How can you write twists that surprise a reader? How can you market your books effectively as a traditionally published author? Clare Mackintosh talks about her creative process, and how she works with her publisher to reach more readers.
In the intro, Kate Bush is “the world’s biggest independent artist” right now and more on intellectual property rights [Music Business Worldwide]; A long-term view of IP [Kris Rusch]; Rethinking the Writing Business by Kris Rusch; 24 Assets by Daniel Priestley; Cosmopolitan uses AI-generated cover; My interview on AI and writing with Andrew Mayne, and more on AI + the future of creativity.
Today’s show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, where you can get free ebook formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Get your free Author Marketing Guide at draft2digital.com/penn
Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of five Sunday Times bestselling novels. Translated into 40 languages, her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and have been New York Times and international bestsellers. Her latest book, The Last Party is the first in a new crime series.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- How being a police detective is like being a writer
- The difference between a twist and a reveal, and how Clare plots her novels
- Why marketing is important, even for traditionally published authors
- Why authors need an email list, regardless of how you choose to publish
- Using video in book marketing
- How networking has played an important part in Clare’s publishing journey
You can find Clare Mackintosh at ClareMackintosh.com and on Twitter @claremackint0sh
Transcript of Interview with Clare Mackintosh
Joanna Penn: Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award-winning author of five Sunday Times bestselling novels. Translated into 40 languages, her books have sold more than 2 million copies worldwide and have been New York Times and international bestsellers. Her latest book, The Last Party is the first in a new crime series. Welcome, Clare.
Clare Mackintosh: Hi, thanks for having me.
Joanna Penn: I’m so excited to talk to you.
First up, tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing.
Clare Mackintosh: I have always been a storyteller, always written short stories, written little snippets, pen pictures of characters, always a voracious reader, but like a lot of people didn’t ever see as a child that there was a potential career here.
I enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t something I saw as a job possibility. I didn’t know anybody who worked in the arts, who produced music or poetry or anything. I just knew people who worked in jobs.
I went to university, I did French and business at university. And then in a slight plot twist, I joined the police and spent 12 years in the police. But, I say this a lot because people think that it’s such a different career being in the police to writing novels, but there are so many similarities between the two careers.
When you are a detective, you’re a storyteller.
You are having to write a witness statement for someone, a statement for someone who’s been a victim of crime. You have this immense responsibility to find exactly the right words to put across what’s happened to this person.
Victims don’t start with a beginning and then a middle and an end; they start with the end. They start by telling you they’ve been attacked or they’ve been burgled, and then you have to pull them back and work out what was their origin story and how did those events lead to where you are now.
It’s all about storytelling, pulling out the narrative that the cameras have got to tell you and the forensics and all the unreliable witnesses all over the place, and then presenting that story in a compelling way to an audience, to a court. And that’s exactly what we do now as writers. So it felt like a weirdly natural progression to go from stories that dealt with fact to stories that are fictional.
Joanna Penn: How does your background in the police weave its way into your fiction? Because, obviously, you’ve got lots of books now.
Are your stories based on your experience, or how do they weave in?
Clare Mackintosh: They’re hardly ever based on real-life, or at least not on real-life cases. I think people perhaps have an idea that ex-police officers have this huge bank of stories that they could fictionalize. And maybe some officers do.
My experience of crimes is that, for the most part, they’re really quite boring and criminals are really quite stupid. And so the idea of these criminal masterminds that we see in Bond films or in crime novels is really quite unusual. It’s quite rare.
What being a police officer taught me that I put into all my books is about people. It’s about really understanding people and coming into contact with people from all walks of life. That really meant I am able to write with a degree of authenticity about people outside my own lived experience, outside my sort of comfortable bubble that I grew up in.
What it also did was it showed me how fine that line is between a safe life and an unsafe life. How easily we can cross over from witness to victim, to offender, and back again. And that gray area is what I and lots of other thriller writers like to write about.
Joanna Penn: You chose mainly the crime thriller genre. I know you’ve written some other things like memoir, but why did you go that way?
Did you just not want to leave it behind, or do you just love crime?
Clare Mackintosh: I do love crime, and I grew up really reading crime, and my first great loves were ‘The Famous Five’ books. And although people sort of put them in a children’s book genre, they are, of course, crime novels. They’re about kids playing detective.
I grew up reading crime, but actually, when I wrote, I Let You Go, which was my debut, I didn’t know what genre it was going to be, which seems odd for anyone who’s read it because it is about a hit-and-run. And so it’s probably fairly obvious that it’s a crime, but stories can take lots of different angles.
When I first wrote that book, I was really focusing on a woman who had been through this terrible trauma. There’d been a hit-and-run in which a child had been killed. And the focus of the novel was how do we move on from that? How do you deal with trauma and grief in your past life and build a new future?
That’s a story which could spin off in lots of different directions and hit lots of different genres. And the one that it ended up in happened to be the psychological thriller genre. As you know, once you write one book in a genre, you kind of need to keep going because that’s what readers expect.
Joanna Penn: Absolutely. I Let You Go is quite famous for its twist, and no spoilers, obviously. But you do write twists and I’ve also seen your plotting methods on your various videos and blog posts and things.
How do you plot and write twists?
Clare Mackintosh: It’s really hard.
Joanna Penn: I’m glad you said that because I’m like, ‘Oh, my goodness, you just seem to do them.’
Clare Mackintosh: I find it really hard. One of the things I really want to say because I think it’s really important for people listening at home who perhaps are struggling with the pressure of putting twists in their works in progress is that you do not have to have a twist. And so often when I see that a book has an incredible twist, actually, what it’s got is a really good reveal.
Understanding the difference between a twist and a reveal is quite an important thing to do. And then take the pressure off yourself because you do need to have reveals, ideally more than one, but you don’t have to have a twist.
So the first thing that I do is work out, is this a book which needs reveals, or is it a book which wants a twist? And can I think of a good one to go in it?
Sometimes the book starts with a twist. And in the case of I Let You Go in the case of, Let Me Lie, the twist is what came first. In other times, it’s the other way around, and it’s the situation.
My most recent thriller, Hostage, is set on an aeroplane, it’s set on a nonstop 20-hour flight. And there is actually a twist in it as it turns out, but it didn’t start with a twist. It started with a situation. It started with a locked room thriller in an aeroplane.
And that was a case of plotting the novel, writing the novel, and then realizing that there was an opportunity to pull the rug out from people’s feet.
So what I do is I plot my novels out and I plot them out in pretty forensic detail.
I feel like if I was an architect, I wouldn’t be able to build a house without knowing what the plans were. So that’s how I start off with my three-act structure, gradually adding more meat onto the bone. I’m just mixing my metaphors horribly now.
Joanna Penn: That’s fine.
Clare Mackintosh: Houses, bones, gardening, all sorts. So I’m adding and adding and adding until I end up with a chapter outline. And at this point, if you kind of can imagine a table or a spreadsheet, and I know that there’ll be people at home, in fact, including you probably going, ‘But you can use Scrivener for that.’ And you can, it’s just not my bag. I like a nice, old-fashioned word table once I’ve moved on from my post-it notes.
I have a column against my chapters, which is called the Reader’s Journey.
And this is where I play God. This is where I manipulate my readers, where I decide how I want them to feel and what I want them to think at every stage of this book.
That’s a really important part of my twist building because it means I can say, ‘Okay, in this chapter, you think A did it and, you know, B is really nice, and in this chapter, you now realize B isn’t nice because of what they’ve done there, but now you don’t trust C.’ I make sure that I’m giving my reader whiplash, I suppose, right the way through. Only once I’ve done all of that do I start writing.
Joanna Penn: That’s fantastic. I love that. The reader’s emotional journey there. I’m more of an intuitive writer. I don’t do any plotting. I just sit down and write and stuff happens. And if it surprises me, then I hope it surprises the reader.
But I think, we’re two extremes, I think, that we are the plotter and the pantser. So although I say discovery writer, I don’t like the pantser word.
Clare Mackintosh: No. I actually refuse to use that word because…
Joanna Penn: Always American, isn’t it?
Clare Mackintosh: Well, it’s a really flippant term for what is a professional process, whether you are writing for money, whether you write as a hobbyist, whether you are published or not. Actually, we are really serious about our writing and calling someone a pantser, yeah, I don’t like it.
Joanna Penn: I don’t. I use discovery writer. But I think that’s fantastic, the reader’s journey. We should just be clear.
You said the difference between a twist and a reveal. Could you just define those two?
Clare Mackintosh: My definition is that a reveal is the answer to a question that the reader has been asking. So an example of that is, who killed the victim?
A twist is an answer to a question that the reader hadn’t even thought to ask. So you totally change their world by presenting them with something unexpected.
Joanna Penn: I think that reveal, as you say, has to be in every book. We have to open questions and then answer questions. That’s basically what we have to do. But yeah, the twist, as you say, doesn’t have to be in everything, but you do them so well.
Let’s move into marketing, and it’s interesting you did French and business at university because having watched you now for, I don’t know, I guess, seven, eight years, you are very good at business.
And let’s talk about marketing because marketing is something that a lot of indie authors know they have to do, but I feel like traditionally published authors often just want someone else to do it.
Why do you think marketing is so important even for traditionally published authors?
Clare Mackintosh: Because marketing is important to book publishing and you can’t opt-out of that. If you want people to read your books, then they have to be marketed.
So then it comes down to, who is doing the marketing? And yes, of course, if you are with a large traditional publisher, then you will have a marketing team. But an author’s expectations can be really dashed by assuming that that marketing team is going to do everything because budgets are different and publishers have different sizes. And regardless of the size of a team, they have lots of other books to market as well.
I’m really lucky; I have an incredible in-house team and they work really, really hard on my books. But I’m not their only author, although sometimes it feels like it, and I’m in awe of how they manage to juggle all their different projects.
So, they will be focusing on my books at a particular time of the year, whereas I want to keep a year-round overview. But also the best person to market your books is yourself because you know your products, you know your books inside out. You are the one that will spot an opportunity for marketing, for advertising, for PR, and be able to leap on it really quickly.
For me, the perfect approach is a hybrid approach whereby I assume the role of CEO of my author business, and I have my mini departments within my own world, but then I’m also working with my publisher and their setup, and we all work together.
I have freelancers I work with because this year, I just reached a point…not this year, end of last year just reached a point where I just couldn’t do it all. And I don’t find it easy to let go at all. So that’s been quite a long time coming and it’s well over June.
So I have a team of freelancers and they work directly now with my in-house team. This is my kind of next step is that I get to move slightly away from it, which is a work in progress.
Joanna Penn: Wow. That’s brilliant. I definitely remember hiring those first people and just feeling like, ‘Is it going to be worth it? I could just do it better myself.’ And then going, ‘No, stop it.’
Clare Mackintosh: It’s a hard thing. I constantly repeat to myself, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to. And sometimes that’s about ability, sometimes it’s about time, sometimes it’s just not the right thing to do. You don’t have to do every project you think of. So yeah, work in progress.
Joanna Penn: You mentioned there the author’s expectations. And I feel that a lot of the most disappointed traditionally published authors are the ones who thought that the publisher would do all the marketing and then they didn’t, but it seems like you have from the very beginning sort of taken on, like, ‘Yes, I’m part of the marketing team,’ which is just a very different attitude.
You mentioned there the time of year is different, as in they might do things at launch but you have year-round.
What types of things do you split between the publisher and yourself?
Clare Mackintosh: Probably social media is one of the best examples of that because actually, that is split three ways. And I guess if you were particularly interested, you could go and look at say my Instagram feed and think, ‘I wonder, which of these posts was made by Clare herself and which was briefed by Clare but written by someone else? And which was written by Clare but scheduled by someone else?’ The upshot is it’s a real mixture.
My publishers may well lead on things like there’s an Audible deal, a countdown to release producing assets for that. My freelance team will lead on book club stuff. So I run my mailing list. Well, I run a book club instead of an author mailing list, and my freelancers will lead on that and update my social media feed with what book we’re reading and various other things.
And then I will lead on my personal life, so my personal book recommendations, my personal writing tips, my personal behind-the-scenes, what I’m doing.
That’s an approach which for me works really well. I’ve tried someone else doing everything and it doesn’t work for me because I feel out of control, but more importantly, I feel out of touch with my readers, and I just can’t do that. I don’t see the point of being on social media if I’m not able to interact and chat to readers. So the perfect balance for me is that mixture.
Joanna Penn: You mentioned email list there and you have a book club, but you do have an email list yourself, right? You email those people who are in your book club.
We actually recently did a promotion, an email list promotion. And what I’ve always been a bit surprised about, I think, is traditionally published authors who don’t have any email list, and indies as well.
There are people listening who have not still started their email list because either they don’t want to, they don’t want to manage email, or they think nobody wants to hear from them, or they think the publishers should do it.
Why is an email list so important to you, even though you are trad published?
Clare Mackintosh: Oh, I mean, how long have you got!?
Joanna Penn: The highlights.
Clare Mackintosh: It is so important. Go and start your mailing list.
Email remains the most effective form of communication. More people will open their email than they will see a social media post because you are landing in their inbox.
It’s like being invited through the front door instead of standing on their front lawn waving through the window and hoping they’ll see you.
The conversion rate is much better. The relationship that you’re building feels more one-to-one. You have complete control over your mailing list. Meta can decide to take down Facebook or Instagram. It can change algorithms so that your posts aren’t being shown to people in the same way. They can start charging. They can do myriad of things.
You don’t control that data, those people who follow you there, but you do control your mailing list, and so it remains the most valuable part of your marketing real estate.
[Note from Joanna: I use and recommend ConvertKit for email marketing.]
I’m always horrified when people don’t have mailing lists. And I’m really horrified when authors let their publishers run their mailing lists for them. And this isn’t really about workload. If your publisher wants to do your newsletter and take that work off your desk, that’s terrific, then that’s great, but the data has got to be yours.
If your publisher says, ‘Oh, hey, we’re going to start a mailing list for you. This is going to be great. You’re going to be able to talk to your readers,’ then you need to make sure that you are the one who owns that data because I hate to say it, but you might not stay with that publisher. You might get a better offer. They might ditch you. There are lots of reasons why people move on and you do not want to be leaving that data with your old publisher.
The other reason I love mailing lists is because nobody but you knows how many people are on your list, and that means you can write without feeling self-conscious. I started all of this long before I was an author. I started when I had a blog. And so what I was publicizing was my blog. There are still people on my Facebook page who came to me through my blog and have kind of grown with me and now on what is effectively an author page.
I remember having fewer than 100 people who liked my Facebook page and thinking, ‘Oh, this is such a small number of people. I feel so kind of embarrassed making announcements on this tiny, tiny platform.’ And actually, you shouldn’t ever feel embarrassed about a small platform because a small platform can be really engaged and focused.
The brilliant thing about email is that you can have five people on that list, and one of them can be your mom, but you are still writing to four people that aren’t personally connected to you. And those 4 people have no idea if they’re 1 of 5 or 1 of 5,000, which helps with the smoke and mirrors that I think authors should invoke when they’re starting out. I think let’s be kind of out and proud and bold about our marketing. And it’s easy to do that by email.
Joanna Penn: I’m so glad you say all that. We definitely agree on that.
I want to talk about video because you mentioned Hostage. I remember one of your TikToks or Instagrams or whatever, where you are dressed up as an air hostess, and I’m like, ‘Oh, Clare’s so good at this stuff.’
I hate video. We know each other and we’re not on video right now. We’re recording this audio. I just don’t like doing video. And so I wanted to get your tips on, well, first of all, why do you do video? Do you think it’s effective? And how do you do it? And are you just very good at it, or have you learned? Tips, basically.
Why do you do video marketing? Do you think it’s effective?
Clare Mackintosh: I don’t think anyone should do anything they don’t want to do, and that applies to everything from email, I suppose, reluctantly, although I would argue that you should, but certainly social media platforms. If you hate Twitter, don’t do Twitter, and the same applies to video.
If you hate it and it makes you uncomfortable, it is very likely to look uncomfortable as well, and that is going to have a negative effect and often it’s better not to do something than to do it badly.
The reason I do video is because I think it is effective. I think people do linger over video in a way that they don’t over static images and certainly in a way they don’t over just text. Static-based images are not so great for people with visual impairments, and so, hopefully, all of us are using old text to describe what’s in those images.
The beauty of video is it gives something for everyone. You can have the captions, you can have the voiceover, you can have the imagery, and it means that it’s content that can be consumed by lots of different people in lots of different ways, while they’re commuting with their headphones. I really like it. I like short-form video because it’s quite easy. I don’t have to think about it too much.
I am quite vain. I don’t do stories very often, for example, on Instagram because I think the best kind of stories that people do are very sort of off-the-cuff going about their daily business. And actually, most of the time in my daily life, if I’m not in pajamas, I’m not far off. I haven’t washed my hair. I haven’t worn any makeup on. I don’t really want to be camera-ready. I’m quite hot on brand management, and looking like a mess doesn’t really fit my brand.
So I tend to be a bit more planned, and that means that I might batch film some content perhaps, or I might do something that doesn’t require me to actually be talking to camera.
That’s one of my tips for people who are uncomfortable with video is do a video, but you don’t have to be on it. So you can use voiceover, a beautiful video of where you’ve had your dog walk, and you can tell us about your plot walk, or you can flip through a book before you show us the cover while you overlay some texts that tells us how great it is. All those things will work on Reels, will work on TikTok.
I joined TikTok really because I like to try things out. And so there are lots and lots of things. I joined Vine, I joined Rooms. What’s the audio-only one that I got quite excited about?
Joanna Penn: Clubhouse.
Clare Mackintosh: Yes, I joined Clubhouse.
Joanna Penn: Everyone did that and then disappeared a month later.
Clare Mackintosh: I like to join at the start. I think it’s important to join, to understand it, to see if that’s where your readers might be if that’s where your author network might be, to claim an account name, at the very least, so that no one else claims it, and then just see.
TikTok is something that I thought, this is clearly exploding, BookTok is exploding. It doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Although at the moment, crime and thriller and mystery are not big genres on there, there’s absolutely nothing to stop them certainly taking off.
At the moment, it’s very much about fantasy and romance, but all it takes really is for a crime book to go viral from some reader’s feed. And that could easily kickstart a big crime and thriller movement on TikTok. And if that happens, I’d like to have a presence. I want people to be able to tag me. I want to be able to take part.
And then the other reason why I do TikTok is because it allows me to, I suppose, show a bit of personality without being personal. I don’t want to give you a tour of my house. I don’t want to introduce you to my family, really. I’ve got teenagers. They certainly don’t want to be introduced to anyone. I want to build that personal connection with readers, and actually doing that through some tongue-in-cheek videos is quite a fun thing to do. I’m enjoying it.
Joanna Penn: On marketing, a lot of us as indie authors, we have almost real-time access to sales data, so we can see the immediate ROI of a lot of this stuff. But, of course, as a traditionally published author, I know there are portals and things now, but most authors don’t get access to any kind of real-time sales, right? And you mentioned like brand. Is all your marketing just all going towards brand?
How do you know what marketing is working for you when you don’t have access to sales data?
Clare Mackintosh: The bottom line is I don’t know. I don’t have that real-time ROI. It is a continual source of frustration to me and the only part of my empire that doesn’t work, which is really annoying in itself. I would love to have that data.
And not only do I not have it personally, it doesn’t exist. It’s not even like I can ask my publishers to give me that real-time data. It just can’t work like that in the traditionally published world at the moment.
So it’s really frustrating. And so what I do is I think about my return not in terms of sales, but in terms of growth, which is why I don’t advertise, for example. I wouldn’t do an advert for a book because that is not going to give me a return. Better for me would be to perhaps advertise my book club or to advertise, I don’t know, from one of my social media feeds.
Running writing tips and advertise to writing groups because if I bring people into my community, then I’ve got a system in place for creating loyalty, for engaging and creating a community who will then go on to read my books. So my return is community building rather than book sales.
Joanna Penn: I think that’s a great way to think about it. Once people come on your email list, you know they’re interested. So I think that’s a really good tip.
You mentioned the empire, which I love, and I love that you are ambitious and, obviously, again, you have that business background.
Do you have a 5-year plan, 10-year plan, ‘Clare Mackintosh takes over the world’ type of plan?
Clare Mackintosh: I do. In fact, it probably needs updating. I’m at various critical points. So I do in terms of business goals.
For example, one of my goals was to become a book-a-year author, which I haven’t been. I’m relatively slow in publishing terms. And more importantly for me, I’ve been inconsistent. So my books have come out perhaps 15 months apart or 18 months or 20. And that’s really difficult. It’s difficult for me to plan my year, so my work-life balance is harder to… I’m sort of laughing because I don’t have a work-life balance, but it’s harder to maintain.
It’s harder for retailers because they can’t hold a slot if you think about expecting perhaps the Richard Osman every autumn, for example. So it’s harder for retailers. It’s not great for readers because, again, you want to build that connection so that readers know that they can take a Clare Mackintosh on holiday with them every summer. So I decided that I would become a book-a-year author and that’s been something we’ve sort of been moving towards.
I have goals in terms of Sunday Times top 10 and how long I’d like to spend in there and where I’d like to come. Lots of goals and lots of plans to get the balance right, which I don’t have at the moment.
Joanna Penn: Oh, does anyone!?
Clare Mackintosh: It’s hard to know, isn’t it? I follow some authors that I think you have absolutely got it right. You’re nailing the business side. You are regularly hitting the top of the charts and you are also learning to, I don’t know, paint or traveling the world. So yeah, lots to work on.
Joanna Penn: But that’s partly why we do this, right? Because we like learning new things, and you clearly like learning new things and so do I.
I know we’re almost running out of time. So I do want to ask you because you have said to me that you are a staunch traditional author with no plans to go indie, which I love because so often I just meet really ambitious indie authors and not so much traditional.
And I also love you’re happy with your publishing choices because, of course, there’s a lot of people who aren’t.
Now many listeners, when I think about it sometimes, too, are interested in getting a deal with an agent and traditional publisher.
What are your recommendations for authors who want to pitch [for a traditional deal], especially if they might have already released some books as an indie?
Clare Mackintosh: You’re off to a really good start if you’ve already got a track record because so many people will be pitching to agents with no track record. We don’t know if you can finish a book even, let alone if you can publish one successfully. So if you’ve got a track record with self-publishing, then that’s huge, a great thing to lean on.
But, I didn’t pitch. This is the thing that I find slightly awkward is that I never submitted, I was introduced. And that’s an annoying story for people because it makes people think it’s all about who you know.
In order to make that connection, in order for that introduction to happen, I had done a phenomenal amount of networking within publishing, having known nobody in publishing, organizing a literary festival, volunteering at events, speaking to people.
Really, my biggest bit of advice for people who are thinking of submitting through the traditional process is to get to know people, go to literary events, and do the kind of open mic-type pitching or the pitch to agents. Meet people, listen to authors, work out who they’re published by.
Really, really do your research because it will pay off.
And actually those chance connections. I hear about again and again because ultimately, agents are interested in people, and if they’re interested in you and you’re a good writer, then you’re home and dry.
Joanna Penn: I was going to add, I’m glad you said it. You are very, very good at networking. I remember when you were doing that..it was the Chip Lit Fest, right? You used to organize that. And I was like, ‘Goodness me, I know how much…’ It’s hard work.
I’m doing an event this weekend. It’s just one day with 35 people, and you still organize this sort of massive event. And you put in far more hours, I think, preparing for those relationships than most people do in pitching for years. So it’s not like you sat around just going, ‘Oh, I’ll just meet some people.’
Clare Mackintosh: No, absolutely not. And with the literary festival, I had a big team of volunteers working with me. So I certainly didn’t do it alone. But yeah, you do have to put the graft in like writing.
If we looked at our hourly rate from writing, certainly for those of us like me who write really slowly and throw away more words than we publish, it would not be worth us doing this. It’s a ridiculous way to make a living. And the same kind of applies to networking.
If I thought, ‘Oh, actually, it took me 200 hours worth of networking in order to get a particular event,’ for example, then it wouldn’t be worth it. But if that networking has been going to parties, if it’s been having dinner with interesting people, if it’s been cocktails or a nice walk with other writers, then actually, there’s a really blurred line, isn’t there? Between networking and just getting to know people. And I think that if you enjoy getting to know people, then it’s not a chore, and then when the payoff comes, it feels like it’s come for free.
Joanna Penn: Because you weren’t expecting it. You didn’t every day you did something and go, ‘Oh, I’m expecting to get a book deal.’ You did it the right way, and I really appreciate how you’ve done things.
Clare Mackintosh: Yeah. And if you ever go into any networking opportunity with the mindset that I’m doing this in order to get this result, then it’s really not going to work. It just isn’t. You go to that party or take up that coffee invitation with the intention of just finding out about someone, having fun, enjoying an hour or more. And if something comes of it, that’s brilliant.
Networking is so important.
And I can track things back, an opportunity, perhaps an event, perhaps a trip abroad somewhere. I can track it back through sometimes years and through several different layers of people, friends of friends of friends of friends right back to the first meeting.
I’ll think back to that first meeting and think, ‘Did I envisage that what happened, in the end, was going to be the result from it?’ And I didn’t, but I did have an inkling that this would be a worthwhile use of my time.
Joanna Penn: Brilliant.
Where can people find you and your books online?
Clare Mackintosh: Well, the advantage of being called Clare Mackintosh is there aren’t actually that many of us. So you can just Google me. I’m really available online. My website is claremackintosh.com.
I’m on Twitter as @claremackint0sh, and everywhere else as @claremackwrites. You can join my book club. There’ll be a popup on my website and I’d love to see you there.
Joanna Penn: Brilliant. Thanks so much for your time, Clare. That was great.
Clare Mackintosh: Thank you.
The post Writing Twists And Marketing As A Traditionally Published Author With Clare Mackintosh first appeared on The Creative Penn.
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Author: Joanna Penn