How do other people manage to set up their personal websites? It is easy enough with WordPress to get a basic site up and running. But it has taken me days and days to work out how to get social media buttons onto the sidebar of this one. I fly about between screens, chasing URLs and passwords and old memos in the deep caverns of my computer and among the loose notes and notebooks on my desk. The worst of it is that I cannot reward myself with a glass of wine at six o’clock. I’m trying to lower blood pressure through diet rather than medication, so no alcohol for a while.
All these tussles and puzzles need to be gone through in order to regain my mojo for writing. I want to find new readers for the kind of fiction I like to write. In the past when I was lucky enough to be published by mainstream publishers, I received lots of good reviews. I can see no reason why there aren’t a number of readers out there who would enjoy my last three novels. But how can we find each other?
I’ve given up on getting any response from agents or publishers, and am now swimming in the crowded ocean of self-publishers, most of whom – or so it seems to me – write fantasy fiction of one sort or another, with an anything-goes kind of attitude to writing standards.
If anyone who happens to read this and is in the same situation as I am – a writer of literary fiction who has been published in the past by mainstream publishers – do please get in touch.

How to be your own PRO

I’m just at the beginning of this lesson.   I’m not even sure if the job title is still Publicity Relations Officer.  But I have learnt one or two things since I began hoping to sell my books this autumn.

First of all, it’s necessary to have the confidence that what you are selling is worth selling.  This is not easy when it is your own work.

It’s like looking in the mirror.  Do you count the lines on your forehead? Those will surely have increased just by looking at them with a critical eye.  Those of us who regard our own image with lasting satisfaction are few and far between.  The same applies to writing.  Of course it’s right to be self-critical while you are doing the writing.  But if you want to sell your own book, then you have to squash that impish little self-doubting critic and concentrate on what is good.

The next imp that jumps in is the one who tells us not to boast.  I wonder if this imp pesters people of my (elderly) generation more than others.  I know I was brought up not to draw attention to myself.  This attitude is a severe disadvantage if you want to sell your work.

But an advantage we have nowadays is the way we can easily communicate with the world without leaving the safety of our own rooms.  I have decided to run an advertising campaign on LinkedIn.  I’ve placed an ad, with the image of the cover of “A Home from Home”, on a pay per click basis.  Clicks will come through to this website, but will any click on this site result in another click to the Amazon page of the novel?  And will that further click result in a sale?  It seems a long chance.

My early career as an advertising copywriter prompted me to write FREE in big letters in the headline.  The only thing I could offer free was the ebook edition on Kindle Unlimited.  So no royalties there.  But it may bring me new readers.  And that’s my biggest aim.

Malpractice and mayhem in a care home - and the elderly residents triumph.

Malpractice and mayhem in a care home – and the elderly residents triumph.