A Pekingese, A Paperback and Pocket Novel News

Hello, how are you all?

The picture of Eric the Pekingese, who was ‘robbed’ of Best in Show at Crufts in 2016, is just to give you a little smile (and to remind you, if you are doggy and/or interested, that Crufts is on tele’ at the moment).

It’s relaxing and fun. Not that I’ve got much time to watch TV at the moment but it’s always a highlight for me. Apparently, no-one could decide whether Eric was a dog, a fig roll or a pain au chocolat. Bless!

I am still trying to fit everything around writing the first draft of novel #2 (we’ve got the builders here too, working on an extension, which isn’t helping! Aagh. Whose stupid idea was that?).

Sooo, this will be another quickie from me.

But also, just to say, the paperback of ‘A Wartime Secret’ (described by one reviewer as ‘East enders meets Downton Abbey’), will be launched on Thursday next week (17th) and I’ll be doing a couple of giveaways of the book then – one on Twitter and one here – so keep your eyes peeled if you’d like to win a signed copy.

If you’ve pre-ordered the paperback (thank you!) you should receive it on Friday 18th. My OH has just had an email from THAT website to tell him. (Yes, he’s pre-ordered it. Not sure why as we are ‘awash’ with copies – well, we have three – but he wanted the thrill of my book arriving in the post!)

There will be no big launch in a bookshop, with champagne and fanfares! Shame, isn’t it? If you’re way down a publisher’s pecking order, like little old me, those kind of things only happen if you organise them yourself and I just haven’t had time to do it. Just one of the things I’m learning about the publishing business! BUT, there may be time to do something a little later in the year, so all is not lost!

To answer Philippa’s question (in the comments), the paperback will also be available from WH Smith and World of Books (on-line and hopefully, in the case of WH Smith’s, in shops) AND.. wait for it,  The Works, who have ordered a LOT. Now, you might be able to snag yourself a bargain if you get it from The Works (they also have a website now and you can order on-line) but I honestly don’t know when the book will appear. Once I know, I will report back! But if anyone sees it ‘in the wild’, then do let me know. Take a ‘shelfie’ if you can! Thank you.

News & Opportunities
Dolly Parton, now in her 70s, has written her first novel in partnership with James Patterson. And she’s written 12 new songs to go with the book. OK, so now we all feel like we’re underachieving, right?

Pocket Novels
My Weekly magazine has put out a call for pocket novel writers.

You don’t earn a fortune (£350 for 50,000 words, I know, I know…) BUT apparently you can also sell large print rights (or self publish the stories) and claim both PLR and ALCS money for them, so it all adds up.

And in addition to that, it’s: a) a paying market that’s actually looking for new writers and b) could be the stepping stone to something longer, in due course.

If you’ve written short stories and/or serials up to now and want to stretch yourself, a pocket novel (which in novel terms, is like a ‘novella’ – most novels are at least 80,000 words long), could be a great place to start. More info here.

Free Flash Competition
Here’s a free-to-enter flash fiction competition (max 500 words) that closes on 15th April and has some very nice cash prizes. There’s no theme and although it’s on an American on-line literary journal’s website (‘Brilliant Flash Fiction’), it’s open worldwide.

Grazia Magazine ‘First Chapter’ Competition – closing 12th April
Grazia Magazine has launched its annual first chapter competition in conjunction with the Women’s Prize for Fiction. It’s free to enter and you have until 12th April to complete the chapter (in 800 – 1000 words) started by Tayari Jones author of ‘An American Marriage’ (amongst other novels) which has been on my TBR list for months.

The prizes are fabulous and include mentoring and an Arvon course, so have a look – and have a go!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! x

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4 Responses to A Pekingese, A Paperback and Pocket Novel News

  1. Eirin Thompson says:

    Helen, I feel your pain – we had a big interior plastering job, followed by a big painting job, going on last summer, when I was finishing a second novel and supposed to be writing lots of promotional stuff for the previous one just coming out. I already found it extremely tricky being immersed in the plot and characters of a second book whilst trying to remember the names of the main characters in the first one, when interviewed – it wasn’t that I’d stopped caring about the first one, but really it felt like having two children in different hospitals at opposite ends of the country! Plus I couldn’t even close, never mind lock, the bathroom door (wet paint) and the house was full of strange men…yikes. I have promised myself that if I am lucky enough to have a contract for a third book, I will keep new writing well ahead of schedule to try and minimise such a clash.
    Meanwhile, does anyone know payment rates for selling on large print rights to pocket novels, or the nitty gritty numbers when it comes to ALCS payments for them?

    • Hi Eirin, thanks for your comment and for sympathising with my ‘builders-first-novel-second-novel’ scenario! It’s a nightmare, isn’t it? It’s not something you ever consider, when you think about having a book deal, is it? But actually, when the first one comes out, you’re often fully immersed in the next one and you do feel rather ‘torn between two lovers’, to quote the song. Also, the more that people say they like the first one (which is lovely, of course..) I feel pressure as I write the next one. Because I don’t want anyone to say, “Oh, her first one was great but the second one was AWFUL!”
      ALCS payments are a complete mystery to me, I don’t know how they calculate what you get! But perhaps someone who’s written pocket novels might be able to give you some idea of what you *might* earn from one. Here’s hoping you get a response!

  2. philippabowe says:

    Hi Helen, great news about the paperback launch! Will it be available anywhere other than Amazon? I’m hoping so! Thanks for the other writing news – and love this post’s title by the way, 😉

    • Thanks Philippa. Yes, it’s available in other places too, not just you-know-where. I’ll add it to the post now. Thanks for your comment about the post’s title. Must admit, I was stuck for a title so I plumped for a bit of alliteration! Ah, you can’t go wrong with a bit of alliteration, can you?!

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