Although I’ve only been blogging for a couple of years, I have been privileged to meet so many wonderful bloggers and writers either vicariously through social media or, as in the case of lovely author Karen Aldous, in real life. Having previously interviewed Karen here, I was thrilled to know she has a new book, Under a Tuscan Sky out now and so I invited her onto Linda’s Book Bag to tell me how important mutual support for authors by other authors really is.
Under a Tuscan Sky is published by HQ, an imprint of Harper Collins, and is available for purchase here.
Under A Tuscan Sky
A summer she’ll never forget…
When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.
Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…
And when handsome antiques dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!
Authors Supporting Authors
A Guest Post by Karen Aldous
Although we had met on social media, and last year she had very kindly invited me on to her amazing blog, I had the pleasure of actually meeting the lovely book blogger Linda Hill recently at the Deepings Literary Festival, near Stamford, Lincolnshire – attending afternoon tea with one of our favourite authors, Erica James – and along with fellow author, Julie Stock and a room full of readers, we had a very pleasant and interesting afternoon listening to Erica and asking her questions about her writing and her beautiful novels. And naturally as soon as Linda learned I was launching a new novel in June, she immediately invited me on to her blog in support, and suggested I discuss a topic very close to my heart – why authors need to support one another.
As a novelist who began a career with the publication of my first e-book three years ago, I joined Twitter and Facebook and instantly found myself among a wide circle of authors, book bloggers and readers who began reading and sharing news about my debut novel The Vineyard. I was overwhelmed, people were reading my novel and discussing the characters like they were their friends, and very quickly my novel was racing up the Amazon charts and gathering bestseller tags. Realizing the power of this media, I immediately reciprocated realising we all have one thing in common – books. We read, review or write them, often all three, and social media was a perfect vehicle to rave and share our passion. My maxim has always been to treat others as I would expect to be treated myself and therefore, since then we have reciprocated promotion on social media and blogs so that my followers hear about their books and their readers get to hear of mine. It makes perfect sense.
What I do:
- Buy Other Authors’ Books – Writers are readers first, so naturally we’re fans of authors and the stories they tell. We all appreciate the work it takes to become published, so I buy, read and review what I read when time allows.
- Talk About Books – I will always tell my friends about a story I’ve enjoyed and vice-versa. Authors want readers to love their novels, and recommendation spreads faster than fire.
- Blog About Books – We are fortunate we have an incredible community of reviewers and book bloggers who generously give their time to share their thoughts with other readers via their reviews and book blogs. Unsurprisingly, the scope has stretched so widely and increasingly, authors have their own blogs where reviewing a book they’ve read on their own blog or inviting a reviewer to talk about their passion, or author to talk about their new book expands ways of reaching new readers.
- Promote Other Authors – As well as our friends and family, there are groups on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc, who love to hear about new releases, or books on special offer. Sharing our covers and offering excerpts is an ideal way to whet reader’s appetites, so by paying forward, we also reap the rewards with the pay back.
- Go To Book Events – By nature, authors write in isolation and so it goes without saying that we all need to touch base with the real world now and again. Book events are a great excuse to get out and meet like-minded people, particularly going to book launches or literary festivals and supporting fellow authors by meeting the author and getting your copy of their book signed, meeting and chatting to readers, reviewers, book bloggers publishers and agents etc., is great for networking too.
- Offer Help And Advice – Authors at any stage in their career need help whether starting out, and seeking a publisher, an agent or are going through a block in their writing and are needing a confidence boost or help promoting work, it’s always great to feel you can make a difference and be able to assist. Many successful and experienced writers offer talks, workshops, critiques and mentoring, we yearn to learn from those successes and how to use the tools we need to become better writers – we all dream of becoming like them one day, and nothing beats learning from first-hand experience.
- Join A Writing Organisation – The Romantic Novelists association was my very first step in my writing career and their support has been amazing. Not only did I benefit from their New Writer’s Scheme and graduated with a publishing contract with HQDigital/HarperCollins, I’ve attended many events such as conferences, award nights, workshops where I’ve gained knowledge and friendships as well as networking opportunities. The RNA also create marketing opportunities with their Twitter hashtag #TuesNews which enables members to share weekly updates about book launches and promotion. There are still numerous aspects I would love to be more involved with in the future so that I can offer facets of my experience to new writers.
- Share Successes – All authors are on a journey and with each step we like to tell the world, so when we reach a new milestone, we want to celebrate, whether we have a new book release, a new contract with a publisher or have found an agent, there is nothing more thrilling than sharing each others news.
Like most authors, work and personal commitments mean that any writing time is precious, so wider author support is very welcome and marketing has to be built into our daily schedule, therefore helping one another does mean we are infringing on writing time, but like building any business, time spent on marketing and publicity is essential to growing it. That is why, apart from the friendships we build, we authors embrace supporting one another.
(And I think you’ve summed up a wonderful philosophy for life Karen, not just for books!)
About Karen Aldous
Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!
You can find all Karen’s wonderful books here.