Thursday 29 March 2018

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone! I am thrilled to announce my latest book, The Blue Serpent & other tales, a collection of flash fiction, is now available on Amazon. If you subscribe to my newsletter you can get the eBook for free.

The Blue Serpent & other tales

I'm also taking part in the Sparkly Badgers Easter Egg Hunt over on Facebook. All you have to do is join the event, we give you the first website and off you go. Look for the eggs, collect the letters and unscramble the anagram. Then tell us the answer to be entered in for a chance to win 15 eBooks from some eggtastic indie authors.

The event runs from Good Friday to Easter Monday and everyone who enters the hunt will take home an eBook of their choice. The eggtastic authors include:

Margena Holmes
Terry Poole
J Crawford Steel

So make sure you join the event, may the eggs be every in your favour!

Sunday 25 March 2018

The Organised Author #5

Today I am sharing the final challenges from the Organised Author event created by my esteemed indie author colleague Cindy Tomamichel, as part of our Sparkly Badgers Unite indie author writing group on Facebook. The challenges are designed to help you focus on becoming more organised as an author and also act as a handy guide to make sure you haven't forgotten anything crucial to your marketing efforts,

Last time we covered Goodreads, Author Website, Blog/newsletter and Misc. Social Media. If you missed that post, you can catch up here.

Today I'll be sharing tips on the following:

1. Spreading Your Charms
2. Other Markets
3. Organise Your Writing
4. Progress

Spreading Your Charms

It's not enough to rely on your author friends & family, you've got to get out there and find your readers! Search for book bloggers in your genre and send them yours, get some coverage.

If you do author interview/book reviews on your blog, don't be shy about asking the people you've featured to do the same in return.

Ask in the genre facebook groups you belong to - there are usually people willing to help.

Retweet your interviews, get some extra mileage.

Stalk your favourite authors in the genre and pick up ideas & tips. Don't forget to share their tweets etc - their fans could be your fans one day.

Comment on blogs to increase their ranking and your visibility, don't forget to share them as well.

Other Markets

Local newspapers and sometimes local radio can be very supportive and keen to run author interviews so it's worth cultivating a relationship with your local paper.

Likewise, your local library should stock your books if you provide them and be open to holding an author event for you. They often have events throughout the year that you might be able to join in.

There are national author associations such as The Society of Authors and The Independent Author Network you can join and get advice & support. There are also genre-specific groups you can join such as The Crime Writers Association and The British Science Fiction Association.

Add all of these contacts to a document, that way when you have a new release you can easily let everyone know. 

Other areas to gain some recognition is to enter short story competitions or post your work in places like Wattpad or Medium.

Keep track of all your submissions via a simple spreadsheet.

With a bit of investment for marketing materials & physical copies of your books you can also look at selling your books at local cafes, independent bookshops, craft & art markets as well as conventions. Here is my vlog from attending the Sci-Fi Weekender in Wales, 2016.

Organise your writing

BACK-UP! Probably the most important thing you can do is to create a back-up for all your writing. Consider having dropbox AND a removable hard drive AND individual USB sticks for each project AND Google Docs AND emailing everything to yourself as well. It might seem like overkill but you will be distraught if you lose your work. It's a good idea to get into a monthly routine of backing up so you have the latest versions.

It might seem obvious to say it but keep all your writing files together in one folder. Separate them in a way that makes sense to you. I have a folder for each of my books and within those, I keep all my drafts, images and promo images. I have a folder for book reviews, one for interviews, one for competitions and one for accounts & tax information.

Make sure your website, blog, newsletter etc all have backups as well. Usually, the company you are hosting with will have backups in place.

Finally, if you write in Word then it's worth setting up a template file for eBook and paperback so you already have all the formatting pre-set. It can take a long time to format a large document after it's been written, much easier to write it in the desired format, to begin with.


Make sure you check all your profiles regularly to keep an eye on new followers, you'll be able to see where your style of promotion works and hopefully start discovering your reader demographic.

Have a look back at the various challenges in this series and decide which platforms work for you, where you need to improve and if there are certain people who support you regularly. You can make them part of your 'street team' and reciprocate by ensuring you share their posts. 

Now that you are feeling more organised this is the time to review your goals. What do you want to achieve as an author and how can you plan to succeed. Don't try to do too much at once, you'll get demoralised but you'll be amazed at how much you can achieve once you're organised.

Make your goals SMART - specific, measured, accurate, realistic & timed. Check back regularly to see whether you are achieving your goals and what you need to change. 

Most importantly of all, don't forget to reward yourself for all your hard work. You've earned it!

I hope you've found this series useful if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Sunday 18 March 2018

WK101 Writing with Kids

Summer School Module - WK101 Writing with Kids

This optional module is designed to help you make the most of the summer holidays and fulfil your full writing potential. It will help you discover coping mechanisms for those long, hot, summer days where you wish to write and are faced with entertaining small ones from sun-up to sundown. This course will cover clever ideas for multi-tasking exercises, how to deal with the disappointment of not being able to write as well as several methods for remaining highly caffeinated. The skills introduced in this module can be transferred to other education breaks such as half term and Christmas.

What you will study:

In order to successfully complete this course you will need to allocate all your spare time which means no sleeping for the duration of the module. Energy bars are available, packed with all the nutrients you will need plus a delicious caffeine coating.

You will learn:

  • How to do everything one-handed so you can continue to write your manuscript wherever you are
  • How to function with sleep deprivation so you can entertain your children all day and write all night
  • How to enjoy cold food so you can sneak in five minutes of writing between feeding children and clearing up after them
  • How to go out in the real world and interact with other humans who don't exist in your book
  • Organisational tools to run multiple social lives at once so you don't forget important appointments and can make that scheduled online word sprint
  • How to cook up to five different meals for one sitting and still have an ounce of creativity left for writing later
  • Where to find the best activities for your children that don't involve one-to-one so you can write while they play
  • How to pick up your train of thought, hours after it was broken
  • How to write cohesively when using the backs of envelopes, your phone note function and crayon

You will need:

  • The ability to accept that you will get nothing done
  • Excellent memory skills and high levels of attention to detail
  • Easy-cook recipes
  • Cheap and cheerful child-friendly activities

Teaching and Assessment

This course is distance learning, to be completed at home with your writing materials and selected offspring. We recommend at least two children for successful completion of the course. There is no online tutor or support group for this course however you may find additional learners with a similar setup at your local park, soft play and other entertainment centres. Don't forget to visit your parental resources file as well sa the multiple books and websites available for extra credit study.

The skills gained on this course can be transferred to other self-employed businesses such as arts, crafts, fitness and many more.

We wish you the very best with your studies and look forward to welcoming you back for further modules in the future.