You may have noticed that a well known UK Superstore is now stocking my novel – ‘It Started At Sunset Cottage’ and if you haven’t then I suggest you hot foot it down to the store where ‘Every Little Helps’ to check it out for yourself. To be honest I’m guessing most folk are not quite as excited as I am to see it on a shelf (I could stand there staring at it for hours but apparently they’re not very keen on that, or so the nice security guard man said as he showed me out).
So how did this happen? (Grab a cuppa and I will update you).
Apparently my lovely editor at Harper Impulse, Charlotte Ledger, has been encouraging everyone she knows to read my book and one of the people she offered it to was Caroline Kirkpatrick from Avon (no not the curly paged magazine that gets poked through your door and then an odd-looking man comes to demand it back a few days later – not that. This Avon is another imprint of Harper Collins and thankfully has no curly pages or odd-looking men). Luckily Caroline enjoyed the story and this is where I get a little hazy as to what happened next, so I may have to make bits up.
After various discussions deep within the nooks and crannies of the News building in London they decided to repackage my novel and make it ‘supermarket friendly’. I wondered if this meant it would have a sell by date and come with two packets of custard creams (well, a girl can dream). Apparently, the supermarkets are very specific about what they want and what their experience tells them will sell. So with that in mind my cover was tweaked – it gained some bunting and the cottage was thatched but sadly we lost the dog in the handbag and the pineapples hidden in the floral arrangements. But overall the revised cover was definitely striking.
Thanks to the amazing team at Harper Collins my book was then chosen by the red, white and blue logo’d supermarket as a recommended pick, which meant it was then zooming off to over 800 stores and flying of the shelves at a discounted price for two weeks.
It was so much fun to see all the photographs of my book from various different stores across the country (who doesn’t love a shelfie?) and I loved it when Harper Collins set up the hashtag #WheresBella
Everyone seems very pleased with how things went in the two weeks it was on promotion and it has been a great experience for me to see my book on the shelves and even better to see the little space where it has sold out!
So if you do see an odd-looking person staring at the supermarket book shelves be kind as it may be a debut author who is more than a little mesmerized by the sight of their book. It could, in fact, be me in which case I am easily lured away with a custard cream.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.