I’m taking a trip down memory lane today. Did you know that it was this week, three years ago, that Beyond Grace’s Rainbow hit the virtual bookshelves?
Long before I had this blog, or Facebook author page or twitter account, an agent or publisher, I quietly, with only a few friends and family in the know, self-published Grace’s story as an eBook.
Do you know that I created the cover on my iPad? And while it shouts self-pub’d with it’s fonts, I was inordinately proud of that cover. (A bit morto about the ‘A Novel By’ bit … rookie error!)
I was terrified back then. I had no idea how people would react to my book. My few friends who’d read and family, all said it was good. But sure they had to say that.
As more and more downloaded Grace’s story, word spread and my little eBook began to get noticed. I can remember clearly, a friend, telling me that she was in the hairdressers and she heard one of the stylists telling her client about my book. And no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t tie this person to me in any way. Believe me I did try. Because it was incredible to me that a stranger, not a friend, or family member, would ever recommend my book!
And, within a week of its release, it was no. 1. on iBooks and a top 10 Amazon and Kobo bestseller.
I spent a lot of time back then, asking Rog was I dreaming.
I have said this many times before, but I need to say it again, that I’d never have gotten the word out so quickly, without the army of friends on Facebook who shared links to my book with their own networks. I’ll never forget that.
So what happened next? Well, I started to look for an agent in October 2012, buoyed by the chart success. After a few rejections, I signed with Tracy Brennan of the Trace Literary Agency in January 2013. For anyone who is looking right now and has had rejections, I know it hurts. But chin up, the right agent for you, will not pass you by.
I was told by one agent in Dublin, in no uncertain terms, during a crushing telephone call, ‘You’ve shot yourself in the foot by self-publishing, because no publisher will touch you with a bargepole. I pass.”
I wonder if I’ll meet him one day. I might just do a Julia on it and say, Big mistake. Huge. Ha!
Because in July 2013, I signed a two-book deal with Harper Impulse, one of Harper Collins digital imprints. They didn’t seem to mind that I’d self-published.
Grace got a makeover and my edited version, hit the virtual and real bookshelves, September and November, 2013 respectively. This was the first version, but the little quote bubble has been changed a few times now.
Beyond Grace’s Rainbow has won two international awards – Best Romantic eBook of 2013 and Kindle Book of Year 2013. It’s being translated into several languages.
I’m so proud of this book. It was written quite quickly, on a solo holiday one year when I was billy no mates. But then I hid it for years under my bed, afraid to share it with anyone. That is, until my husband persuaded me to give writing a go. He’s a clever man. And very persuasive! I know that it’s not perfect. But it was written with every part of my heart and soul. Grace, Liam, Jack, Tom, Gerry, Abby, Tara and Sean, became my family. They always will be.
First book, is a lot like first love my friends. Entangled in your heart forever.
I’m going to share some favourite quotes and click here for a link to more information on the book, with a free extract, if you haven’t read and fancy a nose.
Lastly, thank you oh fabulous readers, many who have been part of this magical journey from the very start with me. We’ve lots more fun ahead of us, I promise.