5

How can I support a book?

I have had lots of questions from lovely family and friends about how best they can support my book when it’s published, and books in general! So I thought I would write a blog post to help everyone spread the word about books they have loved.

Buy, Buy, Buy!!

Obviously the main way you can support an author is to buy their book! Pre-orders are really helpful because they help retailers decide how many copies to order into their stores, they can raise a book’s ranking on sites like Amazon so the site might place the book in a more prominent position and they also help publishers see how well a book might do and they might promote it even more as a result!

If you can afford to then buying more than one copy and gifting it to friends and family is a great way to raise sales and also spread the word about the book. Which leads us nicely to the next thing you can do to help …

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Tell the world!!

If you’ve enjoyed a book then the best thing you can do is tell people about it! So, let’s talk reviews. Reviews are REALLY important because they help people make buying decisions but they also make a book more visible. Let’s use Amazon as an example – once a book achieves a certain number of reviews (I think it might be 20 plus) then they make the book more visible on their site so they might suggest it to people when they buy something similar or they might include it in their recommendation emails. It’s like the saying that money makes money – the more reviews and sales a book has, the more it will likely get!

So, you can leave a review on the site you bought the book on (Waterstones, Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, WH Smith all let you leave reviews), or if you have a Goodreads account you can leave one there, if you’re a book blogger you will post on your own site or a simple tweet or Facebook status or Instagram photo of the book can do so much to make the book more visible online. The more people see a book being well received, the more likely they are to want to read it for themselves. I buy so many books based on people I follow on Twitter talking about it – it really works.

Word-of-mouth is still probably the best way that book can reach the bestseller lists. If you love a book – tell the world that you love it!

Help others buy!!

The more visible a book is, the more people will discover it so you can help by going into your local bookshop and suggesting they order it in because you loved it, for example. If you’re a bookseller yourself, then making a prominent display or inviting the author to sign copies / do an event is a brilliant way of helping the book be a big success!

Another really helpful thing you can do is visit your local library and ask them to order it in so people can borrow it as well.

If you’re in a book club then suggest your group reads that book one month. This means more copies sold but also more people talking about it too.

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Show the author!!

A lovely way of showing your support for a book is to keep your eyes peeled for it and then take pictures. Authors love seeing their book ‘out in the wild’ so if you spot the book in a bookshop or a supermarket or at a train station or airport then take a picture! Then you can share the photo on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc so show how excited you were to spot it.

The same goes for author interviews in the press or if you see the book being reviewed in a magazine or newspaper. Telling the author you’ve seen it will be really appreciated. Plus you’ll be showing your family and friends that you’re not the only one who loves this book!

And don’t forget a simple message to the author telling them that you loved their book will no doubt make their day!

Do you guys have any other ideas for supporting a book?

Victoria

xoxo

 

 

4

Journey to publication (part 4)

We are now in publication year hurrah!! We are getting very close now guys *nervous excited nervous excited face*

2016 started on a really high note as The Second Love Of My Life was featured in Heat magazine as one of the books of the year to look out for. To say I was over the moon about this is an understatement. There’s my little book hanging out in Heat:

  
Still taking it in that this happened to be honest. 

 
The new year meant review copies could go out to bloggers too. I have loved seeing everyone share photos of them arriving and seeing the excitement online to read them.
  
In fact, there has already been a review for The Second Love Of My Life on Goodreads! And it was a lovely five star review. Year made already! I am though really nervous about reviews. I keep being told not to read any and that is really hard not to do but I definitely see why that advice exsists. I just really hope people will enjoy reading it and all the hard work put into it will pay off. I just have to remember I’m proud of this book and having it out there in the world is an achievement in itself.

Just three months to go now eeeeekkkkkkkk!!!!! Any advice for me as publication approaches??

Victoria

xoxo 

4

2015 – a year in books

For the first time in 2015 I decided to list all the books I read each month and pick my favourite one. It was really interesting keeping track of what I was reading and has provided me a list of my twelve favourite books of the year.

  
Looking at the twelve confirms that I enjoy a wide range of books and this has definitely become more the case since working at Waterstones as I choose books I never would have picked up before. 

  
My favourite books are ones that I enjoyed but also ones that inspired me or ones I had a strong emotional reaction too. Some were easy to pick but some months I loved all the books I read so it was a harder task.

I enjoyed the challenge though and it’s really interesting to see look back at the twelve books that made the biggest impact on me in 2015.

  
I don’t tend to read a lot of non-fiction but I loved both WILD and BIG MAGIC this year so I will definitely be looking out for more in 2016.

In terms of fiction I think the two books that I’m still thinking about the most are A LITTLE LIFE and STATION ELEVEN. 

So now I need to decide whether to write about the books I’m reading each month in 2016. What do you guys think? And what books stood out for you in 2015?

Victoria

xoxo 

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Books read in December 2015

Books read in the last month of 2015 were:

  
Nancy Mitford  – The Pursuit Of Love

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Oh, the tedium of waiting to grow up! Longing for love, obsessed with weddings and sex, Linda and her sisters and cousin Fanny are on the lookout for the perfect lover.

But finding Mr Right is much harder than any of the sisters had thought. Linda must suffer marriage first to a stuffy Tory MP and then to a handsome and humourless communist, before finding real love in war-torn Paris. . .

Rebecca Raisin – A Gingerbread Cafe Christmas 

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Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for and Lil has every recipe down, from gingerbread men to cinnamon muffins. So when gorgeous outsider Damon opens a shop opposite The Gingerbread Café in the lead up to Christmas, Lil refuses to let him steal her customers without a fight – no matter how much he makes her heart flutter.

When it comes to love, Lil’s never quite got the method right! But as the snow begins to fall, it looks like this time deviating from the recipe might just lead Lil to the magic ingredient she’s been missing all along…

Victoria Aveyard – Glass Sword

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If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different. Mare’s blood is Red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Book of the month:

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Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process – and showing us all just how easy it can be.

By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.

Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.

Big Magic is a must read for anyone wanting to live a creative life – I think it would be useful whatever stage of the creative process you’re at. I found it really inspiring and it confirmed a lot of things I thought about writing and I found myself nodding along with Ms Gilbert. Let’s face it we all suffer with self doubt and this book is really helpful with how to deal with it and shake it off. I think it’s a book I will return to whenever I feel unsure about my writing (which will likely be a lot!)

What did you enjoy reading in December?

Victoria

xoxo

2

Welcome to 2016 

It’s that time of year when we all take stock of what’s happened over the past twelve months and think about what we would like to happen over the next twelve. 

2015 was the year of having a book deal. It felt like it would never happen but then it was here and there wasn’t much time to let it sink in because the process of getting ready for publication began.

  
It felt as if I would be waiting forever for 2016 to arrive but here it is. The months of editing and preparing the book have flown by and now there is just single figure months to go. 

The work put into the book this year has made me more confident about myself as a writer and editor. Having a book deal has made me believe in myself more but I don’t think I will ever lose that self doubt that us writers have, and actually that’s okay. It means I am still passionate about what I’m doing. It means I’m putting my heart and soul into my writing and that will always be scary.

  
I am so excited to see my book out there in the wild – all the years of work that has gone into it will be so worth it when I hold my finished book in my hands. I will also be nervous to know what people think of it, seeing reviews, and the dreaded the sales figures. I just want to make sure I remind myself of how good getting that book deal felt when I’m inevitably caught up in publication day madness. 

I am a worrier. I have made not worrying so much a resolution in years gone past. But I accept now that’s not going to happen. I just need to remember to think positive thoughts alongside the worrisome ones, and accept that there are some things I can’t control or change no matter how anxious I am about them.

  
I am determined to enjoy the publication process even though it will be nerve wracking. This has been my dream for a long time after all. 

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year and I hope 2016 is everything you want it to be!

Victoria 

xoxo

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Merry Christmas

  
A really quick post to say thank you to you lovely lot for all your support in 2015! This year has flown by and I’m so excited to share more of publication journey with you when 2016 arrives and I can finally say “my novel is being published THIS year!”

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year! And Harry sends you all a hearty meow too :)

  
See you on the other side! 

Lots of Christmas love,

Victoria

xoxo

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Books read in November 2015

  

Jill Mansell – Three Amazing Things About You

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Hallie has a secret. She’s in love. He’s perfect for her in every way, but he’s seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren’t going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn’t have long to live. Time is running out…

Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won’t be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends – let alone anything more.

Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she’s afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.

THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she’s about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Colleen Hoover – November 9

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Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon – and simultaneously his novel – be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Anne Tyler – A Spool Of Blue Thread

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‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’

This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that summer’s day in 1959. The whole family on the porch, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before.

From that porch we spool back through the generations, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define the family. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century – four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their home…

Huntley Fitzpatrick – My Life Next Door

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The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them…until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Book of the month:

Jessica Knoll – The Luckiest Girl Alive

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Ani FaNelli is the woman who has it all: the glamorous job, the designer wardrobe, the handsome and rich fiancé. But behind her sharp edges and meticulously crafted facade lies the darkest of pasts . . .

When a documentary producer invites Ani to tell her side of the chilling and violent incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Bradley school, she hopes it will be an opportunity to prove how far she’s turned her life around since then. She’ll even let the production company film her lavish wedding, the final step in her transformation.

But as the wedding and filming converge, Ani’s past threatens to come back and haunt her. And as her immaculate veneer starts to crack, she is forced to question: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for – or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

This book has a unique voice – Ani’s first person commentary is vivid and draws you in from the first page but there will be points where you really dislike her, points where you think ‘uh-oh I think like that too’ and as her past unravels, moments where you will realise why she is the way she is and have great sympathy for her. Ani’s past is a dark and tragic one and there are a fair few shocking moments as the story unfolds.

The novel has been pitched as a thriller but I found it to be more of a dark and compelling coming-of-age story. It was a page turner definitely and a complex character study. PREP meets GONE GIRL. It’s due to be made into a film by Reese Wetherspoon and I hope it keeps it’s bite when it transitions from book to movie.

What was your favourite read this month?

Victoria

xoxo