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Yesterday, I met writer Kate Evans (writingourselveswell.co.uk), who talked about her murder mysteries set in Scarborough. It was the perfect setting – the Clock Café on a cliff-top, overlooking a windswept bay.

After some years as a writer and no publisher in sight, Kate went independent with a local press. Her first murder mystery, The Art of the Imperfect, available on Amazon, feels and looks good. This debut novel set in the world of therapists, layers motive and intrigue in gripping fashion.

Kate keeps a regular blog and is part of a network of Indie writers, who guest blog for each other, creating ever wider networks. Over cheese toasties and hot-chocolate, we talked about ways of building a readership. In addition to blogging, Kate uses Facebook and Twitter to keep up her profile. I asked, how important is it to keep a regular online presence. She said, it depends what you’re comfortable with. It serves as a valuable marketing tool, alongside talks and signings.

We spoke about the York Novelists Workshop on Sat 11 June 10.30 – 12.00 at York Explore Library, which is part of the Festival of Ideas. The aim is to share our methods and encourage others to form their own groups. We ran the same event in March, as part of the York Literature Festival, and a writers group has sprung from it.

York Novelists have recently formed a marketing group for Indie and small press authors, which aims to build networks, followers and sales.

Over tea and cake, Kate and I agreed on the importance of fostering a readership, and collaboration with other writers is enormously helpful. Writing is solitary, but when it comes to selling our work, we need to join forces.

Jane Austin