• Happy Blogaversary

    This blog is officially 9 years old!

    Happy Blogaversary

    So this is what 9 years of blogging looks like

    Mr Right and Other Mongrels Mug and Postcards Promotional Material
    How adorable was my original cover and swag? Pity about the poor photography skills!

    I started my blogging journey as a way to talk about my books and my writing 9 years ago because that’s almost how long it’s been since my first book, Mr Right and Other Mongrels was published. I never would have imagined back then I would have published over 40 books across multiple pen names and over thirty in my own name.

    Since then I’ve hosted hundreds of authors on here doing Q&A’s and other posts. Those have also been shared on my Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest accounts as well.

    I’ve announced many, many new releases and hosted umpteen cover reveals.

    We’ve shared book recommendations, favourite songs, and some cracking recipes over the years too.

    There have been the highs and lows of my publishing career – though I tend to keep the lows to myself because nobody cares about those except me.

    It’s been a fun journey. I haven’t always been consistent, and I have certainly considered quitting. I used to think I was a quitter, but it turns out that isn’t always true – I just quit the nasty stuff.

    Anyway, a huge thank you to the many authors, editors, VA’s and friends from across the globe who have been part of my blogging journey with me. Along the way this blog has helped me feel part of a community, make friends, discover new authors and new books and learn an awful lot about publishing.

    This month, as well as the regular features I run, I’ll be revisiting some memories, running some giveaways and looking to the future. So hang on and enjoy the ride. (Or is that read?)

    Monique McDonell Kindle Digital Launch Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    Release day for Mr Right and Other Mongrels.


  • Blog

    July 1 – an update on my writing life

    More Thank Ornamental Graphic
    more than ornamental graphic

    It’s been a while since I posted here so I thought I’d give you a little update on what I’ve been busy doing as it clearly hasn’t been blogging.

    In June I wrote 90,000 words. That’s my biggest writing month yet. I wrote 44,000 on one novel, 10,000 on another, 20,000 on another and some words for a secret project as well…so that was a whole lot of writing and it didn’t leave a whole lot of room for other things.

    Yesterday I launched More Than Ornamental – a sweet single dad Christmas romance (It originally appeared in the 2019 Romancing the Holidays Boxset). In October and November of 2018 I asked my Facebook followers a ton of questions about what sort of story they wanted to read including tropes, location, character roles and names and this is the novella that came out of it. More Than Ornamental is set on the Australian coast so if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas downunder is like, this is the book for you.

    My next No Brides Club book releases in September and it’s almost ready to go off the the editor, fingers crossed for this week. The Sweet Kisses Limited Edition Box Set releases this month too.

    Kissing the Captain, my contribution is a prequel to my next series which will launch with a trilogy in the next couple of months…I’m expecting to get my covers this week and I can’t wait to share them with you.  He’s the cover of Kissing the Captain with the boxset.

    Kissing the Captain and the Sweet Kisses Box Set
    Kissing the Captain coming soon in the Sweet Kisses Box Set

    So that’s enough to keep me out of mischief for July I think.

    I promise the next chapter of Playing With Trouble will be live this week.

    Anyway, I hope your July is off yo a cracking start!


  • Blog

    A few things I’ve learnt since launching my book or advice to other writers – Part 1


    Mr Right and Other Mongrels
    It’s five week’s now since I launched Mr Right and Other Mongrels and I have learnt an awful lot of things in that five week period.

    Some of the things I’ve learnt you can find on lots of blogs and websites but the thing is, you may not actually find them or even understand their significance until a bit down the track. Partly because there’s an awful lot to take in and partly because there is no one size fits all.

    Here are a few things I’ve learnt that may help other newbie or potential authors.

    1. Cover Design
    Find a designer who will work with you to help you get a book cover design that you are happy with. I know lots of indie authors DIY their covers but they are lots of specs involved and lots of steps. I specifically didn’t want images on my book cover, I wanted illustrations (I can do a whole post on that later with Lisa) and I’m really happy with what the lovely Lisa Kelly did for me. I’ve had nothing but positive feedback on the cover and I think it was worthwhile.

    The cover is part of how your brand yourself. So you need to think about your brand when designing your cover. Also if you plan future books think about how they will look side-by-side on a shelf in a store or on Amazon. What look image are you hoping to project. My books are light and fresh and fun. I hope the cover conveys that.


    2. Editing and proof-reading.
    Everyone says this is important and they’re right.

    3. Tell the world/spread the world.
    I’m seriously not good at this. I’m a modest person so blowing my own trumpet and spruiking my wares had been really hard for me. But how else will your book sell? You have to just get beyond this. Tell people you meet, shout it on facebook, have your friends tell friends and let people help you.

    4. Social media – do these things before you launch your book.
    a) Set up an author page on facebook so that you can talk about your book there. After a while your friends on your personal page will be OVER IT. Readers, potential readers and other authors can visit your facebook author page to discuss all things books.

    b) Get on twitter at least a little – yes this is a great way to tell people about your book but also you learn so much. I am really not a twitter person. The immediacy of it means you miss so much and I can’t sit there all day but popping in for 15 minutes twice a day is better than nothing and it is helpful. You need to re-tweet, get involved in conversations and share. Otherwise no one knows you’re there.

    c) Use your social media (and blog if you have it) to promote other authors and books and topics. Those people who just sell, sell, sell get very boring very fast. There’s an 80/20 rule for social media and only 20% of what you do should be blatant self-promotion.

    5. I don’t know many people with e-readers.
    Most people I know still read paperbacks and they love them. These people won’t buy an e-book and that’s just the way it is. For this reason I’ll be doing a paperback version of Mr Right and Other Mongrels and it will be out soon. (Yes you can download an e-book to a computer or a phone or an iPad but lots of people won’t. For $2.99 I’d give it a try but many people won’t. This isn’t personal.
    (If you want to win a copy fill in the FORM here).

    6. Getting people to review your book, like your Amazon page or your facebook page or retweet about you is much harder than you think.
    The reasons for this are many and varied and largely it isn’t personal. For a lot of people it’s a whole new world and they just aren’t comfortable in it. They like you, they like your book (maybe) but that’s as far as they’re going to take it. Don’t take that personally because in most cases it’s not personal.
    If you want to find me at facebook and twitter I’m here…or click those cute little buttons on the top right of the blog.

    7. Other authors are amazing
    Other authors know what you’ve been through to get here and what you will continue to go through. They are incredibly supportive with time, advice and energy. You’ll make lots of new friends through your book. That’s a wonderful bonus I didn’t see coming.

    PART 2 – Coming soon.