I guess like many aspiring authors (although not all) I set out this time last year with a dream to eventually become traditionally-published. I decided to go one step further and make a plan:
1. Write a book that I thought had potential
2. Self-publish it
3. Promote it, create an author platform and build a readership
4. Write another book
5. Send the new book, plus a summary of what I’d achieved to an agent
The plan didn’t extend further than that. To be honest, I thought I was pushing my luck with trying to accomplish that lot! In fact in March 2013, I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to write a book, let alone one with potential!
As well as writing, last year I spent a lot of time following the endeavours of self-published authors, in particular Kirsty Greenwood, Annabel Scott, Rachael Lucas and Joanne Phillips. I began to notice a trend; here were self-published authors whose approach was as professional as traditionally-published authors, from their websites, writing, book covers and social media presence.
This gave me massive encouragement.
In May last year I booked my place for the second year running at the Festival of Writing (York University every September.) By this time, I had identified an agent who I very much wanted to represent me. As part of the Festival package, each delegate receives two face to face meetings with an agent or publisher of their choice. But despite my early-ish booking, the agent I had stalked identified was already fully booked.
I’m proud to say that by December last year, I had pretty much ticked off points 1-5 in the list above. The second book was written and I sent it off to The Agent.
The lovely book blogger, Sharon Wilden invited me to take part in her Countdown to Christmas on December 15th on her blog and asked me to complete a Q & A.
YES! I am delighted to announce that last week, Hannah Ferguson from The Marsh Agency became my literary agent. I’m thrilled to be working with her and so excited to see what 2014 brings. Of course, I’m still not traditionally-published, but I feel a new plan coming on…
Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm, The Lemon Tree Cafe and A Vintage Summer. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and Pearl, the Cockerpoo.
Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Now she thinks she may have found her dream job.