Coming out – Empowered and inspired by my first @RWAus conference #RWAus16 #amwriting #writers #emerging

Look out world – here I come!

Ain’t Love Grand was the best conference I’ve ever been to.

“Why?” I hear you ask.

I’ve been to conferences before – quite a few of them – I’ve even presented at some. History, Heritage, Architecture, Sustainability, Management – even Fossils. And there have been many with outstanding speakers, good networking, lots to learn and lots to think about. But for me, the recent RWAus conference was far more than just enlightening. It was transformational.


I felt I changed on so many levels. Of course I learnt plenty of new info about writing and publishing. I also met lots of great people – and I think that’s where the transformation really set in. Because I’ve been a ‘closet novelist’ for years – have sat at home writing away, crafting stories, finishing books, self-publishing a few of them, building networks online and learning about the writing craft and the fraught world of publishing and marketing books, finding readers, etc, etc…. And have felt overwhelmed and alone, at times. Started to lose momentum and wonder whether I could continue existing as a writer in a parallel world that wasn’t really a reality… And then – BAM! – I meet dozens of other writers who are just like me, and suddenly it all becomes real.

So, some of the key things I learnt from attending the conference: –

  1. I am not alone. (That’s very reassuring.)
  2. Other writers are generous and inspiring – I already knew that, mostly, but now I really believe it
  3. Anything is possible, and you won’t know if you don’t try
  4. Writing is hard work and you need to treat it like a job. Take yourself seriously and give yourself permission to write.
  5. Don’t be ashamed of writing love stories – Love makes the world go round.
  6. And so much more that I’m going to need a few more blog posts to express it.

So now I am officially ‘OUT’ as a romance writer. I will tell any of my colleagues at work who are interested, and any of my friends and family. I will set myself writing goals and work towards them with gusto. I have made myself an electronic Calendar dedicated to all the work I need to do as ‘Emily Arden’. I am making this real, and I will succeed.

Stay tuned for some more posts on what I learnt from the conference, and may you achieve your dreams, or at least, always feel empowered to chase them.


What not to do when marketing a book #book #marketing #tips #amwriting #writing #writers #marketingstrategy #promotion


More great marketing tips from Bookbub – this time: what not to do! I particularly like the examples of good publicity pitches that captured the attention of readers… Check it out.

How many of these book promotion strategies that no longer work have you tried?

I have been creating my own Marketing strategy, and I can outline it pretty simply. I am not a salesperson or good at being pushy, so I will have my own approach. It looks a bit like this:

  1. Write the best book I can (use professional editors and cover designers)
  2. Set up a multi-faceted author platform, making it easy for readers to find me in a variety of places (including my website, goodreads, facebook, my blog, twitter, etc)
  3. Make my books available in a number of book stores, including providing advance warning that they are soon to be released (work in progress. I have tried using a book distributor with my first few books.)
  4. Find my readers, including free promotions, free books when people sign up for my mailing list, finding people who like similar books, etc. (I am taking some courses to get better at this). This is the next big frontier for me.

I must admit, I am very reticent about asking people to buy my books. I am planning to spend a bit of time finding my readers before I encourage people to by them. I guess I am keen that the people who will enjoy my books are the ones who are asked to buy them. Probably old fashioned, but that will be my approach.15142786-marketing-strategy-word-speech-bubble-illustration-on-white-background

Planning a price promotion on your series? Which book should you choose? #writing #writers #book #promotion #book #series


As an author of one published and one soon-to-be-published series of books, I have been planning to choose one of the books to promote my first series (probably a giveaway) and was wondering which one to use. I was thinking of going with the second book in my Deception series (‘Lie to me’), but the stats suggest otherwise. This is a really useful article on the subject…

What can self-published authors learn from gaming? #writers #writing #hooks #promotion #games


I am not really interested in computer games. They tend to be addictive and I never feel I have the time. But millions of people are obsessed by them, and there are lots of things we can learn from the way they interact with people. I found this post from Joanna Penn really worth a read – see what you make of it.

My two take-home thoughts:

1 – there is a huge market for gamers – what are some of the most successful tools they use for getting people hooked?

2 – what can we learn about the way stories morph into new scenarios depending on where the player wants to go? Books tend to be more static / linear track than that (except for “Choose your own adventure” books). So  what can we lean from the interactiveness of games?

Encouraging people to buy your book #book #promotion #marketing #writers


So what tools should you use to encourage people to buy your book?

I liked the three simple messages in the post below.They make sense. (Pity I can’t tick one of the boxes yet… need to get known first. But I’ll get there).

Which tip do you like the best?

Preparing for a book-launch – tips to make your book get noticed #book #promotion #writers #dancingpancake #google #discoverability #searchability


If you are like me, then you are planning to launch a book real soon now… Are you ready? Have you got some good strategies for marketing?

I thought this post had some good practical tips… I especially liked the dancing pancake reference 🙂 And google discoverability is very important… so much to learn.

Which strategies are you going to use for your next book launch? Do you have a plan?

I actually have two launches coming up. My first eBook ‘Lover by Moonlight’ is NEARLY ready for launch as a physical book. (I’m using CreateSpace to print-on-demand). That has been a learning curve for me, and the pdf is now ready… Just the cover to finalise…

Then there is the first of my French Connection series ‘Isabel’s Choice’ – simultaneous launch of eBook and POD paperback due in July! I will need to come up with something special for her…

Let me know what your favorite strategies are for launching a new book, and good luck!

Spinning a web to draw people into your book #writing #book #promotion #writers


I enjoyed this week’s post from Laurence O’Brien. Especially the spiral image (below) that inspires us to share stories about our book to help people to become more engaged with it. Check out Laurence’s blog at: tales do you have to tell about the journey of writing your book? I would love to hear them. I think I will share some of mine too in future posts…