2020 marks five years since I started my publishing journey. It feels very strange to type that because in many ways I feel like I’ve been writing and publishing books my entire life, and yet in others I feel so very new to the business. I’m typically someone who reflects back on what has happened in the past as well as looking forward to what is coming. I’m that person who has a one, three, and even a five-year plan.
In 2016 I released my first book. In 2017, I released another three books as well as moving from a traditional publisher to become self-published. In 2018 I released six more books. In 2019 I released four, plus a short story in an anthology, plus a co-written novella. To date, I’ve released three books in 2020, included another short in another anthology. In total, that’s seventeen books in four years, sixteen of those in three years.
It’s been an enormous undertaking and I’m proud of the books I’ve put out. As a self-published author, I have not only written but also produced every aspect of those books including liaising with editors and proofreaders, creating covers, running promotions, managing ARC teams, marketing, and much more. And then there are the eleven audiobooks, too!
When I look forward towards my career progression, one thing really stands out for me: the desire to improve my craft. Being a full-time, self-published author can be a little bit like being on a treadmill. It’s not a matter of starting writing the next book the moment you’ve finished the previous, there’s a whole extra book in the middle. At any one time, I am writing a book, having a book edited, and releasing a book. I’m constantly two whole books behind the book that is being released. I have tight deadlines on the book I am writing, and I’m often not able to be fully present during my book launches. I am two books behind, after all.
I love writing and being a full-time author is, in my humble opinion, the best job there is. But when I look at my level of output and my desire to improve, I realise that I just don’t have the time nor the skillset to improve my craft. Which is why I’ve been looking to make some substantial changes to my career in 2021.
Recently, I’ve been in talks with Bold Strokes Books and I’m very happy to be able to announce that I have signed a contract with them to release my upcoming novel Detour to Love, available in February 2021. Being a part of a well-oiled machine like Bold Strokes Books is going to help me to reach my goals to write better books, as well as slowing down my production schedule to a more reasonable number of books per year. For me, that means three to four, rather than six, which I’m sure you’ll agree is still a lot of books per year. It also means I get to focus on the writing, and let’s face it, that’s why you’re here.
The irony is not lost on me that I took part in a panel on self-publishing at the weekend, and I want to be very clear that my back catalogue is still self-published and I will remain a hybrid author even though going forward I will be a part of the Bold Strokes team. I still passionately believe in self-publishing. But, for me, I’m at the point in my career where signing with a publisher is the best option and, for me, Bold Strokes is exactly where I want to be.
I’m very excited about this new journey and eager to share my new books with you, starting with Detour to Love which can already be preordered and will be available in February 2021.
Romance is in the air on this detour to love
High-flying executive Celia Scott is on her way to Tokyo to accept a prestigious award heavy with emotional baggage. She’ll make the trip, but she doesn’t have to like it, and she certainly doesn’t have to make nice with a stranger on a plane.
Artist Lily Andersen is excited to finally meet her online crush, the only person in the world who truly gets her. She just needs to survive the eleven-hour flight from London to Japan with a testy seatmate who by turns annoys and fascinates her.
Fate, upgrades, and a troupe of travelling clowns bring them together for a journey memorable for all the wrong reasons. Not only do they have nothing in common, they really can’t stand each other. But people are not always as they seem, and Celia and Lily are about to realise, there’s more than one path to love.