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Remembering Yemen...

I never did make it to Syria unfortunately, but I did visit Yemen in 2008, which I'm thinking about now in the midst of this ...

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Christmas in Prague...

I just got back from Prague - another new city for me. I love nothing more than heading off to a new place and just ...

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Tinder Diaries: Getting my Groupon...

Shamus's profile shots scrolled like some kind of Action Man calendar. In one photo the 39-year-old Irish-Canadian was hugging a goat on what looked like ...

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Tinder Diaries: Tempur-Pedic promises...

And another Tinder Diary for you, this one's also from last year in Vancouver.  Tempur-Pedic promises... 'I got you a drink!!!' the text message yelled at me. ...

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Tinder Diaries: The Burner In The Park

In trawling through folders on my laptop for some old work I've just come across some diaries I wrote about Tinder dating last year in ...

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I go to the gym a lot. And other things I never thought I'd say...

Once in Sydney I joined a yoga studio for $350 a year and went once. In New York I spent close to $600 and went to ...

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Things you should probably know before going to Burning Man

So, Burning Man. Hmm. How was it, you ask? Honestly. I can't even really tell you yet, and it's been three weeks. But I'll try. As a ...

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11 things you only ever say on WhatsApp when you're going to Burning Man...

I LEAVE TOMORROW!! Am I ready? Probably not.  I'm what's known as a Virgin, (this will be my first time at Burning Man) and in ...

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Thoughts about rainbows...

I cycled home tonight right under a rainbow - the kind of rainbow that smiles across the sky in every colour, and then more colours ...

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How to tell when you travel too much (and when you should stop)

Yup. That's how. That's a screenshot my friend just sent me, when I told her to add my new phone number in Amsterdam. "Another one?!" "Yeah, but I'm ...

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…Best Of...

It started with a boy called Matt: why I'm going to Burning Man (in 2 weeks!!!)

Going to Burning Man has been pretty high on the bucket list for years... ever since I started chatting to an American guy online back in 2003, who ...

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The Royal's idea of 'Indian street kids' is not quite right

I know I shouldn't read the Daily Mail because it always annoys me... but today THIS was ridiculous. Honestly. Been to India? Yeah, so have I. Met ...

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How to write a novel: 25 rules

This post is so inspiring, just had to share! Thanks to Matt Haig, who posted it originally. Sometimes us writers really need to read cool stuff ...

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Amsterdam, I love you! See you again soon.

I've decided to move to Amsterdam. Maybe not forever but definitely for a little bit, because, well.... this. And this: And this:  OK maybe not the last one... ...

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Free tsunami romance for Valentine's Day...

Winner of the TBC (The Book Club) award for best non-fiction, 2016.  Hey guys, I'm giving away The Day Of The Wave over Valentine's weekend in ...

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How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers

This post is written BY JUDITH BRILES posted on February 10, 2016 on The Book Designer Are you sometimes stuck when it comes to adding a title to ...

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Yay, I won an award!

It's a super duper awesome start to the new year, because after a long hiatus during which I've been working reeeeeeally hard and not blogging ...

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Who's the Mills and Boon Man Of The Year 2016? Get your face on a book cover!

Here ye, all you amazing men - and women who know amazing men! Thought I'd spread the word about this. Mills & Boon are launching ...

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Pills that make you poop glitter...

Oh my! We should give these to ALL the pigeons in London until the whole city is a sparkly rainbow! Granted we'd be covered in shit, ...

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Know your strengths...

I'm sitting in the cafe. It's just me, two loud ladies who sound like they're from Essex, and a blonde with her boyfriend. An Essex ...

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Humans of Iceland...

This is Sverrir and the replica of his great grandfather, who was once the pastor of the pretty and remote herring fishing town, Siglufjörður. He was ...

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Adventures in Iceland (in brief because I'm VERY remote right now and WIFI is scarce)...

It started when we flew Fokker. Yes, Fokker. Oh come on, tell me I'm not the only child who finds this funny? It wasn't long before ...

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NOW FREE ON AMAZON: The Day Of The Wave

A moving, emotional romance based on real-life events. NOW FREE ON AMAZON! The Day Of The Wave follows Isla and Ben in the wake of surviving ...

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***FREELANCE PHOTO - POSTMEDIA NETWORK USE ONLY*** VANCOUVER, BC.:JUNE 24, 2014-- Pedestrian traffic in front of Canna Clinic on Commercial Drive, in Vancouver, BC, June 24, 2014.  Canna Clinic at 2223 Commercial Drive, has a doctor from 5 to 8 p.m. every day. Locals can get certified by an in-house  naturopath, and pick up some pot.  (PHOTOS by Don MacKinnon)

Comedy night at the Canna Clinic...

Today I learnt two things. The first is that penguins have knees inside their bodies. Yes. Knees. Inside. I'm not even kidding. The second is that ...

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Spalding School Reunion is Imminent...

I got a message today about a school reunion for the class of 96. My first thought was JEEEEESUS, did I really leave school 19 ...

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Best things to see on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. OK, maybe not the best...

I was just eating my sushi on a restaurant patio last night when a man seemingly dressed as a Mario Brother climbed a nearby tree ...

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Oh Canada, how I LOVE being in you...

And I think these photos prove why! I'm so inspired the more time I spend here, which is Vancouver right now, in case you were ...

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Fun on the Natchez Trace - recreating scenes from a novel in real life!

Yesterday a friend and I drove from Nashville, out past the famous Loveless Cafe (where we stopped to pick up some Peach Preserve) and onto ...

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Read and review 'Before He Was Gone' and get a FREE copy!

The New Adult Book Club on Goodreads are reading Before He Was Gone to review. Sign up if you want your free copy to review! "Sometimes, ...

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RIP Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (an excerpt featuring their great work, from Balilicious)

How fuggin AWFUL to hear about the executions of these two men, and the others who were wiped out needlessly today in Indonesia. Don't people ...

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Boxing Day Tsunami book trailer (The Day of the Wave)

I made this today! One day I will give up trying to be a filmmaker (maybe), but it's SO satisfying when it uploads and I'm ...

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The Day of the Wave - Playlist

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had putting a playlist together for a book. There were just so many great artists who inspired ...

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Aliens in the White House...

Just got a newsflash on my phone: 'Small one-person helicopter lands at White House West Lawn. Pilot in custody.' I know I should click on it ...

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Boxing Day Tsunami romance excerpt: (The Day of The Wave)

This is an excerpt from my latest new adult romance, coming May 2015. In brief... "Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day ...

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Uber in Nashville is interesting...

Me: 'So, what's the craziest thing that's happened to you since you started driving for Uber?' Him: 'Are you a shy girl?' Me: 'Er, I don't think ...

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Have I mentioned the Family Dollar Store yet?

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar store yet? It's my new favorite place here in Nashville. Contrary to the name, not everything inside costs a dollar, ...

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Lavenders, motorcycles and a feeling of deep uncool at Nashville's Barista Parlor...

There are some places in this world that will just serve to make you feel deeply uncool, no matter how young and awesome you previously ...

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Why Craigslist in Nashville is killing me...

Here's what this guy just wrote in reply to my post about looking for a room to rent in Nashville: "We are seeking a FEMALE caring nanny/care giver. ...

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Observation of the day...

Ubud cafes were full of middle aged women writing books on macs. Nashville cafes are full of cute young guys making music on macs. I know where ...

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Before He Was A Secret (Starstruck #3) Playlist...

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmhXXflqDQPAxUHvBiWosmLHWTd6sBM4Z I can't write a word without being inspired by every sound in the air around me, and I turned to music more than ever with ...

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Musings on a Nashville snow day...

No one told me flying south for the winter would take me somewhere colder than England. Then again, there's something so peaceful about walking alone down ...

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Fight your way through! A message to writers like me…

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me...

...and other creative souls no doubt! Someone sent me this video today by the amazingly inspiring Ira Glass, which I found very interesting. I can relate ...

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The difference a motorised bike makes...

I miss my bike in Bali so much that today I actually hovered outside someone's house in South Harrow contemplating whether I could justify spending ...

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Proving my roots: The nonsense that is taking the IELTS test in London...

"PUT YOUR PENCILS DOWN! PENCILS DOWN, NOW!!!" Dumbledore boomed. I almost jumped out of my plastic chair, nerves shot to sh*t. I have a problem ...

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There's nothing more sexist than The Sun pulling Page 3 Girls...

Yes... SEXIST. If only for what's being said around the decision to drop this whole thing! "Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad ...

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I SURVIVED: The Freak British Tornado (and the suspect still running loose)

A mini-tornado hit north west London this afternoon - causing damage to homes and cars. I think I summoned it. I was thinking very dark ...

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It's cover reveal day for Before He Was A Secret. Exclusive excerpt here...

Today's the day, whoo hoooooo! I can finally reveal another amazing cover by designer Jeanine Henning, for the third standalone romance in my Starstruck Series, ...

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The night Emma Watson stole my toothbrush...

WARNING!!! I feel like I should say something. I've been quiet for way too long... almost an hour actually, but about an hour ago I ...

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Vaginal smoking and the benefits of yoni egg insertions (note: there are many)...

I have recently become quite fascinated with vaginal treatments. The fascination began when I saw this tempting advertisement on a board outside a spa in ...

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The truth about 'Ecstatic Dancing' at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali... (warning, this post may smell)

Everyone in Ubud knows the Yoga Barn. It's a sort of second home for eager expats, all of whom are quite happy to spend an ...

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Go to Bali for less than a quid! Balilicious is 99p, starting today.

Becky Wicks lifted the burqa on Dubai In BURQALICIOUS. Now she turns her attention to Bali as she hilariously navigates life as an adopted Balinese ...

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How do you handle negative reviews for your book on Amazon and Goodreads? And are readers actively LOOKING for bad books?

What didn't make me smile throughout my recent and ultimately successful free book campaign on Amazon KDP (and I'll tell you this, seeing as we're ...

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Before He Was A Secret Blog tour sign ups are live. I'm looking for bloggers to join in (and get a free copy!)

Once again I'm having a blog tour with the amazing Xpresso Reads for the third in my Starstruck Series, which is coming out in March ...

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A new, FREE short story to make you go awwww....

There's nothing like a freebie, so I wrote a little quickie (ahem) to melt your hearts. It's set in Alaska and it's only 6000 words, ...

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From mainstream to self-publishing: why I’m making the jump (and why I’m excited!)

self_publishSince I decided to venture into the world of self-publishing I’ve found all manner of doors flying open in places I didn’t even realise there were doors! With the stigma of self-publishing washing away, there’s a huge community of writers out there scrambling to help each other where mainstream publishers have either failed, or not even been involved at all. There’s a sense of family, a support network, a bond that comes from knowing that every one of us is essentially going it alone in this big, brave new world. But through it all, we’re not alone. And that’s what’s so exciting.

By immersing myself in this indie world of fellow creative spirits, I may have found the people I didn’t even know I was looking for, finally! They’re vocal, daring, enthusiastic, slightly nerdy (like me) and above all, willing to spread the love until our voices, words and goddam HARD WORK take over the world. It’s a team effort, smashing down the walls that keep our work from the masses, but together, we’re an army. And we’re winning. For the first time ever in my publishing career, I don’t feel like I’m alone.

Why would I have felt alone before, with a mainstream publisher behind me for three books? Well, because most of the time, I was.

I have to admit, I was disappointed by the lack of help I received when it came to distribution and marketing. There were problems with uploads to Amazon, I never received sales figures, I had zero control over who could buy my book or where, and to be honest, while my publishers were all very nice I couldn’t help but feel like a tiny fish in a huge pond that meant little to nothing to anyone.

It wasn’t their fault; I made mistakes too. For a long time I thought that simply because my books had been published, they would sell. I mean, I’m not a marketing whiz. I’m a writer! That’s why I was giving 90% of my earnings away to a publisher, right? So they could help me sell my books!

But man, oh man. No. That was the biggest mistake ever. All writers are marketers. Marketing, for a writer, is probably more important than writing. Perhaps it wasn’t always this way, but in a world of condensed news bulletins and a thousand TV channels all competing for our attention, we have to be big, we have to be loud and we have to be on the ball.

Now I know that whereas it’s OK to make mistakes, it’s not OK if you don’t learn from them.

So, instead of pushing my work to a publisher again straight away, I plan to release my work myself, as eBooks. Alone. But remember, I am not alone. Four years ago when I had my first book published, I would never have had the incredible pool of resources I have now; Goodreads, Smashwords, KDP, Pagemodo, NetGalley co-ops, bloggers, Fiverr (an army of talented people willing to help for $5), a TweetDeck full of likeminded writers, readers and marketing geniuses to help me. Now, it seems anything is possible, as long as we put the effort in. I’ve found incredible support from places like Critiqe Circle and BookMarketingTools, too, which is a minefield of amazing help and advice from people who quite frankly, deserve to be knighted.

But still… effort is not enough.

It’s daunting at first. I mean, there’s so much to learn. When I made the decision to jump on the self-publishing bandwagon I found myself Googling one thing, only to stumble upon 20 more things I should be learning about in order to crack the self publishing market. I now have a growing document, already 3000 words long, of names, brands, contacts, companies, people to talk to, add to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram… I mean, the list goes on. And while it’s growing, I have to implement the changes it’s imperative I make. I must Tweet, blog, converse, download, upload, read and yes, sometimes, maybe even write. That’s kind of important, too.

It’s like taking a college course with myself and the Internet as the tutor. There’s no point graduating with the launch of my now finished-books unless I know what the hell to do with them.

Putting effort into gathering sources is one thing, but knowing how to put it all together is another. And it can be an expensive project. It’s becoming clearer as the days go by, that to do this well, I will have to spend money; perhaps even more than I’ll make back, initially. So what’s the point, you might ask?

Personally, it’s not even about the money right now.

I know… I know it sounds silly to say that, because obviously I would prefer to write my books all day, every day than carry on with whatever else I have to do to pay the bills, but when you’re a writer, you just have to write. Right? You have to share your stories, your thoughts and words with the world. You have to do this, else the voices in your head nag and nag at you to sit the hell down and do it! And if a mainstream publisher cares more about the money than spreading these carefully crafted gifts around the world once they’re ready… well, that right there is the start of a BIG problem.

Having lovely things is nice, sure, but as a creative, you care more about reaching hearts and souls on this crazy spinning planet than you do about anything else. You want to reach people. Sometimes you’re a downright weirdo about things. You have days where you don’t get out of bed, don’t brush your hair, don’t sleep till 4am because you can’t break away from the worlds in your head; worlds you want to share, eventually. All this, cannot be for nothing. 

Neil Gaiman is a huge inspiration to me whenever I think I’ve had enough (or I have to leave the house for some milk).

And so the battle continues, along with my army; until the day comes to conquer.  

(My new adult book ‘Before He Was Famous’ will be out soon! (Somehow)

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Comments

  1. Hey Becky…

    Thanks for the shout out! We’re glad BookMarketingTools has been able to help you out in your journey! We look forward to connecting with you more!

    • Thanks so much, you guys are truly awesome and I am so grateful for your help! I keep a special eye out for your stuff and will keep on shouting out about your work because EVERYONE like me should get involved! Legends!