, if you’re brave enough.

And see below for Lynda’s funny guest blog!

NEXT WEEK – my new novel is out! From the 28th it’ll finally available on amazon – and don’t forget to join us for our online facebook launch party!

Luv debs

X

LYNDA RENHAM GUEST BLOG

 

The Dog’s Bollocks

So it’s the day of my big interview with Debbie Flint, and on her QVC blog no less. I so want to impress. It occurs to me that a Lady Gaga entrance would be great. It would certainly get some attention, and I could tip off a few local newspapers. It then occurs to me I could wear one of her famous hats, except no one will see my face, but as not many people know what I look like no one is going to get that excited about a faceless person doing an interview are they? If they didn’t care what I looked like before there not going to care now.  Am I rambling? Oh dear, I’d better not do that in my interview with Debbie, and I certainly don’t want to send her flying when I tumble off my fifteen inch platform shoes as I go to hug her, do I? I could get a minder to walk me in but I wonder how much they charge. I don’t suppose my husband will be able to get the day off. Maybe a Lady Gaga lookalike entrance is a bit adventurous; I’ll just be myself. Oh dear, that’s infinitely worse.  The real me is the main basis of my novels. I blame it on hormones to be honest with you. They’re the bane of every woman’s life aren’t they? If it wasn’t for them I’m sure I would be okay. I try and explain this to my husband. It’s the hormones I say, when trying to explain why I have three Waitrose bags in the boot but no handbag.

            ‘The hormones make you leave your handbag in a supermarket trolley but somehow the same hormones let you bring home the shopping bags,’ he says cynically.

I suppose he has a point. But that’s one reason I started writing romantic comedies. Not because I left my handbag in a supermarket trolley, obviously. That doesn’t make people write bestsellers does it? But I began to think there must be other women out there like me. I hope so anyway, or else those men in white coats will be coming for me after this interview. I hope I get some free cream or something from Debbie before they do. But what I meant was, I thought there must be women who will read my books and relate to the characters in the novels. After all, can you really cross your heart and say ‘I’ve never accidentally walked into the Gents loo at a motorway service station?’ Exactly. I rest my case. Okay, maybe you haven’t done it twice like me, or was it three times? Anyway, you get my point. If Debbie asks what made you become a writer I’ll guess I’ll have to repeat what one of my students once told me when I was a teacher.

            ‘You is well funny, you should be on the telly.’ Sadly I didn’t make the telly, but hey there is still time, and I did make it to Amazon. Even the milkman was impressed with this. Oops, I should add that I live in a little village so it is not unusual to be friendly with the milkman; after all, I don’t want you getting the wrong ideas. I’m beginning to think I should have worn that hat. Faceless seems preferable at the moment doesn’t it? I think this goes to show that if someone as dippy as me can self-publish then anyone can.

My first romantic comedy was self-published but I then took things a step further when my husband set himself up as my publisher. We now partner with a publishing sales agency to handle my paperbacks. I’m thrilled to have sold as a self-published author over 150,000 UK kindle downloads, not including paperbacks and international sales.  I am a little like Lady Gaga aren’t I? Minus the little monsters, although there are a few of those in my village where I live, but the less said about that the better.

 People say I keep them up at night, not me in person you understand, but the books. My latest novel, ‘The Valentine Present and Other Diabolical Liberties’ is about a very down to earth girl named Harriet.  It’s the dog’s bollocks one reader said. Here’s what else she had to say:

It's no secret; I am a massive fan of Lynda! I find her inspirational, I love her sense of humour and her one-liners really do make me laugh out loud. I find her plots interesting; all her characters likeable and I love her ability to bring a character to life. She writes in such an easy way, and her cockney writing accent was spot-on, making it easy for this cockney to read!

Morticia Addams nails, Eton Mess, no life jackets and a horses’ crop! This story had so many twists and turns. There was so much happening, it kept me on the edge of my seat (OK, laid back quite comfortably on the sofa) but my point is there was never a dull moment. 'arriet was so very likeable and I couldn't help but love Fiona. She had me in stitches. I wanted to throttle Julian myself and as for Hamilton, well I most definitely would have used the horses’ crop! I couldn't help but warm to the Jack's too.

I absolutely loved this book and award it five shiny gold stars. It was an enjoyable read I couldn't put down and I swear my family thought I was nuts (well slightly more nuts then usual) sitting in the corner laughing to myself. I must say it's not my favourite by Lynda, that goes to Croissants and Jam, my first ever read by Lynda, but this comes a close a second ... I am a proper sucker for a love story, and we all want that happy ending don't we?

Keep them coming Lynda. Your books are the dog’s bollocks and I can't wait for the next...

You can buy Lynda’s books here and connect with her here, if you’re brave enough.

Or chat with her on Facebook and Twitter

 

Extended Read it Write it Sell it segment from my weekly Friday QVC Blog –  click here to read it first

On this week’s QVC Blog my Book of the Week is JF Penn’s ‘One Day in Budapest’ – here she tells us more about it.J F Penn novels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oxford educated, British born J.F.Penn has traveled the world in her study of religion and psychology. She brings these obsessions as well as a love for thrillers and an interest in the supernatural to her writing.

 

Over the last 5 years she's sold tens of thousands of books - both fiction and non-fiction. As J.F.Penn she is the bestselling author of the ARKANE series of thrillers. Pentecost, ARKANE Book 1 is currently available for free so do click the link and go get it now!

 

 'Desecration', is the eagerly awaited latest title, and 'One Day in Budapest' is a shorter novella which slots nicely into the series and is a great way to get to know the author. (more on my QVC Blog this week including a competition to win a signed copy.)

 

 Budapest

 

'One Day in Budapest' - is also huge in the US - on Amazon.com it's been a bestseller in Political Suspense, Conspiracy Thriller and International Mystery & Crime. As at 28 Oct 2013: Amazon.com showed 35 reviews with a 4.9 star average.

 

 Joanna’s site for writers, TheCreativePenn.com has been voted one of the Top 10 sites for writers three years running,  so I thought I'd find out some more from this accomplished author and all round good gal!

  

 

Author Interview - Joanna Penn, AKA J F Penn.

  

 

 - What made you write in the genre you chose? Was it based on the books you like to read yourself?

 

 I write across several genres, like most authors, and yes, they are based on what I love to read. I love kick-ass action-adventure, and the ARKANE series has been described as ‘Dan Brown meets Lara Croft’. Desecration has shades of crime and mystery, with a hint of darker supernatural, in the vein of John Connolly. My short story series, A Thousand Fiendish Angels, is based on Dante’s Inferno and was influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. 

 

My own voice comes through strongly, but of course, we’re all shaped by what we read and seek out for our own pleasure.

 

- What was the tipping point for you in achieving the self pub success you have - especially in America

I’m not sure there’s been a tipping point! It’s all about your own definition of success, and I have a long way to go in my journey. I’ve sold just over 75,000 books now, and I’ve been writing and publishing, as well as marketing, for nearly five years. I’d say it’s more about slow and steady progress every day - a thousand words written on the latest book, a lot of reading, maybe a podcast interview, a blog post or some social networking. Like any long term progress, it’s the little daily habits that make the most difference over time. Oh yes, plus patience!

 

How important are reviews? The ARKANE series have a lot of excellent ones! 

 

Thank you! I’m thrilled that people like the books, and I do think reviews are really important, for several reasons.

 

1.  Social proof. Readers want to know that other people have liked a particular book, and although a couple of reviews could be friends of the authors, books with 20+ reviews from reputable sources can demonstrate a book is worth reading. 

 

2. Curation. With so many books on the market, readers want to know what to read next. People are increasingly following top reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads, book blogs and twitter influencers in order to know what to pick up next. I read a lot of business and entrepreneurial books, 90% of which I buy based on recommendations from bloggers I follow. For fiction, I often find recommendations on Goodreads.

 

3. Recommendation algorithms.  Authors have to care about sales, as well as the craft of writing. We dont know exactly how the recommendation algorithms work on Amazon, Goodreads and the other sites, but they surely must include some aspect of review rating.

 


- What's next to be published? Give us a teaser?! 

 

Desecration was only just published this week, debuting in the Amazon US Crime bestseller list next to Michael Connelly. I’m not quite ready to write the next one yet, so here’s the blurb.

  

Death isn’t always the end.

 LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds.

 

When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie finds her own life entwining with the morbid fascinations of the anatomists, and she must race against time to stop them claiming another victim.

 

As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and the genetic engineering of monsters, they must fight to keep their sanity, and their lives.

  

 

 Wow! Congratulations to Joanna. Don't forget to check out her website for inspiring info for writers and readers alike.

 

 J F Penn

 

 

 

TheCreativePenn.com or  twitter @thecreativepenn

 

 

And go to my QVC UK.com blog this week to enter the competition. (closes midday Thursday 21st)
 

 

 

Is Script writing your thing?

Mine too. I've been working with a fab screenwriter over the last year or so and learnt a lot. Now I have a little bit of news from me about scripts – I’ve just completed my first joint one – with professional screenwriter pal Mal, who’s been helping me with an idea I had for a TV series which is a cross between Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge! Early days for sure, but if anything comes of it I’ll let you know! However it’s generated this focus, this week.

Last minute places available on London Screenwriters’ Summit – it’s this weekend (16/17 but just in case anyone’s able to go – there are some fab writers attending. I went to a Syd Field course a while ago and it was great. Watch out also for the ones run by Robert McKee. Click here to find out more.

How to get your book made into a screenplay And here are some interesting guidelines if you’re wanting to find someone else to write the screen adaptation of your novel – useful advice! Click here to find out more.

 

As promised, Julie Cohen's Author Questions...

To help with plot, this is what Julie asked us on our writing retreat (See QVC blog for main report) -

- your main character - What's their biggest problem?

- Why is it their biggest problem (not history as to why it happened, more 'what impact it has on her')

- What's their secret statement of self-belief? Begins with 'I am...'

- Why?

- What's their biggest weakness?

- What's the worst thing that could happen to them?

- Who's the most important person to them? How are they affected by their biggest weakness?

- What's their biggest strength? How is it connected to their biggest fear?

Interesting stuff eh? More info from Julie at www.julie-cohen.co.uk

 

 

FINALLY – another great success story from the world of self-publishing – this time from a travel writer, on how he managed to make the leap to becoming a successful self-publisher. More info here.

 

Best wishes for a great week ahead! Don’t forget to join me next week when my new novel’s cover will be revealed in full for the first time, in the countdown to publication date on amazon on 28th November!

Luv debs

X

Ps don’t forget to leave me a comment below on anything that appeals to you!

- SAVE THE DATE!

One week till cover reveal (22nd). Exciting! It's nearly here! 

Then launch is on 28th November. Do join me on facebook on our online party from 9am-9pm on 28th - there'll be competitions, signed books, festive fun and early Christmas jollity.

I've only done one of these before, but it means anyone can join in and 'bring' cakes (post pics of them!), 'bring' party guests (invite people by posting pics of them - who's your ideal date, for instance!) and find out more about me and three other fellow authors and our new novels. To get an invite, just 'like' my facebook page and leave me a message on the party strand at the top that you'd like to be invited - then when you get the invite just click and accept or join. Then it'll go in your events, so that on the day you just have to come across to the page - launching 15th - and voila! Party away! I do hope you can join me! Otherwise my new novel, Hawaiian Escape ( the prequel to Hawaiian Affair) will be launching on amazon - do let me know what you think of it! Just got to get off and finish it now! lol.

 

best wishes

 

debs

 

x

 

Exciting! It's nearly here! Do join me on facebook on our online party from 9am-9pm on November 28th - there'll be competitions, signed books, festive fun and early Christmas jollity. I've only done one of these before, but it means anyone can join in and 'bring' cakes (post pics of them!), 'bring' party guests (invite people by posting pics of them - who's your ideal date, for instance!) and find out more about me and three other fellow authors and our new novels. To get an invite, just 'like' my facebook page and leave me a message on the party strand at the top that you'd like to be invited - then when you get the invite just click and accept or join. Then it'll go in your events, so that on the day you just have to come across to the page - launching 15th - and voila! Party away! I do hope you can join me! Otherwise my new novel, Hawaiian Escape ( the prequel to Hawaiian Affair) will be launching on amazon - do let me know what you think of it! Just got to get off and finish it now! lol.

 

best wishes

 

debs

 

x

RiWiSi-Go-Large - As usual, here’s an extra helping of info – tips and advice for would be writers – and welcome if you’ve just joined me here from my RiWiSi segment on my QVC weekly blog.

The countdown continues!

-          3 weeks till my new novel is launched!  (28th November!)

Here’s another little teaser of the cover!

 

snippet of cover - Hawaiian Escape

-          2 weeks till the whole front cover reveal! (22nd November!)

 

 

 

 

Sign up for newsletter updates – don’t forget to go to the home page of this blog to sign up for the regular newsletter updates on my freebies and competitions and latest releases!

 

NaNoWriMo – It’s National Novel Writing Month again! Ever thought of writing one? Would having a one-month deadline make you finally do it? Or being in touch with hundreds of thousands of others worldwide doing the same thing? Go here to find out more!

 

Free Websites to promote your book

Believe it or not, there is a whole host of such sites and resources, but happily someone else has done the hard work and summarised them – go here to see galleycat’s summary of free websites to promote your book. And promote it! Oh, but don’t forget to write it first! Lol. If you want help, they mention an online course to help with the final steps of going self-published too! Whoop!

 

 

Other Interesting Articles –

-          Amazon to produce their first original TV shows for Prime streaming video service - five TV series  will be made, selected from the 14 most popular pilots posted on the company’s website a month earlier, viewed and rated by over a million people.One of the writers, Dan Mirk, says Amazon users provided valuable feedback; some said that the show was stuffed with too many jokes for something with the feel of a drama.

"When you go through the normal TV system, you're at the whim of a handful of network execs," he said. "To be able to put our show out there and have everyone see it and respond was great."

Netflix also has challenged Hollywood's traditional approach, and uses its trove of viewing data to help decide which new shows to bid on.

TV writers and producers say both Amazon and Netflix offer far more creative freedom than traditional network executives, who are known for requesting changes on everything from a joke's punch line to a scene that's too gory.

 Read more here.

 

 

Do leave me a comment below on any of the topics above – I love to hear your feedback!

Debs

X

Hawaiian Affair30 Days to Seal the Deal and Stay Out of Love! – Sadie and Mac should never get together, but a mistaken steamy one-night stand sets them off on a life-changing adventure and the biggest challenge of their lives!

WORK IN PROGRESS

MORE FAB LINKS FOR WRITERS, READERS AND SELF-PUBLISHERS

- How to earn a living as an indie author - Linda Gillard previously had a publishing deal. Now she makes more, self-publishing - a fascinating insight - click here to read more.

- Useful tips on how to use book bloggers to get publicity for your site and what not to do! From Molly Greene, here.

- Waterstones’ Book of the Year Short-list revealed - go here to discover some new highly regarded authors to add to your collection!

- Reminder about this Saturday’s (2nd) Writers & Artists Self-Publishing Seminar in London - last minute bookings, otherwise come back next week to find out more!

 

The Countdown Continues -

First, a further sneaky peek of my new romance novel’s cover! Last week we saw a fragment of the new front cover! Well in advance of the new front cover grand reveal on 22nd November, here's another little

NEW BOOK COVER TEASER...

 teaser of corner of new novel cover

** 4 weeks until my next book is out! Join me on our special facebook event on November 28th for the official launch!

- and stand by for next week’s Book of the Week – Carolyn Mahony’s first full length published novel – Cry From the Grave – a cosy crime with intrigue and romance and a dash of sauce! And a list of FREE sites designed to help promote your book.

- more next week! SIGN UP FOR MY REGULAR NEWSLETTER TO KEEP ABREAST OF EXCITING UPDATES! Go to my homepage tab to sign up!

luv Debs

x

ps Hawaiian Affair, my first novel now has 80 out of 92 five star reviews on Amazon - very chuffed author! Keep them coming - in the run up to the 'prequel' being out on November 28th!

What a fab interview! This week on my Read It Write It Sell It segment on my website, there's a fab interview which everyone interested in self publishing should read. Tracy Bloom - chart-topping author of 'Noone Has Sex On A Tuesday' and 'Single Girl's Revenge', talks about how she hit the best-seller lists and what it felt like. Plus a comp to win her book is on my new QVC Blog - which has a christmassy feel and lots of sneaky peeks and bloopers!

Do go check them out!

Click here for RiWiSi-Go-Large on my website - my weekly look at all things book - where you'll also see a tiny hint as to what my new cover will look like - it's only another five weeks until the second novel is out! (prequel to Hawaiian Affair!)

 

For my QVC Blog go here.

Have a lovely week!

debs

x

ps Vincent and Flavia are on my Saturday Night Gifts show tomorrow night - (26th 8-10pm) on QVC UK - and will be attempting to teach me to dance!

STOP PRESS!! - PLUS, Paul Potts will be singing live! Can't wait to meet him!

 

 

Tracy Bloom Interview – and Competition!

Best-selling author and chart-topper, romantic comedy writer Tracy Bloom has kindly offered the chance to win signed copies of her first two titles – the comp is on my QVC Blog this week,– go here to enter and to read more about her own personal success story.

The fascinating tale behind Tracy’s rise to best-selling success show that it wasn’t overnight – and that she worked really hard to hone her craft, come up with what she calls a ‘killer title’ (we agree!) – and how having an agent was a key to opening some doors but not others. Read her full story here – as she relates what happened in her life, before and after the Writers & Artists’ Self-publishing Seminar 2012. A year later, she’s done so well they’ve asked her to be a speaker at this year’s event! (Booking info below.)

   

Tracy Bloom started writing when she moved temporarily to the USA for her husband's job, leaving behind a dream career shopping for rollercoasters for the UK's leading theme parks. She enrolled in a Creative Writing evening class in Connecticut and began work on her romantic comedy, NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY, writing mostly during her son's afternoon nap. She acquired an agent who secured several foreign rights deals but never managed to get a deal with a major publisher in the UK. Returning back to live in England, Tracy decided the time was right to try self-publishing. After much research, including attending the 2012 Writers and Artists Self- Publishing in The Digital Age conference, her novel was released on Amazon via the White Glove programme in April 2013.  During June, it achieved #1 Best Selling e-book status for three weeks, gaining over a thousand reviews. Tracy has since released her second book, SINGLE WOMAN SEEKS REVENGE, which so far has achieved the #2 ranking.

Noone Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday’ is this week’s Book of the Week.

 

“Never has a one-night stand led to such chaos!

Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other again after they end up in bed together following a school re-union.
So all is forgotten... until eight months later…”

Fab reviews and still riding high at the top of the charts, Tracy has been asked to talk at this year’s Writers and Artists Self-Publishing conference on November 2nd in central London.(more info below)

Here I talk to Tracy about her success, and if she has any guidelines for new authors!

                  

Q. Ok so give us the blow by blow account – what was it like to finally achieve that success every author dreams of?!

A. The weeks as I watched my book began its climb up the Amazon charts are actually now a bit of a blur. It seems an impossible dream when you’re buried somewhere deep at 6,000 plus that you are ever going to get anywhere. Then you start to rise as some of your marketing hits and your first reviews trickle in. I love getting reviews; even the inevitable bad ones. The fact that someone is bothered enough to write down that fact that your book made them laugh-out-loud still astounds me. The numbers were starting to get exciting by the time we applied for an Amazon promotion. I think I must have been well in the top 1,000 by then. Amazon agreed to include my book in a June promotion and on the first day I watched it rocket up until it scraped into the top 100. I messaged my agent on a Saturday – that’s how happy I was. By Monday it was at number 4 and I cried. I documented on my website what I did that day to celebrate if you want to get it blow by blow. However, as my husband was away, we saved the champagne for Wednesday, by which time it was number 2 (ten o’clock that night saw me swaying in the garden singing Robbie Williams songs at the top of my voice). The following Sunday morning saw me awake in the early hours, so I decided to peek at the Amazon chart, just to check. There it was at number 1! The best selling book that I wrote. I did manage to get back to sleep…but not for long. There was celebrating to be done!

And so now I’m looking forward to being the other side of the fence and being a speaker at the same conference that kick started me in to gear a year earlier. I’m hoping it will give me chance to not only pass on some of the things I have learnt along the way but also perhaps help kick start others into taking the plunge.

 

Q. Which part of the PR do you think was most impactful?

I ran an online survey that came back with the result that Tuesday was the least likely day that people have sex! I issued a press released that got covered in 2 national newspapers as well as got me on to two local radio stations. 


Q. Did you notice how each successive event increased sales at all?

Not particularly - I don't believe that marketing/pr drives sales directly but it is really important in driving awareness so that when a potential customer does see your book online or in a store they already know about it which makes them more likely to buy.

 

Q How easy was it to get your agent? How much writing had you done prior to attending the 2012 conference?

A. I followed the standard route of submitted 3 chapters and a synopsis to agents I thought would be interested in representing me. Prior to the conference I had written two books. 

Q. What’s the White Glove programme on Amazon?

A – Only for writers with agents, you’re then eligible for a special service, involving greater promotion for your titles – the idea being that having an agent is naturally a filter for good writing! This is exclusive to agents and provides support to self-published authors in the form of preparing manuscripts ready for publication and the possibility of inclusion in Kindle promotions.

Q.How did PR coverage and social media help?

A. - At some point during my journey I’d read a book proclaiming social media was not essential for the successful self-publisher. Indeed Joanna Penn had said at the conference that, despite her love of Twitter, it is only to be embarked on if you take it to heart and enjoy it. With this in mind I set about forming my marketing plan which included plenty of local marketing, targeting of book bloggers and a toe in the water of social media since, prior to February, I had no presence on Twitter or Facebook, nor did I have my own website. I also had my sights set on a national PR campaign off the back of running a survey that would indeed prove that Tuesday was the least popular day of the week to have sex! The marketing was painstaking and time-consuming as I tailored everything individually to whoever I was trying to convince to talk about my book. As boring as it was at times, it worked. Four local papers covered my story, I appeared on four radio stations, my book was reviewed by some of the best book blogging website for my genre and my survey got me in The Sun, The Star and several major websites.


Q. What was involved in contacting the local papers, radio and tabloids etc?

A. In most instances I contacted them myself. It meant I could tailor my pitch individually depending on what I thought would be the thing that would grab their attention make them want to talk about my book. I believe in going for it and understanding that the media need stuff to talk about, you just have to work out what it is about you and your book which is most newsworthy.

 

Q. How do you think self-publishing has changed in the past twelve months?

A. I think this year has been about the evolvement of choice. Writers now have a number of options in terms of getting their work to an audience. It is no longer the obvious first choice to try and get a traditional publishing deal. Self-publishing is equally viable if you have the right book and the right skills or you can find others with the right skills to support you. The potential rewards are also now on a par with traditional publishing making it a very attractive option.

 

Q. Any advice for a complete newcomer - any tips or what WONT work in your opinion, based on your experience?
A. Be as objective as you can. Think like a consumer. Ask people who know nothing about you or your book what they think of your title and your cover. Listen to what they say and don't be afraid to change things if they are not working

 Tracy Bloom and books for competition

 

 

Competition on my QVC Blog

To go into the random draw to win two signed copies of Tracy’s first titles, Noone Has Sex on a Tuesday and Single Girls’ Revenge, just leave me a comment on my QVC Blog – click here to be redirected and just post it in the comments section at the bottom,  saying you’d like to be entered. Full T&C’s here. Entries close midday on Thursday 1st November, winner announced in 2nd Nov blog and notified individually.

Tracy’s new books will be out

Connect with Tracy on Twitter @TracyBBloom and take a look at her website here.

 

WRITERS’ & ARTISTS SELF PUBLISHING IN THE DIGITAL AGE – ONE DAY SEMINAR, NOV 2nd.

This year’s seminar is nearly upon us! But at a very reasonable £95, I’ve decided to go and will look forward to hearing more from Tracy as she’s one of the key speakers on the day. The day will include a talk from Kobo's Diego Marano and Amazon's Jon Fine on the tips, tools and services available that can help you sell more books, a Q & A with self-publishing guru Alison Baverstock, whilst bestselling writer, speaker and entrepreneur Joanna Penn gives you industry-leading tips on marketing and selling your book, alongside interviews with bestselling self-published authors. Maybe see you there?!

It’s based at Imperial College, Exhibition Rd, London SW72AZ, 9.30-5pm, November 2nd.

Go here to book and to see the whole programme.

 

And finally – a fraction of cover reveal for my new novel – the countdown continues!

Well as regulars will know, my own second novel – the prequel to steamy first romance, Hawaiian Affair – will be published on 28th November – that’s just 5 weeks away!

COVER REVEAL UPDATE – The full front cover will be unveiled on Friday 22nd November – but in the meantime, here’s one of the first options, which got turned down, but will give you a tiny idea of what it will look like! Tantalising! Lol.

 

HINT OF NEW COVER REVEAL

Meanwhile, go here to get my first novel, Hawaiian Affair, which has now got avge 95% score over 181 reviews on amazon! Whoop!

 

Next week –

Mary Jane Hallowell’s eagerly anticipated first romance novel, a charming contemporary romance about passion between two ex-lovers rekindled in the romantic surroundings of picturesque Cornwall – a special offer, next weekend only! (1st-3rd Nov).

To Touch a Rainbow

To read my QVC BLOG go here – and don’t forget to leave me a comment on any of the above! Just scroll down to the bottom and voila, you can post!

Best wishes

Debs

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