Category Archives: Writing – General

A little bit of marketing…

Well, this weekend I’ve done some editing (the good stuff, when you re-read your own writing and it feels like you’re reading something new to yourself, as if it’s not your own stuff) and re-jigged a whole lot of social media, marketing blog stuff. It’s surprising how long that takes! Let’s face it, I hadn’t posted on Facebook since February (!)

What can I say? I’m more of a Twitter person…

Anyway, I saw a really interesting post from someone who uses Pinterest a lot to market her blog (creating interesting visual pins for each of her posts and then linking them on to her blog). I spent quite a while juggling my boards and content around to be more ‘author’ and when I get a little more time I think I’ll do some test runs of this idea. In the past, I have created Pins of quotes from my books, which have circulated pretty well.

I had some good news on Saturday too, when I did the usual Amazon check of my book rankings, it was a nice surprise to see Faris and Jack at No. 4 in the Top 100 Horse books list!

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 14.47.54

It was the sequel to this book that I had been editing and I am hoping from a ‘marketing’ perspective that when I get the second book out there that a number of the people who have picked up book one will try the follow-up. I remember reading a post about publishing books in series and how a body of work was generally better and easier to market, as if one reader likes what you do they are likely to read more than just your one book – you only need convince them once! 🙂

I think most independent authors (and lots of traditionally published ones too) would agree that marketing and PR-ing your work is hard – it’s a whole other skill set than writing and not always easy to pick up once you’ve finished your book. In the past I have spent a lot of time on trying to push the books and bring readers in – now, my focus is more on the actual writing. If it’s a hobby, then I’m happy to put it out there and see what happens, with whatever nudges I can do with marketing to help it along. Faris and Jack has had the least amount of push and is the most successful book I’ve published so far (in terms of both volume and ratings). I think continuing this experiment and seeing what happens to Faris and the Monoceros when that comes out will be interesting.

Anyway, enough of my weekend, it’s nearly bedtime here in the UK, but if you’d like some ideas for refreshing your own book marketing, check out the article below. It tells us that marketing is not a one-time effort, that you need to rearrange your thinking and find ways to reinvigorate your book marketing to keep the momentum for this – and other books – going. Good luck! 🙂

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2017/08/reinvigorate-book-marketing/

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under General, Writing - General

‘Carry On’ and ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I remember reading a review of this by Becky at Blog of a Bookaholic and I quite liked the idea of the story. When I stood in WHSmith waiting to fly out to Florida in the summer, looking for another book to complete my 3 for 2 offer, I saw this and thought ‘why not’?

And then, I carried it to the US and back without reading it and placed it into the dreaded bedside table, where it ultimately became part of my challenge to clear out that book eating piece of furniture.

I really enjoyed Fangirl, not always for the storyline, which sometimes was a bit slow for me – but I loved Cather (although I wished she’d gone for Cath and Erin for the twins over Cather and Wren – it just reminded me of the word catheter, which isn’t a great connection to make). I think Rowell wrote a very believable story about an introverted character’s experience of going to university and particularly the thought-processes of a writer. There were things that Cath says in the book, which I can only assume link about to how Rowell feels about writing herself – and they could have been thoughts from my own head.

So, it wasn’t really the ‘fangirl’ elements of Fangirl I liked the most – it was reading about a writer, writing about what they read. The correlation between reading and writing, along with the experience of being a writer, was what I loved about this book. Probably not what was aimed at, or what most people will like about it, but that was what did it for me.

So, that brings us to…

Carry OnCarry On by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

DNF @ pg 145

I really hate not finishing books, but I was just finding this too hard to get into.

I really liked the Simon snippets in Fangirl and loved that book overall, but this just hasn’t worked for me. I think if it was written as the ‘proper’ Simon Snow book, i.e. like Harry Potter, I would have found it easier to engage with the story and characters – but as it is written in the style of fanfic, there was just too much implied knowledge needed for me to enjoy this.

So, sorry, just not for me.

View all my reviews

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews, Writing - General

‘Thinking’

I found this today, typed onto a piece of paper and pushed between some books on a dusty shelf I was clearing out. It feels familiar to me, like I wrote it… but at the same time I can’t actually remember specifically writing this.

img_1225

 

10 Comments

Filed under Pins, Writing - General

Can you picture it?

five-senses-icon-set_62147502195

Yes. But, can you hear it, touch it, taste it and smell it…?

It’s one of the biggest difficulties I’ve found in learning to write a book: slowing myself down in sharing the story, so that the reader can really come into the scene and be a part of everything that’s happening. We’re always being told to ‘show,  not tell’, aren’t we?

Even now I find it tricky to get this right. No one in the real world goes into every new room and smells it, touches and looks at every tiny detail – if they did, they wouldn’t venture very far in life! A lot of these things happen automatically and unconsciously – you wouldn’t want your characters to behave unrealistically and wander through every scene like Sherlock Holmes (well, unless they are a Sherlock Holmes-esque character I suppose). But, at the same time, there has to be depth, texture and realism in the worlds you build inside your books – otherwise they are a very empty place for your characters to exist.

In general, I tend to find that when I’m writing, I see the scenes like moments in a movie: I get the dialogue and the action sequences, the overall arch of the story and then I fill in the rest. Sometimes, I naturally must be working through a scene more slowly the first time I write, as the character will pick up some of these sensory textures and I don’t even remember writing them. Other times, when I’m doing a final edit, I’ll find myself with the questions on a jotter next to me, to remind myself: what does it smell like, what does the food taste like, how do things feel against the skin of my characters?

It doesn’t have to be every paragraph or even every page I don’t think, just a dash here, some detail there. A little like the camera zooming into close up on my scene for a few seconds, before expanding to a wider shot where the main action happens. I suppose I think of these elements like seasoning: some passages need strong flavours – lots of herbs and spices – to bring it to life; others need very little because the dialogue and action gives you everything you need. Over seasoning your writing would be as bad as it being too bland.

If you’re looking for more tips on ways to ‘season’ your writing, there’s a couple of good articles here for you to delve into:

Use All Five Senses to Enrich Your Writing

The Write Practice – Unlocking Your Senses

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Author Stuff, Writing - General

Cirque de la Nuit – Book Trailer Release

It’s nearly time – Cirque de la Nuit will be out soon! In the meantime, whilst I’m busy editing and polishing the final draft, I’m very excited to release the Book Trailer today, to give you a taster of what is to come 🙂

3 Comments

January 31, 2016 · 10:41 am

Sunday Write-Up – August 2015

Sunday Write Up HeaderIt’s back for the Bank Holiday weekend – the Aside from Writing Sunday write-up event. Today’s five words are:

idea     why     stupid     handsome     hello

Hmmm… now what to do with these…?

 

The cabin was in darkness as I trundled up the bouncing track that led to the front door. In the fast-falling twilight everything was shadows and hiding places for psycho killers.

Why had I thought that a weekend, alone, in a remote lakeside cabin was a good idea?

Oh, I remember. It was going to be a weekend of alone-time, space to get on with some productive writing…I was normally more of a glass-of-wine-with-Game-of-Thrones-box-set kind of girl; safe and sound well away from the grisly north and creepy white walkers, in the comfort of my own home. I was not outdoorsy at all. Sigh.

I turned off the engine, but left the headlights on, so that I could still see the front door of the little building. “How old are you?” I shook my head at myself, but made no move to shut off the lights. I felt a lot like a little girl who wants to keep the landing light on outside her bedroom door, to pretend that she’s not afraid of the dark.

With the keys in my hand, I looked around the shadowy clearing once more then got out of the car. I scurried to the porch and ducked close to the door, fumbling with the keys. A big part of me was wishing that I had some kind of handsome, Jon Snow man-shield with me, just in case there were any rogue monsters hanging around.

When I got the door unlocked, it creaked open – of course it would have to. I patted down most of the wall inside, without having some unseen creature grab my hand and finally found the light switch. ON.

I smiled – and blinked a bit – in the brightness. Whew. Everything looked a lot better now. The inside of the cabin was just as it had been on Trip Advisor: bright red, squashy sofas; lots of wood and walls lined with shelves of books. The wood burner in the corner was already laid, ready to light and as I peeped towards the kitchen area I could make out the ‘welcome box’ of goodies I’d added to my booking. A cup of tea was definitely in order.

Turning back towards the car I was about to head out to grab my bags, when my mobile rang in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw PRIVATE flashing up on the screen. It was probably work – might as well answer it before I get properly into relaxation mode.

Hello?”

There was silence on the other end of the line. Only the light hissing noise of an open connection – no sounds, no voice.

“Hello?” I asked again, pronouncing the word carefully, as if it were possible I had been misunderstood the first time. More silence and then an ominous click.

“Hello. We have made a number of calls to you regarding a non-fault accident you had recently – ”

I punched the red button on my mobile, disconnecting the call. Bloody leeches! Why do I get so many of these stupid calls, anyway?

1 Comment

Filed under Writing - General

Sunday Write-Up ‘Outlanders’

sunday-write-up-header

Aside From Writing’s Sunday Write up!

http://asidefromwriting.com/2015/06/28/sunday-write-up-june-2015/

Using the words: alone growing slowly life beautiful

(A bit of a cheat this time, I’ve only had chance to write a paragraph, but it does fit in nicely to a scene in a current WIP Outlanders, so that’s why I’m happy to leave it so short!)

 

    I woke early. It was cold and as I opened my eyes to the world around me I could see my breath floating slowly on the chilly air. For a few shorts moments I didn’t move or wake properly. Vaguely, I was aware of heat behind me: Zach in his own sleeping bag. Other than that, I was alone. Like a tired child, I snuggled deeper into my warm cocoon, hoping to hide from the morning for a few more minutes. With sleepy eyes I looked out at the dark carpet of leaves and soil we’d slept on last night, the small circle of trees and bushes disguising our make-shift camp and the silver-green morning light glimmering through the leaves above. It was beautiful, full of life and things moving and growing, right before me it seemed. It felt like you could lie here forever, never moving or speaking again, with life taking over you nonetheless. Nature reclaimed everything: the buildings and ruins of the world I’d spent the last few days walking through…and me. Nature had brought me back, when I thought nothing could. It moved forwards endlessly, just as time did, and showed you that everything could change.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing - Ambrosia Sequence, Writing - General