Wednesday 1 July 2020

#IWSG JUNE 2020. The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness - Laura Bambrey on changes in the #publishing world.

This month I'm continuing my guest blogs for blogger friends who've recently published. Today I welcome Laura Bambrey. I've known Laura nearly as long as I've been blogging and was delighted when I read her Facebook post when she was in the throes of excitement at having her manuscript picked up by Simon and Schuster! Go Laura! So I got onto her right away and invited her here for IWSG day.

Click HERE to access more IWSG posts

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!
  Be sure to visit the
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!!

July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

Hi Denise and thank you for having me on your fabulous blog. It’s really exciting to be taking part in the ISWG as a debut author having been a part of the group as a blogger so many years ago - lapping up everyone’s advice and dreaming of the day!

This month’s question is a fascinating one, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it before sitting down to write. I’ve realised that if it wasn’t for all the changes in the publishing industry over the last decade, I wouldn’t have a book coming out at the end of the month! I don’t have an agent, and yet I’ve been signed by Simon and Schuster. How? Because they hold one-day open submissions slots for their #DigitalOriginals line for various genres. Having spotted this open-call on Twitter, I submitted directly to them and was lucky enough that my manuscript caught their eye.

Of course, the explosion of social media means that the distance between reader and author is now almost invisible - just a screen separating them. From the moment The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness was announced, I’ve been chatting about it with readers, reviewers and authors from around the world. An author’s work is no longer over when they sign off their final draft and hand it over to the publisher - and that’s something I find incredibly exciting. Whether you’re traditionally published, self-published or a hybrid of the two, the opportunity to be in conversation with the book community and potential readers is right there - a couple of clicks away.

If you can get online, then you have the ability to build up a community of readers around you. But don’t worry if you’re not there yet - I’ve seen many agents and publishers openly state that it’s not a deal-breaker if you don’t have a social media presence - if they love the book, they love the book. The flip side of this is that if they love the book and you have built up your author platform as well, then - bonus!! And there’s no doubt in my mind that all these bookish conversations help books reach new readers.

So what changes would I like to see in the industry in the next 10 years? I would love for e-books to hold equal importance and respect within the industry as physical books. So many amazing publishers, including my own, pour the full weight of their creativity, talent and drive into their digital publishing arms. Awesome indie authors are riding high in the charts and have vast followings of loyal readers. It’s now time for these e-books to be recognised and included on the bestseller lists, featured in the industry and mainstream media and become eligible for literary prizes. 

Here in the UK,  changes are already afoot. 2019 saw kindle chart-topping author Nicola May championing e-books, and following a discussion between her and Philip Jones of The Bookseller - the magazine published its very first e-book chart. There’s still a long way to go - but I look forward to more positive changes within the industry over the next decade. 

A book is a book, and it shouldn’t matter how it reaches its audience.

The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness is out on 28th July and available to pre-order now!

The Blurb

The perfect feel-good read from an exciting new voice in women’s fiction, for fans of Heidi Swain, Cathy Bramley and Jenny Colgan.

Tori Williamson is alone. After a tragic event left her isolated from her loved ones, she’s been struggling to find her way back to, well – herself. That’s why she set up her blog, The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness, as a way of – anonymously – connecting with the outside world and reaching others who just need a little help sometimes.

When she’s offered a free spot on a wellbeing retreat in exchange for a review on her blog, Tori is anxious about opening herself up to new surroundings. But after her three closest friends – who she talks to online but has never actually met – convince her it’ll do her some good, she reluctantly agrees and heads off for three weeks in the wild (well, a farm in Wales).

From the moment she arrives, Tori is sceptical and quickly finds herself drawn to fellow sceptic Than, the retreat’s dark and mysterious latecomer. But as the beauty of The Farm slowly comes to light she realizes that opening herself up might not be the worst thing. And sharing a yurt with fellow retreater Bay definitely isn’t.  Will the retreat be able to fix Tori? Or will she finally learn that being lonely doesn’t mean she’s broken . . .

Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness! Where you can learn to move mountains by picking up the smallest of stones…

Author Bio

Laura Bambrey was born in Dorset but raised in Wales. She’s worked as a trapeze choreographer, sculpture conservator and stilt walker, amongst others, and spent most of her time collecting stories from the people she met along the way.

She has spent many years as a book blogger and reviewer of women’s fiction and now lives in Devon with her very own romantic hero and a ridiculously fluffy rabbit named Mop. The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness is her début novel.

You can follow her on:
TwitterFacebookInstagram or on her Blog

Thanks Laura! It was so exciting to host you today. I've pre-ordered and can't
wait to read. Thank you for sharing your
insights into publishing. I wish you every success!

If you'd like to show the love to Laura, please TWEET!

Image result for twitter icon

The Beginner's Guide to Loneliness The perfect feel-good read @LauraBambrey @DeniseCCovey #debutauthor, #publishing, #ebook,
#DigitalOriginals, #SimonandSchuster

And of course I can't leave without inviting you all to participate in WEP's AUGUST challenge -

JUNE'S WEP was its usual success with fascinating dark tales for the URBAN NIGHTMARE we find ourselves in! Writing during this time has proved cathartic for so many.