Proud To Present: Jo Jenner

Photo of author Jo JennerThe Writers Chat is Proud To Present Jo Jenner, Rave Reviews Book Club member and this week’s Spotlight Author. On her blog, Jo shares her journey to become a self-published author. In this post, Jo talks about the least glamorous aspect of writing…


Those of you who read my blog, Thoughts of a Tattooed Accountant,” may remember my previous posts on e-publishing where I talked about turning stories into an e-book and the simplicity of using Kindle Direct Publishing.

I have now had two books on the market for a number of months and my sales have been low.

So what do I need to do? Market it!

All the guides are telling me I need more reviews so that people can find it. To try to generate these reviews I did a free give away day. This did generate a further thirty six sales but so far no new reviews and no new sales.

I would advise you not to randomly give away free copies. Focus on a group of people who understand why you need reviews and who will be honest with you. That’s why Rave Reviews Book Club is so great. It gives you an opportunity to engage with like-minded people. People who understand why you do what you do, and why small things matter.

I have looked at what I was doing wrong and it is all about marketing.

Set up a social platform. I have a twitter account @jojenner40 and I am connected with nearly 4,000 people. They are all writers. This is great for advice on how to write but it doesn’t necessarily generate sales. General advice is to engage on twitter and that I should only spend 10% of my time promoting my book, the rest of the time I should be just chatting, getting to know people and letting them get to know me. The problem is I keep forgetting to do this.

I enjoy writing and won’t give it up, but the more I look at self promoting and self publishing the more I am convinced that if you do this as a hobby that is all it will ever be, a hobby. Promoting a book is a full time job in itself.

I really see the value of the old fashioned publishing route but I’m not sure I can wait for the rejection letters with the hope I might get that one agent to look favourably on my book. I am very excited about my novel and because I want to get it out to you guys as soon as I can, ‘Stripper of the Yard’ will be self published on 3rd August.

I will still self publish but unless you have the luck of EL James, I am not sure that is the route to fame and fortune.

Do you have tips?

Have you been able to promote effectively and do a ‘Day Job’?

Do the publishing houses take promotion away from you or do you still spend hours building a platform?

Author Bio

Jo Jenner started writing professionally at the age of 40 and hasn’t looked back since.

Jo still works as a certified accountant and manages to fit her writing in during evenings and weekends.

She enjoys writing short stories and a number of flash fiction stories have been published under the title of So the Feeling Shows.’

Always one for a challenge Jo took on the A to Z challenge in April 2014. This resulted in April Fool,’ which was written over 26 days in April, using a different letter of the alphabet for each chapter.

Jo lives with her husband on the south coast of England, her dream location, and says walks along the sea front always help generate story ideas.

Would you like to hear more from Jo?

Follow Jo Jenner on Facebook — Jo Jenner, Author
Follow her on Twitter — @jojenner40
And visit Jo’s Blog — Jo Jenner on Blogspot

Books by Jo Jenner – Available on Amazon

So the Feeling Shows
April Fool
Stripper of the Yard
About Anita Cross

is the host of The Writers Chat and a newly-minted Indie Author writing under the pen name of Lorraine Adair. Before embarking on her own writer's journey, Anita could be found proofreading and editing manuscripts for other Indie Authors.


  1. I sympathise, Jo. The market is so flooded, it’s hard to get noticed. Thanks for hosting, Anita.

    • Thanks Michelle. That’s why rave review is so brilliant, it gives you a chance to feel noticed.

    • I was happy to host the Spotlight Author this week, Michelle. And you are so right about getting noticed.

      From everything I’ve seen within The Writers Chat community, the single most important thing you can do—besides writing more books—is build your email list! It takes time, but the fans on your list will be happy to buy each new release when you let them know about it. Get enough fans on that list, and your new release can make it into the top 100 in your genre within days.

      • I have never understood about email lists. Even on my blog it says I only have 8 followers, but when I post something new I usually get about 50 hits within the day.

        The real problem is without paying a lot of money to get expert advice you can fall into traps or miss opportunities. Even if you try to buy books on the subject. I have found some of them just say for example ‘get lots of reviews’ but don’t tell you how to do it.

        I have family members who have bought my books and haven’t posted a review, so how I am supposed to get strangers to do it?

        Sorry, rant over.

        This just goes to show how important Rave Reviews is.

        • The “Followers” to your blog are kind of like the “Likes” you get on your Facebook page. If you have your blog set up to auto-post to Facebook or Twitter, you’ll bring in more traffic than just you’re followers. And, of course, there are other ways people find you.

          Sending emails is easy. You need an auto-responder service, even though you don’t need the “auto-respond” end of it. I use GetResponse. I’ve seen MailChimp recommended because it’s free. Put a sign up page on your blog, (like this: And add a “Call to action” in the back of your books. Give the reader a reason to sign up, and give them the link to your sign up form.

          Be forewarned, though, it can take time to build a list. (My list is hovering at 8. Yes, you read that right. Eight. And of those, only two are people I don’t actually know! lol)

  2. Thanks for hosting Lorraine/Anita I love your website. I can’t believe how different everyone’s blogs look.

  3. Great post, Jo!! I have enjoyed your blog tour very much!
    Anita, thank you so much for hosting Jo and for showing your awesome support!!

    • You’re welcome, Marlena. If I’d known how easy it was, I’d have volunteered sooner. Thanks for telling us in the RRBC newsletter just what being a host entailed.

    • Thanks Marlena. It has been wonderful to see you each day.

  4. A great read Anita, thank you. I think Jo’s correct about how difficult writing is and how hard the marketing side is too. Positivity from a group such as ours is great and keeps us going. I keep meaning to look at email lists as my web host recommends these above all else.

    • Writing is a solitary activity. Surrounding yourself with supportive people, like members of The Writers Chat or Rave Reviews Book Club, reminds you that you’re not really alone. And friends that write and publish are friends who understand what you need to be successful. They’ll leave you reviews, point out mistakes and inconsistencies so you can fix them, and cheer you on!

      Don’t wait. Get that list started today. See the reply I gave Jo above. (I may not have a big list yet, but I know Indie Authors who do. And they consistently do well with their books because they already have a solid fan base.)

  5. Congratulations on your Spotlight tour Jo. Thank you Lorraine for hosting her.

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