Just wanted to alert readers in the USA that you can join in an ebook giveaway of my forthcoming historical novel, THE SAPPHIRE CHILD, from now until 7th December!
I feel very honoured to be one of six on the shortlist for the Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel of the Year Award … for my novel IN THE FAR PASHMINA MOUNTAINS
The Romantic Novelists Association will be holding an awards evening in London on 4th March to announce the winners of the various romance categories ….!
Excited to say that my new historical novel, IN THE FAR PASHMINA MOUNTAINS, is available now as an Amazon First Reads choice in the UK and Australia at a pre-publication price of 99p! (for Kindle ebook)
Or if you have an Amazon Prime membership you can download it during September for free! Or buy the paperback for £3.99
Here is the link for Amazon.UK
And the link for Amazon.Australia
For those in the US – Goodreads.com are giving away 100 copies of THE GIRL FROM THE TEA GARDEN from now until 5th December.
My new India Tea Series novel is launching on 6th December
In the dying days of the Raj, Anglo-Indian schoolgirl Adela Robson dreams of a glamorous career on the stage. When she sneaks away from school in the back of handsome Sam Jackman’s car, she knows a new life awaits—but it is not the one she imagined.
In Simla, the summer seat of the Raj government, Adela throws herself into all the dazzling entertainments 1930s Indian society can offer a beautiful debutante. But just as her ambitions seem on the cusp of becoming reality, she meets a charming but spoilt prince, setting in motion a devastating chain of events.
The outbreak of the Second World War finds Adela back in England—a country she cannot remember—without hope or love, and hiding a shameful secret. Only exceptional courage and endurance can pull her through these dark times and carry her back to the homeland of her heart.
It began with a vodka bottle (not mine) delaying my train – the guard announced that a bottle had got stuck in the door. “It’s not the first time I’ve been defeated by a bottle of vodka,” he announced, “and it probably won’t be the last!”
But vodka trains and a tube strike didn’t stop me from getting to London and my first Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Conference (although I’ve been a member for years) which was a great event. Three days of action-packed talks, workshops and socialising – wow, do romantic novelists know how to party – the temperatures in and out of the conference halls in East London soared!
A small sample of fascinating things learned:
Customer profile at WH Smith Travel shops is 50/50 male-female, and largely professionals; 7 out of 20 current top titles have the female sex in their titles, eg girl, woman, female name etc. (info from Fiction Buyer Matt Bates)
Kingsford Campbell is a new literary agency, combining traditional author representation with marketing campaigns (info from former Bookseller reviewer, Sarah Broadhurst @S_Broadhurst)
How to get editors excited! Gillian Green of Ebury (@GillianGreenEd) loves a snappy ‘elevator pitch’ – best one at a recent acquisition meeting was, ‘Robinson Crusoe set on Mars’ !!
Online book reviewers – Lovereading want a review to be a “piece of passion” not boring publishing blurb; The Little Reader Library and The Worm Hole have an open author policy (ie will read self-published books too) – Charlie at Worm Hole loves anything about history or castles while Lindsay at LRL prefers to read print but will review ebooks too. Anna at We Love This Book (run by the trade magazine The Bookseller) must be wowed by the first page in deciding what to review and won’t take self-published.
Multiple genre author, Jane Holland (@janeholland1 who writes under an impressive dozen or so different names!) suggests setting up a different social media profile and brand for each pseudonym – she uses Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pintrest, Linkedin, Instagram, You Tube – and don’t forget which ‘author’ you are when posting to your fans! Use a quote from your book on a promotional card or a picture to conjure up the brand.
Reader Insight – the use of statistics and info on readers garnered from social media – Kate Harrison (@KateWritesBooks) opened up a brave new world where sales rankings, Amazon page reads, web page visits, YouGov profiles, Goodreads reviews can all be used to build up a profile of your ideal reader – their likes, brands, hobbies. Then go and interact with them and give them what they want!
Marketing guru, Alison Baverstock (@alisonbav) told us about planning a marketing strategy – it’s an ongoing process from developing relationships with readers on social media to organising review coverage of a new book – “tempt but don’t tell too much or they won’t want to buy it!”
Affinity Marketing = linking two products that go well together, eg books and chocolate!
Urine in medieval times was a sought after resource (there is nothing we authors won’t discuss!) – used in bleaching, tanning, shrinking cloth and dyes. This was just one of the facts learnt in an entertaining hour on historical research led by Joanna Hickson (@joannahickson) and Jenny Barden (@jennywilldoit).
Best of all were the meet ups, chats, gossip and laughter with fellow writers – both with friends from the Border Reivers Chapter in Northumberland and with new friends made at the conference. Big Thanks to Jan Jones (@janjonesauthor)for carrying out the mammoth task of organising the conference so well and to Kate (@katyhaye)for looking after the ‘newbies’ with our special sparkly badges.
Roll on next year!
Kindle readers are giving the thumbs up to a box-set of Janet’s North-East historical novels – and have pushed the compilation up to Number 4 in Historical Romance!
‘Excellent. Well written. Keeps the reader interested.’
‘Very true to life on Tyneside – loved them – all three.’
They helped one reader pass the time when laid up – while another went early to bed to read them!
This is what they are about:
3 dramatic tales of passionate women: pretty Clara fighting her way out of ’30s poverty falls for bad boy Vinnie [A Handful of Stars]; Millie escaping a shameful past, dreams of riches [Chasing the Dream]; fun loving Joe uncovers dark family secrets and makes sacrifices for love [For Love and Glory]. Set in momentous mid 20th century Britain with heartwarming heroines, the stories stir all the emotions.
‘I’ve given 5 stars because I enjoyed reading all three books. Nicely written and very interesting story lines. I will definitely look for other books by this writer.’
‘Couldn’t put down – will look for more like this – great value.’
The box-set is available on Amazon UK at: http://amzn.to/1DlDoxS (as well as all other Amazon sites and on Kobo)