Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blitz : Nearly Almost Somebody

14 Things I’ve discovered on the road to becoming a self-published author

© Caroline Batten 2015
I’ve been writing since I first read a Sweet Valley High book and thought I could do better myself. Of course I couldn’t at the time, I was nine but over the years the years, I’ve also learned a few things.
Please note, these are my experiences and may not be typical – in fact, they may be as far from typical as appears feasible whilst still sitting somewhere within the realm of possible...
  1. If you look at self-publishing as a hobby, it’s cheaper than horse-riding, diamond mining or going to the movies once a month.
  2. A brilliant book does not mean you’ll bag an agent/six-figure publishing deal. A brilliant book, kick-ass cover, slick editing, and selling a hundred thousand Kindle editions might.
  3. Submitting to agents is a form of self-flagellation. Horsehair shirts cost less and are emotionally less devastating. (Plus you can write about the experience later, publish that book on Kindle, give it BDSM tags and sell more copies than you would the dystopian YA thriller you were originally touting to agents.)
  4. Having a blog is great - random strangers DO read your witterings. Some of them even buy your book.
  5. Signing up for does not guarantee you’ll be noticed by an agent the next day. It’s a website where you can learn key marketing skills such as, I’ll read your book if you read mine. Promise this one million times and you might hit the Editors Desk - this never leads to publication. Ever.
  6. Signing up for does mean you can make your very own book trailer.
  7. Getting your first book professionally edited is a really good idea even if you’re not looking to self-publish. An editor will focus your style on the market/genre you’re really writing for, point out where your writing skills need work and you could end up with a manuscript an agent does want to read.
  8. Grammar and punctuation are not dark arts – they’re a skill every author can and ought to learn;
  9. Signing up for does not guarantee you’ll be noticed by an agent the next day. It’s a website where you’ll receive reviews such as , ‘I hate chick lit and this shoe-based romance...’ and ‘I normally prefer steampunk erotica so this western romance...’
  10. Some people do make it big - with very little effort it can seem.
  11. Some people plug away for years and make pocket money.
  12. That book you finished - it isn’t finished. Typing ‘The End’ simply means the editing can start.
  13. Right now, on Amazon you can buy a book called Mail Order Tiger Bride Wars – it does what it says on the tin. That BBW shape-shifter piece of romance is currently ranked higher than #FORFEIT. Yet that doesn’t sting nearly as much an agent rejection letter because....
  14. Three million reads on say people really like my books.
And that’ll do, pig. 

Nearly Almost Somebody by Caroline Batten

Publication date: March 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Goodreads: Click
Purchase: Amazon
She’s nearly perfect – He’s almost the one

When Patrick’s caught in flagrante with a local beauty queen, his father delivers an ultimatum: one more newspaper scandal and Patrick will be out on his ear. Desperate not to lose his job at the family veterinary practice,
Patrick needs to avoid trouble – and girls like Libby.

The Broken Ballerina’s a headline waiting to happen, but mourning her short-lived career as a dancer, Libby casts a Wiccan spell to summon a new love: Good-looking, honest, non-brown eyes, English, good with animals… in a nutshell, she summons Patrick.

But fighting Libby’s love spell will be the least of Patrick’s problems when an old lady dies from a ketamine overdose – ketamine stole from his surgery.

Witchcraft, Scandal, Murder...

Will anyone find their perfect Somebody?

Nearly Almost Somebody: Track List

© Caroline Batten 2015
  1. Take Me to Church – Hozier :
  1. Whispers In the Dark – Mumford & Sons :
  1. Dog Days Are Over – Florence & the Machine :
  1. Lover’s Eyes - Mumford & Sons :
  1. Say Something – A Great Big World / Christina Aguilera :
  1. Read All About It – Emeli Sandé :
  1. I Will Wait – Mumford & Sons :
  1. Budapest – George Ezra :

Caroline Batten - The Interview

Caroline is the author of #Forfeit and Nearly Almost Somebody, contemporary romances she likes to call “Chick Lit with Edge” – forget shoe-shopping and cupcakes, expect binge drinking, eating disorders and Class A drug-taking.

#Forfeit is the sordid tale of five friends who play a game of increasingly dangerous dares. Nearly Almost Somebody is filled with Wiccan love spells, murder and local scandal. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere I can. Music, films, the Antiques Roadshow.

Totes. It’s where I saw the antique forfeit ball that Daisy rolls in the book.

Tell us your usual writing routine.
I work full-time, we have a 6 year-old daughter and we’re renovating an old farmhouse - writing routine, you say? Lol. There isn’t one. When I’m in the zone, I’ll write whenever and wherever I can, but when I’m not... life does get in the way.

Life? How much time do you spend procrastinating on Facebook?
Yeah. That.

Do you have a favourite snack when you are in your writing zone?
Does Prosecco with a sliced strawberry in count as a snack?

What was the first book you remember reading and enjoying?
Without a doubt, Jill’s Gymkhana by Ruby Ferguson.

Did you have a favourite literary hero/heroine as a child?
That would be the Jill with the gymkhana. The girl was a superstar. Practical, witty, sharp, utterly dismissive of all things soppy - including her own mother’s nauseating Enid Blyton style books. She dreamed of becoming the first female MFH and so introduced me at the tender age of nine to equality and sex discrimination. And she beats the rich girl in the gymkhana. Hurrah.

What's the wine in that glass?
Er... Prosecco. Obvs.

Have you ever given up on a manuscript because it just wasn't working?
No. A few times people told me to put Forfeit in a drawer and move on, but I couldn’t. I loved Daisy and Xander too much to give up on them and the story.

Do your sex scenes make you horny?
*Blushes* A wise friend once told me to write books that I wanted to read because chances are someone else would want to read them too. Another wise friend, Kitty French told me to write sex scenes as though no one would ever read them. Put the two together...

Zoe’s a bit of a loose-moralled minx–
She’s great, right? I loved writing her scenes.

Will we see more of her in your next book?
You’re not the first person to ask that.

No. Sorry.

What can your readers look forward to?
Afterglow should be out later this year. It’s about backpackers getting up to no good in Bondi Beach.

You said, ‘should be.’ Does that mean you’re not in the zone yet?
*Is watching cat videos on Facebook* Sorry, what?

You went to a Book Signing earlier this year. Are you planning any more?
Yes. Dublin and Birmingham this July, then Aberdeen in August. Oh, and Dublin again in 2016.

Is there any of that Prosecco left?
Yes. But I’m not sharing. :p

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Drink less.

Caroline lives in the Lake District with her husband, small child and two Kune Kune pigs. 

She daydreams of one day owning a pair of Louboutin's and having somewhere fabulous to wear them. Until then, she'll be found plodding up a mountain in her trusty hiking boots.

#forfeit is Caroline's debut novel. Her follow up, Nearly Almost Somebody is also available from Amazon.

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