Saturday, May 29, 2010



Apologies for absence. Have had head down writing the next book in a concentrated way. Complete and gone now for its final proof read. It's the ebook which started here on this blog when I was getting in such a tangle with the technicalities of creating a cover and inserting stills and losing graphics and all the rest.

It's called (deep breath):

How To Publish an Ebook On A Budget. An Author's Guide to the Cheap Yet Professional Way of Getting Your Writing Up For Sale on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Your Own Website.

As with Done &Dusted, there'll be a free preview copy for you here very soon.

I've also started a separate blog dedicated to ebooks called The UK Ebook Blog.

Meantime spring has turned into summer,  and the balcony has turned into a bit of an aviary. 

The two robins have been bringing their 2 squeaking, demanding babies. We have several blackbirds - more timid than Mrs friendly Fat from last year but one has started chancing it inside. As have the robins who flit about the place as if they own it. The gardens below back on to a big garden square so it really is a bit of a bird city. There was a piece on Radio 4 the other day analysing the bird tweets behind the Cameron/Clegg garden press conference. Turns out that town birds do actually sing louder than country birds.

And, just in the garden, a woodpecker.

There are also a lot of Jays around this year, I counted 4 on famous author next door's tree the other day: Jays in J's garden. Talking of whom, there's been some INCREDIBLY exciting news in from one of my writing group friends I'm not allowed to breathe a word about yet but can't wait to share.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


All of a sudden London's full of elephants.

Every way you turn there's another one.

Each one's been been painted by a local or international artist.  They're all going to auction at the end of the exhibition to raise funds to help fight the extinction of the Asian elephant.

That's the Hempel Hotel. A great place to go for the free exhibition which tells you all about it if you happen to be London way. All happening here at the moment of course, or not happening. As I write we still have no government and politicians of all parties are scuttling around in the tunnels under Westminster going from one whispering meeting to the next. I quite fancied joining in on the proportional representation rally last weekend, a part of politics I actually feel quite passionate about. If nothing else this interlude will have motivated a lot of sideline slumberers like myself.

Back in ebook world, Wellbeing Magazine have published an extract from my ebook and top consumer blogger Penny Golightly has not only given it a lovely review, she's launched a Done & Dusted  competition! Tomorrow afternoon I have another radio interview, this time for BBC Ulster. I've to go into the West End (yippee more elephants) to Western House, home of BBC Radio 2. I'll miss Chris Evans, or is he still away? Oh, no, Graham Norton, one of my favourite people in the whole world. Maybe I can get there early and hover.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting,  come again soon.

Thursday, May 06, 2010



Daughter has orthodontist's this morning so it's a late start to school run. Switched computer on ready to get a good hour in on the first copy edit of the How To book to see email in from my agent.

Copyright, corporate confidentiality or whatever it is stops me from telling  you exactly what it says but the first word is


Then the praise bit:

original, gently humorous

Then there's a 


- means it went to the next post of editor sharing with a colleague. Then

shared her concern

and then a glimmer

like overall concept 

followed by the


naming the 3 authors they're seeking to grow ambitiously they felt I might get  slightly lost alongside. 

Sigh sigh sigh.

It's been so long since I've had a rejection I'd forgotten the emotion involved. I really shouldn't feel so bad as so many good things are happening elsewhere but it really feels like a kick in the teeth. Could have been the stinging feeling when reading the names of the chosen ones, but probably moreso because it was the editor I met who was so excited about signing me, talking about a career way into the future with a 4-book deal. Scuppered that time by her previous publisher's sales team. I liked her so much and it's all come to nothing.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

And then

Tuesday, May 04, 2010



Not writing isn't strictly true. Have been on the non-fiction on and off: column pieces for the newspaper and finishing off the new ebook, How To Publish An Ebook On a Budget - An Author's Guide (exclusive preview coming to this blog very soon now). I was writing about it all as it happened but the process got so involved it became impossible.

The first UK press coverage comes out later this week and a top consumer blogger is running a competition to win a copy of the book.  I'll also be popping up on an interesting new website which launches any day now with a brand new profile, written with the help of publicist. Very helpful when you're trying to sum up your working life without sounding like a brag-all. We've been racing to keep up with events these past few weeks and I'm delighted to announce that Emma Boden-Lee is now my business partner and co-owner of  Our talents seem to dovetail really well, she's not only stylish, creative, great at publicity (the KEY to so much, I learn, 7 years on in the game) and a really good writer herself, but is a whizz at all the business negotiaty stuff.  She can say No to people!

My old non-fiction editor at Hamlyn is now our Associate Editor.  Sarah Tomley runs a company of freelance editors called All of them are at Commissioning, Executive or Senior Editor level. It's a real bonus to start off with a firm link to some trusted people from the publishing side. We've got 4 or 5 non-fiction books in the pipeline and I, of course (see last 5 years of this blog), have rather a large backlist of fiction to get out there.

I haven't heard from my agent, who therefore hasn't heard from the editor yet, so am keeping new novel option clear and separate for now.  I think I'm going to republish my first novel first, put my OWN title on it (I always hated that phrase, the character hated it too) and get rid of that cover. It can't be all about me though or it would all be a bit sad. The search for new fiction will start soon after the new website is up and running. One of the criteria we're keen to get across is No Genre! I know there are so many great novels out there that have been loved to distraction by agents and editors but have been turned down because they 'don't fit into a genre', and don't get me started on the opinions of publishers' sales teams.

US  Kindle sales have been slow, E hasn't started on America yet, but suddenly appear to be moving. This morning we were 10 in Consumer Guides, 12 in Cleaning, Caretaking and Relocating and 2 in Homeopathy!

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Monday, May 03, 2010


A lovely short story by JaqH from my writing group:

Smories - The Fiercest Pirate

The Alice in Wonderland illustrations everybody in ebookworld has been raving about:

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.