Friday, 21 September 2018


How to help boost readership and earnings for writers, which could also mean you?
Libraries are full of stories in a whole range of formats that people can borrow, including you. They are ideal places for research and to get ideas, so go to your local library and borrow stuff. Especially stuff written by writers you like.

Even if you already own the books or have read them before, you don’t actually have to read them again? They could just sit in your car or on the shelf until you return. The point being, that having taken the book means it is registered as a loan for that author. And that, means they will earn a Public Lending Right (PLR) royalty. Plus, it also helps keep our Library Service operating. The old adage applies here - use it or lose it!

Did you know that most Library Services offer a free eBook/audiobook service which is easy to use? Firstly. you need to download the specified app to your device and register it to your library card to get started. After that you can download eBooks or audiobooks via the app. This actually takes less time and effort than visiting the library yourself, especially if it’s cold and rainy outside.

After years of campaigning by the Society of Authors, the law was changed at the end of 2017 so that eBook and audiobook loans now earn PLR royalties too. And again, it doesn’t matter if you don’t read/listen to the book as the author earns! Mind you it would be great if you did. Of course, remember if you are an author you can register your books with the PLR and start earning too if your books are borrowed?

Did you know if the library doesn’t stock a particular book you love, you can suggest they stock it – either physically or as an eBook. Don’t be afraid to speak to library staff or find the relevant link on the website to make any recommendations. You might always get what you want, but if you don’t ask you don’t get. And of course, you never know what the Central Reserve might hold. It is does have an extensive collection.

Readers are sometimes left with books lovingly kept but which they no longer read. Libraries are almost always happy to accept donations of new or good quality second hand recent books. And of course, as an Author you could can donate copies of your own books if the library doesn’t have any/many. Don’t forget, if you are donating books you have written, tell them you are a Local Author! Libraries buy lots of new titles every year but can’t buy everything. If you do donate something they don’t have and it proves to be popular, the chances are they will buy more copies.

Libraries are a great free resource. They run regular events help promote books and authors or have story-time reading sessions, especially for children. My local library is based in Central Cardiff. I am on their mailing list so get regular mail shots telling me what is going on or sending me invites to Author events. And they are usually Free. So, come on, make the effort and go check your local library out now.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018


Came back from a great day out with the other half to discover a large envelope waiting for me. Was delighted to discover I have been accepted as a Member of the Society of Authors. The comments on my Facebook page were encouraging especially those which said ‘You’ve arrived’ - what more can one ask from your fellow authors. I am so chuffed with the news as I have been wanting to join for sometime now. Shows perseverance pays.

Having been away ‘down under’ for nearly 3 months I have literally let things slide due to wanting a relaxing time with my family. However, I have returned with a new surge of energy to start catching up and progressing my writing.  The first thing being to meet with the publisher who surprised me by exceeding expectations and instead of only 6 picture books to review I had a 11 of the remaining 12. Luckily very few alterations so I am hopeful all 12 will be launched over the next couple of months. That means the end, for now, of the Little Friends Picture Story Book Series. However, I have designed a Colouring Book to go with the series so am happy with the results.

Whilst away we managed to launch ‘Can You Hear Me’ by Yami Gray. Yami (pen-name) is a young British writer now living in Australia. This small book is a collection of poems she wrote between the ages of 11 and 15 and is complimented by a small number of lithographic line-art images. The poetry is dark for one so young but makes excellent reading for those interested in unusual poems.

The next job on the list is to get the manuscript from another young writer I am mentoring completed ready for publication. This will be a fantasy story and may well be the start of a series of books relating to the heroine. Time and exams will tell.

After that I realise it’s time to concentrate on marketing and so I am setting plans in motion to start promoting the Little Friends Books and myself as both author and speaker. Interesting times are ahead. Watch this space.

Saturday, 8 September 2018


So at last I am back in the UK after an extended stay 'down under' on the Gold Coast visiting family and friends. I had intended reporting back on the new people I was meeting but unfortunately circumstances didn't allow for me to do that so I am using today to catch up on what was missed. Apart from meeting the author Ally Blake I met quite a few other writers which was great, as well as linking up with fellow SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) Members from the Gold Coast, Queensland area.

It is surprising where some writers go to offer their books for sale. Two of them I met at a local market/craft fair across the road from one of the places I was visiting. Mind you it was warm so sitting outside for a few hours wasn't too bad. As one of these writers wrote stories about their dog she had her pet on the stall with her which certainly proved to be an attraction and drew the crowds to her stall.

Despite the size of Australia it’s surprising the number of writing groups there are in the country, especially around the Gold Coast. One long standing group was The Ten Penners. They started out as a group of ten like-minded writers in 2004 and have developed their group since. The ladies I met proved to be warm and welcoming and were delighted to meet a fellow author.

Another author I met was Ally Blake. She was doing a workshop at the local library (see the previous blog Ally Blake Workshop 8th August). Ally writes for Mills & Boon and has just released book number 36. She is a well-recognised speaker and her events (I am told) are always well attended.

The other authors I met via a local SCBWI group meeting. They meet once a month at a local coffee shop to share ideas and up-date each other on what is happening in their individual writing worlds. Much the same as we do here in Cardiff where I live. Again I was made most welcome and it proved to be an interesting afternoon. Remember, if you are ever away from home always check for a local writers group or your societies meeting group as people will usually let you join in and will make you feel welcome.

And so, now I am back, it's time to get into the swing of things once again. I am seeing my publisher regarding the release of the final books in the Little Friends Picture Book Series and will be discussing what comes next. I have even started making a list of the things I want to achieve. Maybe the break away from all things writing has refreshed me? Who knows? Only time will tell.