I have rather a different post for you all today packed with tips and helpful advice from author of bestselling novel The Abandoned, Sharon Thompson.
In deciding what to write about for #IrishWritersWed, a writing colleague suggested to Sharon that she might consider, as an idea, writing about her own experiences as a writer and how her book The Abandoned made it to the position of #1 Bestseller on the first day of it’s release, an incredible feat!
Sharon feels very passionately about making connections and relationships with her readers and her suggestions here today may give all writers, book bloggers and readers, both new and established, some ideas and food-for-thought going forward.
Of course Sharon did mention that ‘you do need to write all the time too.’
I’ll hand you over to Sharon now…
How I Reached out to Readers as a Debut Author
by Sharon Thompson
How did my debut crime novel ‘The Abandoned’ make #1 Best-seller on Amazon Kindle, on the day of its release?
Honestly – I don’t know. I do have a great publisher and excellent local and family support, but I work hard to reach readers.
My family is emotionally blackmailed into purchasing. Every friend is cajoled into sharing my links.
But…. fellow writers are definitely my unwavering supporters. I always reach out to those published/unpublished, those with blogs or the many people starting out. Writers tend to understand my anxious waiting, the nail-biting when opening emails, the horrid internal screaming while reading reviews. They counsel me. We help each other and we truly expect nothing in return. (You all know who you are. Thank you x)
I started out on this writing path, by joining an online writing group called Imagine, Write, Inspire under the mentorship of Harper Collins author, Carmel Harrington. In this private space, we support each other, applaud each others’ triumphs and bolster one another for the inevitable rejections. Carmel kindly made it a free forum. It still empowers me to move forward and submit my work. I join other writing pages online and try to be an active participant.
One of the best things I ever did was start a trending, writing tweet-chat #WritersWise, with Dr Liam Farrell. We welcome writers and readers alike, to discuss topics with knowledgeable guest-hosts, on selected Thursday evenings 9-10pm GMT.
We aim to give writers as wide an audience as possible, while supporting each other and interacting with readers. It is also FREE. Everyone is encouraged to self-promote, network and learn from each other.
#WritersWise is a must for all emerging/established writers looking to make genuine and friendly connections. Following like minded people is easy and doesn’t cost anything.
Information and advice is freely given, check out www.writerswise1.wordpress.com and our next chat is 26th April.
Woman’s Words is my Donegal Woman column, on Sundays.
You may have guessed that there is no charge to read my quirky pieces here.
Local writing/book clubs and book launches are free events. They bolster all writers, not just the author of the moment. (BUT I do push the boat out and buy the book at a launch and get it signed!) I love attending and mingling in writers’ and book groups too.
I send emails and tweets to other readers and writers. (I joke that I’m a ‘friendly stalker’). I write reviews for books and try be constructive and kind. Bloggers and book reviewers are so generous to me. This post being a prime example.
Book bloggers share my novel with all their followers, for a ‘thank you’. I hope I did thank them all? We have a comprehensive list of blogs on our #WritersWise website. If anyone would like their blog/website included on Bloggers-blogs-websites please let us know.
Although only starting out myself, I try to bite the bullet and write resources for other sites, like here for eg. Writing.ie/resources – How long does it take to write a book.
#Indulgeinbooks is my column on the stylish, online woman’s magazine Indulgeme.ie
It’s difficult to pick just six new publications each month. As it is so popular now, I will have also have a long-list of monthly releases on my own website. If Irish publishers/authors have publications they need promoted please get in touch with me @sharontwriter.
You will find this long-list on May 1st, here http://www.sharontwriter.com/blog/ and every month thereafter. It will be alongside my free blog posts.
If people subscribe to my website, they receive a regular digital magazine. Click on sharontwriter.com and subscribe at the bottom of most pages. Add and confirm your email address. I aim to introduce you to new books, authors and industry people, while you flick through photos and nice graphics.
Here is the first edition and trial Free Writing Booklet
The Reader Involvement Project is on my writing Facebook page. This is where trusted readers can give feedback on early drafts of some of my manuscripts. If readers would like to be involved, please feel free to enquire.
We started reading snippets of a mystery romance, but I aim to launch new readers into drafts of my gritty crime novels.
Here is link to my writing facebook page.
Thank you for inviting me onto your website, Mairead. I hope this helps fellow writers and is of interest to readers.
Website ~ http://www.sharontwriter.com/
Peggy Bowden has not had an easy life. As a teenager, her mother was committed to an asylum and then a local priest forced her into an abusive marriage. But when her husband dies in an accident Peggy sees an opportunity to start again and trains as a midwife.
In 1950s Dublin it is not easy for a woman to make a living and Peggy sees a chance to start a business and soon a lucrative maternity home is up and running.
But when Peggy realizes that the lack of birth control is an issue for women, she uses their plight as a way to make more money. Very soon Peggy is on the wrong side of the law.
What makes a woman decide to walk down a dark path? Can Peggy ever get back on the straight and narrow? Or will she have to pay for her crimes?
Set against the backdrop of Ireland in the 1950’s The Abandoned tells the story of one woman’s fight for survival and her journey into the underbelly of a dangerous criminal world.
Purchase Link (Currently 99p) ~ The Abandoned