It’s been almost eleven months since I published There Must Be an Angel. How time flies, right? It’s been a steep learning curve, and I feel I’ve been groping in the dark for most of that time, trying to figure out the marketing side of things, and trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m now a published author. It’s still difficult to believe, even though I’ve since published a second novel, A Kiss from a Rose, and had a pocket novel published by DC Thomson, and (exciting!) am about to have a short story published in The People’s Friend Special no 119 (out February 17th, I believe, in case you’re interested).
So, you know, it’s been a busy year, and I’ve had my ups and downs. There have been some fantastic highs. Getting positive reviews, for both novels, from people I don’t know at all, is amazing. Having my novella accepted by DC Thomson was a real thrill, as was getting the email that confirmed they were buying my short story. It’s only since telling people about these two events that I’ve realised how tough it is to get your writing into print with them, so I’m really honoured, and it was so exciting to see my People’s Friend pocket novel on sale in supermarkets, newsagents and WH Smith!
On the other hand, I’ve realised how tough it is to make an impact. I read recently that there are now four million books available in the Amazon Kindle store. Four million! How do my little books get noticed? Having said that, it cheered me up a bit to think that both novels have been in the top ten thousand at various times. I’d been thinking that was pretty lowly, but when you look at the bigger picture you see things very differently. It’s still an uphill struggle to get people to notice your work, though, and sometimes it does seem like an impossible task. I felt like giving up at times, but how do you give up something you love? You can’t, and the simple fact is, I love writing. So, even though I didn’t hit the top one hundred, I kept writing.
I’ve recently completed edits on my third novel, and I was testing out a cover idea on my writing pals, the Write Romantics, and showed them my design and asked for their opinions. The one thing about the Write Romantics is that they’re honest. Thank goodness. They pointed out that I was missing the obvious.
Being a bit dim, I asked what was the obvious? Because, obviously, I’d definitely missed it. Back came the chorus – “Yorkshire!” It turns out that what they associate my stories with the most are the settings. The glorious North Yorkshire coast, the quaint smuggling village based on Robin Hood’s Bay, beautiful Whitby, the moors and the heather, the red roofs and winding passageways, that are the backdrop for the Kearton Bay stories, and the majesty of the amazing Yorkshire Dales, with those rolling hills, lush valleys and sparkling rivers, that provide the setting for my new novel.
“You should make more of the locations,” they informed me. Well, I went away and sulked for a bit, and then I thought about it. Then I ate some chocolate and felt a bit better and thought about it some more. Then I set about designing new covers and sent them to Jo, who is a whizz at these things, and luckily, she loved them.
So, the upshot of it all is, I’ve been rebranded. And it didn’t hurt a bit! I haven’t changed the paperback covers for Angel and Rose, but the Kindle versions are now sporting their lovely new designs, which show off the beautiful area they’re set in. Future Kearton Bay books will have both Kindle and paperback covers in a similar vein.
I really hope you like them!
Have a great week xxx