Tag Archives: Authors

Dear Reader #10

Dear Reader,

Sometimes stories arrive fully formed and from that point on it’s a question of filling in the details, while other times ideas come in stages, over a period of time. The idea for The Olive Tree, my Spanish Civil War Saga, arrived fully formed and now I’m adding more research and filling in the details. At the same time I had an idea for a Sam Smith mystery. The emotional strand to this story arrived fully formed, but the mystery element was missing. Yesterday, while thinking about hair, of all things, the missing element arrived. For a writer, it’s exciting when these things happen 🙂

Over the past month I haven’t been actively promoting my books, but my sales have increased. How come? I think the answers lies with the past five years of promoting, particularly the past two years. For authors, the hardest part is to stimulate interest in your books. It takes time to build a readership. Therefore, my advice to authors is to build a strong foundation. Once you have done that you will attract readers.

I received fan mail this week. Unfortunately, it was intended for Hannah Howell 😱 To be honest, I’m not familiar with Hannah Howell’s books, and I’m sure she’s never heard of me. I’m not sure if having similar names is an advantage or a disadvantage. On balance, it is probably a disadvantage because it does have the potential to confuse readers.

Female bodybuilding. It’s a subject I don’t know anything about, but for my novels it’s an area of research. What are your opinions on female bodybuilders? If you are a female, why do you do it? If you are a male what are your thoughts? I would be interested in your opinions.

At the moment, I’m devouring books about the Spanish Civil War at great speed. I’m watching movies about the subject too. You will find details of these books and movies under the The Olive Tree tab on my website. The question occurred to me, why does the Spanish Civil War still attract our interest? The answer is multilayered, but one of those layers includes the fact that for people outside Spain, their governments did not force them to go to war. Many thousands volunteered and decided to fight for a principle. That is something worth thinking about and, I believe, it makes the Spanish Civil War relevant to today.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Val Tobin

I first met Val Tobin around five years ago, through online author groups. At that stage I became aware of her high quality books in a number of genres, including mysteries. Val studied general arts at the University of Waterloo, then obtained a diploma in Computer Information Systems from DeVry Toronto. She worked in the computer industry as a software and Web developer for over ten years, during which time she started to get serious about energy work and the paranormal and occult.

Val uses her background and knowledge in her novels and this adds a great air of authenticity to her stories. She is an excellent author and I highly recommend her books. Furthermore, she is very supportive of other authors.

Fascinating facts about Val.

She had tiny parts in two feature films: Route of Acceptance, where she played the main character’s mother and is on screen for about ten seconds (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2537064/) and I Met You First (http://toeachherownfilms.com/?page_id=1208), where she played a cashier and hopefully won’t end up on the cutting-room floor (movie to be released). 

She’s a member of the Writers’ Community of York Region and volunteers as a member at large. Here’s an interview she did for them: https://wcyork.ca/member-spotlight-val-tobin/ 

Val is doing podcasts on Anchor, reading Walk-In chapter-by-chapter. If you want to hear how she sounds when she tried to mimic a minor character who is Hungarian with English as a second language, you can listen to the story here: https://anchor.fm/val61 

Val did an interview with Melanie Smith when Poison Pen was released and you can read it here: https://melaniepsmith.com/author-val-tobin/ 

Also, you can read another interview on Frank Parker’s blog: https://franklparker.com/2018/05/17/a-date-with-val-tobin/

Val Tobin’s books are available from all major retailers and I urge you to check them out. http://valtobin.com

Promotion Offer For Authors

Authors Would You Like to Reach 175,000 Readers?

My publisher, Goylake Publishing, has teamed-up with the Fussy Librarian and in partnership we are offering you 20% off your first book promotion with the Fussy Librarian. To qualify for this promotion, your book must be either permafree or listed free during a special offer.

In our experience, the Fussy Librarian is the best book promoter in the business. When we promote with him, our free books always reach the top five of Amazon’s genre charts, most often they reach the top three. We promote with the Fussy Librarian every month and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

Prices start from as low as $15, minus our special discount of 20%. Click here:

https://authors.thefussylibrarian.com/?ref=goylake

for full details. And, at the checkout, be sure to enter this code: goylake20 to claim your 20% discount.

Thank you for your interest. And good luck with your promotion!

Your Book at #1 Part 2

You have written your book. With justification, you are very proud of it. What next? The obvious move is to contact an agent or publisher. However, in the 21st century this route is becoming old-fashioned. Agents and publishers reject far more than they accept. They take a percentage of the royalties. They exert control over content, cover design, marketing, etc. Sometimes, they take a very long time to publish a book. If you are happy with that package, give agents and publishers a go. They could be ideal for you.

If agents and publishers are not for you, you could try self-publishing. Amazon and Smashwords, for example, offer excellent self-publishing platforms that place your books in front of millions of readers. Self-publishing is now an established part of the book industry. The stigma, which existed at the start, has long gone. Indeed, many traditionally published authors are turning to self-publishing because they recognise the advantages it offers. Lesley-Ann Jones is a Sunday Times bestselling author, yet she decided to publish her memoir, Tumbling Dice, independently to great media acclaim. You too could become a bestselling author. More about that next time.

Your Book at #1 Part 1

Advice For Budding Authors

You have written a great novel, a memoir or a work of nonfiction. But what next? What should you do with your manuscript? You could approach a publisher. However, many publishers will only accept manuscripts through an agent. So you could approach an agent. However, agents are mainly interested in authors who have a track record or public profile. It’s a classic Catch 22 situation, an example of how mainstream publishing is a closed shop.

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However, these days there are many alternatives. The easiest route to publishing is through independent publishers and self-publishing. Note: never pay a publisher to publish your work. A genuine publisher will never ask for money.

To self-publish, and to reach an international audience, you can use the following platforms: Kindle Direct Publishing, run by Amazon, and Smashwords. Smashwords distribute books to Barnes and Noble, iBooks and Kobo. Through these platforms you can publish in paperback, eBook and after that explore audiobook and translation possibilities. Thousands of readers download my books every month. Through this method they can download your books too.

Next time, I will explore this subject further. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about publishing feel free to contact me through my website.

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #2

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement, #2, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s world.

This week I’ve been following Sam around the Vale of Glamorgan, a picturesque region of Wales. Chapters five to ten of Mind Games are largely set in the Vale, including two chapters set at Nash Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was constructed in 1831, illuminated in 1832 and electrified in 1968. It holds the distinction of being the last manned lighthouse in Wales, before automation in 1998. I’m pleased to say that the writing is going well and that the book is on schedule for publication in June.

I came across this quote from Marcia Muller recently and I can identify with it in relation to Sam.
‘A professional writer’s life is not easy, no matter how high you climb on the best seller lists. For one thing, you work for yourself, and that self is the most demanding boss you’ve ever had. I don’t know about non fiction writers, but those of us who deal in fiction are never left alone by our characters. They haunt you, they tell you what to do. There are times when I feel my detective, Sharon McCone, is sitting on my shoulder, saying, “No, not that. Do this.” Usually she’s right. But I’m waiting for the day I’ll prove her wrong.’

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As you know, my books are based on serious subjects, but I like to insert some humour occasionally. Here are two pieces I posted on social media this week. Both received a terrific response 😃
Definitions from the dubious dictionary…Shinbone, a device for locating furniture in the dark.
How many authors does it take to change a lightbulb?
Ten.
One to change the lightbulb.
Five to say that they’d already thought of the idea for changing the lightbulb, but they didn’t want to go public with it yet.
Four to say that lightbulb changing is old hat and already covered by the literary greats.
Three to complain that with blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc they have no time to change lightbulbs, but they’ll do it anyway.
Two to insist that old technology is best and that the lightbulb will never replace the candle.
And one to figure out that while authors are great with words they are lousy at mathamatics.

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I have joined Author Reach. More news of that in the future, but for now here is the link and an invitation to follow and join my mailing list.
http://hannah-howe.authorreach.com
Also, an invitation to connect with me on my new Facebook page.
https://facebook.com/HannahHoweSamsAuthor
More news next week and, as ever, thank you for your interest.

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Indies United

The first Indies United newsletter is now available for free download or through email. Each month we will feature authors and books by our member community. Our Newsletter will include competitions, giveaways, interviews and other great features. So don’t delay, claim your copy today and take advantage of free and special offers!

https://indies-united.com/newsletter/

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