This week’s showcase author is Lucas Mayberry, who created Simon, a reluctant superhero. I figured I should probably blurt out a few words about superpowers. I don’t have one—do you?
If I had to pick my everyday Superheroes—yay, I made an oxymoron—they would be my two sons. They met and married—in one case—and both stayed with their childhood sweethearts through good times and bad. They both have three children and devote their lives to their kid’s happiness and well-being. Though, to be fair, my brilliant daughters-in-law do most of that bit. Me, I’ve never stuck with anything longer than six years. A true victim of the seven-year-itch. Mark and I are in our sixth year. I’ve never been more settled or happy. We’re good until the 22nd of May next year. Then we batten down the hatches and let year seven try its worst.
A common question in daft quizzes is; What would your superpower be?
Mine would be the worst one I could pick, but it’s an easy choice—the only option for me. I’m far too clumsy to fly and too loud for invisibility to be any good.
My superpower would be mindreading.
Can you imagine having that second internal dialogue? Knowing what the person was thinking with every sentence?
I think it would be a very lonely and destructive place to be.
All day, every day, we temper what we think into words that are acceptable to other people. I don’t believe any friendship, working relationship or partner could survive being able to mindread. It would be better—though still not ideal if you could turn it on at will. If it came to you with no off control, you would have the thoughts of every person you passed in the street bombarding you. That would be so tiring. Would you be able to mind your own business?
Imagine being in a supermarket, and the person next to you is thinking of ending their life. What would you do? Anything? Surely by having that person’s private thoughts, you also have a responsibility for them on your hands. The person in the meat aisle is thinking about getting through the rest of the week until payday. The joint of beef would feed the family for two days.
She’s going to steal it—would you intervene? See now, I’d box clever and muscle in and buy that last joint of beef on the shelf before she can nab it. But, she moves on to the lamb.
It would be exhausting without even touching on the implication of personal relationships and how you’d manage knowing your partner’s every thought.
A question for everybody reading this blog.
There’s a pretty red Deal or no Deal box in front of you. In it is the ability to read other people’s minds. Open that box; that gift or curse is yours for the rest of your life.
Do you open the box?
I can answer without even having to think about it.
Yes. I would open the box.
Please drop me a comment in the thread to let me know what you’d do.
And that segways us neatly onto this week’s Showcase. This is the third stage of Lucas Mayberry’s Marketing for Life package and an opportunity for you to meet his wonderful character Simon. Simon can fly, and boy does he go places.
Lucas has written two books in the series to date.
Book 1; Simon: Not Your Average Superhero
Book 2; Simon: Superhero in Training
We had a lot of fun making this book trailer for book 2 in the series.
We also have a review for each book that hints at what you can expect in this series of pure escapism.
The books are packed with fun, humour and characters that you quickly come to love.
In other news, this week, we have passed 2,000 members in the Best Book Editors Facebook Group. We celebrated by giving members a double-bubble shot in the Spin the Wheel incentive to buy books from other authors. Every book bought or downloaded on KU earned them two tickets in this week’s wheel. Ah, think the mathematicians amongst us. The odds are exactly the same—so you gave them nothing.
Wrong. And here’s where it all got a bit complicated. In my wisdom, I messed up spectacularly. The group became a monster of its own creation. When we were few, we had the Featured Author days. If you even smiled at another member in support, we flung you a Featured Author day as a reward. Every book sale got one, and every review got one.
And then, both the group and the Best Book Editors’ business grew.
I was taken away from the group to manage the business side of things. The admin kept adding the week’s FA days to the list and sending it to me. I didn’t have time to nip for a pee; never mind looking at a group list. Admin did exactly what was asked of them and rewarded members for supporting other authors. I never once looked to see how many Featured Author days we had on the list. Like a Grimm’s fairy tale with a pot of porridge that keeps filling until it overflows and cements a village, it grew—and overflowed. I don’t know if such a fairy tale exists, but it should.
In the BBE team staff meeting one day, I casually asked, ‘By the way, how’s the Featured Author list doing?’ I looked and was horrified to see that we had almost a year’s worth of FA days built up, and it was still going at the rate of about thirty days a week.
Features and days and weeks—oh my. Dorothy had nowt on me.
We had to find a magic spell to stop this craziness. There wasn’t a superhero in sight to help us. So we asked our members to transfer their tickets onto a Spin the Wheel competition, as run in other groups instead.
I once wondered why other groups hadn’t latched onto our idea and weren’t doing what we do—because it doesn’t bloody work, that’s why. Idiot.
Some members opted to keep their days, and that was their right.
I want to use this space———-to give a massive shout-out thank you to our fantastic members. Realising our predicament, almost everybody transferred their Featured Author days into tickets for the Wheel of Glory. We agreed to give them up to five places on the wheel until their tickets were all used. It was a tremendous team-spirited effort and made the transition so much easier than it might have been.
We have also passed the onus for running their winning week onto the members themselves. Admin could no longer be expected to run their promotion for them. Previously, members sat back and expected the admin to give them all of their promotions. We posted regularly, asking members to add to that, to come onto the group, chat, let other members get to know them and have fun with their day. It didn’t often happen.
Now we give the week. We have cleared the group of ‘buy my book’ self-promotion posts and asked them to only self-promote at the weekend. The stage is open, and the scene is set for the winning members to take their week. What we’ve found is amazing. Because we aren’t doing it all for them, winners are stepping into the light and running their weeks. We’ve had members supporting each other, posting for each other and running giveaways. It’s been lovely to see.
We have two more Mon-Wed ‘Weeks’ when we are using up members’ old FA days on Thursday and Friday—and then we are clear, and winners will get their Mon-Fri week. We have a few more weeks of using up the old winning tickets—which is good because the wheel would be pretty paltry without them.
As we’ve increased the group and the business, we want to grow the wheel in the next few weeks. We want to see new blood, new names, and our dedicated and much-appreciated core members.
It’s all coming good.
The business is doing well after putting a stop on commissions for two weeks due to illness and a packed spike. I couldn’t go off and leave the staff to cope with everything we had. We spent a few weeks slowing down and fulfilling all the outstanding commissions one at a time and in a less frantic manner. We had too much work in for a while. We are now open again and back to taking commissions for our services.
In other news, Hubby and I have bought a camper van, and despite falling off a mountain last Sunday and into a lake last Monday, I have realised that there is more to life than work. I visited my sister-in-law for her birthday yesterday. I haven’t seen her for a couple of years. Too long.
Work is great, and I’m very grateful for it—but it isn’t everything.
That’s all, folks!
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.