Me and events - an author steps out

Signing books

Signing books

When you write and publish books, you know there are various steps on the way, mostly involving hard slog, rewrites, critiques, revisions, back ache, more edits, proofs, eyes watering, etc. Once your book is out, you’ll launch it, do a few book-signings plus the stuff on social media. Then what?

Of course you need to write the next book, keep up with market news, reply to messages and emails from fans, but anything else?

With Conn Iggulden

With INSURRECTIO endorser Conn Iggulden

Well, yes. You need to go out and meet people and do some events: other authors at writing and book events, fans and potential readers at conferences, fairs and fetes, and trade contacts at other people’s launches, courses and networking evenings. And did I mention parties?

That’s all very lovely and I’m sure that like me you thoroughly enjoy all this gallivanting. But you’ve learnt a lot along your writing journey, so it’s time to give back to the next generation of writers. You’ve listened in admiration to others and absorbed tips and information. It’s your turn now. And actually, they want to know…

Hope it's pearls of wisdom I'm dropping!

Hope it’s pearls of wisdom I’m dropping!

As well as telling a few secrets and some amusing stories and mentioning your newest book(!), you’re giving your experience to others, mistakes and all. Of course, you can write articles for your genre’s magazine and writing publications, contribute to blogs as a guest or on a blogging team, but live events are the best. You cannot stay in your batcave for ever, masterminding your writing empire from your keyboard. People do like seeing authors in the flesh and audiences can be fun! If you feel unprepared, here are a few tips about speaking.

I’m not just pontificating in my own batcave. Here’s a taster of what I have coming up:

London Book Fair 
12-14 April  – London Olympia
The book trade’s own fair, but where authors can meet and chat (and have lunch!). And on 12 April, 4.30-6.30pm, I’ll be launching INSURRECTIO, the fifth book in the Roma Nova series, at the SilverWood Books stand 1G45. Contact me for an invitation!

Wrexham Carnival of Words
Runs from 7-14 May – Wrexham, UK
I’m taking part in the “My Era’s Better Than Yours” panel session on the Friday 13 May as part of Historical Fiction Night. I’ll be standing up for the Romans!

Then we’ll be followed by a talk from the fabulous Lindsey Davies, author of the Falco Roman detective series.
Venue: Main Entrance block (LL11 2AW), Glyndŵr University
Time: 7-8pm

Charroux LitFest Bookish lunch
Wednesday 18 May  – Poitou-Charentes, France
Lunch with ‘bons mots’ from me, plus I’m giving a writers’ workshop afterwards on writing characters into their setting.

St Clémentin LitFête
24-26 June  – Deux-Sèvres, France
Talks on The Ins and Outs of Self-Publishing and about the Roma Nova thriller series, with readings

Romantic Novelists Association Conference
8-10 July – Lancaster University, UK
Giving a talk on historical research and how to use it

Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival
21-14 July – The Old Swan, Harrogate
Just attending, but what a line-up! Peter James, Jeffery Deaver, Martina Cole, Neil Cross, Linwood Barclay, Tess Gerritsen, Val McDermid and Gerald Seymour

Historical Novel Society Conference
2-4 September 2016 – Oxford, UK
I’m the indie co-ordinator and deputy publicity officer, plus I’ll be speaking on a panel – ‘Going Indie: Questions and Answers’.

Get involved and try it. It hones your pitching skills when asking, you’ll probably get lunch, a fee and travel expenses and you’re very likely to find some new fans.

With Sue Cook at the SUCCESSIO launch

With Sue Cook at the SUCCESSIO launch

Kate Mosse, Barry Walsh, moi, Elizabeth Haynes, Isobel Ashdown

Speakers at at Charroux Litfest: Kate Mosse, Barry Walsh, moi, Elizabeth Haynes, Isobel Ashdown

In full flow

In full flow at a library talk








And here’s the question: what was your best event out and about?


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIO and AURELIA. The fifth in the series, INSURRECTIO, will be published on 12 April 2016.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines…


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