Random Three

Random Three

Life is hard for a teenage mother living in isolation, on benefits and with little education. Brought up in care herself, Mary dreads the possibility of her little boy ending up in the same place. Social services are already keeping an eye on her and she’s desperately trying to keep her head above water. A chance meeting with two other women in the city – Sheila, a middle-aged retired professional, and Eileen, an elderly widow – opens Mary’s eyes to a myriad of possibilities and a new outlook on life.  The trials and tribulations of these three women bring them together in the small northern town of Warmfield. But will this unite them for the better? Sarah Connell lives in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. She has had a long career in further and adult education and before retirement ten years ago, she was CEO of an alternative awarding body. Sarah has written three short novels and is currently working on a fourth. Her debut novel Whenever won the Cinnamon Novel Prize in 2017 and was published to coincide with her seventieth birthday in April 2019. The setting and significant background to all her work is based in West Yorkshire. Praise for Whenever: “Sarah Connell writes high-quality fiction combining a depth of observation and character-driven social realism which manages to explore the psychological and moral depths of commonplace catastrophes with a lightness of touch. She produces taut, precise prose that is nonetheless rich in detail; highly engaging and accessible.” Jan Fortune, Cinnamon...

Books are Like People – Marketing My First Novel by Keith Anthony

It took six months to complete the initial draft of Times and Places and another twenty before it was fully polished and published. But how would the world get to hear of it? It is at this point that authors must choose whether to transform from introverts – typing alone in the privacy of their homes – to out-going marketing types. The two personalities could hardly be further apart, but for those who want their books to do as well as they can, there is little option but to give it a go. Initially, there was lots of help from my publisher but, unless you are with a big publishing house, the budgets are inevitably tight. In my case, the Book Guild carried out trade marketing to present my novel to the buying trade and they set up the book’s metadata, which is essential for making it available through online retailers. They also carried out a six-week marketing campaign, sending out press releases and advance paperbacks to a bespoke media list of journalists from the national and local press, as well as book blogs and radio hosts. Then I had to decide: was I happy to leave marketing at that or did I dare step out of my comfort zones, trying everything to make my novel a success? I took a deep breath and dived in. First came social media. I chose Twitter and in hindsight, this was exactly right for me. The Book Guild helped design my banner and signed up as my first follower… before too long I hit double figures, then treble and now – some 18...