Last Wednesday, the 29th of January, my publishers Usborne organized a social media training day for all of us 2016 debut authors, run by Author Profile.

We met at Etc Venues, round the corner from Usborne publishing, where for some reason there is a horse with a lampshade on his head in the lobby. Look, I kid you not…


Horse with a lampshade on its head.

PJ Norman and Anita Naik were our lecturers/ facilitators/ wise people – not quite sure what the word is here – for the day, and they took us through the basics of setting up a social media platform and posting content that links with and develops your author brand.

We spent some time looking at the plusses and minuses of various social media platforms. What kind of audiences used them, what worked in terms of content and frequency of posts, and the different kind of responses you might want to get from target audiences on the different platforms.

We also talked about author brands, and there was a little quiz about what we thought the brands of some well-known authors were. Afterwards we had to boil down those famous author personalities into three sentences that described them and their work.

And then, after the coffee break, horror of horrors,  we were tasked with doing the same for ourselves. It was a great opportunity to pitch your own themes and interests not just for your debut novel, but more generally, and get feedback from PJ and Anita and the other authors.

Usborne Debuts…


L-R Kathryn Evans, Me, Sarah Alexander, Simon Cherry, PJ Norman. Photo by Anita Naik

The day was also a chance for me to finally get to meet the three other Usborne authors who are debuting alongside me and my book Cogheart in 2016.

Kathryn Evans, whose YA book More of Me  published this week (hopefully I’ll have time to write another post about that soon) I had met before at a few SCBWI events, but the other two authors – Sarah Alexander (whose YA book The Art of Not Breathing  comes out in April 2016) and Simon Cherry ( whose MG book Eddy Stone and the Pirate in the bath comes out sometime in the Summer) – I was meeting for the first time. It was very interesting to find out about their books and then have the chance to chat to them in the pub afterwards about their publishing experience.

Waiting for Callback launch…

Then, Sarah and I ended up going on to Perdita and Honor Cargill’s glamorous book launch for Waiting for Callback at Daunt books that evening, which was a fantastic way to finish up the day!

Here are a few pictures from that as well. I have only managed to read the first twenty or thirty pages of Waiting for Callback so far, but it is BLOOMING HILARIOUS…