Sunday, 11 October 2020

The bra fitting

This is me reading an extract from my first novel, This Time Next Year (now available as a free download when you sign up for my newsletter).

Saturday, 3 October 2020

What's your favourite bookshop?

 Hot on the tail of Poetry Day we have Bookshop Day today, October 3rd, so I'd like to introduce you to my two favourite bookshops.

Cover to Cover in Mumbles opened in 1999 and when the owner retired a few years ago it was taken over by Tim Batcup who has managed to make even more of the small space in the shop.

Confession time: I didn't visit Cover to Cover for many years after its original opening because it had opened in direct competition to what was then my favourite bookshop, Charlotte's Web. Before Charlotte's Web closed down I had the pleasure of working there part-time, and we regarded Cover to Cover with disdain as the newcomer on the block.

But now it's under new ownership I'm happy to call in there when I'm in Mumbles - a rare happening since lockdown admittedly.

My other favourite is part of a chain: is that allowed?

Waterstones in Swansea is housed in a magnificent building, the old Carlton Cinema. I used to go there as a child to see the pictures; now I go there for the words. And is it awfully bad to admit that I sometimes note down titles from the bookshop to order from the library?

But the best thing about Waterstones is its Twitter account, or perhaps I should say, its Twitterer. It's not often that a business tweet is entertaining but @swanseastones is well worth a follow. As are @SwanseastoneGuy and @StinkyPondDog.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

The Song of the Mischievous Dog

Today is National Poetry Day. Now I'm not a poet, indeed, I struggle with poetry, but as I happened to be near Cwmdonkin Park, with a little time to spare this morning, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

Why? I hear you asking. And for what?

The why is easy. Because Cwmdonkin Park was the local park for one of Wales' best - or at least best-known - poets. Dylan Thomas lived in a house, that is now open to the public, just around the corner from the park and it features in some of his poems and other writings.

The park today has several Thomas reminders: a wooden statue, a stone memorial, and a new shelter/performance area.

And for what? To put together some images and words from one of his lesser known poems, The Song of the Mischievous Dog.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

My accomplishment for today

There should be a drum roll at the very least. I am, without doubt, King of the Lab (which will only make sense if you watch the forensic crime series, Bones).

If you look to your right you will see there is now a Subscribe here link. Two days it's taken me to do this - and I've only got thus far with a lot of help from Elder Son who-knows-about-these-things. Thank goodness for whatsapp and kind offspring.

It's not exactly as I would like it but for now 'twill do. Writing is a doddle compared to this.

This whole process has made me wonder whether I should have a dedicated author website, which theoretically would give me more freedom - but probably only at a price. Of my sanity of nothing else. I've done a bit of investigating, and they seem to be fairly static affairs, so I am disinclined to waste spend further time on something that isn't ... what's the word? Fluid and alive. 

If you're a writer, do you have an author website? Do you find it helpful? Or does it just sit there and hope for the best?

If like me you're still thinking about it you may like to consider this advice from Writers & Artists.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Something for Nothing!

Sign up for my occasional newsletter and receive a FREE pdf copy of my first novel, This Time Next Year.

No commitment: you can unsubscribe at any time.

But the sequel, This year ... maybe is out in early December so you might want to get up to speed with the adventures of Alison before that! 

Click here to sign up.

Set up a mailing list today

All the marketing/promotion advice sites point in the direction of setting up your own newsletter. How hard can that be? 

I wish I had threepence for each time I say those words - and live to regret it.

Start at the beginning: find an email marketing provider. To do that read up about it. 

Mailchimp and MailLite come out at the top of the charts with MailLite being recommended by the short course I was following. I started the process of signing up and got to the end where they wanted an email address that was linked to my website.

Now I don't have a website as such, only blogs, and this blog is hosted by Blogger. It doesn't seem to be possible to create an email address linked to it. No way to get around it - short of either paying lots of money or completely transferring my blog to a different host.

As my income from writing is rather less than Mr Micawber's, spending money can't really be justified* so I tried Mailchimp instead. 

Here it's creating the account that is the easy bit. After that I've been going around in circles.

Probably some of my problems stem from the fact that when I read technical stuff I bleep over words I don't understand (most of them) and leap straight in, willy nilly. Forget the 'some'; all of my problems could be resolved if I didn't fall for all these headlines that say, 'A Quick and Easy Method to Set up a Mailing List Today!'

What the headline doesn't say is that you have to have a teeny bit of expertise and understanding to grasp the point.

So I've stopped to blog and make a cup of tea. A very British answer to every problem.

*  Could I argue that you have to speculate to accumulate?

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Time for a makeover

 Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources is busy setting up the blog tour for This year ... maybe, so it occurs to me that if I am launching that at the end of November I need to get on with the relaunch of This Time Next Year.

It also occurred to me that I don't know how to do a relaunch.

What do you do when in doubt? Consult Google of course. 

Plenty of websites offering advice on launching a book and I assume the process is the more or less the same for a relaunch. And having speed read one of the articles I am thoroughly daunted.

Must be time for lunch now, so I'll come back to this when I am recharged.

Having done all the hard work of writing a book I do wish it could magically get to the top of the Best Sellers' List without me having to be self-promoting and boring.