This newbie author’s learning curve!

Today I’m celebrating the release of Touched by The Light in ebook format. For me it is  actually MORE exciting than the day it was originally published in hardback only, at £16.99 on 23 February 2011.

Ah, I can hear you groan! What WAS I thinking? No one had ever heard of me, I had no website and I wasn’t on Twitter or FB – it was never going to fly out the door!

The truth was, I was invisible. But it was an important part of my learning curve as a new author. I learnt that writing the novel was the easy part, what comes next is the truly hard part.

Since then I have had three other books published, two with Sapphire Star Publishing and one self-published. I now have a website, Twitter account and FB page. My other books are available in ebook and paperback formats. I’m building my brand, gratefully receiving some wonderful reviews from some very kind reviewers and readers, and I think I can say with pride that I’m learn quickly!

As soon as I realised my mistake, I did my research and put on my professional ‘work’ head instead of my ‘head in the clouds’ writerly head. When I’m writing I need to be able to escape into another world where I can make anything happen, but I realised  that when it comes to marketing I need to have my feet on the ground!

For most authors the truth is you have to build your fan base and it’s hard work. I think I’m very fortunate in that when I began writing I penned five manuscripts, one after the other. I only submitted the first one to two publishers and during the 14 month gap between signing a contract and publication, I didn’t stop writing. Of course I realise now I should have been putting my energies into marketing, but if I had to do it all over again I don’t think I’d change a thing.

Why?

Well, learning a lesson the hard way means you will never forget it. You won’t be in a hurry to go down that road again! Also, my writing style has evolved and prior to releasing Touched by The Light in ebook format on 5 October 2012, I completely re-edited it and re-wrote parts of the story. It will always be my first ‘book baby’ and dear to my heart. Now I feel it can sit proudly next to my other novels. I’m sure I will continue to develop as a writer and I welcome that, but I also feel very proud that I literally went from zero to four published books in 20 months, and book number five (the last of my initial five) will be published in 2013.

However, none of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for my lovely friends and colleagues at loveahappyending.com, the fabulous team at Sapphire Star Publishing and some truly fabulous book reviewers and readers.

When I began writing I had one aim – if just a few people read my book I would be thrilled. If any of them actually liked it, I wouldn’t need helium to be floating! Well, more than a few dozen people have read and reviewed my books now, so I’ve already surpassed my initial goal.

Every single day I’m working as an author is growing my dream. I still have to pinch myself at times and this is just one example. The other day I was doing a phone in interview with the lovely Lee Middleton from Stafford FM Book Club. Their amazing reviewer, Kim The Bookworm Nash, had chosen The Restaurant @ The Mill as book of the week! The format of the show is that Kim reads her review and Lee reads a lengthy extract. The following week the author is interviewed in depth. To say I was thrilled that Kim, given the huge number and range of books/authors she reads, had chosen one of my books, is the biggest under-statement ever. Lee happened to mention that I was their most interviewed author and I had to swallow hard! I’ve been on a few times talking about loveahappyending and Lee has always very kindly talked to me about what I was working on at the time. It was a humbling and mind-blowing realisation!

When I first began I joined a forum for new writers and someone asked ‘when can you call yourself an author?’ There was a range of responses, which meant there was no diffinitive answer. What I want to say today, is that finally I think I can call myself an author! So thank you Kim and Lee, and thank you to every single person who has posted a review of one of my books.I may never be famous, but YOU have made my dream come true.

Click here to read an extract from Touched by The Light.

Check out my loveahappyending author page and I’m on The Bookshelf.

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and my website.

If you feel in the mood for a heart-warming romance with a bit of a twist – is it possible to mend someone’s relationship from the afterlife? – you can buy Touched by The Light from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com. £1.53 UK, $2.47 US.

I always welcome feedback and you can contact me via my website or lbhalton@googlemail.com

Please leave a comment

  1. Mandy Baggot Says:

    Congratulations Linn! I have my copy and am looking forward to reading it! Onwards and upwards for you my lovely friend!

    Mandy xx

  2. Carol Wyer Says:

    Congratulations Linn! What a journey but I am sure you are the right path now and very good luck to you. I have my copy and am also looking forward to hiding away and reading it.

  3. Chris Longmuir Says:

    Many congratulations, Linn. You work hard and you deserve every success that is coming your way. Like lots of folk I have your book in my Kindle, my only problem is fitting in the time to read it, but I’ll get there.

  4. Janice Says:

    What a lovely post – and what a journey with your five already written books!
    Having read and loved your other books, I’m so looking forward to reading Touched by the Light. Wishing you great success, Linn.

    Janice xx

  5. Linn B Halton Says:

    Thank you all – know how it is Chris! With all the editing I’ve had to do with 3 books out this year it’s hard to fit everything in and I LOVE reading! I consider the best bit of all on my journey has been meeting some wonderful authors whom I now count as friends. You have all inspired and helped me ladies and I’m sending you virtual hugs for my writing family! Thank you. Lx

  6. Nicky Wells Says:

    Why, Linn, of course you are an author, and have been for as long as I’ve known you. HUGE congratulations on liberating your first book baby and launching it in earnest today. I cannot begin to imagine how good that must feel. WHOOOP! Thank you also for creating loveahappyending.com as part of your journey–and taking us all along on the ride. I wouldn’t consider myself an author if I hadn’t come across you, everyone here and eventually, my lovely publisher. Every little step that you’ve guided me to take has been one in the right direction, so your learning curve has been mine. And for that, on your launch day, I want to thank you and send you huge big hugs and kisses. Touched by the Light is on my Kindle and I can’t wait to read it, having greatly enjoyed The Restaurant and Quint before. XXX Have a great day and keep rocking!

  7. Sheryl Browne Says:

    Get your ‘head out of the clouds and your feet on the ground!’ Excellent writerly advice, Linn! Love your writing. Love your new cover. Love you! You are an inspiration, m’dear. Thank you!! 🙂 xx

  8. Kim the Bookworm Says:

    Linn, you are an amazing writer. Every book of yours that I have read has been beautifully written and has made me want to jump into the pages and be in the book! You deserve every success and you are absolutely an inspiration to the whole group. You put probably more effort into what everyone else is doing rather than yourself which is so selfless and all that while being a very glamorous and wonderful grandmother and mother. You are one amazing lady Linn, we all owe you so much and love you loads xxx

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