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Sequel Goes To Editor – What This Means For You

Dear Readers,


As you may have read on the Holly Bell Facebook page, the manuscript for, Book 8, the new sequel in the Amanda Cadabra series has now gone to our glorious professional editor Kim Brockway. So what next for you, precious readers? Well, it all depends.

The Twain

If you are in the VIP beta readers group, and I’ll tell you how you can become a member in a moment, then you will be receiving a personal email from me regarding the book. If you are an equally esteemed non-member, then this is what you can expect over the coming weeks.

The Line-up

First, there will be the Title Reveal (momentous orchestral music). Then there will follow a partial cover reveal. Hot on its heels comes the full cover reveal. But that’s not all. The trailer video will be placed here for your delectation, the first chapter, and there may even be (can’t promise) a YouTube with pretty pictures and me reading the aforementioned chapter. There will also be the release date and then … the Launch Day post and video. The paperback may come out at the same time as the ebook or a bit later. I’ll let you know, when I know.


‘So what’s this VIP group all about then?’ I hear you ask. Well, it is a group of readers who beta-read the manuscript once it’s gone off to the editor. Just to be clear, it is not an Advance Readers Copy. No, because it isn’t ready for publication. The VIPs help with the polishing stage. They are, in a sense, volunteer sub-editors who read the book in order to give me feedback. That’s the important bit: giving feedback.

Quantity and Quality

How much feedback do you have to give? It can be one line, a sentence like (and this is my personal favourite) ‘Loved it!’ (‘Brilliant’ and equivalents are also joyfully welcomed, but be honest, please), or it can be a paragraph of comments. Many of the VIPs contribute a list of typos, spelling and grammar issues that have cunningly slipped under the radar of my five editing passes; some do all of the above (much love here for you-know-who-you-are).

If you are considering a VIP role, there is one other factor to consider. I will need the feedback as soon as possible. It will be about 10-14 days, most likely, before I need to put in the final amendments, but I’ll let you know nearer the time. And there’s that word again: ‘time’, as in ‘sensitive’.

The Hows

The manuscript will be delivered to you in various formats: .mobi, .epub, Word document, and .PDF. You can give the feedback in the body of an email, as a text or Word doc, as a screenshot, a photo, or … or …. well, please feel free to suggest it, if you need to send it by some other means.

If you’re keen to enter the VIP Lounge (not that much lounging involved, alas), then you can either sign up here or drop me a line. You know how much I love that. Better still, both would be splendid.

My To-Do List

First, before I can ship to the VIPs, I need to create the front and back matter. What’s that? Those are the extra pages before and after the story. For example, the copyright notice (easy bit: I don’t even have to change the date, as the last book came out this spring), the maps and plans, dedication and the table of contents. That lot goes at the front, and at the back, I get the chance to say my thankyous to everyone who has contributed, as well as to you, dear readers. There are also the Questions for Bookclubs and the British English to American English glossary. Among other things. All of this, as you can imagine, takes a few days, so you have time to decide, in case you would like to join the VIPs.

That’s all for now. As you can see, I have my fun cut out for me, but I wanted to give you the latest news first, so that you’re in the loop. Above all, I am confident that you will have a brand new cozy mystery to cuddle up with in the cooler autumn (or spring, depending) months. Back soon.

Happy reading,



PS If you want to start the series now:
Amanda Cadabra and The Hidey-Hole Truth

Available on Amazon

Paperback, Kindle
and Large Print

About the Author Holly Bell

Cat adorer and chocolate lover, Holly Bell is a photographer and video maker when not writing. Holly lives in the UK and is a mixture of English, Scottish, Cornish and Welsh, among other ingredients. ​Her favourite cat is called Bobby. He is black. Like the hat in her cupboard. Purely coincidental.

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  • Steve says:

    Bah! I would love to help beta the book, but I’m still catching up with the series as a whole! Here, as always, for moral support though 😛

  • A.M. Solomon says:

    I’d love to sign up to join the VIP non-lounge! I’m a retired reporter and editor, so you might regret it…
    If you like the idea, please let me know what to do next.

    Also, may I applaud you for the way you treat your readers? I don’t read a lot of fiction (my sister reads tons), but I have rarely seen a website/fb presence that really makes an effort to engage the reader on the level that yours does. Keeping people up to date is a great way to keep people eager for “what comes next” (including that joy of joys — a NEW book by a reliably good author).

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