Professionalism & John Purcell on pseudonyms, writing sex & what sells books

We put on our most professional outfits to discuss professionalism.

We discuss:

  • email signatures
  • the difference between gravity sewer and pressure sewer (you really do have to listen)
  • websites (Kate’s new website will be live soon, and if you like the look, she used Jin & Co)
  • Nina Kenwood (who we interviewed recently) and her great list of recommended reading
  • how the hell you introduce yourself these days (business card? linked in?)
  • and how the cool kids are doing all this. (We don’t know, if you are one of them, please get in touch.)

Kate also plugs her her upcoming workshop at Writers Victoria.

Then Kate speaks to author and bookseller John Purcell.

John Purcell is a Sydney writer and bookseller. Under a pseudonym, Natasha Walker, John wrote a series of very successful erotic novels, and then, under his own name, published The Girl on the Page in 2018. As director of books at Booktopia, John interviewed hundreds of authors. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children and a bunch of animals.

John discusses:

  • writing erotica under a pseudonym
  • watching Nielsen Bookscan and marketing accordingly
  • the effectiveness of word of mouth in selling books
  • why first week numbers wake up booksellers
  • how The Barefoot Investor changed the way we sell books
  • why engagement with followers on social media is crucial (with a shoutout to Kylie Ladd)
  • the Literary vs Commercial debate
  • why he put a booklist in the back of The Girl on the Page
  • the one name debuts (see Holly & Trent) and the need for the ‘great debut story’ (more on this in John’s interview with So You Want to be a Writer)
  • the magic of the uplifting ending (but will we ALL sell 100k copies if we change to happy endings, John?!)
  • How to write great sex

John’s advice for writers is:

  • Do your homework and READ! (everything and deeply, and work out what the writers are doing)
  • Don’t even think of money
  • The great thing about writing is just how wonderful it feels when it’s working

His fave debuts are:

Find out more about John on his website, twitter or instagram.

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