April Newsletter

Birthdays, dodgy writing requests & more


This week, family celebrations include my mum’s birthday so a shout-out to the marvellous woman who brought me into the world and who has always supported my writing efforts.

(And who ended up on my mailing list whether she wanted to be there or not, GDPR requirements be damned).

On the writing front, my rom-com Highland Fling is with an editor/proofreader and is due back at the end of the week covered in red marks. You can read the first chapter here.

The murky world of ghost-writing

I blogged about a job offer I received recentlyWrite 80,000 words for $1,200 (£917) for no acknowledgement and give up the copyright. Tempting? Not.

I’m on a jobs bidding site called Upwork and every so often, I get invites from a digital publishing company called Cobalt Fairy. The company appears to operate on the Amazon rapid release model—put out books every month to capitalise on the mystery algorithms the site uses. The site claims the company has four authors, none of whom are pictured. More likely they use a stable of people who write under the names.

The book has to be delivered in a month, your name isn’t included anywhere and you receive no royalties for it. The £917 is a one-off payment.

I’m not against ghost-writing. I write blogs and LinkedIn posts for company CEOs and ghost-writing is standard in traditional publishing. Think celebrities and James Patterson.

But it should be paid properly and those who do it treated with respect for their craft. Cobalt Fairy does neither, and on a bitchy note their book covers are horrible and anachronistic. Regency fashion did not include crinolines, and I’m pretty sure no-one was called Kenneth in those days.

Back on Facebook

Last year, I came off Facebook because I a) hated it, and b) loathed their data sharing practices. However, needs must. If you want to join writers’ groups, find readers and run FB ads, you need an account so I’m back on here.

Writers tend to be shy. Their prefer talking to their laptops than people and self-promotion often feels icky, as if you need to take a long, hot shower after you’ve sent out a tentative link to your book and humble request people read/buy it.

But it’s almost impossible to sell books without a hefty dose of self-promotion these days. That applies whether you’re indie or traditionally published, as the big publishing houses spend almost all their marketing budgets on the big names and celebrities (i.e. the people who don’t need it).

So, back on Facebook, can’t say I’ve missed you and with maximum privacy settings on my personal account (followers there one…).

And finally… thanks once again for subscribing to and reading my newsletter. Much appreciated!