I’m always happy to support authors on Linda’s Book Bag and when I heard that Colette Kebell was about to celebrate the first anniversary of publishing The Retail Therapist I thought I’d ask her onto the blog to tell us more about that last year. The Retail Therapist is available for purchase on Amazon UK and Amazon IT,from Waterstones and all good bookshops.
The Retail Therapist
Window shopping! Don’t you just hate the term?
It is like going into a sweet shop and not being able to buy anything, or not knowing what to buy first. That is exactly my line of business, helping people make the right choice.
I’m one of those fashion consultants that are so popular nowadays amongst the upper crust, although I started ages ago. Choosing the right clothes for the right occasion is not an easy task: the dress has to match your personality and, if it can, enhance it.
This story is about how I abandoned the rat race, spending days in a legal office, and followed my dream of becoming a fashion consultant. I believe I’m something more though, I’m a Retail Therapist and I’m sure you are itching to know the story about how I started and how I helped my clients look fabulous! So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up, click that “buy” button up there and be prepared to enter the mysterious world of a Berkshire Retail Therapist girl.
A Guest Post by Colette Kebell
Hello Linda and thank you so much for the opportunity of doing a guest post to celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of “The Retail Therapist”. I have to say, it took a little time mulling over what to write as I don’t often think about where I am today compared to a year ago…between one thing and another life has been a bit hectic since then.
Turning to your suggested questions, first and foremost the biggest “high” is when you have your book returned by the copy editor, you’ve read it through just to ensure they’ve not changed anything too drastic and then hit that upload button to make it “live” on Amazon! There is such a sense of achievement when you see your work there available to buy for the first time. There are many other highs prior to this, from first deciding to write, actually reading what you’ve started and enjoying it, the input from, in my case, my husband, who read and commented on it throughout the writing process. There was so much laughter in our household during that time, in respect of both my books, and I think that comes across in my story telling. Then, of course, there is the moment when you first clap eyes on the cover. After what in my case was quite a small brief, my cover designer just got me from the outset.
There are lows of course, tense moments when you wonder whether you have done the right thing in becoming a writer, whether anyone will want to buy and more importantly enjoy your work, will anyone then want to write reviews, how to deal with the marketing side of things (not my strong point as I’m not a sales person). The learning curve is an immense one and one that brings tears at times, not least when I discover I have a new review, as so far they’ve been such lovely ones they made my heart soar.
In hindsight, I would have probably built up my media presence sooner than I indeed did. I only started to build my website once the book was about half done; same with twitter and Facebook. These are important tools to a self-published author and so if I had done more research in the first instance, I would probably have dealt with those a lot sooner. The other thing I would do differently in future is organise a Book Launch Blog Tour. I had already decided that I would, especially as they feature in Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen! (Or so Mother Says), enlist the help of some bloggers to write three reviews of each book, excerpts of which now appear on the back covers of my paperbacks. Having said that, being a complete novice to the world of writing, I knew little or nothing about how important bloggers indeed are to authors. I have since learned my lesson though and appreciate every opportunity that bloggers give me in respect of my books, whether it be a guest post such as this one, or indeed an interview or review.
Currently I have three “works in progress” one of which is the sequel to my first two, another of the same genre, but this time set in New York and the third is one that a friend of mine inspired me to start writing by inadvertently giving me the title in conversation (and she will be told and thanked once that is ready to be uploaded). I have had a bit of a struggle this past year or so though, hence having 3 WIPs, due to our house sale/purchase. I’m currently sitting at the kitchen table in our property in France, with my two dogs but separated from hubby, due to our purchase not having gone through yet. I may even be here for another couple of months so, though it is peaceful and I have my dogs for company, I cannot participate in any author/blogger events that are coming up currently, nor do I have my ever supportive husband by my side. We had to take the decision to separate due to being unable to find a rental property in the UK that would allow us to keep our dogs with us and therefore, had no other option than the one we took.
After writing Blue and Green I felt that I had a lot more to say about GiGi and how she reached the point she had and so, following reading a number of articles focusing on authors deciding to do prequels, I felt it would be a good thing to do. The story was just itching to be told and so I wrote The Retail Therapist. I think, if I had thought about it a little more, I could have turned that into a full size novel and if I had known what the RNA criteria was going to be in respect of self-published author membership (or even about their new author membership) I would have probably made it at least a little longer so as to fall within their criteria. Hindsight is a good thing, but there is little point in dwelling on things that you discover too late to change.
In summary, I love writing and have a lot of fun when I do so and hopefully that comes across on the pages that people read. I’m quite shy by nature though talking about my books makes me a far more passionate and animated person, though I occasionally have to stop myself from going OTT on that subject. Little point in boring people when there are so many other subjects that can be discussed and you never know, as was the case with one of current WIPs, there may be a story that just jumps out at you, even during everyday conversations.
About Colette Kebell
Colette has given a talk at Folkestone Festival about her self-publishing that you can see here.