There’s a story I heard somewhere concerning the fleet of the would-be conqueror Napoleon sailing up a channel to take the city of Venice. Whoever was in charge was unsure of their bearings, so called to a woman on the bank to make sure they were going in the right direction. ‘Yes, you’re all right, just keep on going,’ she’s reputed to have said, knowing they were heading for shallow waters up ahead, and a notorious sandbank. The ship was grounded
Napoleon did take Venice, but he suffered some unwanted problems due to the patriotic female. No-one knows who she was, but she did her part for her homeland.
Then there was a woman I read about recently, a worker in a supermarket who paid £120 from her own pocket for the shopping of a regular customer who’d left her purse at home and needed to get back to care for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s. The customer paid her back, but the fact is that the cashier did something she wasn’t obliged to do to help someone under pressure and save them from massive inconvenience.
These are the little people, and unsung heroes who work in the quiet behind the scenes making life easier for others. They do the work necessary for success. There are such people behind every celebrity, sportsperson, actor and author. Teachers and trainers, family and friends who provide the money or help with the housework or do whatever is needed to help. They sit behind the person whose name will be known in the wider world.
I’ll focus on the authors here, because behind every successful book stand a wealth of people who’ve made it happen. The other week I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the second book of an indie author like myself who published her first book not long after I published mine. The new book was an improvement on the first, and not just because my friend had learned from the experience of writing the first. There was evidence of editing work. I recognised traits which I’ve learned myself in the training that Sooz the boss gives me every week, and the manuscript flowed much better for them.
My friend is an author like me, self-publishing under our own brand—Cheapo Publications Inc.—there are people at Kindle Direct Publishing who design the software, the templates into which we set our manuscripts, people who designed the cover images which we use. And of course there are the companies like Best Book Editors who will take on the proofreading, editing, cover design, book trailers, marketing and so much more.
This is why I want to mention someone who works quietly behind the scenes at BBE. She isn’t an anonymous person, we all know the name Jo Hanna. Our own Jo runs the BBE Facebook group and organises the Featured Author days and other aspects of the group. When she isn’t doing that she’s proofreading, editing, marketing, going through manuscripts with a fine toothcomb or putting clients’ books onto hundreds of lists on Goodreads and elsewhere.
Jo isn’t an author, so we never see her having a Featured Author day of her own, or posting news on the group. We don’t have a photo of her to post here because she’s very private. Her furry friend Matilda has leapt into the breach. She jumped up and shouted, ‘Me. Me. I’ll take the praise. I like attention.’ Isn’t she gorgeous? Matilda is Jo’s life. However, she doesn’t talk to Aunty Sooz during the team meeting and training sessions because she only speaks Swedish.
Jo doesn’t get paid for what she does on the group and does it voluntarily, freeing-up Sooz for other work, like publicity for the company to bring in business for its continued growth.
So, whether you’ve had a manuscript proofread or edited by BBE, or taken out their unbeatable marketing package, or bought an author interview which appears on the website, Jo has probably had a hand in it, working away without recognition while Sooz and yours truly make a big noise in the group about our latest book or latest review. So this plug’s for you, Jo Hanna. Thank you from us all.
Thanks Laura. This is one of my favourite blogs and is long overdue. It’s been sitting on my desk for a couple of months. I’d like to add my tuppence to the mix. Jo came to work for me as a paid sub-editor in training—believe me, at a third of the commission price for the first eidt, the pay doesn’t amount to much. I don’t think she knew what she was letting herself in for when she agreed to help with the group. Notice the word help there—it’s important. Jo and I worked together and built the foundations of the group. As Laura said, she worked without fuss or praise. And then BBE took off with a boatload of commissions coming in, and I had to move in other directions to get work out—and guess what? Jo was left on her bobbins running the group. She is the most beautiful spirit and cared very much about what she does.
I took to the hills and wasn’t to be seen and Jo was left high and dry doing it all on her own.
New help came in the form of Laura and together the dream team have kept things going and made sure that everybody gets their Featured Author days. Thank you to both of you.
The group has grown and now we have Lucas joining us on admin as well. He is a very welcome addition and will take a week in four from the girls. (We still have an opening for the fourth week of the month if anybody is interested). However, the downside of this is that I can’t call them the girls anymore.
I’d also like to thank Joni. Don’t think we haven’t noticed the graphics appearing on your reviews for our members. Thank you for your time and effort. It’s hugely appreciated.
Big up to the Dream Team. I just make the tea.
So onto our Weekly Showcase. Come on brass section, off your backsides and give us a toot if you can’t manage a fanfare. I don’t know, you can’t get a decent brass band these days. Oi, Tom, doughnut down, tuba up.
This week’s showcase is for the relatively new member—but very established Craig Deegan. Craig has four books published and a cracking website where you can meet the characters. It’s great to see what he sees when he’s writing. He has character illustrations of all his people human and otherwise. Welcome to the world of Cracklock.
Amazon Book Links
Book One Fae or Foe https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09G9RNMMS/ref
Book Two Lost And Departed https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09KNDM9YZ/ref
Book Three Alice and The Mirror https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1739908147/ref
The Tale of Nathaniel Cracklock https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B0B5H6MCWG/ref
The Tale of Nathaniel Cracklock https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSg_TmTLq5Q
In other news. I hve been unfaithful. I cheated and that other with his glitter and gold promises was no sweeter than what I had at home. Okay, so I came out of KU and went wide. It didn’t work, I didn’t have time to market my books in the genral market place and I missed my KU reads racking up every month. It felt too big starting from day one and ground zero on all the other platforms, with no review and no book sales to my name. So I’ve come crawling back to KU, begging forgivness and promising it will never happen again–but once a cheat, always a cheat. It probably will when I have more time for marketing my own stuff. So for now at least, all of my books are available on Kindle Unlimited again. Yay.
A Question of Sanity has had a brand new edit. (I just hope it has transposed well. I haven’t had a chance to check yet.) If anybody finds anything wrong either in the way of formatting or typos, please let me know. I am of the opinion it’s perfect–and you know what that thought did.
Leverage always did well in KU in the past.
In other, other news–my head is still broken. But, being positive, there are benefits to having a brain condition–I just haven’t thought of them yet.
Thank you as always to Laura Lyndhurst for another great blog. You’re a love.
Amazon book links
You Know What You Did https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B091662WCC/ref
Fairytales Don’t Come True https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B088PWWCML/ref
Regenerate Degenerate https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08TRJYY6C/ref
All that we are heir to https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B097DX4694/ref
October Poems https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08MD6MPNJ/ref
Social Climbing https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09H5Z1H82/ref
Thanksgiving poems and prose pieces https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08PDNBT12/ref
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.