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Welcome To July's Strange & Unusual Newsletter

*Waves* coaxes you in... 

What a month it's been. We had the super successful Bloggers Bash 2016, after which, I slept for a week...(and I NEVER sleep!). If you didn't make it, why not stick around and see if you can come to London for 2017's bash. I promise you it will be bigger and better than ever.

This month I've removed a couple sections and added new stuff. One of the things I think is important for indie authors is staying up to date with all the latest publishing news and trends. What better place to share what I learn, than here?

Let me ask you a question - What kind of publishing news would you like to see in this email? Are there specific things or questions you find yourself looking for answers to? Drop me a line (or hit reply) to let me know and i'll see what I can find for next time. (

There's loads in store this month, including:

  • The latest publishing news: 
  1. Podcasting and why you need to get in the game
  2. Snapchat   
  • July Writing Competitions
  • Monthly Writing Tips Round Up
  • Free yourself from social media so you can write

If you like this newsletter, or find it useful, why not share it with someone who would appreciate it? Also, don't forget to add me to your contacts list so I don't end up in your spam folder.

Book Updates

I may have fucked last month's WIP writing up, but I sure as shit didn't this month! June saw me edit a whopping 35K words. I now have 25 chapters (of Keepers) my YA fiction book ready for beta readers. 

I have also done the unthinkable and set myself a very final deadline. By hook or by crook (please hold a shotgun of accountability to my head) I will have Keepers drafted and ready for beta readers by September 30th. Which will give me space to finish 13 Steps to Evil.

Now, I just need to casually re-write 20,000 words in July and edit the last 30,000 in September...*reaches for caffeine drip*
Thanks to everyone who came back with suggestions for the subtitle to 13 Steps to Evil, my non-fiction book on writing villains.

I still need to 100% decide, but I am hovering on:

13 Steps to Evil - The Ultimate Writer's Guide To Creating Superbad Villains
Competition Time

Competitions are a great muscle flexing activity if nothing else. Each month I will post three competitions closing in the next month to six weeks. I like a little deadline pressure.

So July-ish closers:

Ink Tears31 July, 500, £3, Prizes £250 £50 and 4x £25
The Elbow Room Prize 2016 is open until the 14th of August Poetry, prose and visual arts categories. Fees: £4 or £10 for 3. Prizes: £200, £50 £50 Winners will be published in an anthology, and will be featured in a London-based exhibition and live event.
81 Word Story stories in exactly 81 words

Monthly Round Up

Need a bit of writing inspiration? Try this months Writespiration challenges:

Burnt Edges

There weren't any strange and unusual wonderings this month because of the Bloggers Bash. So instead I bring you a couple of posts about the bash to catch up on:

The Bloggers Bash 2016 Round Up
The Winners of the Bloggers Bash
Bloggers Bash PJ Party


Welcome to my newest section, where I will aim to provide you with up to date information on the latest trends, news and updates on self and traditional publishing. 

We know that blogs don't sell reams of books, they're a platform for connecting with other readers and writers. We also know they are more useful for Non-Fiction writers in terms of garnering an audience. But I'm not a one trick pony, I don't just write Non-Fiction and I'm sure you aren't either. I primarily write Young Adult fiction. So I am always interested in finding new opportunities to connect with readers.

The Book Designer has written a fascinating article on Snapchat and how you can use it to connect with Young Adult readers, check it out here.
A couple of key points (from their article) on why they suggest Snapchat:

"The majority of its users are female and between of 13 and 25.
Two-fifths of 18-year-olds in the U.S. use it several times a day to check in with friends and some family members.

Marketing Dive offers an expanded view:

  • Last year, Snapchat grew its 18-24 base by 56%, while its 25-34 year old users increased 103%."
Although not widely used by authors yet, it seems a logical platform to try. YA's generally don't read an authors blog, they do however, want to know what an author is like, they're interested in the real you. What better place to share that, than on a platform where all the YA's are...Just saying. 

What do you think? Drop me a line and let me know.

The next tidbit I want to share is a tip from my lovely writer friend Lucy

Lucy pointed me in the direction of podcasts. I was skeptical at first. But then I started listening and realised there is a wealth of untapped information and resources that are easily accessible, provide current and up to date info and can be listened to basically anywhere, anytime. I've learnt more about the state of the publishing industry in the last two weeks listening to podcasts than I have in the last 6 months of reading.
My top four suggestions for podcasts to listen to:
If you want some more suggestions there are a couple of articles here and here with lists of the best podcasts for writers.
I am plagued by social media. The constant ping ping of notifications is like crack cocaine to me. So when a fellow writer suggested I try the freedom App, I jumped at the chance.
The Freedom App, which you can try here, basically hi-jacks your computer for a set amount of time and prevents you from being able to access social media sites. You get 7 free goes with it to try it out, and then there are various subscriptions which you can sign up for.

Let me know what you think.
Writespiration of the Month: Worst Opening & Closing Lines
Have a bit of fun with this months Writespiration. Write the best, WORST opening and closing lines you can.

Phrontistery means a thinking place. But the website Phrontistery is a website FULL of unusual words, how could I not share it!
Wonder of the Month: Kailasa Temple - Elora Caves
The Kailasa temple, hidden in the Elora Caves in India is a feet of architectural genius, and completely inexplicable even by today's standards. Check it out.
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainty”
Erich Fromm
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Sacha Black Author · Hertford · Hertfordshire, sg13 8by · United Kingdom

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