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By marilynbennett, Feb 26 2017 08:59PM

The other day I said that I was galvanised by the fact that here in the UK we have about 200k books published every year. Today, I'm not so sure that I am.

I'm learning quite quickly that like any other creative business, the literary industry is ridiculously competitive. I'm seeing incredibly successful authors on social media sending a tweet for every heartbeat on their new books. These authors have large publsihing houses, the traditional media and sales behind them and yet they too have to push their books with the same might as me.

I was quite surprised to read that apparently a book can be deemd a bestseller if it sells more than 4000 copies. Now don't get me wrong, if I sell 4000 copies of my book, I'm holding a street party, buying myself a trophy and a new mouse mat. I just thought a bestseller meant sales approaching a squillion copies. So I now understand the healthy social media presence of some authors. In that rather polite British way, people don't talk about actual sales figures. It's as if you're asking about their personal bank balance. So who knows how many books successful authors are actually selling, but one thing is for sure, it's more than me, so I need to get my tweet on!

So this week I upped my Twitter game a tad. I tweeted, re-tweeted and retreated. I had to unfollow some people, which my friend advised is poor form. The thing is I just can't keep up with the twitter feed of all these peeps. I mean, if I'm following you I want to read what you have to say, but by the time I get up to date there are another new ten tweets, so something had to give. Some people have tens of thousands of followers! When do they wash, eat or sleep? I imagine they have some kind of Minority Report or Stock Exchange set up and a team manning all the tweets coming through. My friend advised that you can simply mute people. So that was another lesson for this week.

My publicists have lined up a newspaper piece on me. Whoop whoop! I also got my first review and it was 5 out of 5. Whoop whoop on repeat!

So let's see what this next week brings.

Keep it squeezy!

By Marilyn, Feb 20 2017 11:07AM

Last week the sequel to my book Granny with Benefits was sent to the typesetters. The very pretty design for the cover was completed, so it felt like all systems go again.

But then the ebook for Granny with Benefits came out on Tuesday and it was business as usual. I went to Tesco and put the bins out. That's what happens in the E N Fizzy (aka Enfield) on Tuesdays. So there was no outpouring of love from a Valentine or new readers. I realised that I need to step up to the plate just that bit more on the publicity front.

I read that there are apparently nearly two hundred thousand books published in the UK annually and in any given year we rank 2nd or 3rd globally in terms of the number of books produced. It's very competitive, but clearly also one of things we love, so I decided to not be daunted, but galvanised, by it. I'll have plenty company!

My fantastic publicist, who is basically in week 2 of the campaign, bagged me a review and piece in a local magazine on Wednesday, which was such fantastic news. I'll actually have something to post on my News and Reviews page!

This week ended with me getting a bit more acquainted with social media. I quite like Twitter. Yes, I know I'm late, but better late than never. I now have 12 followers. One of them sent me an invite to watch sexy videos. I put on my profile that I'm a Handy-woman. I'm wondering if that has given the wrong impression. During this next week, I might need to learn how to un-follow people.

Keep it squeezy!

By Marilyn, Feb 13 2017 02:23PM

My debut novel comes out as an ebook next week and I'm very excited. I have decided that I am going to write a weekly blog about my experience of the process.

Now what has become acutely apparent to me over the past few weeks is that if you actually want people to read the book you've written, writing it is only the beginning. I finished my novel and thought 'I've done it!', but now that I have a publicist on board I'm realising that in order to get people interested in the book, I almost have to get people interested in me. The book was never going to sell itself, but I didn't quite realise how much of my personal life would have to do the selling.

I decided to go down the self-publishing route without an agent. Now the two of you who came to the website, who weren't family or friends, may have left the page on reading this, as I gather that self-published books penned by unrepresented authors are presumed to be unsolicited drivel in some quarters i.e. 99% of the traditional publishing world! But it was a conscious choice. I wanted to create something end to end that had my stamp all over it. My whole career has been based around being commercially confident. Writing the novel was a test of my creative ability, so I guess that self-publishing and managing the commercial side of this endeavour is my way of still operating within in my comfort zone.

My Twitter and Facebook pages are up and running. I got excited when I saw the banner that the publishing company had created for me. It looked quite pretty. I have never had active profiles on either platform before and boy does it show. I find social media a bit daunting I must say. I'm an Olympic Chatter. Gold Medalist! This tweeting business feels like I'm being cut off in my prime. It's a bit stop start, so I think it will take me a while to get into the swing of things. But I don't have much time. On Monday I had 7 followers, but when I checked today there were 6! So it's all moving in the right direction!!

Anyway, here goes. I feel a bit like I'm venturing out into the world naked from the waist down, but I've worn a good top and shaved up to my knees, so wish me luck!!

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