An Author-ly Good Couple of Days

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Happy weekend! I’ve had an incredible end to the week, thanks to three amazing things that have happened.

1. My Very First Author Talk!

I’ve received wonderful support from my local libraries. A year ago, before I knew I had a publishing contract, I met a woman called Sharon at a works careers fair. She works for North Yorkshire Libraries. We got chatting between conversations with job-seekers and I told her I was a writer. I also explained that I was a Brown Owl and that I’d be interested in bringing my Brownie Pack to our local library (her base) at some point to complete our Booklover Badge. Earlier this year, I was able to get in touch to organise the Brownie night … and to tell her that I had a publishing deal. Sharon was thrilled to bits about this. My husband also has a contact at the library through his photography and, between both contacts, we organised for me to talk at Scarborough Library and also a smaller library on the outskirts of the town. The latter one isn’t until September, but Scarborough Library was on Thursday night. Eek!

10945679_10153485965344073_4084184173099668412_nI was a little nervous about it. A lot of writer friends are very nervous about the idea of speaking to an audience but I’ve been a Trainer for years so this doesn’t phase me at all, although it’s a little different presenting about me instead of work-based subjects. What made me nervous was the thought of nobody turning up. Or, even worse, a couple of people turning up, realising I’m a romantic comedy writer, turning round and walking out in disgust! I was stunned and delighted when I had an audience of twelve, plus Sharon, and the presentation was incredibly well received. I really enjoyed delivering it and got some great questions afterwards. Four attendees even bought a copy of my book and a couple said they’d download it onto their Kindles.

Thank you so much to Scarborough Library for hosting the event. Sharon also confirmed a great piece of news. I submitted Steven to be considered for the library stock and she was able to confirm that they’ll definitely be stocking it at all the libraries in North Yorkshire. Wow! Not only that but, as a local author, I’ll appear twice: in the main section and in the local author section. Very excited about this. I love the idea that my writing can be enjoyed by more and more people by being available in so many different places.

2. Riding High in the Charts

11401501_432174206971006_984189043329891591_nSearching for Steven was selected for a BookBub promotion on Thursday. BookBub are a US company who promote quality books when they’re at significantly reduced prices. Publishers have to apply to appear on this and they’re very selective about who they pick so I was thrilled when my publisher’s application for Steven was accepted. People join mailing lists, picking their preferred genres of books, and BookBub email them with the books they’ve accepted for promo each day. This can boost sales but nothing quite prepared me for how significantly it boosted mine. There are over 400,000 books registered on the UK Amazon charts and, today, I reached number 399! I also peaked at number 25 in the romantic comedy chart which is an incredibly competitive one.

With being a US promotion, Steven has also shot up the Amazon.com chart to number 143,990. I have no idea how many books are registered on there but, if there are over 400,000 on .co.uk, we’re probably talking millions on .com!

To participate in the promotion, Steven was reduced to a 99p download and is going to be available at that price for a short time longer so, if you haven’t already bagged yourself a bargain, now’s your chance!

3. Local Support

Spurred on by the success of Steven today, I decided to visit Waterstones to see if they’ll stock my book. I spoke to a lovely manager and she was exceedingly complimentary about Steven, telling me it was the most professional cover she’d ever seen on one of the local author books they’d stocked and that it would likely sell very well as romcoms are very popular, especially one that’s set in a fictional version of Scarborough like mine is.  I would imagine that it will take a while before they go through their process and obtain the stock, but I’m so thrilled that they’re going to stock it.

Thank you so much to everyone who came along to my talk, to everyone who has downloaded Steven whilst on promotion, and to Waterstones for being so lovely today. And thank you to my lovely hubby for a couple more amazing promo photos 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone xxx

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8 thoughts on “An Author-ly Good Couple of Days

  1. What a fabulous week! You really deserve this, Jessica, because you’ve worked really hard to promote Searching for Steven and you haven’t shied from knocking on doors and making sure your novel gets noticed. Well done! I’m so proud of you.

    • Thank you, Sharon. I struggled a bit after I didn’t get anywhere with the local radio station. Massively knocked my confidence. But I reminded myself that any rejection of the MS didn’t knock me; it just meant I moved onto the next one so I metaphorically brushed myself down and moved on to the next one. My task for today is to contact the WI and see if they want any speakers! xx

  2. As Sharon says, you are being rewarded for your willingness to knock on doors and put yourself and Steven ‘out there’. You thoroughly deserve this success and I only wish I was half as brave as you!

    • Hi Jo, thank you so much. I never thought I’d be this ‘brave’ which is making me wonder why I’ve been scared all along as the papers have been really helpful, the library have been fantastic and Waterstones were lovely. I still tripped over my words when I introduced myself in Waterstones, but I’m so pleased I did it. You’re great at making contacts in different ways to me so your rewards will be coming soon. If we could combine your networking and my bravery, we’d be a force to be reckoned with! xx

  3. It’s amazing to think that all this happened inside one week. Congratulations, Jessica, especially on the success of your library talk. It must be such a big worry that no one will turn up, and that must put off a lot of writers from offering themselves, but you were brave (good for you!) and it went well. Also, I have to say I’m not surprised by the favourable comments made by the Waterstones manager about Searching For Steven’s cover – So Vain Books have done such a good job creating an attractive book. I’m glad things are going so well for you. You deserve it. xx

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