Are You a Writer? #amwriting

cropped-the-birthday-fb-header.jpegIt’s less than two weeks before my new thriller THE BIRTHDAY the first in the DI Natalie Ward series hits the shelves. This will be my 15th book to be published and you’d think by now, I’d find this whole publication thing a breeze. Not so. Last night, I woke in a fearful panic that the new book would bomb and people would hate it. Mr Grumpy, my other half, has begun the whole eye-rolling routine that he usually performs around this time when I start whittering on publication day. He is not a writer and he doesn’t understand the see-saw of emotions that flood my body. He pulls a face when I mention chart positions and cowers behind his paper when I screech in delight at a good review. I can’t help it. This is who I am. I am a writer.

This morning, I reasoned it was normal to feel this way, after all, I am a writer and every book has a phenomenal amount of effort poured into it: I’ve laboured over every sentence; lived each character’s life to the point where they are real to me, and I have worked solidly – day and night, for months, writing, rewriting, editing, editing again, copy-editing, proofreading and reading the entire script one last time, to the point where I’ve been utterly sick of the sight of the darn thing. From inception to this moment has taken six months of gruelling effort – of ignoring my family, of ignoring my own needs, to get it to this point and so, it’s only natural I’m going be concerned. I am a writer. We are always worried about what others think of our work.

As publication day creeps ever nearer, I know it’ll get worse. There’ll be a familiar mixture of anxiety, panic and excitement and I’ll not sleep the night before the big day, and that day will be filled with euphoria and at the same time, the desire to burst into tears because I am a writer. Unless you’re a writer, you won’t really ‘get’ what I mean.

Mr Grumpy doesn’t get it – not at all. ‘It’s only a book,’ he grumbles. I look dismayed. ‘It’s more than a book! I feel like I’ve been giving birth to this book for six months.’ He ignores me. He’s heard it too many times before. I skulk away, tail between my legs and write a murderous plot in which an unfeeling husband is brutally murdered, because I am a writer.

beach-motivation-ocean-261630So, what will this writer do to celebrate the release of her 15th book? Have a party? Drink champagne? Go out for a celebratory meal? Alas, none of those things. I am a writer and as such I have nobody to celebrate with. My friends are in the main, online friends because I am a writer, I spend days alone in my office, living in fictitious world populated by characters of my own imagination, reliving imaginary conversations with them. Most of this forthcoming publication day will be spent on social media, hunting out reviews and thanking people and sharing posts, and of course, I’ll be constantly refreshing my Amazon page to see if my new book baby is climbing the charts, cheering when it rises a few places and sobbing when it moves no further or tumbles. Why? Because I am a writer – a self-doubting, confidence-lacking writer who will be crossing her fingers and hoping… praying… yearning for success.

In between checking social media and panicking because my book isn’t soaring up the charts, I’ll eat bags of chocolate-covered honeycomb dips and drink endless cups of herbal tea, and all the while I’ll continue work on the 3rd in the Natalie Ward series which will be my 20th book. Yes, I am currently writing my 20th book and that can only mean one thing – I have another 5 of these publication days to get through before that one will be ready.

Why do I do it?

Because…

I am a writer.

Now, pass me the gin!

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THE BIRTHDAY – An absolutely gripping crime thriller (Detective Natalie Ward Book 1)

OUT 27th SEPTEMBER

Order your copy for ONLY 99p by clicking the link HERE

One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home…

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

Readers are going crazy for The Birthday:

Absolutely stunning!… wow it blew me away. Totally my favourite book so far of 2018… I loved everything about it… A great start to a new series that I am going to love. I’m already wishing I could have the next book!… Amazing… 5 stars, although it is a shame I can’t give it more, it’s easily worth a 7. Buy it, you won’t regret it!Bonnie’s Book Talk, 5 stars

Everything Carol Wyer touches turns to gold. She most definitely knows how to write an addictive and tense page-turner and this one is no different. Compelling from the first page, this will have you hooked in a heartbeat.’ Novel Deelights, 5 stars

‘Omg!! My heart is pounding so hard! I have just finished reading The Birthday and I am floored! This is the first in a new series from Carol Wyer, featuring DI Natalie Ward and her team. What a way to start! Speedy, sharp, heart stopping and engaging; this is a series I am definitely looking forward to!TishyLou, 5 stars

A rollocking rollercoaster ride … dark, twisty and wonderfully gripping’ Minimac Reviews

‘This could be something special… This book truly is excellent… Heart-thumpingly good… A well-paced, heart-wrenching, pulse racing, edge-of-your-seat kind of book and a crime fighting team who you can genuinely root for… look no further as this could genuinely be your next favourite read. I tore through it.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews, 5 stars

‘What a twist! …I read this book in a day!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

An exciting new series… Excellent character development… full of surprising twists and turns. This was a truly thrilling book… chilling… It certainly was no average read… I read The Birthday so fast that I was actually surprised… Excellent pacingsuperb writing.’Robin Loves Reading, 5 stars

Wyer easily surpassed all my expectations, creating a dynamic lead character that is every bit as enthralling as the beloved DI Carter… I could barely breathe as they rushed to find and arrest the killer… Sure to be another skilfully-crafted series… intense, chilling, and the very definition of unputdownable… A must-read.The Geeky Bibliophile, 5 stars

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Do Giveaways Help Promote Books? #giveaway #writingadvice

Birthday promo 3I often see tweets “#RT for a #Giveaway” or similar, scrolling through my Twitter feed. It seems every day, authors are eagerly offering not just signed copies of their books, but other goodies to boost sales, sometimes even huge hampers of gifts, from £100 Amazon vouchers to promises of putting winner’s names into the next novel.

Most of us will have tried this. We’ve offered books, purchased out of our own pockets. We’ve signed them and posted them to far-flung places, again at our own cost, to those fortunate enough to win. Yet, how much does a giveaway influence a book’s performance?

We’d love to believe offering a signed copy of a book will garner interest in it, and those unlucky enough not to win your book will race off instead to purchase it.

Websites like Goodreads would also have you believe it is imperative to offer free books and run a giveaway campaign several weeks ahead of release. Some virtual book tour companies also advise you to offer free copies of your book to run alongside reviews, and bombard you with statistics of how many people read and respond to such posts.

Do giveaways sell more books?

After numerous giveaways held on various websites, I have had mixed results. Goodreads campaigns yielded no increase in sales, nor did I have much success offering giveaways on virtual tours or Rafflecopter prizes on blogs.

This might have been due to the timing or poor promotion on my part or simply not doing it properly,  but if you are considering doing a giveaway you should remember that a lot of people you attract are simply looking for freebies. They might or might not even read or review your book. They could well tell their friends how great it is, but the reality is you will spend a lot of your hard-earned money on promoting and the financial rewards are unlikely to outweigh the cost.

Are giveaways pointless?

In brief – no. They are a terrific marketing tool and success is not always based on number of book sales.  Much depends on your expectations. Gear your giveaway to create a social buzz, gain more followers on your social media platforms and increase your email or newsletter list, and all of those will eventually lead to sales. You are playing a long game and building up your author platform.

If you get your promo right, your name and book will get massive exposure, which is again great news. I learned recently, a reader needs to hear of and see a book about seven times before they click to buy. A promotion will increase those chances.

The key to a giveaway is to decide what you want out of it. If you are creating a name for yourself then they are worthwhile. If you are hoping for an immediate increase in book sales, be prepared to be disappointed. (Having said which, I know of authors who have had a spike after a big giveaway.)

The Internet is stuffed full of giveaways so target your promotion carefully. You need to be heard and stand out among other giveaways.

Results of recent giveaway.

My new thriller THE BIRTHDAY is due out on September 27th. Pre-sales have been decent but I wanted to raise interest prior to the actual release.

I offered two notebooks (see above) as prizes. I started my campaign Sunday afternoon because that seems to be a time when many people are online. I offered one notebook on Twitter for merely following me and retweeting. I offered a second book using my Facebook page for anyone sharing my post and commenting.

Given my goal was purely to raise awareness of the forthcoming release, I was pleased with the results.

My Facebook page post reached 1011 people and was shared 124 times.  The Twitter post received 2,080 impressions and was shared 104 times. In total, 3091 people saw the post and are aware of my book. I’m pretty happy with that. I can’t say if any will convert into sales but for now I’m satisfied to know THE BIRTHDAY has been paraded in front of these people and the icing on the cake is that before I ran the giveaway yesterday at 2 p.m. THE BIRTHDAY was at #630 in the UK Amazon charts. By 8 p.m. it had risen 250 positions to #380.

The giveaway runs until Thursday so you have time to win one of these fabulous notebooks. If you’d like to do so, pop along to my Twitter page and retweet the link here or my Facebook author page which you can find by clicking here