This year I got my first ever American book deal. It was for my fourth novel, The Wild Girls, and I had convinced myself that it was never going to happen to the extent that over Christmas I had genuinely forgotten about the submission. We'd had interest in November time, but what with the world… Continue reading On persistence
I was talking to one of my authors last week and she said she couldn't believe that book editors also worry about things - we likely all know that authors do worry about the publishing process, understandably so, as they are giving over their work to a publishing house and essentially relinquishing a lot of… Continue reading What editors worry about…
The question I probably get asked the most at work about the books I am publishing is, 'what's the hook?' It's the question that I think about when I am reading submissions, when I'm looking at competitor titles, and when I'm talking to authors and agents about their upcoming works. So, what is a hook… Continue reading Why your ‘hook’ matters in commercial fiction
As part of continued attempts to de-mystify the publishing process I thought I'd write about a typical day as an editor, inspired by Juliet's brilliant post about her day as a literary agent. The wonderful thing about working in books is that each day is genuinely different, and working across a range of titles and… Continue reading A day in the life of an editor
Today, in publishing terms, is Super Thursday. There are almost 600 books being published, which is good news for readers, but scary for authors because of the sheer amount of perceived competition. Combined with this, 2020 has of course been an incredibly tough year for debut authors, as the world has battled through months of… Continue reading Why your debut novel isn’t your only chance at success
When you're first starting out as an author, all you want is to get a publishing deal. I know - I've been there! But what happens if, a few books down the line, you decide you need a change? There are a myriad of reasons why an author might move publisher partway through their career… Continue reading What it’s really like to change publisher partway through your career
On Thursday, my third book was published. Speaking to my Mum on the phone, she said: 'well, you said you didn't want a book launch this year - now you haven't got one.' She was right - I had a big launch party for my second book last year, at the beautiful Hatchards bookshop in… Continue reading Launching a book in the time of Covid
So for fairly obvious reasons, very sadly a lot of the festivals I was looking forward to taking part in this year have been cancelled. I feel so badly for all the amazing organisers who had worked so hard to set them up - but just think how much fun we will all have when… Continue reading Virtual Book Events in 2020
The editing process: interview with Abigail Dean and Phoebe Morgan Abigail Dean is the author of Girl A, which will be published by HarperFiction in 2021. I am Abby's editor at HarperCollins and the author of three psychological thrillers, published by HQ. Abby and I have been discussing the idea of doing a blog post… Continue reading The editing process – how it REALLY works!
This year I am looking forward to speaking at several literary events and festivals, and have listed them all here in case anybody wants to come along (also for myself, so that I don't forget to go...) Guernsey Literary Festival 2020: 2nd May, Getting Published: a panel discussion. This will run from 4-5pm and will… Continue reading Book events in 2020
I'm not a real writer. That's the thought that goes through my mind probably on a daily basis, and ramps up even more whenever I'm doing anything around publication - events, emails, writing, and whenever I respond to readers. I genuinely feel like I've somehow conned people into thinking I can write, and managed to… Continue reading Impostor Syndrome in writing
Hello everybody! Sorry for the slight hiatus, I just started a new job working at Orion and the last six weeks have been somewhat full-on! Anyway, I'm very excited to be taking part in some events in May and the summer, and would love to see you there if you're interested. Details below... May 10th,… Continue reading Upcoming book events for 2019
This is a long subject line but there are hundreds of brilliant bookish people to follow on Twitter so I wanted to be clear that these are only 'some' of them! I know not everyone is on Twitter and that it can be seen as a negative place BUT in my experience if you just… Continue reading Some of the best people to follow on Twitter in the book world
Happy Sunday everyone! Just a quick note to say that myself and my brilliant editor Charlotte Mursell (who works at HQ Stories, HarperCollins) are going to be taking part in a pitching session at Retreats For You writing retreat down in Sheepwash, Devon, on the weekend of 9th/10th March 2019. We will be giving advice on… Continue reading Pitch your book to an editor!
One of the things people sometimes email me about is getting a literary agent, and whether or not they should. Nowadays, with so many new publishers doing exciting things and the self-publishing industry booming too, I can completely understand why you might feel as though you don't need an agent. However - and this is… Continue reading To agent or not to agent