ON PARIS

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris ... then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." Ernest Hemingway

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 dĂ©but 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 https://dencovey.blogspot.com/2020/07/iwsg-june-2020-beginners-guide-to.html @LauraBambrey @DeniseCCovey #debutauthor, #publishing, #ebook,
#DigitalOriginals, #SimonandSchuster
#IWSG


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.




49 comments:

  1. So many people I know read ebooks as a matter of preference. I don't know if that's representative, or if I just move in strange circles, but that suggests to me that ebooks have to be taken seriously by the industry.

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    1. You're right, Ian. They often don't factor in any data. They definitely should be taken seriously.

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    2. Hi! Absolutely- I know people who have a preference on both sides of the fence- which is completely normal- but that acceptance of ebooks as equal is what I'd love to see! Lxx

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  2. Huge congratulations Laura. Your potted biography suggests that you have many tales to tell...
    E-books are not an emerging market they are HERE. Now. Something that readers seem to have (mostly) adapted to better than industry.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, you're right- and now it's time for the old-guard to recognise ebooks as of equal importance. Lxx

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  3. Congratulations to Laura and how she give ebooks some hope!
    I'm so glad about all the things she has to say about publishing. Presently facing a kind of low tide in writing, I see this as great motivation. Good luck to her!
    Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

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    1. Thank you so much, and very best of luck with your writing. Have fun with it! Lxx

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  4. Congratulations, Laura! Glad you saw that one day window.
    As a reader, I am eBook only, and they are just as good as a physical book. Plus they take up less space.

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    1. Hi Alex- thank you so much- and for being such a massive inspiration all these years.

      Exactly so- just as good as physical books. Equal on terms of content- just a different format. (And I love that you can literally take a whole library with you wherever you go!)
      Lxx

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  5. Congrats, Laura! That's awesome you took the leap and got a publishing contract. I still prefer print books to read but I enjoy reading ebooks just as much. And if I'm gong to buy a book, I'd rather buy an ebook because, like Alex said, they take up less space.

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    1. Thank you so much!
      And absolutely, I love to settle down with a print book just as much as an ebook... it's just this strange lack of equality and respect towards digital books I've come across in certain quarters that I find so weird 😂

      Lxx

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  6. Congrats, Laura! You're right that social media isn't a deal-breaker, but as a publisher, I can say it really does help to have that built first.

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    1. Thank you! Oh yes, I absolutely agree that if it's already up and running, it's a huge help - but good to know for those who have only just started their platforms that it doesn't mean they can't submit with success. Lxx

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  7. Congrats to Laura! What an exciting story :) Good luck with the book - sounds terrific!
    (my comments keep disappearing - sorry if this is a multiple post!)

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    1. Thank you so much Jemi! Hope you enjoy it if you decide to pick up a copy xx

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  8. Hi, Laura! Congratulations on snagging their attention during their one-day open submission call. That's awesome!

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  9. Hi,
    Congratulations and all the best with your book launch. I read your blurb and it intrigued me. Sounds like you got a winner.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks Pat! Really glad you liked the blurb x

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  10. It's always great to hear good news on the publishing front. Huge congratulations to Laura!

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  11. Congratulations! I hadn't heard of that open call. You are now living the dream.

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    1. Thank you! It's a great opportunity and they have opened to lots of different genres this year. X

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  12. Congrats to Laura on her debut.
    I like your ideas about ebooks, Laura, but I'd like to add one codicil. Big publishers price their ebooks ridiculously high. I wish they would lower their prices to the level of indi ebooks, so their ebooks would become equally affordable.
    Ebook prices should be low, because when you buy an ebook, you don't really acquire that book, unlike a paper version. You just acquire a license to read it, which should be significantly cheaper than a physical book.

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    1. Thanks Olga!
      I do hear what you're saying on some pricing - it's an interesting point - but there are high and low price points across ebooks from both the large trad publishers and indies. I dont think ebook prices should be too low, no matter how published- those writers need to eat and be able to afford to write more gorgeous books.

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  13. Congratulations, Laura, for your new book with a major publisher -- and thank you for commenting on this month's IWSG question. I never thought about a best e-books list, even if many (if not most) writers (even indie writers) publish in both formats. And your emphasis on connecting with readers thru social media is something we all work on. Now, I do agree with Olga (above comment). I don't understand why those ebook prices by major publishers are set so high. I've heard the litany of corporate expenses, major publishers are doorkeepers to not-well-written books, but it still doesn't make sense. We have a lot of really good indie writers out here. All that doesn't take away from your accomplishments and success, so celebrate and keep writing!

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    1. Thanks so much, it's been lovely to be here!

      I agree- amazing authors both indie and trad published. I've seen high and low prices across both types of publishing. I feel that the whole outdated "doorkeeper" thing has started to disappear- there are amazing writers who choose indie, those who choose trad, and those who enjoy both worlds! As I mentioned to Olga above- I think it's key that all writers are able to make a decent income from their sales.

      Lxx

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  14. I posted on the same thing - I think it's important that all books are recognized equally, because a story is a story. Sure there are poorly edited indie books, but that doesn't need to be tarnished those that can stand up against the best trad books out there. Congrats on your launch, Laura!

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    1. Hi Nick- I totally agree! And thank you xx

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  15. Congrats Laura! Your manuscript was accepted via an open call on Twitter? Wow. That's great. And a best e-books list? Proves that the industry is changing... evolving.
    I agree that a book is a book, and it shouldn’t matter how it reaches its audience.
    Hi Denise! How are you? Hope you're well. *waving*

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    1. Thanks Michelle! And yes, just goes to prove we all need to keep our eyes peeled as there are opportunities all over the place these days! Xx

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    2. I’m great thanks Michelle! Thanks for asking.

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  16. Great post, Denise. Thanks for introducing Laura and her new book. Yes, the June WEP was very cathartic for me. Hope you are well.

    Laura, I love your quote, "A book is a book, and it shouldn’t matter how it reaches its audience." Congrats on your contract and new release. I wish you much success.

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    1. Toi, thank you. All well here. I really enjoyed having Laura on my blog this month. A very well deserved pick up from S&S.

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    2. Hi Toi, thank you so much!

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  17. e-books holding equal importance and respect within the industry would be nice. I love that it's starting to happen a little more, though.

    Hi Denise.

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    1. I think with the extra care self publishers are taking, you included, ebooks must eventually receive the recognition they deserve.

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    2. I completely agree- it's just another way of bringing stories to readers xx

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  18. Hi Denise and Laura - an interesting biography - and what a great way to win a publishing contract ... congratulations.

    I can't read educative books via ebooks ... but understand story books being easily read that way ... I still prefer print - but that's the way I read 99% of the time. Good luck - sounds like you're on to a winner ... take care both of you - Hilary

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Hilary. Laura's story is amazing, isn't it?

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    2. Thanks so much Hilary! I hope it inspires other writers to seek these different ways to approach publishers and opportunities x

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  19. Hi Denise! Hi Laura! Thanks so much for inviting me over Denise to read Laura's post. Congrats again, my dear, sweet, friend, Laura!!! I am so, so happy for you! Such and exciting time. Like you, Denise, I have know Laura since we all began blogging over ten years ago, and it THRILLS me to read about Laura's success.

    I love your wish for the future, Laura, and I couldn't agree more. Ebooks have been around long enough for them to be recognized and true literature. Why shouldn't they receive awards? That is ludicrous. So here's hoping....

    ALL the best on you new adventure and I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world! With so much unrest in the world and this horrific virus taking over the world, we NEED good news like this. Sending you both tons of virtual hugs, since that is all we can do right now.

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    1. Thanks for coming over and supporting Laura Michael. A well deserved break for Laura. I hope you get one soon!

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    2. Thank you my lovely friend- and I can't wait to see your stories find their home too xx

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

    So agree with that. Congrats on the debut novel and all the best for its success!

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  21. Congratulations, Laura!
    Hope you're keeping well, Denise!

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    1. Thanks Deniz. All is well with me. Hope the same with you!

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