Book Launch Week!

It is here! You thought I'd forgotten, didn't you? Come on ... be honest. Ha! I didn't forget. Just thought I'd leave it late today, to see if you were paying attention. You were. Well done! Here is your prize.

To celebrate the week in which my book will be launched (at some point between now and the 6th, inclusive) I'm giving away a writerly pressie. Behold ...

When I wrote my post about pens, I noticed that the name 'Parker' came up often. I also noticed that gel pens were much spoken about. People got quite excited about the idea of pens. I even received emails on the subject. It only seemed right that I should combine the elements of 'Parker' and 'gel' and buy you a Parker Gel pen to thank you for your support, so I did.

How can you win it?
  1. Follow this blog - visibly - by clicking the follow button and/or subscribe by putting your details in the box to the right, or at the top. 
  2. Leave a comment below this post saying whether you followed, subscribed, or both. 
  3. One of the characters in Palaces & Calluses is a dog. He's a Border Collie called Pebble, but everyone calls him 'Rock'. In your comment, tell me something about a dog you've known. It can be something funny, lovely, or annoying. I'll pick a short-list of five, throw the names in a hat, and whichever name I draw... gets the pen!

The more comments there are, the more likely I am to give away even more prizes, so tell your chums, and ... good luck!

5 Steps to Writing a Novel

Some time ago, I made this little video. It has been shared by many people, on Twitter and elsewhere, and caused much hilarity. It is not, however, the most optimistic perspective if you are just starting out on your journey as a writer.

To balance it up a little, I've written '5 Steps to Writing a Novel' for Groupon's blog. Have a look at both (don't forget to 'like' it on Groupon's blog. Love to see those numbers go up), then come back here, and post your thoughts below.

Once you have your book, of course, you need to market it. For that, you must put together a book marketing funnel. Pick up this month's Writing Magazine (April Issue) while it's still available. The new one comes in on 6th April, so scurry out and grab this one as soon as you can. I've written a step-by-step guide to marketing your book for you. Laminate it.

Don't forget ... my Book Launch Week is 31st March until 6th April! UPDATE: IT'S OUT! CLICK HERE.

Best wishes,

Authors For Japan - LOADS of Goodies

UPDATE: AUCTION CLOSED. We raised ... £10,962.25 / $17,803.79!

Hi Everyone,

A bunch of authors have pulled together to bring you WONDERFUL things, and help Japan. There is an auction going on right now. I've donated a book trailer. Whether you are trying to schlep around your manuscript to agents, or you just want readers to be aware of it, you do need one of these. The cost for professional videos can be ridiculous. This is going to go for a total steal, but the money will  go towards helping the people of Japan. Click on the banner to check out how to bid for a book trailer like this:

Shall I Elope, Or Do The Big Event Thing?

I'm serious. The provisional date for my book launch is the 21st of March, and I just realised that's only five sleeps away! What in the? So now I have to decide whether the provisional date becomes The Date, or whether I pick a date in a couple of weeks and make a big 'do' out of it.

It's not a question of commitment. I'm absolutely committed to my book. We've lived together since 2007, for goodness' sake. We've had rows, of course we have. What writer and Novel-To-Be don't have rows, late at night, over a split infinitive? Exactly! We're both on the same page. Well ... it is on several pages, but I've been on each of them, so that gives me the right to an opinion. My opinion is that the time to tie the knot is finally upon us, but we need to choose whether to glam it up, or elope. 

At the moment, I'm eloping. I planned to sneak this book out under the radar. Only those in the know would - well - know. Now I'm wondering, as many an eloping bride must, whether I'm cheating people out of an event, if I scurry off into the sunset with my book, without so much as a slice of cake, a tearful bridesmaid, or a thrown bouquet. Am I? 

Blushing regards,

Facebook: Friend Or Foe?

Hi Chaps!

I'm putting the finishing touches to my column for Writing Magazine for next month. I thought I'd make this one more about 'how to' rather than case studies, but it looks a bit forlorn without quotes, so - if you're very quick - here's your chance to get into print. THIS GOES IN TODAY - MONDAY. If you find this post later, you're too late. I'm particularly interested to find out:

  • How do you use Facebook, in an author capacity?
  • Do you split your friends and family Facebook from your writerly experience, or mush the lot together?
  • What does Facebook do brilliantly, that you can't find on another network?
  • Have you noticed an increase in sales since using Facebook?
  • What strategies work best for you?
  • Which author makes the best use of Facebook? (Give their Facebook URL)
  • What annoys the heck out of you about Facebook?
Spread the word, and get this post buzzing. I'm linking back here from the article anyhow, so you'll be seen whether you make it into print this time or not.

Don't forget (part 1), it's Word Nerd Monday. My post goes up on Groupon this afternoon (so some of those who responded to my last post will be published on Grouopon today!) 

Dont forget (part 2), I just put up a follow gadget at the bottom of the page on the right. Click the button and feel virtuous.

Don't forget (part 3), I made a little ebook for you. If you subscribe in the sign-up box in the sidebar - or the bar across the top - you'll get it. Free. 

Oodles of hugs, 

Are you Mental for Moleskines?

After the great response to my last post, in which I wondered whether you secretly have 'pens envy', the logical next step was to ask if your were mental for moleskines (or should that be 'Parchment-al for Moleskines'?)

For the uninitiated, a Moleskine is not made from the skin of a mole. It is, simply, a delicious notebook with a splendid history.

Of course, there are many other beautiful notebooks. I'm curious to know which one you use, or lust after.
  • Have you ever had a really special notebook, or known someone who did? What was it like, and why did you love it?
  • Is there a notebook after which you yearn? Describe it.
  • Are you quite happy with a scrap of old paper, or do you think that a special notebook helps you to write?
Your comment may even end up published on Groupon's blog!

Furnish my blog with your wisdom,

Best wishes,

Do You Have "Pens Envy"?

Tee hee. Sorry, couldn't resist that title.

This week, I'm writing about fountain pens. Writers get very excited about fountain pens. Once, a discussion we were having about them on Twitter became so animated that one of my tweets ended up in a national newspaper!

*Whispered aside*: A few canny writers have cottoned onto the fact that furnishing me with info when I ask questions quite often leads to free publicity. If you are one of them, I advise you to comment here. If you're lucky, you could end up featured on Groupon (the fastest growing web company in history) next Monday. I feature best selling authors, aspiring novelists, students, etc. If you write, and you say something quotable, you're in with a chance.

So, where do you stand on the fountain pen issue? Do you bubble over at the idea of a Mont Blanc, or are you quite happy with a Bic? Are you so far past pens that you can't read handwriting any more? Tell me all. If you love pens, I'm particularly curious to learn:

  1. What's your earliest memory of fountain pens? Did you use them at school, or did you ever make a quill? Was there a particular brand you used?
  2. Is there a fountain pen you've owned that is/was particularly special to you?
  3. What kind of pen brings on 'pens envy' for you? If you could have any pen/collection of pens, what would you choose?
Look forward to reading your thoughts.

Very best wishes,