Monday, 14 November 2016

Blog Tour ~ It Was You by Jo Platt

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be hosting today's stop on the fabulous

It Was You Blog Tour

 The author Jo Platt is with us today to share her tips for aspiring writers.

Jo Platt

Note To Self: Tips for Aspiring Writers...

Your writing, and how you approach it, is so unique to you, and the book industry so full of rug-pulling surprises, that it’s impossible to offer advice which holds true for every writer in every circumstance. However, here are some pointers and words of encouragement which, with hindsight, I would have liked to have been able to share with my (ever so slightly) younger self, when first embarking upon my own literary adventure. 

Get on with it!

Lots of people declare that they want to write a book, before closely following that up with various excuses for not actually getting started. Some are waiting until their children start school, or until the day-job eases up, or even, as in the case of someone I met recently, until construction of a new, dedicated writing room in the garden is finished.

I procrastinated for years, citing all sorts of impediments and commitments when, actually, it was fear and self-doubt which was the problem. So stop making excuses and make a start. 

Rejection is par for the course...

It is extremely unlikely that your book is going to be snapped up by the first agency you approach. Agencies receive thousands of manuscripts a year and can read only a very small percentage of them in full. Acknowledging this from the outset will help you to focus on making your submission the very best that it can be; no typos, no grammatical errors and, of course, absolutely in the format requested by the agency on their website. And knowing that the process is a tough one for all authors, without exception, might just help you to stay positive in the face of those inevitable knock-backs.

There’s more than one way to crack an egg..

The route recommended to me when trying to find a home for my first novel, Reading Upside Down, was a well-trodden one. I was advised to buy a copy of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and to send submissions to agents selected from its listings. It was sound advice, which I did take. But in my case, self-publishing, free of cost via Amazon, was also key to finding an agent and I wish I’d considered that as an option from the outset. Writers often recoil at the very mention of self-publishing, perhaps seeing it as some sort of admission of defeat. But it is something you can do alongside making submissions to agencies, and it gets your work out there and read, rather than being left to languish in your knicker drawer. Which leads me onto…


Not really. It actually leads me onto…

Getting other people to read your book

Even if you’re reluctant to self-publish and let strangers read your work, do at least share it with colleagues, friends and family, before you submit it to an agent. But bear in mind that anyone too close and kind-hearted to offer meaningful criticism, is an absolutely useless choice of reader. Your ideal reviewer should be constructively opinionated, a fan of your genre and have little or no consideration for your feelings. My mother-in-law, for example, was of invaluable help.


If, like me, you have the skin of a rice pudding, then even constructive criticism can be hard to take. But calm down, take a breath, and reflect upon what’s been said. Sometimes you’ll decide you prefer things your way, and that’s fine. But there are also times when quiet reflection will make you realise that your critic may just have a point. 

And finally…

Write for no other reason than because you love it. Keep your future hopes separate from your current creativity and don’t let the angst of ‘What next?’ and ‘What if ?’ spoil the fun. To enjoy writing is a gift. Anything else is just a bonus.

It Was You was published by Canelo on 31st October price £1.99 as an ebook. 

Visit or follow #ItWasYou on Twitter.


Huge thanks to Jo for writing such a great guest post and also to Heloise and Darren at edpr for their invitation to be part of the blog tour.


  1. Absolutely brilliant advice, which reflects my own experiences.

    1. Thanks John - I'm so glad that you enjoyed reading Jo's inspiring guest post .."Write for no other reason than you love it " ...great advice for anyone !!


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