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Guest Post: Six Things I Wish I’d Known Before Being Published by Mary-Jane Riley.


Today on If Only I Could Read Faster we have a guest post by Mary-Jane Riley, author of The Bad Things and After She Fell. She’s talking about the six things she wishes she knew before being published. Enjoy!!

Six  Things I Wish I had Known Before Being Published

  1. Not everybody is going to love your baby…

You’ve fretted and sweated and been rejected and then finally, finally you’re on top of that mountain. And yes, family, friends and colleagues are absolutely thrilled for you – even writer friends who are still trying to get published are thrilled and, although a tiny, weeny bit of them dies (I’ve been there) – they cheer and buy your book. With a bit of luck they review it and say they’re looking forward to the next. But there is always one, maybe more than one, who’s indifferent. Maybe they don’t like it, or are a bit jealous or it goes over their head.

     2. …But

Conversely and unexpectedly, old friends, people I hadn’t connected with for many, many years, and friends of my children all beat the drum for my book. It’s been wonderful.

  1. You realise how incriminating your Google history is.

Lordy! I pray I’m never investigated for murder because I will be arrested. Here’s a ten second trawl through mine:

  • Smell of decomposing body
  • Heroin overdose
  • Diving into the world of the dead
  • Revenge porn and slut shaming
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Black magic spells and satanic witchcraft
  • How to write a spell
  • Serial killers
  • Child murderers
  • Maggots and decomposition
  • Effects of drowning

Nice, eh?

  1. Social media can take over your life.

Most of you probably know this already, but I didn’t. Naive or what? I knew I would have to up my Twitter and Facebook presence but, come on guys, how much do I have to do? A lot, as it happens. But most of it is fun – interaction with other authors is fabulous – especially authors you admire (a few fan girl moments have been known to occur) – ditto bloggers and readers (more about that later), but the promotion side, that I try to keep to a minimum but enough so people know my book is out there. But it’s tough. And I’ve discovered Instagram. Love it. Now I’m trying to get together a couple or three boards on Pinterest and then … See what I mean?

  1. I was so ignorant about rankings, the importance of reviews and algorithms.

Nope, I hadn’t heard of algorithms either until I’d published a book. Still not sure I understand them now but I know they can be Very Important. But, and this is a big but, after days and days and days of obsessing over rankings etc, I am learning to let it go. You have to. Or go mad.

  1. Get a good chair – boring but valuable advice.

I did eventually and it has eliminated that hobbley old woman look (not sexy) when I get up from it.

Did I say six? Well there’s a seventh, and the best, and it’s back to those authors, readers and bloggers. I had no idea what a great lot of people there were on social media and in the flesh at events. So supportive, encouraging and kind. Thank you. Long may you be so!

Links for the Books:

The Bad Things UK      

The Bad Things US      

After She Fell UK        

After She Fell US         

Social media:


Twitter:           @mrsmjriley

Instagram:       maryjanerileyauthor


mary-jane riley copy

Mary-Jane wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite
typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had
adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton
had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild
West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and
became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has
covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest
events of the past two decades. AFTER SHE FELL is her second
crime thriller. Her first, THE BAD THINGS, was an Amazon Kindle top
40 seller in the UK and US.

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