Beneath the Apple Blossom
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction
Release Date: 04/08/16
Publisher: Lemon Tree Press
Four women, linked by blood ties, friendship, betrayal, loss and hope, struggle with the choices they’ve made and the hand that life’s dealt them.
All Pippa’s ever wanted is marriage and kids, but at thirty-four and about to embark on IVF, her dream of having a family is far from certain. Her younger sister Georgie has the opposite problem, juggling her career, her lover, a young daughter and a husband who wants baby number two.
Pippa’s best friend Sienna has a successful career in the film world, and despite her boyfriend pressurising her to settle down, a baby is the last thing she wants. Happily married Connie shares the trauma of fertility treatment with Pippa, but underestimates the impact being unable to conceive will have on her and her marriage.
As their lives collide in a way they could never have predicted, will any of them get to see their hopes realised?
Connie stopped and looked around. She had wandered a little way off the path and was in a small grassy clearing surrounded by trees heavy with spring leaves and blossom. Not in the mood for making small talk with a stranger, she chose a spot in semi-shade out of sight of the path, leant back against the slender tree trunk and closed her eyes. A slight breeze caressed her face and every so often she got the wonderful sensation of sunlight on her. She took a deep breath and drank in the scent of damp grass and spring flowers – fresh, sweet and alive – then opened her eyes to the canopy of white against the blue sky. The apple tree was bursting with blossom like masses of white teardrops.
She had everything to live for even if it didn’t feel like it right now. Life was a journey, and the best journeys were the ones that couldn’t be predicted before setting off, or that weren’t an easy ride to reach the destination. Right then, on a perfect spring day beneath the apple blossom, she made a pact with herself to keep loving life whatever was thrown at her. She may have suffered yet more disappointment but she could still see beauty in the world and feel at peace.
Top Tips to Get a Book Publication-Ready
There’s no definitive way to become a bestselling or successful author, whether traditionally or indie published, but there are sure-fire ways to give yourself the best chance. I self-published my first book, The Butterfly Storm, in the summer of 2013 on Kindle only. Three years later, after learning a huge amount through trial and error, reading plenty, becoming a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) and becoming friends with lots of other writers, I’ve just published my second women’s fiction novel, Beneath the Apple Blossom, as an ebook and in paperback.
Whether you measure publishing success by the number of books sold, the amount of (good) reviews an author has or if it’s been a bestseller on Amazon, here are my top tips to ensure a book is as good as it can be before making it available to the world.
- Edit, edit, edit. This includes self-editing numerous times (and I suggest leaving your novel for as long as you can bear so you can read through it with a fresh pair of eyes), getting beta readers to give you feedback before hiring an editor and then a proof reader. Despite Beneath the Apple Blossom going through all of that I still managed to find a spelling error when proofing the paperback. Reading your novel in different formats can help, as well as reading it out loud.
- Believe in yourself. Most writers doubt themselves – it comes with the territory with every rejection or bad review knocking confidence. But alongside every rejection letter or one star review there will be praise and a glowing endorsement from someone who loved your book. I keep a hardback notebook where I write snippets from reviews or small extracts I’m particularly proud of from my stories and novels that I can look at on those days when doubt creeps in. Connecting with other writers via Twitter, Facebook or indeed in real life is also invaluable to share the ups and downs of a writing life.
- Invest in your book. This is a biggie but also the one that feels the riskiest, investing money on editing, proof reading, cover design, plus ebook and/or paperback formatting if you need to, can feel like a gamble but is worth it to end up with a professional novel you can be proud of. Of course there are no guarantees – I’d more than made my money back on what I’d invested in The Butterfly Storm three months after it was published and so I’ve reinvested some of that money in Beneath the Apple Blossom in the hope of having the same kind of success.
- Don’t underestimate the time it takes to publish a book. I know there are lots of authors who manage to get a book written and published in a matter of months (if not weeks). I’m not one of them. I hope to get quicker, both at the writing and publication stage, and I think that will come with practise and the more I publish. Editing, lining up reviewers, launching, marketing, all the while trying to write the next book takes time, particularly if you want to do it well. Giving yourself a deadline and having a detailed publication plan is an invaluable way of getting things done.
- Have a marketing plan. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? With my debut novel I organised a mini blog tour, put some posts up on Facebook and Twitter on launch day but that was about it. No surprise then that apart from launch day where I sold a fair few copies (to friends and family), The Butterfly Storm speedily headed back down Amazon’s Kindle chart. That was until I did a five-day free promotion two months later where 20,000 books were downloaded and the knock-on effect resulted in approximately 3,000 copies being sold in just three weeks. I have no idea how Beneath the Apple Blossom will do, but I do have a proper marketing plan in place this time with reviewers lined up weeks before publication day, a blog tour and a Facebook party organised, plus ideas for social media and local press. My marketing plan goes beyond launch day and I’m thinking ahead and planning what to do in the coming weeks and months to hopefully keep the momentum going.
My debut novel did well. It got to number one during a five day free book promotion, became a bestseller in literary fiction and women’s literary fiction Kindle categories and featured on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers chart more than once. Hopefully I’ll be able to build on that success with Beneath the Apple Blossom. Time will tell but I’m confident I’ve given it the best chance possible.
ABOUT KATE FROST
Kate Frost is a writer and author with a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University where she has also taught the lifewriting course to Creative Writing undergraduates. Alongside writing articles and short stories for magazines such as New Welsh Review, The London Magazine and QWF, Kate has worked in a bookshop, a cinema, as ground staff at Edgebaston Tennis Tournament and as a Supporting Artist in the films Vanity Fair, King Arthur and The Duchess.
Kate’s debut novel, The Butterfly Storm, was published in 2013 and featured on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers chart. Beneath the Apple Blossom is the first book in a series and Kate also plans to release the first in a time travel adventure trilogy for children by the end of 2016.
Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, her young son and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and fits in writing and publishing books around looking after – and being amused by – an energetic toddler.
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7131734.Kate_Frost
PAPERBACK COPY OF THE BOOK