What you NEED to be told BEFORE publishing

What I Wished I’d Known before I Published
Part Four
Juliet Madison – Start planning promotional strategies and writing blog tour
posts for your book before you’re published, as these can take up a lot of
Marci Nault – I wish there had been a manual handed to me the day I signed my contract – a published author boot camp. In it, there’d been a list of book bloggers, groups for writers, and wonderful advice by authors who’d been through the process. When The Lake House was coming out, I must say I felt like I was three hours late to a very fancy party where everyone was wearing their finest and I showed up in hiking boots, jeans, and a t-shirt. I didn’t know about Facebook groups or even book blogging. But luckily so many authors took me under their wing and led me to the knowledge I needed. Of course, by then I was about three months late with beginning the promotion of my book and being on top of where ARC’s went out and to which reviewers. So my advice, find published author groups as soon as you sign that contract. Those writer’s will be your saving grace! And realize that the book blogging world is wonderful and they love sharing books so cherish and thank these people with all your heart. 

Ron Fritsch –  How much of the same advice I’d hear repeated over and over: editor, cover, marketing, social-networking, etc. I’m not saying the advice is wrong. It’s a question of how many times one needs to hear it.

Jane Starwood – 1. Never publish a first or second or
even third draft.
2. Line up good beta readers. (Not your mom.) You need people who
will be brutally honest with you about what works and what doesn’t. Ask for
detailed responses. When you get them, consider them carefully, then put your
manuscript away for at least a couple of weeks. It’s hard, but starting another
book is a great way to distract yourself. When you come back to the first book,
you’ll have fresher eyes to see what changes you need to make.
3. If you’re new to writing, take as many courses and workshops as
you can before you attempt a novel.
4. Writing well is hard work, unless you’re a certified genius. I
don’t know any of those.
David A. Tatum – Heh. Having just done this for the first time…
You can do all your homework to plan for and expect all of the big
things, but don’t overlook the minor things you should have learned from
everything else you do on the internet. Like your settings changing slightly in
Createspace when you use their Interior Designer, causing a minor error that
can delay acceptance. Or caching issues in Smashwords if you accidentally
upload a defective file the first time causing your ‘replacement’ upload to be
the same defective file. That sort of thing. Don’t let these frustrations get
to you — most of them can be fixed, and with little effort.
Oh, here’s another one:
The self-publishing industry can change on you in just a couple
months. Find several blogs of professional veterans, both indie and trade, and
keep up with them.
I’d recommend the blogs of PassiveGuy, Dean Wesley Smith and
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ex-agent Nathan Bransford, and the Writing Excuses
podcast featuring Howard Tayler, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowel, and
Dan Wells. 
Keep in mind that these people aren’t perfect, either — they have egos, can sometimes get locked in a particular way of thinking themselves, etc., so keep looking for new sources as well.

Mike Cooley– I would add Scalzi’s blog to that list and probably Konrath’s. My tip is: go over it and over it until it’s fantastic, then pay an editor to go over it again. Oh, and don’t take one person’s opinion as gospel. You can drain the life out of a story trying to please everyone. It’s not possible to please everyone.

Cheryl Shireman – Hire a great editor. Hire a great editor. Hire a great editor. Oh, and – hire a great editor!

Rikki Strong – Not everyone who receives a copy for review will leave a review, same with everyone who buys a copy of the book or downloads a free KDP copy (for me, with my four books out now, the sales to review average is somewhere between 1% and 5%). Some reviewers also have a very long TBR list. Whatever you do, don’t keep bugging them about it every time you see them, or they may keep dropping your book tot he end of the list.

Karen MartinDon’t wait to start social networking until you have a book ready. Get your FB page up and running, start figuring out Twitter, Goodreads, etc. Start blogging. Start making connections. Otherwise, you’ll have a finished book on your hands and nobody to tell about it.

Three Wishes Blog Blitz – There’s always one person to put a damper on things!

Today, I’m participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, hosted by author Juliet Madison and from  2nd to 6th September you’ll have the chance to win awesome prizes at all the blogs participating in the blitz, including this one! It also opens my September theme of chick lit. Yes, all through September writers of chick lit/contemporary romance have been invited to write in with their funnies–can’t wait!

All you have to do to win my prize is share this article to your social media (*Twitter, Facebook etc) and post the link of your share in the comment section below, then tell me your wishes. TWO people drawn after September will have a choice of prizes (scroll to the bottom, or better still, read to the bottom for the prize list).

*To link direct to a tweet you need to click on the actual tweet (anywhere on the tweet to enlarge it slightly), then click on ‘details’ and there you have your direct link. Copy and paste it into the comment section below and bingo.

So, why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz? Juliet’s new romantic comedy release, I Dream of Johnny, is about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo that proves magic isn’t all it cracked up to be… sounds fun, right? Well, I’ll be reading. 

There’s always one person to put a damper on things.
three wishes blog post 
Louise Wise

There we were, sitting at our desks and waiting for five o’clock to strike so we could leave off work, and to pass the time we were asking one another what we’d wish for if we were granted with three wishes.

James from accounts is the smart arse and asked for unlimited wishes. Janice undid another button on her blouse, her fingers lingering in her cleavage as she gazed at him, told him he was a naughty boy.

Baby Karen (so-called because she was the oldest person in the office only no one was supposed to know) said she’d have: 1. A house by the sea. 2. A win on the lottery. 3. Good health.

‘That all?’ scoffed James. His eyes on Janice’s cleavage. He dragged his gaze away to continue, ‘A house by the sea could mean you’ll lose it to a cliff fall. A win on the lottery could just be a tenner, and good health will mean you’ll miss out on flu this winter. You have to be more precise.’

‘Like my wishes are really going to come true,’ said Baby Karen, looking hurt that her wishes weren’t good enough. 

James’ eyes reverted back Janice’s cleavage, and I caught Baby Karen looking at her own chest, pulling back her shoulders and pulling down the zip a little on her cardigan.

‘You have to be careful with wishes,’ Big Barry said, and we all nodded in agreement. ‘I know someone who wished to be thin and they died. Starved to death.’

We all ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’. 

‘What are your wishes, Louise?’ asked someone asked me.

‘Goes without saying, I’d like to be rich. Then a long and healthy life for me and everyone I know and my third, hmmm, I dunno. Once you have money and good health what else is there?’

‘World peace?’ said Janice. She sucked on a finger whilst looking suggestively at James and the words came out “Dorld’s Deace”.

‘That’s similar to my wish,’ said Baby Karen glaring at me, ‘but no one complained about her wish.’

‘I was more specific than you,’ I said. Karen could argue with a door.

‘Well, ‘rich’ could mean a ‘rich chocolate cake’ or a ‘rich sauce’. You know, something that’s strong in flavour.’

‘OK,’ I said remembering I was dealing with a middle-aged woman with a mind-set of a toddler—and she wore a cardigan. Believe me, never argue with people who wear cardigans (they don’t get out much and could therefore argue for Britain—and every other country). ‘I wish that I had enough money to buy whatever I wanted, when I wanted and for whoever I wanted and would never have to worry that it would run out. Better?’

She sniffed. ‘Better.’

Despite our squabbles I loved my work colleagues. We had such a giggle! Janice and James flirted like crazy, no one wanted sit beside Karen, and Big Barry moaned a lot but otherwise we were a happy bunch.

‘I’d wish for a cure for cancer,’ Mandy the Mouse whispered from the corner. We all turned to look at her. ‘I lost my parents to that awful disease and wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I went through. A cure for cancer,’ she confirmed, ‘and I’d gladly give up the rest of my wishes.’

As I said, there is always one to put a damper on things and make you feel badddd.


For my part in this three wishes blog blitz I am offering a choice of prizes for one person drawn from the comments after 6th September:
Once you’ve entered my competition why not visit Juliet’s blog and enter her giveaway, then visit any or all of the other participating blogs to win more prizes! 

You could potentially win loads! Remember, it begins 2nd September and lasts only to the 6th. Click to visit the official Blog Blitz post.

A Proper Charlie

For the rest of the summer 2013 less than a dollar
Purchase links:
Apple iStore

Charlie watched as he fell back onto her settee,
and then straddled his lap. Oh my God! What was she doing! She was having an
out-of-body-experience, she thought. Only she wasn’t dead. She was alive. Very
much so. She wriggled against him wonderingly and excitement flared in her body
as his own rose to her teasing.

Charlie Wallis has everything a girl
could wish for. A loving boyfriend, a nice flat and a fantastic job as a
journalist for London Core. Trouble is, Charlie’s boyfriend isn’t at all
‘loving’, her job title really reads ‘office assistant’ and her flat, at the
top of a high-rise, isn’t that nice either.
Her new boss, Ben, is a huge bear of a
man. A gentle giant, with chocolate brown eyes that hold a secret.
While London Core investigates the disappearances
of local prostitutes, Charlie wants in on the action, deciding that dressing as
a hooker and walking the streets is good research.
Bumping into Ben was the last thing she
Read more about this book here


The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch, therefore I am

“They say I’m ‘as hard as my acrylic nails’ but what they don’t understand is I have to be. It’s called self-preservation.”- Valerie Anthrope

Purchase links:
Apple iStore

What happens when Cinderella is brought screaming into the 21st century,
where the ugly sisters are Valerie’s thoughts and emotions, and the
fairy godmother is a middle-aged busybody from hell.

The fairy godmother bursts into Valerie’s life with her magic wand
(AKA interference) and insists that she can help Valerie–whether Valerie
asks for help or not. And she most definitely does not.

Then there is playboy Lex. The flirty Prince Charming whose “bed ’em
and leave ’em” motto applies to ALL women–until Valerie fails to
fall at his feet as he expects. 

A concoction of fun, tears and cocktails.

Read more about this book here


exploration from 2236 Earth to the newly discovered planet, Eden. The animal
life on Eden is on the brink of evolution and humankind wants a first-hand
Available in the following formats:


space explorers are separated and Jenny, the only female of the group, is on
her own.
from the planet Itor, is the lone survivor of his crashed spacecraft. He’s been
on Eden for years. He’s watching Jenny–and sees the others leave without her.

has food, shelter and weaponry against the hostile animals on the planet–just what Jenny needs. It’s buried deep in the human psyche to do anything to keep yourself alive, but does that includes sleeping with the enemy? How far will Jenny go to survive?


Don’t judge until you’ve read her story. You’d probably do the same.

Read more about this book here

It’s not all about shoes, handbags and glitz, you know!

Crazy fun from us to you

For the whole of September WWBB has been taken over by authors of chick lit. They’ve been invited to blog about anything, and I assure you it isn’t going to be all about girlie stuff… well, that’s to be seen, but nevertheless it’s going to be fun.

It’s going to be a crazy, crazy month and I hope you’ll join them, and me, for what’s sure to be a fun event.

Order of appearance (so far): 

Introduction to the madness
Juliet Madison’s blog hop
Lara Barnard
Zanna Machenzie
Monique Mcdonell
Marylu Zuk
Nicky Wells
Amy Baker
Patsy Collins
Janet Eve Josselyn
Deb Nam-Krane
Lizzie Lamb
More authors to come end of the month

And to give it a kick start A Proper Charlie is on sale (only on eReaders) all through September. It’s pink, flirty and fun.

A Proper Charlie
only 77p or 99c for the rest of September.

A British contemporary romance novel…
jolly good fun!

What happens when prostitutes go missing, and Charlie’s shy boss, Ben Middleton, is a suspect? 

What happens when Charlie pretends to be a hooker for the newspaper story she’s working on, and is “picked up” by Ben? 

What happens when she is abducted and only the handsome Ben knows where she is? 

Poor Charlie, she only wanted recognition. She really should’ve stayed home. 
Buy A Proper Charlie in ANY eFormat for 77p/99p

(paperback isn’t included in the discount)