Author Guest Post

Blog Tour ~ Guest Post, Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne

I have an Author Guest Post for you today. On the Blog Tour of Avon author – Bella Osborne’s latest release Escape to Willow Cottage. Who better then a published author to tell you something about being published. Happy reading.

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Book

Title: Escape to Willow Cottage

Author: Bella Osborne

Publisher: Avon Books UK

Now published and available at all book sellers.

Story

A cosy and heartwarming seasonal romance, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley.

Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

Escape to Willow Cottage was originally digitally published as a four-part serial under the title Willow Cottage. This is the complete story.

                    Guest Post

What I have learnt since being published (Feb 2015)

The publishing process was all new to me so it was more than a little daunting to be thrown in to it not having a clue what was going on, who did what and what was expected of me. However, with the help of the fabulous people around me I soon found my feet and now appear slightly less clueless (only slightly) but at least I now know the order of edits – Self edit/Structural or Development/Line or Copy/Proof read.

I’m a writer and whether I’m published or not it is something I will always do Being published hasn’t changed how I feel about writing. There is the added excitement of publication day and meeting up with fellow writers but the fundamental part of the job is sitting down and writing and even if HarperCollins drop me tomorrow I will carry on writing simply because I love it and it’s the only way I know to get all this stuff out of my crazy brain!

I don’t like editing not at all, not one little bit. I love writing my first draft which is usually in an ok shape due lots of planning beforehand and then I like doing my own editing as that’s more about tidying up. But when it comes to structural edits and having to change great lumps (which thankfully doesn’t happen often) I struggle to find the enthusiasm. Yes, I want to make it better but it feels very much like proper work whereas the writing part is pure pleasure.

Not to get too attached to your book title because it’s very likely to change! Whilst you may have spent months conjuring up the perfect title that sums up your story that’s not really what it’s for. I have learned that the title is just a marketing hook. The title and cover are the first thing a reader sees and they need to grab them and pull them in enough for them to pick it up and then hopefully buy it. So your title may well sound similar to others out there and that’s because those titles are selling and are familiar to readers.

Everyone that knows you or a member of your family thinks it’s ok to ask for a free copy. I’m not entirely sure if they think I am secretly hording hundreds of copies in my loft but people do seem to think I will have a spare one for them to read and sometimes look a little put out when I suggest they might like to try the library or buy a copy.

A surprising number of people ask how many books you’ve sold and/or how much money you make. This one does make me smile. In my day job as a project manager I think I can honestly say that not one single person has asked me outright what I earn. However, it’s quite commonplace for people to ask how much I make from the writing. As I don’t do numbers I usually answer honestly that I don’t have a clue and if they push it I’ll add that it’s just about keeping my custard cream supplies topped up. The best response I heard from another author was ‘OK you first, how much do you earn?’

An agent is a very splendid thing.As I’m new to publishing having someone that is totally on your side and there to guide you every step of the way and answer your stupid questions is a huge advantage and very reassuring. They are there to deal with all contract side of things so that you don’t have to and alsoare on hand to help resolve issues and give you a kick up the bum when you need it.

… and so is an editor. An editor that you get on with is so important. This writing lark is very personal so you need someone you trust to work with you to make it the best it can be. This is sometimes a painful process (see comments on editing above) so you need someone that you can work happily with even when they are telling you things you don’t want to hear.

Support of bloggers and other writers. This has been overwhelming. The book blogging community puts in so much time and effort to support your books and all of it unpaid – I cannot praise them enough. I also love the fact that as authors we are all thrilled when we hear of someone getting published and all do what we can to support each other, even if that means recommending books in Sainsbury’s to bewildered looking strangers.

Fabulous readers are the people that put the cherry on the cake. When someone gets in touch or leaves a review to say how much they enjoyed your story it is very much a warm and fuzzy moment and I have learned that this is the best thing of all.

Blogger ~ Bee

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