Author Archives: Mags Cullingford

Stepping Out From Behind the blogging computer #wwwblogs

A HUNDRED HANDS by @diannenoble1 #Kolkata #India #Travel #TuesdayBookBlog

Never been to India? Immerse yourself in the experience with A Hundred Hands.

Rosie Amber

A Hundred HandsA Hundred Hands by Dianne Noble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Hundred Hands is a contemporary novel set in Kolkata, India. When Polly’s husband in England is jailed as a paedophile, she can’t face the accusing looks from her local community and runs away to India. After visiting her school friend in Bhubaneswar, Polly travels to Kolkata, thinking that she will do some travelling, but she meets first Liam and then Finlay and her plans change.

Liam is a church aid worker and runs a small school for children, who come each day for free food and lessons. Finlay runs a school too, but he provides a place for the children to sleep too. Polly is drawn to help these children, by a sense of guilt over her husband. Splitting her time between the two schools, Polly teaches English six days a week.

Living conditions are terrible, fumes…

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Wednesday Wing – Guard Against Your Amazon Reviews Being Removed #wwwblogs @TerryTyler4

Helpful comments on posting Amazon reviews.

Rosie Amber

This week on Wednesday Wing…

Writers/Reviewers: Guard against your Amazon reviews being removed.

Terry Tyler offers advice and thoughts on the matter.

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There has been much blogged about lately on the subject of Amazon removing book reviews. I am no authority on this subject, but believe their principle is to counteract the growing number of fake reviews; writers who cannot get them any other way (I will not go into the reasons for this right now!) have perhaps made use of the various sites around the internet that sell five star reviews. The owners of such sites do not read the books, but just post reviews. I saw one that had posted around a hundred on the same day, all of which consisted of the five star rating and one word, ‘brillent’, which I imagine was supposed to say ‘brilliant’; I suspect many of these sites are run by scammers…

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24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

As all 4 executives of NRP are over 30 . . . These are mega.

Warning:Curves Ahead

This morning, as I was perusing my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and it triggered Maximum Eye-Rolling from everyone who took the time out to read it.

Written by Kallie Provencher for RantChic.com, this “article” (I use the term loosely) highlighted things such as “leopard print”, “graphic tees”, and “short dresses” (because “By this age, women should know it’s always better to leave something to the imagination”). Kallie, it seems, has a number of opinions on what women over 30 should and shouldn’t be doing, having also penned “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own” and “20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting Online”. (What is this magical post-30 land where women are suddenly not allowed to do or own so many things?!)

Motivated by Kallie’s “article”, I decided to…

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Inspiration for The Little French Guesthouse #1 – Town and Country

PROMOTION COMMOTION – RNA CONFERENCE REPORT by Mags Cullingford

I love writing but confess when it comes to marketing and promoting the two novels I’ve published so far . . .  This post about Hazel Gaynor’s excellent talk at last year’s RNA Conference is very much a case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’

hazel gaynorHAZEL GAYNOR began with the lesson of E.L. James’s runaway success. ALL publicity is good publicity. What followed was effervescent.

As a reader Hazel needed to be told three things:

  • Tell me the book exists
  • Give me a reason to care
  • Convince me to buy it

She showed how to go about doing this by quoting from the Bookseller Marketing and Publicity Conference using the link #mpconf15, reminding us the author knows their book the best, and is, therefore, the ideal publicist.

All that followed made perfect sense. Hazel emphasised be nice to everyone, engage rather than sell, keep engaging and interacting. Social media is to entertain, to inform, and to connect.

What not to do – #buymybook #buymybook #buymybook.

Her advice: focus on fluid media, Twitter, Facebook and be a user not a promoter. Be visual on Pinterest, use video – You Tube, Book Tube, Facebook Virtual Events – plus look at two new mediums for ideas:

www.the-pool.com –for podcasts, sample chapters, interviews [billed on Google as a platform for women too busy to browse], and Periscope #whereiwrite [launched by Twitter March 2015] where authors give live tours around writing spaces.

social media signpost 300She recommended, chat and engage with people, support other writers, tag a relevant hashtag, share quotes from books, do a Twitter chat (be prepared), run a giveaway promotion/competition share interesting, relevant book-related content on your Author Central profile on Amazon, share milestones.

Who are you online? She emphasised the importance of photographs on Websites and Blog Posts, on Twitter, create a mailing list. Keep changing your Facebook Profile, and, more importantly, your FB Author Page.

She advised three to six months pre-publication, start sharing progress, cover reveal, look into Goodreads giveaways, and invite reviews.

Launch – quote from book. Make use of your Pinterest Notice Board, make it lively and interesting re-pinning from other Notice Boards but cave Copyright.

Engage with readers through your Goodreads Author Profile and Dashboard.

Our guests arrive . . .Be a real person in your locality, at writing festivals and events, book clubs and libraries. Run Workshops, attend conferences and festivals.

Skype – now there’s something to consider. Write articles online and in print. Write Blog posts. Review other authors’ books. Be interviewed.

Be creative like Joan Hessayon’ Award Winner Brigid Coady, photographed as “Writer in Residence” on her commuter train from Maidstone, and check out Matt Haig, author of The Humans.

Pitch a press release – what is your book? Research radio, TV, events, and don’t forget business cards, and book markers.

Finally, CELEBRATE.2015-10-21 11.35.53

But a note of caution, what if, after all this, it goes bad? Low attendance sucks. Mistakes happen.

Hazel’s personal observation, get over it like you do rejection of your precious manuscript(s). No resting on your laurels nowadays when you’ve written and published a book. That is just the beginning.

Thank you Hazel Gaynor for detailing what needs to happen next. Hazel ended with a Woody Allen quote “Eighty percent of success is showing up”.

First published in Romance Matters Autumn 2015

STEVE HODGKIN / Credit - CHADWICKS -Mags Cullingford
Independent Author Last Bite of the Cherry (2012) and
Twins of a Gazelle (2015)

Mags is currently completing and polishing her as yet untitled third novel – After her mother’s fatal car accident, Lexie Neave receives threatening anonymous letters. Private investigator Forbes’s brief is to identify the writer and discover what it is Lexie has that’s “valuable, very valuable which by rights is mine”. Lexie hasn’t a clue, and she’s in danger.

 

 

 

Signing off for a few days….

Elvis for Christmas. Thank you Cathy. Merry Christmas everyone Mags C

.. hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! See you on the other side 🙂

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It’s amazing what they can do with technology these days….

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Romancing September Across the World – Day 13 – Margaret Cullingford

Stephanie Hurt - Romance Author

Good morning everyone! I want to welcome you to the 2nd part of Day 13 of the 3rd Annual Romancing September Across the World Blog Tour. If you haven’t checked out Rosie’s post from earlier, then go by https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/ and get caught up.

Now on to today’s featured author, Here’s the question I asked:

What has been the biggest inspiration for your writing?

The short answer is the stimulation and enjoyment of reading all sorts of books.

Before I learnt to read, my youngest aunt loved to read to me, except when I asked to hear more of TheWater Babies. Aunt Ede preferred fairy tales or any Beatrix Potter. I loved those too but I wanted to know what happened to Tom.  All her life Aunt read only romance so what she probably hated most in The Water Babies was the ending:

“And of course Tom married Ellie!”  My…

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Interview Special: How On Earth Do We Fix The Mess We’ve Gotten Ourselves Into? Now There’s A Good Question! with author Justin Lee Anderson

Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 11 #BeachBooks @june_kearns

Rosie Amber

It’s Day 11 of our wonderful book tour holiday, pull up a deck chair and feel the sand between your toes.

June Kearns

Today my guest is June Kearns.

Beach Read Postcard

 

Beach Reads Blog Tour

My ideal holiday spot for relaxing and reading? Cromarty. (From the shipping forecast? Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne and Dogger.) The tiny historic town at the tip of the Black Isle, way up in the north of Scotland has warm seas (Gulf Stream), seals, kites and bottlenose dolphins. The rest of the family can swim, sail, fish, play golf, tennis and everything else that they like to do, while I sit in the sun with a book. Bliss!

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A book I’ve been meaning to read for ages: Love & The Goddess by Mary Elizabeth Coen

I’d already spotted this and admired the cover, but it was the feature on A Woman’s Wisdom Blog that made me fly to the…

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