HIP HIP HOORAY – IT’S PUBLICATION DAY
Light the blue touch paper and stand well back
I’m really thrilled to be able to share Harper’s Highland Fling with you. Within a day of publication it reached #1 spot in ‘hot new releases’ and (briefly) #1 in Scottish Historical Romance – happy days.
It’s been a tough year for all of us with the pandemic breathing down our necks and to make things worse, my home town of Leicester has been in lockdown since the beginning of June. Seriously. So it was a blessed relief to be able to lose myself in my novel and join Harper and Rocco on their road trip as they set out to track down Pen and Ariel and bring them home. This is my sixth novel and I hope, by the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll be tempted to download it.
Here’s the BLURB
I wanted to incorporate the notion of a road trip featuring the uptight head of a federation of failing primary schools, a bohemian garage owner with a tragic past and a couple of teenagers who couldn’t understand why going AWOL might upset their responsible adults. Sound familiar? I take them on a road trip from the toe of Cornwall to Plockton in the beautiful west highlands of Scotland – stopping off at Bristol, Leicester (where else?), Penrith, and Gretna Green. I’ve travelled that route many times so I was able to get out all my old photos and have my own private road trip. As for the uptight headmistress – I wonder who she was based on ?
To celebrate the launch of Harper’s Highland Fling I’ve organised a GIVEAWAY for newsletter subscribers. All you have to do is subscribe to my newsletter and follow the instructions there for a chance to win a signed copy of Harper’s Highland Fling and magnetic bookmark, a FREE kindle download of Harper’s Highland Fling, a gorgeous notebook, shortbread Scottie dogs (!) or Emma Ball notelets. The newsletter will be sent out on Monday 30th November – St Andrew’s Day, of course.
Howdy pardners – a heads up –
Just to let you know, in case you missed it, that my novels are available to download for 99p/ $1.25 until December 27th. After that, they revert to £1.99/ $2.20 – less than a cappuccino in your favourite cafe or bar. And – the really good news – if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber you can download them and read for FREE. (well, the cost of your subscription). So of you’ve overdosed on Christmas novels try something different. Or download at this price and read later . . . the choice is yours.
So, what are my novels about? Well, you won’t find any murders in them, although in Boot Camp Bride you will find a fake engagement, a boot camp for brides on the Norfolk marshes where some very dodgy stuff is going down. Interested? Readers have said they love Boot Camp Bride for the sparky dialogue between drop-dead gorgeous hero Rafa Fonseca-Ffinch and my up-for-anything heroine Charlie Montague.
Try a free sample here – and make up your own mind.
If you fancy a romance set in Chicago and small town America, look no further than Take Me, I’m Yours. I loved writing this novelo because it took me to a different place and reminded me of the five weeks I spent in Wisconsin researching it. I loved that one reviewer saw it as a modern day Romeo and Juliet trope where an ancient family feud gets in the way of lover Logan and India.
Next up my Scottish novels
What can I tell you about these? Only that I love visiting my home country for inspiration each summer and can’t wait to get in front of the pc and start writing. What fires my imagination? The scenery, the history, the hauntingly beautiful setting of loch and castle and the arduous task of dreaming up another to-die-for hero in a kilt. What’s not to like? Tall, Dark and Kilted was my debut novel and readers still sigh over Ruairi Urquhart. Follow the link, read and extract and check out some of the 112 reviews.
In Scotch on the Rocks I feature a very naughty parrot, a hunky American who raises more questions than my heroine can answer, a crazy raft of secondary characters who nearly ran away with the novel. Read an extract, check the reviews and see what you think. You won’t be disappointed.
Who could resist reading about a disgraced academic forced to hide away in a Scottish castle while she figures out how to restore her tarnished reputation. Not me. When writing Girl in the Castle I felt compelled to add a penniless laird with a tragic past and a Jacobite treasure just waiting got be found. Read the extract to find out what happens to Henriette Bruar. .
So, what does 2020 hold in store?
Once the festive season is over and the baubles have been packed away I’ll get down to finishing I’LL BE IN SCOTLAND – Highland Brides book 4 and, hopefully, publish in the summer. So fire up your kindle and download my novels while they’re hot. They won’t be this price again for a l-o-n-g time. And I never give them away for FREE (except on #KU). Have a great Christmas, kick back and enjoy the holidays and see you in the new year.
By the way, if you prefer a paperback click here. I sell my paperbacks from my website at way below the amazon price AND you get a personalised bookplate and bookmark. And, if you do download one of my novels and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon – it really helps an indie author to get her name out there.
As an indie author it’s important for word of my books to get out there. If I don’t go the extra mile to promote my novels, no one else will. So – how do I achieve this I hear you ask?
I achieve this by accepting invitations to appear at book fairs, signings, author talks or library visits. I use these events to create blog posts and promos which I disseminate via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and two retweeting groups I belong to. This could be viewed as casting my bread upon the water in the vain hope that the fish will bite. However, I find that getting my name out there in a variety of ways reaps dividends.
Here are some of my top tips
There are many social media sites and they can be a real time suck, taking you away from your WIP. Experiment to find which ones work for you. I focus on: Facebook (personal, author page, groups) Twitter, Instagram and my website/blog. I also belong to many Facebook ‘groups’, it takes a little time to figure out which ones work get little or no traffic, so don’t be afraid to leave a group if you’re getting nothing from it. LIfe’s too short.
Increase your social media presence
As a result of increasing my social media presence I have been invited to appear in Writers’ Magazine (blog tours – 2018), Writers Forum (my writing space – 2019) De Montfort University to lecture final year creative writing students, library visits, author talks and workshops. One word of warning – book sales are not always guaranteed so do check in advance that you will be paid for the talk, be offered petrol expenses and whether or not the venue will want 10% of your book sales. Yes, really (!)
Get out and about
I believe that my books deserve to be brought to the attention of the largest number of readers possible so I canvass different venues to see if they would like a visit from an indie author, or authors in the case of New Romantics Press. So far, I/we’ve appeared at Aspinalls of London, Waterstones Kensington High Street and hosted literary lunches at top Leicestershire venues to raise money for charity.
Keep your author bio, author photo, links etc up to date. Be organised, you don’t want to be hunting around for an excerpt of your novel when an outside agency approaches you. Invest in a mobile phone capable of taking decent photos and syncs with your computer.
Join author groups where you can learn from others. I’ve been a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association since 2006 and co-organise the Leicester Chapter with June Kearns. What I’ve learned from other authors has been invaluable. I used to belong to local writing groups where members critiqued each other’s work. They didn’t work for me, but they might work for you.
Don’t be afraid to enter competitions, but choose wisely as they can be time suckage, too. Remember to publicise the good bits which you’re happy to share and project a positive image of yourself and your novels.
Once you’re published and have proven sales, join professional groups such as the Society of Authors. It might not do much to raise your profile in the short term but offers invaluable professional advice on contracts, tax matters. Using the #SOA tag on your profile identifies you as a serious writer.
Remember your fellow authors
Make friends, be generous to other writers but don’t expect them to always return the favour. Invite authors on to your blog, ‘like’ any blogs you read and (if time allows) leave a comment. Read and review their books (don’t be afraid to ask them to do the same for you). Retweet authors in your genre, like their posts on Instagram etc. A good time for this is via your mobile phone when you’re watching tv (!) Remember the USA doesn’t come on line until (roughly) 3pm.
Be ready for opportunities
Over the past two years I’ve been offered an Amazon Prime Deal and an Amazon Kindle Deal in India. The former arrived via email when I was in John O’Groats on a research trip and I had to respond straight away. See what I mean about always having your phone with you, always being alert?!
I’m currently waiting to be accepted on the Women’s Institute and Rotaract circuit where I will talk about writing, travels in our caravan, I’ve just signed up to Kindlepreneur and downloaded software to hone my tags and categories more effectively and increase my novels’ visibility on Amazon. The learning never stops.
AND FINALLY . . .
If I’m allowed a small boast (it’s my blog – right?) I’d love to share the article in WRITER’S FORUM where I talk about my writing space. Quite an achievement for an indie author.
So – good luck with all your enterprises. Don’t wait for luck to strike, go out and make it happen. And, if you see me on social media, do ‘like’ and ‘share’ my posts – I always pay it forward.
Slainte Mhath –
Posted in Lizzie's Scribbles
Tags: Adrienne Vaughan, Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley, De Montfort University, Jilly Cooper, Kate Hardy, Kindlepreneur, Lizzie Lamb author, Melinda Hammonds, Narbeth Book Fair, Romantic Novelists' Association, Rosie Hendry, social media presence, Society of Authors, Sue Moorcroft, time suckage, Writer's Forum, Writers' Magazine