I stumbled across Rebecca Bradley’s crime writing blog at some point in the past, I don’t remember when, but it quickly became apparent she was a kindred crime/mystery/thriller spirit. Her blog contains lots of tips on writing, her personal reflections, and interviews with a wide variety of mystery/crime authors whose books now fill my Kindle reader.
Rebecca’s just-released crime procedural, Shallow Waters (Amazon Digital Services 2015), is the first in the DI Hannah Robbins series. It deals with DI Robbins’ unflagging efforts to solve the ugly murder of a teenager while balancing what appears to be growing drinking problem and a boyfriend who may turn into something worse.
Because I am approaching the publication of my first novel, I had lots of questions for Rebecca–not just about self-publishing but marketing it to the world. I am honored to host her on WordDreams with answers to my top six questions. I found her answers refreshing, honest, and doable for any wanna-be writer:
I do a lot of pre-release book reviews for Amazon Vine. They always include a fascinating list of marketing efforts. What is your marketing plan?
A marketing plan sounds so cold and hard, though I know it’s just the business of selling books. But for me, on my own, it’s personal, so that’s what my plan is I suppose, to continue to be me and to be personal. To be social. Not to keep telling everyone to buy my book as I see some authors doing.
I started early before the book was released. I made sure I had a good cover for the book and then I offered ARCs (advanced reader copies) to book bloggers so the book would have some early reviews. This has worked quite well. I was taken up on the offer by quite a few bloggers and reviewers and have had positive feedback on the book.
Other than that, I stay visible in the world in which I want to be – the crime fiction world. I blog regularly, I read and review books, I run an online crime book club that meets once a month on Google+ hangouts which is brilliant fun. I just get on and enjoy what I do.
I love your cover. How did you find your designer and decide on the right cover?
My cover designer, Paper & Sage, was recommended by a crime writer friend Mel Sherratt. I paid for the higher end service because I think getting the right cover is important to selling a book, so I had a couple of choices. The one that we went with was a last minute choice and I absolutely love it because I think it fits the tone of the story perfectly.
I follow your blog, Rebecca Bradley Crime, and wonder what other ways you are using social media to get the good word out?
I have increased my activity on the blog from being an inconsistent blogger to regularly blogging now at least 5 times a week. I’m also an obsessive Twitter user and I use that platform to talk to like minded people who love books. Twitter is great for quick conversations and sharing things we’ve read. I’ve found that by being genuine and talking to people, they are as interested in what I have to say as I am in what they say.
The thing is though, I have had my social media accounts for many years before I released Shallow Waters so I had already built up friendships and I believe that is important. You can’t just write a book, release it, create a social media account and expect it to work for you. It just won’t.
As I read your new book, I came up with at least four parts I considered ‘favorites’. What is your favorite part of your book?
Really? Thank you! That’s a difficult question though. Having just let it out into the world, I’m sat here worried it’s not good enough and holding my head in my heads muttering ‘What have I done!’
My favorite books are those where I feel like I come out the other end a better person for the time invested in reading. What did you learn from writing this book?
I learned that the writers life is not an easy one!
There is a theme of secrets and lies running throughout the book and how lives intertwine and complicate each others situations without necessarily knowing about it. It was interesting to see from a distance as the author, the way in which situations could have been resolved had people been more honest, no matter their reasoning. I think we need to always consider those around us and not take for granted that all is well in their world.
Why should we read your book? I’ll give a for-instance: I’m addicted to British Detective Inspector mysteries. Yours has those wonderful characters and their unique ways of fighting crime, which is one reason I was excited to read it. Are there other reasons readers would want to read your book?
There’s a perfect reason right there. It’s a British Detective Inspector and not only that, but she’s a female protagonist for anyone fed up of all the men out there. It’s told in first person narrative so the reader gets the inside track on the investigation and on DI Hannah Robbins’ thought processes.
If you like police procedurals, it has an attention to detail that is gently woven in rather than overbearing and dull. The plot and characters come first and it is the first in a series so there are snippets of back story hinted at, to be explored further in future books.
Rebecca Bradley lives in Nottinghamshire with her family and Cockerpoo Alfie, who keeps her company while she writes. If you’d like to purchase her book through Amazon, click the link below:
Jacqui Murray is the author of dozens of books (on technology in education) as well as the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education which you can find on Structured Learning (a collaborative publisher).