Launch day!

It’s been just over a week since The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau was officially launched. I say officially launched as it had been on pre-order for quite a while online, had been available in Hatchard’s bookshop in London for a couple of weeks and I had been previewed in a couple of magazines, such as¬†Town and Country in the preceding weeks. I’d like to say that launch day was all bells and whistles, balloons and cake, however the reality was a bit different, although I did receive some lovely flowers from my family and dinner out with my husband. As an author I really didn’t know what to expect from launch day but, as one friend pointed out, launches today are probably quite a bit different to how they were a few years ago before online sales were so dominant. I think now unless you are a well-known author with an established readership who are eagerly waiting for the next book, then your launch day as such will be more of a soft launch rather than a big event. My advice to authors who haven’t been published yet, is don’t expect too much! Publishers are increasingly stretched and although they do a brilliant job in the lead up, unless you are a “big name” then there is very little left in terms of resources for first time authors to have a fancy launch. One of the questions I was constantly being asked by friends in the lead up was, “What are you doing on the day?” and “Are you having a launch party”. My answer was always to mumble that I didn’t know or I hadn’t decided yet. In truth, for me launch day was just like any other day really, except the kids were off school on half term, so we got up a bit later, played, did some house bits and bobs and I tried not to obsessively check Amazon for reviews! I did receive this alternative cover art from my daughter, which I think is rivalling the beautiful cover that Transatlantic has at the moment:

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On the whole the reception to the book has been really positive. I’ve written pieces for the Sunday Telegraph and The Lady magazine and been featured in online magazine Standard Issue talking about Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers. The book has been picked as one of Stylist magazine’s books of the month and it has been getting some good reviews on social media and on Amazon. What that all means in terms of its overall success I don’t know but despite no champagne corks popping or glamorous parties, this author is happy to finally say it’s out there. And at the moment, that is a dream come true!

 

 

 

 

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How to become a published author

I’m obviously not an expert on being a published author, after all I’m only just publishing my first book, but I was thrilled to give Psychologies Magazine the benefit of my experience for this article¬†. It takes you through the journey I went on to finally secure a publishing deal and the obstacles I faced along the way. For non-fiction books I would say the main one was trying to get publishers to take on a project that researched women who aren’t widely known among the general public. Even though over the years I have come across many interesting women who I thought were worthy of further attention, I was often met with resistance from the sales and marketing departments of publishing houses who told me that they would be a “hard sell” to book shops and readers. Equally, I was told that publishers also want to publish books that are new and different but familiar – as an author this is very hard to achieve. However, after many false starts I managed to garner enough interest in Minnie Paget and her buccaneers to secure a deal. It wasn’t easy to find the right women but I hope when people read their story they will be as interested in them as I was.