Ducie’s Diary: June 2021
It’s become a bit of a habit to open these posts with a comment on the weather. How very British of me! In April, I complained about how cold it was; then in May, I was relishing hot sunshine and being able to work outside. Well, here we are in June and, true to form, it’s wet! We’ve had torrential rain over the past day or so, which makes me wonder why I spent so much time wielding the watering can on Saturday evening! But it’s stopped now, the skies are clearing – and the garden is looking wonderful, so I’m not going to complain. Let’s talk about writing instead.
Writing This Month
The pharmaceutical textbook project – or at least the first phase – is nearing completion. My co-author and I have another three chapters ready to go to the publisher, making the manuscript 75% complete. This time next month, we’ll be there. Mind you, I seem to have left the two most difficult and technically complex chapters to the end; so July’s going to be a tough month.
The second round of feedback from my beta readers for Murder at Mountjoy Manor was very positive. I sorted out a few final issues and send the file to my wonderful proofreader, Julia Gibbs, on schedule. I’m expecting to have the Advance Reader Copies ready for distribution week beginning 19th July. My launch date was set for 15th October, but I’ve pushed it back a few days, as I realised I’m going to be otherwise engaged on that date – and one things I’ve learned in the past decade is that launch day is always far busier and more stressful than I expect it to be; it’s not a day to try multi-tasking. Don’t forget, I’m still recruiting for my launch team; so if you fancy getting your hands on an ARC before launch, and then giving me a hand with reviews and social media at launch time, do drop me a line and I’ll add your name to the list.
And as this is a new series, I’m still working on the world building, to introduce my readers to the village of Coombesford and its people. If you’d like to know how some of the characters from my thrillers, Charlie Jones and her family, have ended up running a pub with rooms in South Devon, just click here for a free download.
Sales and Marketing
I am coming to the end of the third month of Women in Publishing School, and this month has been a biggie. We’ve been putting everything in place for our launches: revamping our email lists; sorting out email sequences; setting up Book Funnel accounts; and polishing our Instagram accounts. My Target Reader isn’t an IG user – she’s much more at home on Facebook – so I’ve let that bit slip a bit, but I’m going to get back to it at some point, as I love creating graphics for posts – and IG is a great forum for that.
Out and About
Great excitement this month: Chudleigh Writers had a meeting that wasn’t on Zoom! There was just a small group of us, and our original venue was rained off, but we visited a local cafe with an outside, heated veranda, which was most welcome. Despite all the chatter and banter, we managed to get some work done, and everyone produced a pantoum based on our observations of the venue. Just a small step on the road back to ‘normality’.
Exeter Literary Festival
The outline programme for ExeLitFest is up on the website now. Details are being added all the time, but there’s enough there already to whet the appetite. If you are located in the south west of England, do check it out. We have some great sessions coming up, both for readers and writers.
A reminder that Exeter Literary Festival’s short story competition is open now; closing on 31st July. The theme is open, and the word limit is just 750. Writing flash fiction is something that’s growing in popularity. If you’ve already tried it, I’m sure you will know how addictive it can be. And if it’s new to you, why not give it a try?