When I wrote my last post, some time ago (ahem!), I told you all how pleased I was to have found out that I was eligible to join The Society of Authors as an ’emerging author.’

Since then, I’ve attended a couple of meetings of my local group in Hitchin and as a result, I am now going to be taking part in the first ever Open Book Literary Festival in Hitchin on the 29th of this month. I will be giving a talk entitled ‘My Journey from Complete Beginner to Self-Published Author – How and Why I Self-Publish my Contemporary Romance Novels’ and my books will also be on sale that day to festival visitors. I am both very excited and frightened to death by the prospect of giving a talk at a festival but I have to start somewhere and I’m really glad that I’ll have the opportunity to fulfil this milestone.

In the run-up to the festival, there’s going to be lots of publicity:

  • we’re on the SoA website as an event!
  • We’re going to be on display in Waterstones in Hitchin in their local authors window.
  • We’re going to be featured in Writing Magazine and also in lots of local press.

In the course of trying to arrange for my books to be available for Waterstones to order directly if anyone asks, I found that my first book, From Here to Nashville, is actually available on their website already! Who knew?

However, The Vineyard in Alsace is not there. Both my books are listed on Nielsen and I’ve had orders for the first one through Gardners, one of the two main book distributors so I’m just trying to join up all the dots to see if I can make this happen for my second book too. All in all, it is going to be an exciting time. If you are in the area or nearby that day, please do come along – it would be lovely to have some support in the audience. Tickets are available here.


I have just come back from a lovely holiday in Menorca, during which I really felt like I got away from it all, even though I took my computer with me and we had Wi-Fi access. I took my laptop mainly because I needed to carry on writing my next book whenever possible. I have reached a real sticking point with it around about chapter 10/11 and despite rewriting several times, I’ve just not been able to move forward. I spent a lot of time talking over the issues in the book with my husband on holiday and that did help to clarify the story. I was just about moving on when we came home again! I really need to maintain that discipline as we go through this month and next to get my book finished if I can.

The pressure behind this happening is because I have to submit it to the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme by the end of August and I value the feedback I get from that report so much that I really want to meet that deadline. This is especially important this year because… drum roll please… I will be graduating from the NWS this year to become an Independent Author of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. My second book, The Vineyard in Alsace, has done so well that I have now met all the criteria in terms of books published, sales and profits, that I am eligible to leave the NWS behind. I am so proud of this achievement that I have reached all by my own effort and although I will be sad to leave the NWS, I will be very honoured by my new membership status.

This is yet another milestone for me, along with the fact that my second book has now sold more copies in just over three months than my first book has sold all together (although I’m still very proud of Nashville too). I have to confess to being a little obsessed by the data on my Kindle Publishing dashboard (the other reason I took the laptop) but it’s so satisfying to see those sales rising every day! Last month was incredible with my sales reaching dizzying new heights and there’s even been a knock-on effect with extra sales of Nashville, the like of which I haven’t seen since I first published it. I did also try my hand at a couple of Amazon Ads for Nashville which I believed helped things along. I have thought about doing a free deal but I just can’t bring myself to do this so I’m always exploring various book marketing ideas to keep those sales coming in.

I’m looking forward to seeing what July will bring in my writing life and will report back on that next time! I have a couple of lovely romance authors being featured on my blog this month as well. Firstly, Helen Pollard on the 16th, who was my very first guest on my Author Spotlight feature many moons ago, and then Karen King on the 23rd. I’m looking forward to sharing their news about their new books with you. Until next time, thanks for reading 🙂


13 Comments on A Month of Milestones

  1. Good morning Julie, so pleased you enjoyed Minorca and came back rested and ready to go! Congratulations too on graduating from the NWS with the Vineyard in Alsace – I really enjoyed that story. I also wish I lived nearer so I could attend the literacy festival in Hitchin. I have to say, I would be terrified too, but I’m sure you’ll be absolutely super. Take care x

    • Good afternoon, Kim! You were instrumental in us having a good time with all your great advice! Thank you for your good wishes and for reading Alsace too – that was lovely of you – and I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I really wish you lived nearer too so that we could meet up more often. I will let you know how the festival goes – if I survive!!!

    • Bless you, Ros. You know that I couldn’t have done any of it without your support along the way. I am very proud and just so glad to have made so many lovely new friends along the way xx

  2. This is amazing news Julie well done. Having followed your journey from developing Nashville and the ups and downs to see your determination to do what you love and to see you have such success is very inspiring. I’m so pleased and it’s well deserved.

    • Oh John, thanks so much for your message. We have been friends all along the way and I really appreciate your support. I’m chuffed to know that I’m inspiring. As someone else said to me today, success is about 60% down to perseverance and we all know that’s true with writing. It is hard at times but we all get there in the end 🙂

  3. Some amazing milestones – I’m so chuffed for you! You thoroughly deserve your success. Obviously the Prosecco is on you next time we meet! 😉

  4. What a lovely blog to read, Julie! Huge congratulations on the success of Alsace and on your graduation from the NWS. And you’ll be great at the lit fest. – just be yourself and remember the people in the audience haven’t been conscripted – they’re there because they want to hear what you have to say 😀. Once you get started, the time will fly and I’m sure you’ll have a great time xx

    • Thanks so much for your good wishes, Janice, I really appreciate it 🙂 And thanks also for your confidence in me for the LitFest! It’s funny how I’ve spent the majority of my working life standing up in front of people and talking to them but somehow this seems a bit different. Perhaps it’s because it means so much to me personally. I wish you could come and cheer me on! But I will let you know how it goes xx

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