It has been nearly three months now since I launched Conditional Love and I am still enjoying the newness of everything. So much has happened since I clicked the ‘Publish’ link on Amazon that I thought I should record some of my favourite things in case I forget them:
1. The first time you see your book on a shelf
I knew that I would find Conditional Love in the romance section of Waterstones. I knew it because I had sold them some stock for the Nottingham branch on Bridlesmith Gate. However, seeing the green cover of Conditional Love facing out between books by Hilary Boyd and Fern Britton was so exciting that it was all I could do not to squeal, grab hold of unsuspecting shoppers and drag them over to book shelf!
As it was I restrained myself and got my camera out and took pictures from every angle instead!
At a book signing event in November, I was blown away by the enthusiasm of people who came to see me, either to buy a copy of the book or to tell me how much they had enjoyed it already.
I even had one lady come to see me who had followed the story of my book launch in the telephone book, heard my interview on the radio and had journeyed twenty five miles to meet me and buy her own copy. I was very nervous when I launched Conditional Love and convinced that no one would like it – of course, some people don’t like it, I don’t like every book that I read, why shouldn’t my book be the same – but the response from readers has exceeded my expectations a million times over!
3. Support from other authors
I’ll never forget the time I saw that my book was next to a book by Katie Fforde in the Kindle charts. I tweeted to that effect and seconds later had a tweet back from Katie herself. As an avid reader myself, I was tickled pink by her willingness to engage with me – a totally unknown author. Similarly, I have had fantastic support from best-selling authors such as Miranda Dickinson, Adele Parks, Rachael Lucas, Abby Clements, Joanne Phillips, Poppy Dolan…. The list goes on! My background in industry is PR, I am new to publishing and I can honestly say I have never worked in such a kind and supportive industry such as this and I love it.
4. The generosity of kindness of book bloggers
Although I have worked in PR for many years, I chose not to go down the traditional book review PR route for Conditional Love for several reasons. Firstly time: my book was ready to be published in October but I didn’t have review copies ready until September. This was too late for magazines and newspapers, as they need at least an eight week lead time for a newspaper and three months for a monthly magazine. And I didn’t want to hold the launch of the book back in order to get reviews because, as a self-published author, I knew that in a fiercely competitive market, I would be overlooked in favour of new releases from the big six.
As an alternative strategy, I researched book blog tours and came across Fiction Addiction Book Tours run by Sharon Goodwin, winner of the Romance Blogger of the Year 2013. I booked a fifteen stop blog tour to support the launch of Conditional Love and this was possibly one of my best moves ever! Not only did I connect with fifteen faboulous blogger who have continued to support me long after the end of the tour, but I met additional bloggers in their circle who have asked to feature Conditional Love on their blogs.
The amazing thing about bloggers is that they do this out of love for books and reading not for money but their help is invaluable to the success of authors’ books.
5. Feedback from members of the public
Literally every day, I receive some sort of message, either on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook or on email from readers saying something nice. I really didn’t expect that and it means the world to me to know that someone has read my book and enjoyed it. On Christmas Day I got a tweet from someone who had received a copy of Conditional Love for Christmas, it was one of the highlights of my day!
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.