|Available from rebeccawoodhead.com|
Impressive enough, before you even take Rebecca's biography into detail. She lives in the Cotswold, in England, has a degree in English literature and has written three novels. Fair enough, there could be any number of people in small settings that have done this. Except for one key difference: Rebecca was in a car crash as a child, left in a coma, and taught herself to read and write against the odds and against tides of bullies. Reread that: taught herself. No professionals to help her along the way. Suddenly those three novels and that degree in English literature are even more amazing. She's an inspiration, not just to me but to so many of her (thousands) of followers on Twitter.
She's been starved and freezing the first Winter I knew her, and now she has a place in Writing Magazine writing about social media for writers. She's writes for Groupon every week. And, most importantly, she's now a self-published author. Her first novel, Palaces and Calluses, was released on April 6th, and since then she's song enough copies at a temporary reduced rate to make a profit. In one week, she's made her advance.
This is so important because Rebecca's not just selling the novel to make a living; she's testing the market so that other people can do what she did. She's taking the risks, figuring out what works, and doing it all alone. She told me earlier today that the point was to offer an alternative to writers. Many traditionally published authors get dumped by their publishers if they don't make their advance back. This can be what they turn to next if they so choose. It's a lot of work, but it's also a rewarding process.
At the present moment, the book is only available through Rebecca's own website. No Amazon, no Smashwords, no distributor but the very people who have been following her from the beginning, and the website she set up. Up until April 20th, the book is priced at £2.99 (£4.99 after). The simple facts: this is cheaper than a decent sized Easter Egg. Rebecca wants to start a tradition of giving ebooks are presents at Easter instead of chocolate eggs; they're healthier (won't overdose you on sugar, and fiction is shown to improve your IQ!), they last longer, and you can use it again and again.
How does it work? Rebecca has no restrictions on her book. When you buy from her website, you'll get a download link emailed to you. You can print this email, put it in a nice card and give it to a friend and/or loved one. It's as simple as that.
I'm yet to read her book in its entirety, but the first three chapters, available for free here, are a fantastic teaser to what I am assured by the many responses from readers as being a brilliant book. It's well-written, funny and heart warming, and as soon as my exams are over I'll be tackling this beauty! So far it's only available as an ebook, though a print version may become available in the future, based on the sales of the ebook. There's also some thought going into releasing it on Amazon, though that's Rebecca's call.
All in all, a pretty fantastic story. I was so happy to hear about all the successes Rebecca was having with writing and with marketing herself. She really knows her stuff, she's always very friendly and she only ever means the best for everyone. Please support her in this. I know you won't be disappointed.
Palaces and Calluses is available to buy from palacesandcalluses.com and rebeccawoodhead.com. You can follow Rebecca on Twitter at twitter.com/rebeccawoodhead. Highly recommended if you're: (a) a reader who likes good books, (b) a writer looking into self-publishing, (c) working in the industry and looking for a remarkable writer who's showing how successful one writer can be and/or (d) someone who just loves a great life story/novel/person/outlook on life.