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View from Dubrovnik city wall

Croatia: Getting around in Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar

So, if you're here, you're probably looking for information on travelling to and around Croatia? You're in luck' because I just got back. I can only ...

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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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Published authors Sarah Alderson and Becky Wicks talk self-publishing versus mainstream. Today’s topic: how to choose what’s best for YOUR book

beckysara

Becky Wicks and Sarah Alderson are two authors in their thirties who started their careers writing young and new adult, and travel memoirs with Simon and Schuster, Pan Macmillan and HarperCollins. in this brand new age of self-publishing however, they’re both discovering that while signing with the mainstreams is exciting and has definitely boosted their writing careers, it’s not always the best way to go. Here are a few thoughts on the pros and cons of mainstream versus self-publishing as they both go through it. Today, the issue is ‘why self-publishing? versus going with a mainstream publisher?’

Becky you are just six weeks away from publishing your first new adult novel Before He Was Famous (which is amazing by the way). Although you have been traditionally published in the past by HarperCollins you’re self-publishing this book. Why?

Well, having written three travel memoirs (mainly as an excuse to gallivant around the world for three years) I decided to finally follow my real passion and write fiction. However, I had a pretty mediocre experience with my mainstream publishers for the initial three books. They were all really nice, don’t get me wrong, but I realized that they could never give me as much help with marketing and selling as I needed, plus, I had zero control over who could read and review my book, who could buy it, or where people could get hold of it, which made anything I did myself seem exhausting and irrelevant.

I decided to read up on self publishing and launch my next books myself and I was so inspired by people like Colleen Hoover and Abbi Glines who’ve had huge success by just going for it! I thought, well, if they can do it, maybe I can too. And if it doesn’t work out, at least I can say I tried and learned a few things along the way. There’s literally endless amounts of advice and information out there. As soon as you read up on one thing, there are a hundred more things you find you should probably know about. I felt a bit like I’d taken myself back to college at first, a self-taught course on self-publishing. That’s how much info there is to brush up on! I found BookMarketingTools especially helpful – their videos are incredible and totally helped point me in the right direction. I’m sure I’ll talk about more as we go on.

Sarah, you have books out with two major publishing houses. Would you say you’re satisfied with the amount of input you’ve been allowed when it comes to selling and marketing, or has there been a time when you’ve wished you could take control more?

I’m on my fifth book now with S&S and my first novel with Pan Macmillan – Come Back To Me – is out in June. When my debut novel Hunting Lila came out with Simon & Schuster I was just so grateful and excited and had no clue as to how publishing worked so just went along with everything. They did quite a lot of PR and marketing and I was thrilled. But I very quickly realized that with so many authors on the list and a very small PR team that I had to start doing my own marketing too or I would sink pretty fast.

I am very active on Twitter and Goodreads and Facebook. I respond to all my fans and also engage a lot with bloggers who I really value (so much so that I dedicated The Sound to them!).

I have such good relationships now with YA bloggers in the UK and Australia that I tend to set up my own blog tours and I put shout outs on Twitter and FB when I need help promoting. I’m really lucky to have that means of getting word out. A single ‘Waiting on Wednesday’ post can get your book put on hundreds more shelves and your name in someone’s brain.

I’ve also been really inspired by you Becky. I see you every day working your butt off to get your book out there and let’s face it, over 1000 books are published each day, sometimes it feels like you’re shouting into a void. Even as a modestly well-known author I struggle to promote my books so if you’re trying to build a platform from scratch it’s not easy at all. Over the years I’ve definitely seen the level of PR and marketing dropping off. I often feel like I’m waiting for things to happen and like I need permission from the publisher, but now I’m just saying ‘screw it’ and doing it anyway and not waiting for them to make stuff happen.

A good example of this is I have started sending out E-copies of upcoming books to all my favorite bloggers. The publishers might upload it to NetGalley but there’s no saying if people will download it, and they may send out a dozen review copies but this just isn’t enough. It’s really only reviews that count at the end of the day. Hunting Lila did so well based on word of mouth on places like Goodreads where it garnered great reviews. So getting the book into the hands of those people who can sway opinion is really important.

Another thing I did was push very hard for press releases. With my upcoming YA book Out of Control I not only gave the PR team at S&S a strong angle to work with I also wrote a few paragraphs they could use, and out of that they managed to land me a feature in the Big Issue. So being pro-active is definitely worth it and I would never have been able to get that on my own.

“What I guess I’m saying is that I think nowadays to succeed within the traditional publishing industry you have to act like an indie author.”

You have to take control of your own PR and marketing while also working respectfully alongside the people working hard within your publisher to make you a success. I find that the publishing people I work with are really grateful and thrilled when they see you pushing yourself.

We’ll be blogging more on our self publishing versus mainstream experience as the weeks go by, so watch this space! If you have any questions, send us a message and we’ll do our best to answer.

Becky and Sarah xxx

Becky’s book ‘Before He Was Famous’ will be launching May 29th on Amazon. Add it to read on Goodreads now.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] We’ll be back soon with more chat on our journey into mainstream publishing versus self-publishing. Stay tuned! Check out our first article on why you should choose self-publishing over mainstream here. […]

  2. […] The first post can be read over on Becky’s website here. […]