An Update on Me

What’s been going on in my writing life recently?

At the end of June I completed the second round of agent edits on my current WIP and submitted the manuscript again. Over the last few weeks I’ve been biting my nails while I wait to hear if more work is needed or whether the novel has reached the standard for submission to publishers. You may remember that a previous manuscript went out to publishers a couple of years ago but failed to sell.

While I wait for the verdict I’ve found it difficult to get back into fiction (a new novel or short stories), so I’ve been doing bits and pieces of non-fiction writing.

I’ve taken the opportunity to update Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners. The book was first published back in 2014 and has consistently been one of my best-sellers. Every year or so, I’ve re-read it and made changes/additions/deletions to reflect the ever changing landscape of self-publishing on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback format. It contains lots of useful information if you’re thinking of self-publishing for the first time.

I’ve also written a few articles for The People’s Friend. The hardest part of this (like any writing, I think) is generating ideas that are appropriate to the readership and haven’t already been covered in the magazine before. The magazine holds weekly editorial meetings and so I usually get a ‘yes’ or, more likely, a ‘no’ on ideas quickly. The downside is it’s no longer possible to earn any ALCS money on articles or short stories published in the magazine.

In June I had my first post-lockdown holiday. My husband and I walked the first five stages of the Cost to Coast. We started at St Bees and finished at Kirkby Stephen five days later. Physically it was much more difficult than we’d envisaged but great to finally get away. I took notes along the way and am currently turning those notes into a short e-book. It will be partly a personal experience narrative and partly resources for those planning to do the walk themselves. If you enjoy walking (or are just nosy about what other people get up to on their holidays) watch this space!

Finally I’ve recently got into the crime novels of Jane Harper. Jane was born in the UK but now lives in Australia. Her novels are set in the Australian outback which gives them quite a different feel to more urban murder stories. I started with The Lost Man and am now half-way through The Dry. In 2014 a short story submitted by Jane was included in the Big Issue’s annual Fiction Edition. This inspired her to pursue creative writing more seriously. Big things from little acorns grow!

Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners

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  1. #1 by lynnforthauthor on August 10, 2021 - 10:19 am

    I have just bought your Publishing Book for Beginners, Sally, and it looks a great way for you to hold my hand through this possibly daunting procedure.
    (And PS Totally agree with you about Jane Harper … I have read all her books and can practically feel the outback heat as I read)

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on August 10, 2021 - 12:26 pm

      Thanks very much for buying KDP for Absolute Beginners, Lynn. I hope it helps and good luck with the publishing process!
      And yes, when I read Jane Harper I find myself being glad that I don’t live in those middle-of-nowhere places at the mercy of the weather and nature.

  2. #3 by Steve Wand on August 10, 2021 - 12:59 pm

    Hi, Sally. Good luck with your update and re-launch of Kindle Direct Publishing for Absolute Beginners. Your book was invaluable for me when I wrote my debut children’s novel ‘The Door to Caellfyon’. You may or may not remember but you also helped me at the time by providing a critique of the opening few pages. This bolstered my confidence and prompted me to complete my long-stalled manuscript, which I self-published in 2015. I’ve recently published the entire story on my own blog site (, where I’ve lately commenced the serialisation of book two. Good to connect with you once again.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on August 10, 2021 - 2:45 pm

      Yes, I remember, Steve. Thanks for your kind comments and great to hear that you’re still writing and are on book two. Best wishes.

  3. #5 by Linda on August 13, 2021 - 4:26 pm

    You’ve certainly been keeping busy!

  4. #7 by Sue Cook on December 10, 2021 - 10:38 am

    Hi, Sally, just stumbled on this blog from WordPress Reader and very interested in your book – self-publishing is my next step. Hope you’re getting on ok with your book and trust you now know you can claim for your people’s friend articles.

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