I go for years with not a lot happening, then all of a sudden everything has happened in 2013.
First off, I got a literary agent! I'm delighted that I'm now represented by the lovely Hannah Ferguson of the Marsh Agency. I feel totally in safe hands with her managing my career as she's agent to fellow women's fiction authors: Miranda Dickinson, Ali McNamara, Kirsty Greenwood, Laura Zieppe and Giovanna Fletcher.
Hannah managed to get me a UK publishing deal! I've got a three book deal with Quercus and the first book Don't Tell the Groom will hit the bookshelves in December. If you can't wait that long it's available in ebook formats right now :) The Marsh Agency also sold the audiobook rights and the Dutch rights.
And as if that wasn't exciting enough, I'm also expecting my first baby later this year and we've moved into a new house that we're having renovated.
Life truly is crazily busy at the moment, and I'm loving it!
As a self-published, unrepresented author, there’s always a niggle of self-doubt in my mind that I’m playing at putting books on Amazon, but really they don’t actually cut it alongside published books.
At the start of the year, I set out one of my writing goals to get into the Kindle Top 100, the ‘holy grail’ of Amazon publishing. This weekend, much to my delight, my latest novel ‘Don’t Tell the Groom’ managed to sneak into the top 100 (at #98) for about two hours before it drifted back into the high hundreds. It wasn’t until two days later that I got into the top 100 again, and this time I got even further. By coincidence, Amazon featured me in their ‘daily deal’ e-newsletter, and somehow I made it to the giddy heights of #52. 52 out of half a million books available on Kindle.
It was a proud, yet surreal moment. There was my book, that I had written, in a book chart actually above traditionally published books and authors who are household names. This is probably nothing in comparison to that feeling you would get when you sign with an agent or a publisher; at that moment your writing is validated by someone and they’re essentially saying they believe in your work. But, I like to think that by making the top 100, that’s a validation from readers and book buyers. It’s given me a huge boost of confidence to start believing in my writing and my books.
I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone that has bought a copy, to those that reviewed the book, and to the huge thank you to those that have retweeted the links/interviews and reviews.
And here’s hoping that one day I’m writing a blog that’s titled: ‘What being in the Kindle top 20 means to me!’
Today I’m launching my third novel, Don’t Tell the Groom on Amazon. You may think that as it’s my third time through this process that I’d be an old hat by now, and that the nerves would have disappeared, but you’d be wrong. I’m more terrified than ever with this book as I think it’s my best work yet.
The biggest problem with being self-published is that you don’t have that publisher giving it that stamp of approval telling you that it is ready to be released to the world. My editor told me that the book had made her laugh out loud in many places, and my test readers loved it. But I know all my test readers and I pay my editor, so there is always that bit of self-doubt as to whether they’re just being nice.
I released the first chapter of Don’t Tell the Groom on my website in mid-December and I also sent out review copies. I was staggered how excited people were about the concept and by the number of bloggers that offered to review it for me. Which led to one thing: more nerves.
With people excited and expecting the book to be good I spent most of the Christmas break coming out in a mild sweat when I thought about people reading it, would it live up to people’s expectations?
And then there’s that terrifying moment when reviews start to get posted. The first was from the Chicklit Club, and I was staggered when it was 10/10. I should add I do review for them, but the reviewer who read the book didn’t know that! I spent the whole of that evening in a daze. Had I actually written a really good book?
I’ve gone on to get some lovely reviews on Amazon, and from bloggers on their review sites. And yet I’m still nervous. Will I ever release a book not be? And now I wait for the readers to download it from Amazon, and now I’ll be nervous about their reviews...
Once again the generosity of bloggers and friends on Twitter and Facebook never ceased to amaze me - Thank you to you all.
If you wanted to buy Don’t Tell the Groom - then you can do so here!
Below are links to the reviews currently posted on external sites for Don’t Tell the Groom:
Mama J Hearts
Lou Graham’s Blog
Read about my general mutterings on my books and life in general.