Monday, 19 October 2015

A Novel Is Announced

Anyone who has read part 3 of my Business of Writing series, Improving Effectiveness, or indeed read Terry Tyler's Z Files last week where I exposed my inner Virgo, knows that I set great store by planning. In fact, it is sometimes suggested I would get more done by spending less time writing plans and just doing things instead.

Last week I was at it again - but this time it wasn't a daily todo list but a longer-term, more ambitious plan for the launch of novel #2.

Back in October 2014, I wrote about the lessons I learned in publishing Gorgito's Ice Rink. One of those was that I left things too late to set up an effective pre-order period on Amazon - and only started collecting prizes for my launch party draw with just 24 hours to go. In a second piece on publishing lessons learned, posted in December 2014, I acknowledged that I'd left it rather late to catch the Christmas present-buying period, since a launch in November didn't give people time to buy a copy, read it and decide whether it was an appropriate present for Aunt Mabel. If my name was J K Rowling or Lee Child, that wouldn't be a problem: people would know what to expect. But as an unknown author, I needed time to make myself known and convince people the novel was a safe bet for someone else's present.

This time around, I've decided to take my own advice and get my publishing plan in place well in advance. If I was being traditionally published, that would be managed by the marketing department. As a self-published author, the same principles apply - I just have a smaller marketing department to deal with - that would be me then!

So last week I wrote a project plan! I warned my team of beta readers when the manuscript would be ready. I commissioned Berni Stevens to design the cover and booked a slot in Julia 'Proofreader' Gibbs' diary. Today I start work on the detailed edit with my writing buddy Margaret Barnes

At the end of July 2016, my second novel Counterfeit! will be launched. It is set primarily in Africa and is based on dodgy goings-on in the world of pharmaceuticals. In response to a promise to my husband, it features at least one explosion and a car chase. I look forward to introducing you to the cover at some point in the next few months - and inviting you to the launch parties next summer.

Now I'd better go and get writing, hadn't I?


  1. Oh, I love a fellow planner. I use post-it notes, project plans and calendars. You've made me think about planning for some Christmas marketing of my paperback books though. Now, where are those stickies...

    1. Planning rules, OK! We must compare notes when we meet in Exeter, Frances. Ex