Books, For Readers, More of Me, The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

How Facebook Brings You Readers.

 

Want to know my  action plan on how to be media savvy? How to strategise promotions on social media?

Well, sorry, but you’re in the wrong place. Having people try and sell me stuff makes me want to scream. This is more a  reminder  to be a human. Most humans are great. Let me introduce you to Grace and Erin.

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Two Lovely Readers in One Lovely Bookshop.

 

Grace is the very first reader to email me through my website.    Grace and Erin are best friends and they are both  writers as well as readers.  I think Grace has a lovely, fresh tone to her voice.

This is her email:

 

I am writing to praise you about your book ‘More Of Me’. I found it through Cathy Cassidy’s blog post, as Cathy is one of my favourite authors and has been for years. Just by reading the synopsis I knew it was something I’d fall in love with, and the idea was so inviting I had to buy it! I visited a local store to buy with my best friend, and we even had a picture posted on Twitter of us holding the book!
The people at my local bookshop (Write Blend in Liverpool) had said you were wondering what people would think of the idea, and I felt I had to write to reassure you that your book is a masterpiece! I write myself all of the time, and I want to be an author, and More Of Me wowed me. It’s amazing how you could come up with an idea so out of the ordinary. More Of Me was actually the best written book I think I have ever read, and I mean that. And please bear in mind that I’ve read hundreds of books, ha ha!
I loved the way that throughout the book you tamed the crazy thing that was taking over Teva and managed to make her and her life very relatable, despite her condition. The book was just so beautifully written, the story line was inviting and it had a way of taking me  on the journey Teva was experiencing- I cried and laughed hysterically along with her.
My friend is currently reading the book, as I recommended it to her, and within reading two chapters she’s already vowing that it’s her favourite book!
I just thought I’d write to tell you how amazing I found More Of Me, and that i really hope you continue writing books!

Aside from being touched that Grace had taken the time to write, I was  completely thrilled to hear that she’d enjoyed my book. So much so that she’d passed it on to Erin, who then emailed me too!

I’m Erin – Graces best friend, we bought your book together at write blend. I’m writing to tell you that I’m reading the book at the minute and I’m really really enjoying it ! Me and Grace LOVE Cathy Cassidy and she’d recommended it on her website ! Grace told me about it and I said we’ll have to buy it. So, Me and Grace then planned a trip to write blend to buy your book and ended up on Twitter !!

Grace and I want to be writers when we’re older and you and Cathy Cassidy have certainly inspired us ! Thanks so much Kathryn, I’m excited to see what happens in the end of “more of me” the only bad thing will be finishing it !

Erin’s voice sings with excitement , don’t you think? Definitely two young women with the gift of immediacy in their writing style.  As I was reading their emails, I was  struck by the journey it had taken to get into their hands. From Cathy Cassidy to Write Blend to Grace to Erin…a word of mouth journey that started on…

Facebook.

For that’s where I met Cathy Cassidy who I later met  in real life when she was one of our keynote SCBWI conference speakers.

It’s also where I met Bob Stone, owner of Write Blend, and where Bob and I discovered we went to the same University in North Wales and (obviously ) share a passion for books.

write blend

I didn’t bombard Cathy and Bob with messages requesting they sell my book for me. They’re just nice humans.  We got on. Had nice chats. Shared values. They wanted to help me.

So here’s the best bit of advice I can give you about promoting your book on any social media.

Don’t.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Write the best book you can.

  2. Be visible but not demanding.

  3. Give more than you take.

  4. Be a good human.

That’s it.

That last one  works for other stuff too.

Like  life.

Thank you Grace and Erin and Bob and Cathy and all of you who’ve been so brill along the way.

You’re top humans and I’m proud to be the same species.

 

 

Books, For Readers, More of Me

Wonderful World Book Day!

Things I should be doing:

Writing the last quarter of my new novel (I’m getting there, OK?)

Food shopping ( we’ve got crisps, it’ll be fine)

Working on the edits for the US version of More of Me ( I will, I will)

Things I am actually doing:

Looking at these fab pictures from last week’s World Book Day visits.  Thanks for having me Bishop Luffa School and La Retraite RC Girls School – you were totally fab in every way!

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Lunch time crew and Bishop Luffa!
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Peepee is peaking out from behind the daffodils!
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Recommending some of my favourite new books.

 

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Wonderful Staff at La Retraite!
The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it like? After Your book Launch.

It’s been three weeks since More of Me was launched and I am well aware my attention to this blog has been SCANT.  I am ashamed but I also have no idea where to start in sharing what it’s been like. It’s been crazy. So I’m taking a little writerly advice and am “showing not telling”  everything that has basically run through my brain in the last few days. Don’t worry, edited highlights only…

 

As launch week draws to a close, this happens:

I’ll just have a little look on Amazon- sales rank 189? What does that mean? Am I doing OK? Is anyone (apart from my fab friends and family buying the book?) How do I know? Oooh! New review…Better check Goodreads…

Oh.

1 star?

Really?

Okay…I can live with that, there are all these other stars – these other lovely stars.

And look at this! My book on a table in Foyles!

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When friends spot your books out and about.

But there’s still that 1 star and no explanation. Really? Ok, let it go, let it go, it’s fine.

Oh that’s nice, look at that blog post for the Scottish Book Trust, I forgot I did that – and look how many people are tweeting. That’s great. It’s all great.

I wonder how many books we’ve sold?Can I ask that? Is that a thing? Oh, it’s too early to tell. OK.

 

 

And then, this surfaces in my brain…

OH GOD, I HAVE TO FINISH THE NEW BOOK

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OH GOD, I HAVE TO FINISH THE NEW BOOK

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Crazed Author in Panic
Crazed Author in Panic

And there was this:

COCKTAILS at the #Yaspeakeasy event in London’s Drink, Shop, Do. What a great night! Nicci Cloke, Holly Bourne, Eve Ainsworth and ME!! Reading our books, drinking our own book cocktails and making up ridiculous stories about dinosaurs ( Nicci Cloke and I were on a team and quite frankly, our dino snakes and ladders improvisation was genius – we should have won, we so were robbed…) My fab editor Sarah Stewart even came along,  so I genuinely could pretend having so much fun was work…

Plus – I came home with  a haul of signed books – most of which I’ve already read and already love (you may have seen me blubbing over the first in Holly Bourne’s “Am I Normal yet” books in this review) but LOOK – I also got Eve Ainsworth’s new book and it isn’t even out yet ! ( I started reading it on the train and it is FAB)

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Book Swag – The Best Kind.

Today, I am back at my desk checking invoices for the farm, fixing the network printers in the office and this is running through my brain again:

OH GOD, I HAVE TO FINISH THE NEW BOOK

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OH GOD, I HAVE TO FINISH THE NEW BOOK

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But on the whole, life’s being pretty kind to this author. I even managed to cope with this review:

A very original and interesting idea that is sadly very very badly exploited. The whole plot makes no sense, in the end none of the interesting issues are “solved”, but just magically wished away by a plot device. Characters are bland and generic, and the one very interesting idea of having copies of you laying around is criminally under explored.

Well, you can’t please everyone can you?

OH GOD, I HAVE TO FINISH THE NEW BOOK

The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it like? 2 Days To Launch Day

I have tried to write a sensible “week before launch day” post. Honestly I have tried . The thing is,

I AM TOO EXCITED TO EVEN SIT STILL

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On Monday very many of my friends and family will be joining myself and Usborne  to celebrate the launch of More of Me in London. That is genuinely enough excitement for anyone. Then I’m  doing it all again in Chichester on Thursday.  I am as giddy as a school girl who’s eaten too many fruit pastilles and just been introduced to Beyonce.

That is my current base line level of excitement.

Add to that a continuous trickle of breath takingly good reviews, ( THANK YOU SO MUCH),  winning a silver medal at last weekend’s fencing competition, being sent gorgeous flowers  by my Aussie Aunt and Uncle and jewellery from my baby sister, signing contracts with my German publisher and other behind the scenes publishy stuff and well, you can see why I am actually bouncing off the walls.

So I’ve given up. Nothing sensible is coming out of this head for at least a week.  Thank you, all of you, your support means the world. I shall try and be slightly less annoying when it’s all over.

 

PS: What’s it like? IT’S AWESOME, keep writing – it is SO WORTH IT.

Books, For Readers, More of Me

Boy and a Biscuit

I literally love this post on YAShelfies so I am sharing it with you all!

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Press & Reviews

Reviews for More of Me

Brilliant, weird and crackling with teenage energy, Teva’s story will stay with you long after you finish the final page. Kathryn Evans’ mind is clearly a very interesting place. I LOVED it. More of this. Amazon reviewer.
Continue reading “Reviews for More of Me”

The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it Like? Things you don’t know before you’re published.

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Here are a few unknown unknowns – things you need to do as a published author that you never even guessed at:

  • Blog posts, heaps of them , which is GREAT, because I am a massive chatterbox and they allow me to chatter. I’m blogging at Notes from the Slushpile ,  YAshelfies,  and on all sorts of yummy blogs of friends who have invited me , or not friends who’ve been wrangled into it by the fab publicity team at Usborne.
  • Keep secrets. Literally, every  contract for a deal or an event has to be kept under wraps until someone says “Go!” That is HARD when you never shut up.
  • Be aware of your behaviour on social media- this isn’t just about not swearing and calling everyone a walrus , this also means being present. I tweet therefore I am.
  • Read! Oh so much wonderful reading that you don’t have to feel guilty about. It’s work!! I have read so many great books in the last month alone – Cat Clarkes’ The Lost and Found, Hilary Freeman’s When I was Me, Sarah Crossan’s One, Liz Coley’s Pretty Girl Thirteen – and these are just my favourites!
  • Fill in German tax forms. I know – who knew? Well, my agent, obviously.
  • Make difficult decisions about overseas publishers that probably aren’t as difficult as you think if you can stop being an arse for five minutes. It’s fine, I got over it. Twit that I am.
  • Find more time – I know. I thought I could do it all but turns out writing  without deadlines is a whole lot easier to fit in than writing with deadlines. Especially when you’re fitting in all the promotional stuff.

And you know what? I love all of it! Except maybe the tax forms. Definitely not the tax forms.

For Readers, The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it Like…the day your book cover is revealed?

This is just a brief post through a blur of happy tears, and it’s aimed at you, those people reading my blog who have been climbing the same mountain of drafts and redrafts and rejections and workshops and  how-to books and support groups and critique sessions and are thinking I’ll never make it.  I know how you feel. I was there for a long long time, more than fifteen years. And all i want to say is, don’t give up, it is SO worth the tears and the trials and the long, long wait.

Most of you will have seen my beautiful book cover by now. Here it is, in all it’s glory, back cover included:

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It was revealed by SCBWI’s  own Vivienne De Costa on her book review blog Serendipity Reviews. Viv worked so hard to get an excited build up before the reveal and she tells me she had an amazing  200 hits in the first minute of the blog going live. Alongside this, Usborne YA Shelfies ran a really interesting piece on how Hannah Cobley, the cover designer, arrived at the final look.

Facebook and Twitter all went a bit crazy – I did absolutely no work ALL DAY. The book doesn’t come out until February 1st next year but people are already buying it on pre-order. I was skipping about and grinning like an idiot.  True, this was all about the cover, but there was also a lot of excitement about the concept of the book.

I don’t know what will happen when it finally comes out. The early reviewers have been really kind about it – did you read the quote from Teri Terry on the back cover?  That’s, Carnegie nominated, multi award winning Teri Terry who said my book was:

” Weird, wonderful and utterly fabulous”

Who knows what everyone else will make of it?!  It is weird, I know people might hate it but you know what, I love it. I probably shouldn’t say that, but it’s the truth. My editor, Sarah Stewart, has helped make More of Me a book I will always be proud of. And nothing, nothing can take away the joy of Friday. The ground swell of warmth and excitement across social media was extraordinary. I lost count of the number of tweets and shares and I know a lot of that will have come from my SCBWI friends.

Thank you, all of you. If this is your dream too,  please, please, don’t give up. If I can get this far, so can you.

PS. If you’re after more, erm, brutal motivation, look out for my Writercise Boot Camp post on Notes From the Slushpile on 9th November –  hosted in the grounds of Philip Ardagh’s Manor, Steve Cole will be putting you through your paces. there’ll be advice from guru Tanya Landman  and gentle coaxing from Agony Aunt Cathy Cassidy. It might all get a bit shouty – what can I say, Nanowrimo is coming up!

Crazed Author in Panic
The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it like?….Phase Two of the Editing Process

Regular readers will gather, from the huge gap in posts, that Phase 2 of Editing More of Me has been somewhat more stressful than Phase 1. There are a number of reasons for this: Continue reading “What’s it like?….Phase Two of the Editing Process”

The Publishing Process, Writing Advice

What’s it like: working with an editor for the first time?

A shelf of books with a gap to fit an Evans book in.
Oh look, a space on the book shelf for an Evans

I remember the many questions I had, but didn’t like to ask, when friends got their first deals. I thought I might start a series of posts about the process of getting a debut novel from acceptance to the book shelf. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer. Continue reading “What’s it like: working with an editor for the first time?”