When I saw that Laura Pearson's latest novel, The Last List of Mabel Beaumont, was setting the Kindle charts alight, I was so happy for her. I knew she'd endured a tough few years, being diagnosed with breast cancer when she was thirty-five and five months pregnant. On top of those personal challenges were professional set backs too.
I wanted to dig deeper as The Last List of Mabel Beaumont flew high in the charts. We started by discussing the process of writing the novel. She admitted it wasn't easy after the idea was questioned. 'I think that when it seems like nobody believes in your book, you have to at least do yourself the favour of believing in it yourself. I wrote this book three times from scratch and that took a long time, so I knew that I would keep going with it until I found the people who would champion it.'
This persistence paid off when she found a publisher who shared her vision: Boldwood. I've heard nothing but great things about this publisher so it was no surprise to hear Laura thinks their dynamic approach to pricing and digital advertising played a pivotal role in the success of her latest novel. As she said: 'I just trust them to look after that side of things, because they're doing it so well. All I can do is keep writing the books.'
However, Laura's personal contributions were equally pivotal. In particular, she capitalised on her online community, The Bookload, for support. The Bookload is a brilliant Facebook group that brings together readers. 'I get a lot of support there from the admin team and the members,' she told me, 'which is wonderful. Groups like this can really do wonders for authors.' I've experienced it myself with The Reading Snug group I run. This really demonstrates the power of a strong support network.
Laura's experience also highlights the unexpected twists in marketing a book. A light-hearted tweet about her book’s ranking, and her mother accidentally promoting a competing book, turned viral, unexpectedly boosting sales. 'I just thought it was an amusing anecdote,' she said of the experience, 'but the tweet got quite a lot of traction and lots of people bought the book off the back of it.' This incident underscores the unpredictable nature of book promotion and the potential of social media engagement. Learning moment? Just keep on posting, folks!
I asked Laura, if she could go back five years, what would she tell her author self in light of her recent experiences? 'Five years ago was the year I was first published,' she replied. 'I would tell myself that it wasn't going to be plain sailing but that I had to stick with it, however tough it got. I don't think I'd change anything, because I'm quite happy with where I've ended up.'
Her advice to other authors is to persevere, maintain faith in their work, and embrace the ebbs and flows of the industry. Laura acknowledges the importance of struggles, viewing them as essential to growth. 'Just keep going,' she advised. 'Write the book you want to write and find the people who love it. Know that failure in this industry doesn't mean there'll never be success.'
Laura's story is a powerful reminder that in the world of writing, perseverance, and a dash of creativity can turn the tides of fortune. Congrats, Laura and can't wait to see what's next for you!
Takeaways from this Interview
Believe in Your Work: Even if others doubt, your belief in your story is crucial.
Persistence Pays Off: Rewriting and refining your work can lead to success.
Choose the Right Publisher: A publisher with a strong digital presence and marketing strategy can make a significant difference.
Leverage Your Community: Online communities and social media can be powerful tools for promotion.
Embrace the Unexpected: Sometimes, unconventional marketing tactics can yield surprising results.
Learn from Struggles: Difficulties and failures are part of the journey, shaping you as a writer.
Stay True to Your Voice: Write what resonates with you, and find the audience that appreciates it.