Return to Homepage

LA update, tough times for scriptwriters; a freebie promotion increases success on KDP; and audiobook of week – Moon over Soho
21 November 2014

book chair book chair

Read it Write it Sell it – my weekly look at all things book – LA update

If you didn’t see my home news on Monday, with the fab hummingbird pics, I’ve been on hol! One of the reasons I went to LA was to write. Had a great intensive writing session whilst away in LA too – tons sorted, as well as four blogs and lots of editing! For those who don’t know, my first three romance novels – the steamy ones! – have been signed up by Choc Lit the UK publisher, and the first one ‘Hawaiian Affair’ is going through editing now, to re-issue it early next year.

Plus as the Hawaiian Trilogy PG countdown continues, I’ve been working on finishing the PG version of the whole trilogy in paperback for release for Christmas presents early December. One more week till the cover reveal!

So I’ve been doing those edits as well as working on the plot for ‘French or Dutch,’ the series of novellas I’m planning about life in the 1920s - a cross between Mr Selfridge, Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey. Plus I like to meet new people.

Tough Times for Scriptwriters in Hollywood Well I met two lovely new contacts whilst out there, one of whom is a scriptwriter for films called Valerie Alexander. She’s kindly sent me some of her work to look at which I love doing – when I was with Mr Back of my Tandem I proofed a lot of his screenplays too; (long story if you don’t know it, but basically an old BF who used to be a scriptwriter – it was because of him a couple of years ago that I visited LA often.) Always good to meet new contacts eh? She’s a contact via Nick Barrucci – the comics guy, remember him? – well he’s now involved in creating superhero film ideas. His manager also met me, to discuss ‘the business.’ Very interesting chats and great new contacts. The overriding theme that came through from industry people during my visit is how much harder it is to make a living nowadays for jobbing scriptwriters, especially since the Writers’ Strike. And more than ever sure fire hits seem to flounder at the final hurdle, despite having all the ducks in a row – some funding, producer, director, great script etc. Just backed up what Mr Back of my Tandem had to say, really, and one of the reasons why he left it. Perhaps TV is the way to go for many? Certainly with openings like Amazon Studios, where they are taking submissions for scripts the same way they take eBooks etc, but this time they’re considering their merits for possible production. More here. Interesting times.


Audio Book of the Week – Moon Over Soho

I have also been listening to ‘Moon over Soho,' the sequel to last week’s ‘Rivers of London’ and it’s great too. As always with sequels, not quite as gripping as book 1 in the ‘PC Peter Grant Book Series.’ But fun anyway and had an interesting theme focussing on old style jazz, plus some pretty graphic scenes, so kept me wanting to listen on to the next bit. Let’s face it, that’s half the battle! I’d give it around 8.25 out of ten. Another good listen from Ben Aaronovitch, but narration from Kobna Holdbrook-Smith makes it, for me.   Click here to see it on Amazon


Freebie Promotion Boosts Sales

Self publishers need visibility for their novels, don't they? Well how about this technique?


Last week, I mentioned my guest blog listing what you can do to help boost sales of a new book. Well my writing buddy, author Carolyn Mahony had great success with a recent freebie promotion. If your book is part of KDP select (you tick a box when you’re uploading the book) it gives several benefits, one of which is offering your book for free but it’s limited to five days every three months. Carolyn’s freebie on her only cosy crime novel so far, Cry From the Grave, ran when we did Hocus Pocus ’14 at end of October, and by the end of the five days, she was high up in the freebie charts. But as soon as it’s not free any more, you disappear off the charts, right? Not so – her freebie had a knock on effect that translated into sales, following on from a freebie. Why? Carolyn thinks that it’s because of the attention and exposure the book was getting, so that people late to the party still wanted to buy it, even though it wasn’t free. Then because of the niche genre, she appears high up in Amazon’s chart called ‘kindle/books/literature&fiction/women’s fiction/mystery,thriller&suspense/crime’ (yes, that’s a real niche chart!) But being high up in any chart increases ‘discoverability’ and that’s what it’s all about nowadays.

Now that there are sooo many titles and so many professional authors and publishers releasing their own back lists, the challenge is how to get noticed. This obviously helped. Carolyn’s top chart position in the overall UK Kindle chart was in the 800’s, quite a feat, considering it came from nowhere and was below 40,000 in that same chart before the freebie. Even more so when you see that it’s £2.56, not a 99p promotion or anywhere near. It’s a good book, of course, and the great reviews have increased in number, which is one more side benefit of so many copies getting out there from the freebie. Get Carolyn’s book here.


Other news –

-          Amazon settles dispute with Hachette – regular readers of RiWiSi will know I’ve posted occasional updates about the massive publisher/author/amazon rights dispute that’s been going on for months. Well it’s finally been settled and here’s the BBC’s own inimitable concise summary as to what it’s all been about, click here. Otherwise, here’s the Daily Mail’s more in depth analysis giving implications for other publishers, and us self-publishers too.! Click here.


-          Submitting to a Literary Agent: Juliet Pickering One of our top UK agents, on a day in the life and what to do to get an agent. More here.


-          Does Blogging help build your audience? And how do you best do it? Learn from six authority bloggers – more here.



Beginners’ Guide And if you’re a complete beginner and want to self-publish, remember my basic guide published on here in the archives – click here for beginner's tips for self-publishing -  a summary of info, sites and links to help you on your way. Including my guest blog on, Go here to read more,

Archives Don’t forget to check out the other archives (to the left) for even more fabulous hints, tips, links and blogs. Plus - see below for my own list of books now available in paperback or eBook on Amazon!

Ps – see below for all my links to my own books.

Have a great week!

And don’t forget to kindly leave me a review on Amazon and Goodreads if you don’t mind!

Best wishes





As usual, here’s the round up of my own titles! Do give me feedback by tweeting or facebooking or just email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Otherwise I’d appreciate a review on Amazon (go here) and Goodreads (go here)! Enjoy! x


eBooks  - all available on Amazon – paperback or eBook (kindle or kindle app or kindle on PC or Mac)

paperbacks – five titles all available in paperback – via Amazon – see below.


HAWAIIAN TRILOGY (2013/4) – romantic fiction in either steamy or PG options!

Book 1 Hawaiian Escape Steamy or Hawaiian Escape PG, the prequel to Hawaiian Affair - is now available on Amazon in eBook or paperback in both PG original and steamy (just released last week!).

Book 2 Hawaiian Affair Steamy or Hawaiian Affair PG versions are both available on Amazon in either eBook or paperback.

Book 3 Hawaiian Retreat - Helen's Story is now out - Just click this link to see steamy version. Paperback also now available

STOP PRESS! Limited to pre-Xmas only, the PG trilogy all in one book! More news about release date soon… cover next week! Available for December 2014 only.

DIARY OF A WANNABE SHOPPING CHANNEL PRESENTER – a stand alone story – Bridget Jones meets Alan Partridge meets Eddie Murphy in ‘Holy Man’ –click here to buy Ebook on amazon, and click here to buy paperback.



‘When Dreams Return’ (2014) – spooky romantic short story – when Chelle’s pal Sara gets her to conjure up her ideal man with a full moon magic spell, she gets more than she bargained for…

The Valentine’s Surprise (2010) is a short story proving it’s never too late to find your Sir Galahad!

And coming for Xmas, a compendium in paperback of Dairy of a Wannabe plus the two short stories in one volume.

Also – for Hallowe’en – a free anthology of short spooky stories by 13 authors! Hocus Pocus ’14 – ebook or paperback.



Till the Fat Lady Slims 2.0 – the ‘When’ Diet - is my semi-autobiographical weight loss book – updated for 2014 to include the latest thinking about nutrition. Learn how to eat like slim people do, following freedom eating and the Food Freedom technique. As used and recommended on our Back to You QVC Facebook group!  In paperback or eBook. Here’s the original, just 99p on eBook. Till the Fat Lady Slims (2002)


OTHER WORK IN PROGRESS (see Work In Progress tab for updates!)

 ‘The How to Find a Husband Manual’ – hehe – more info in the winter. A spin off from the Hawaiian trilogy’s character Kate, Helen’s friend in New York.

‘Diary of a Rookie Shopping Channel Presenter’ – sequel - early 2015

‘French or Dutch’ – a cross between Mr Selfridge, Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, following life-changing adventures around Britain of early pioneers of birth control.

Have a fab week!





Read 1820 times

Related items

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.