Joanne Phillips

A Writers Journey



New Flora Lively Mystery Out Now

I’m really excited to announce that Book 3 in the Flora Lively series of cozy mysteries is now available in ebook and paperback! Check out this gorgeous cover (and scroll down for the blurb and links if you’re interested).

I’m absolutely loving the purple vibe – thanks to Chris Howard for another excellent cover design. Chris is currently working on a complete overhaul of all my contemporary fiction, so watch out for that.

In The Sign of Seven, Flora has her most challenging mystery yet! The story is set in a spooky old museum of antiquities, and sees Flora and Marshall packing up a wacky collection of artefacts, ready to move them to the British Museum. But on the very first night … you guessed it! A dead body is discovered, and Flora is bang in the middle of yet another mystery.

Book Blurb:

When a priceless artefact goes missing, museum owner Jasmine White fears that an ancient curse has come to pass. Flora Lively is called upon to investigate, but her first ‘official’ case is set to be her most challenging yet …

Flora’s new job at the White & Co. Museum of Antiquities takes a deadly turn when a body is discovered in a packing crate that Flora herself sealed shut only hours earlier. Who is the murdered woman and how did she get there? As the stakes get higher, the threat moves closer to home. This time, Flora may be truly out of her depth.

The majestic lamassu

This is the lamassu, and you’ll get to know A LOT about these in the book! I’m fascinated with these creatures, and visited the huge statues on the British Museum as part of the research for The Sign of Seven.

As well as a twisty-turny mystery, the continued story of Flora and Marshall’s romance, and some very spooky museum exhibits, there is an additional – very personal – challenge for Flora. But you’ll have to read the book to find out more 🙂

So, if you’re interested, here is the Amazon link to download for Kindle or order in paperback:

What Brexit Means For Self-Publishing

Now that some of the hysteria following the shock referendum result has subsided, I started to wonder what the impact of the Brexit vote would be for self-publishing authors like me. So I did a little digging, and here is the result of my research. And hey, I’m no expert! (Not that the experts seem to know much either.) But here is what I discovered, and what you might need to consider as an author going forward into the new non-EU-but-maybe-something-like-the-EU future…


It’s Not All Bad For Self-Publishing

Even though the impact of Brexit is likely to be bad for publishing in general in the short term (ref: Publishers Weekly), fewer editors looking for books to take on means that authors who are already self-publishing have the upper hand. We’re not scrambling around for scraps. We’re not hoping and wishing for book deals that may never come. We’re already trading in a world-wide market place, often being paid in multiple currencies.

And here again is another short-term positive, at least for UK authors. The pound falling against the dollar means that authors about to be paid this month’s royalties from their US sales are set to gain significantly. Not so great the other way around, of course, but in general US authors sell better in America than the UK, while rest of world authors count the US readership as one of their biggest and best markets. I’m not saying I’m glad the pound is weak against the dollar … but the payout for my Keeping Sam promo from two months ago is just about to come in, and it’s set to be a couple of hundred pounds more thanks to the crazy reaction to last Thursday’s vote. Many other indie authors are in the same position.

Reaching Out To Partner With US Publishers

Those considering hybrid publishing might want to consider switching focus to American publishers, not only because of uncertainty over the EU but also because of a possible English-language rights issue that has been thrown up by Brexit. Publisher’s Lunch report that with the UK out of the EU, US publishers may try to seize this opportunity to distribute US editions of their books throughout Europe, rather than leaving European sales territory exclusive to the UK.


The Chance of Recession

Many experts are predicting another recession, and of course during a recession people cut back on non-essential items. Like books. But while spending on hardbacks and high-ticket books might well be affected, ebook sales are unlikely to be badly hit. Self-publishers have long been masters of pricing to the market, and this flexibility will be key in responding to consumer needs in the coming months.

Indies Are Better Placed To Reach Out To Readers

Another unfortunate downside of the referendum in general is the amount of airtime and media attention given over to it – a subject so all-consuming dominates conversation and drives mere chat about such things as book recommendations out of people’s minds. And this is unlikely to get better in coming months. But there is a glimmer of light here, and that is in the form of distraction marketing. While doom and gloom take over in the political landscape, people look for a little light relief on social media – a platform where indies are well placed to reach out and connect with readers. So while the publishing world in general is feeling shut out of the mainstream press, self-publishing authors who get little attention from these sources anyway have little to lose.

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Think Worldwide

It’s good to stop for a minute and think beyond Europe – hard though that is while nobody seems to be talking about anything else! There are voracious readerships in countries like India and China, and many authors, including myself, sell lots of books in Canada and Australia. English is a world language, and we are ideally placed to capitalize on that. So try not to get bogged down in – or dragged down by – the detail, and focus on the positive. Whether you wanted to be independent (from Europe) or not, if you’re an indie you know all about going it alone.

Over to you – please share your thoughts and comments about the changes following Brexit (let’s try to keep it not too ranty). As for me, I voted Remain. But this is democracy in action, so I accept the majority and now it’s just time to get on with it.

Images courtesy of



Self-Publishing Magazine Relaunches – Free and Online

I’ve been subscribing to the print edition of Self-Publishing Magazine for a while now, and while I have enjoyed receiving it, the quarterly publication always felt a tiny bit behind with news, and a little thin on content. This magazine, produced by assisted self-publishing company Matador, was constrained by the frequency of publication, and I imagine by the costs of producing a full-colour, quality print product.

SP magazine

That’s all set to change as the magazine relaunches completely from Monday 11th April to be totally online, and entirely free! The email announcement didn’t say how often new editions will be produced, only that it will be “giving readers fresh, relevant content on a regular basis.”

I think this is a great move – although I will miss getting an actual magazine through the door every three months, if only because I love the excitement of things arriving in the post, and enjoy being able to read it anywhere (usually the magazine stays in the bathroom for a few weeks). Making the content available only online will certainly change how I access the content, but making it free and accessible to everyone is a bold – and very wise – move in my opinion.

There are opportunities for writers to contribute to the new magazine, and I imagine there will be far more slots opening up than with the old, quarterly print-confined edition. Check out the details below:

SP magazine 2

The email address is

So what do you think? Is this a good move from a reader’s point of view? Are you more or less likely to check out the magazine now? And if you have previously subscribed to the print edition, do you think you’ll miss it, or will you be happy to log in and read it online?


Keeping Sam is now available

Drum roll please … my new novel, Keeping Sam, is now available! And as is traditional here on the blog, on launch day I feel perfectly justified in shouting: Buy my book! £1.99 / $2.99

Keeping Sam cover



Okay, two things – first of all yesterday was the official launch day but I was feeling too poorly to summon up the energy to get on with launching and blogging and tweeting etc so I’m actually a day late, and secondly, I can’t shout because my throat is too sore. So I’m kind of croaking ‘Buy my book’ instead 🙂

The first review is up, and it’s a cracker. “An emotionally complex drama … A well told and unusual story … A most enjoyable read with that all important satisfying ending.” Thanks so much to author Terry Tyler for that fab review. You can read the rest of it here.

Keeping Sam will be coming out in paperback, but probably not until after Christmas. And if you kindly offered to review the book when I blogged about Keeping Sam last month, a copy will be on its way to you this week – I haven’t forgotten 🙂 I’ll be carrying on with the launch over on Facebook this week, with excerpts from the book and other fun stuff, so pop over there and say hello if you haven’t already. Bye for now!

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