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The Stepsister. Book launch breakdown 

It’s been a week since the publication of The Stepsister, my first thriller but not my last. It’s also been another first – the first time I’ve signed up for a blog tour. 

As an Indy I tend to go for a softer book launch. If my book sells so be it. And if it doesn’t? The fault lies squarely on my shoulders. This year, for some reason I decided to act like a proper author for once. After all, it’s book number ten so it’s not as if I plan to disappear into the woodwork anytime soon. I have book number eleven all but written, a crime thriller set in South Wales. I’m currently going through the pain of structural edits at the moment. And as for book number twelve,  woman’s fiction set in and around Ireland’s west coast? I’ve written 25% and keen to get back to it but not until eleven is off my hands. 

So, back to the book launch.

I only decided at the end of August to publish The Stepsister. We’d just arrived back from a wonderful few days in Paris to celebrate GCSE results and I made the snap decision to go for it. The book had been lying around for 6 months and it was time. I contacted Rachel Gilbey, someone I’d seen post on Book Connectors and someone who I thought I could work with. Within a day she’d guided me through my options and I’d signed up for a week’s blog tour in addition to a cover reveal, when I didn’t even have a cover or a fully edited manuscript – early September was when the fun started. 

I taught myself book cover design early on and this was the first project. As the book has an underlying arty theme I wanted the cover to resemble a painting. It took 6 hours and a final panic over whether the word Stepsister should be hyphenated before I sent it to Rachel. Within days she’d managed to conjure up 40 bloggers to share the cover and kick start my pre-orders. 

September and October were spent doing final edits and working with the amazing Natasha Orme in order to produce the final version which, true to form, I uploaded to Amazon only hours before their deadline. Last Monday, book launch day was busy and I was thrilled with the amount of sales. I hit 3,000 + in the U.K. sales ranking which, for no publicity other than the tour is pretty good, certainly an improvement on other launches. In truth, I hadn’t had to do much other than prepare the book and cover. Rachel managed to find 21 bloggers who did a mixture of content from actual book reviews to guest posts and extracts from the book. 

There’s been a lot of talk about the value of book bloggers and whether they make a difference. But the bottom line has to be do they lead to more book sales? The Stepsister has had no money thrown at it. I haven’t signed up to BookBub or any other advertising network. I haven’t taken out any paid Facebook or Twitter ads. The only publicity has been to my followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. So, the only differences between this and previous launches is genre and the blog tour. And my sales? They’ve quadrupled.  

Thank you to Rachel and the fifty plus bloggers who’ve helped me over recent weeks. Now it’s time to build on the momentum they’ve started. And the million dollar question… Will I sign up for another blog tour? Definitely. 

The Stepsister, a psychological thriller set between Guernsey and Holland is available from Amazon for 99p here