You’ve heard of internet dating, but eBay dating? Today we have the very lovely Estelle Wilkinson on the blog, talking about her new book – released today – It Started With A Click. Take it away, Estelle …
“To think that just six months ago I hadn’t even (seriously) considered publishing a book, here I am writing a guest blog as a published author. It still sounds very odd but I’m getting used to it.
First of all I would like to thank Joanne for inviting me to guest blog and giving me the opportunity to talk a little about me and my new book. I really appreciate it.
Just over nine years ago I won an auction on eBay for some tickets. It Started With A Click is the collection of emails sent between myself (Catherine, as I’m known in the book) and Damien (the seller) as a relationship developed.
I’ve often told the story and received the response from people that it would make an excellent book. I’ve never been that confident and didn’t fancy sending it to loads of publishers to be knocked back time after time. Then I found out about self-publishing and decided I had nothing to lose.
I knew I’d saved the emails we’d sent so I started to work my way through them. I had forgotten so much! I really enjoyed going over them again and found myself laughing out loud at times. I couldn’t put it down! But, was that just because it had happened to me? I sent it out to a couple of people; one who knew me very well and one who didn’t. They both came back with positive feedback so my decision was made.
I spent quite a lot of time reading through my manuscript (as it’s now referred to!) and making changes where I thought they needed to be made. Adding little bits here and there and taking out what wasn’t relevant. It has taken hours! Far many more hours than I ever anticipated.
Then I had to start marketing my book. Something I had never considered – naively! Thankfully, I had Debbie Young as a contact and she had just published a book of her own called Sell Your Books. Debbie has supported me and advised me through the whole process. She has given me so many hints and tips on what to do next (most of which you can find on her blog: http://offtheshelfbookpromotions.wordpress.com/). I have gone from never touching Twitter to having nearly 1000 followers in the space of a few months. I now have a blog too which is something I never thought I’d hear myself saying! I have been thrown into a world I had no idea about and my success in that world is all thanks to Debbie. I have also had input from some other wonderful people (Joanne being one of them) that is just invaluable and without them I would have made quite a number of errors.
My cover design was almost my biggest mistake. Knowing the book so well, I had in mind exactly what I wanted and that was that! Luckily, I spoke to Helen Hart at SilverWood Books who gave me a fantastic piece of advice: the cover is not for me it is for my readers. I had to match it to my genre. With this now firmly in mind I had to go back to the start. A friend of mine owns an internet design company and we worked together on the cover. Being a control freak, I couldn’t just let it go. I’ve been very “hands on” and am pleased with the result. It has received some incredibly positive feedback. Looking back at my original idea, I doubt that would have had such an impact.
Another huge mistake I almost made was not listening to others and being stubborn about my work. I was too close to the story and felt it was wonderful as it was. It had been suggested that I added narrative here and there but I hadn’t wanted to change the format. I thought it was quirky to have the whole book in emails and messages. I then sent my manuscript to Joanne and she suggested the same. Being in the position she is, I felt I needed to listen this time! I took a step back and have almost detached myself personally from my book now. I added in some thoughts and feelings and it has helped the book enormously. Looking back, it would have been a mistake to leave it as it was. I’ve now (hopefully) turned it from a good story to a great one!”
You can download a copy of It Started With A Click here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/It-Started-With-Click-ebook/dp/B00B871PNU/
Follow me on Twitter here: @EstelleW_Author
Or visit me at my blog here: http://www.estellewilkinson.wordpress.com/
And back to me: I just want to add that I was touched when Estelle contacted me and asked if I’d read her manuscript. I was also very, very busy and told her I probably wouldn’t get around to it before the release date, but send it along anyway. She did, and I opened up the document, and that was it! I was hooked, and barely got any work done for a few days, returning to it again and again, eager to find out what happened. I did have some thoughts on how the book could be made even better, and I was so impressed with how Estelle responded to these. She’s a professional, and has a very interesting and romantic story to tell. Download it now! 🙂
February 5, 2013 at 7:37 am
Well done to you both! Estelle, it was a pleasure to be an early beta reader of your manuscript – there’s something deliciously illicit about reading someone else’s emails! And Joanne, generous as ever with your time and expertise! And on Estelle’s launch day, it’s now your turn to be counting down the days to YOUR next launch. The very best of luck to you both! Debbiex
February 5, 2013 at 8:25 am
Thank you Debbie. And, thank you again Joanne. You have both been a massive help and support. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.
February 5, 2013 at 10:34 am
This is such a good interview. Having reviewed the manuscript for Estelle and given some advice, it’s really interesting to read more about the “writer’s journey”. Estelle is definitely a professional – I love the way she admits she was set on doing it her way, but then took on board the advice of people she trusted. That attitude is what separates the professional from the amateur writer, and is a big part of the recipe for success (especially in such a crowded marekt where you HAVE to be professional to stand a chance of… well… standing out!).
Good luck, Estelle. Love the new cover!