Susan Turner is the author of several books, the latest of which is The Truth About Otis Battersby, a riveting historical fiction novel set in late 1940s Europe. “This book,” Turner explains, “is the first in a series with a central character who operates in Western Europe in the inter-war period. I wanted to introduce Harry Douglas in this post-war setting when he’s been through some hard times and is a bit down on his luck and rough around the edges.”
Turner owns a pair of soft-leather, turquoise gloves, and these gloves helped inspire her and played an important part throughout the story. “First,” Turner says, “the reader has a visual image for Eve’s stylish outfit. Second, the gloves provoke a flashback memory for the introduction of Otis. Third, their presence later in the story provides a clue to a darker side of Otis. Lastly, they become an important piece of conversation Eve shares with another character. Thus, the turquoise gloves are both beautiful and sinister.”
From the back:
September 1948. Under the guise of exclusive Savile Row and posh gentlemen’s clubs, London’s upscale clothier Otis Battersby has managed to conceal his insidious business dealings until one crisp Saturday morning. In a mad dash for a wicked drop shot, Otis collapses and dies, his body draped atop the net that separates court number seven at the Chelsea Athletic Club. When his widow, Eve, unprepared for her husband’s sudden death and suspicious of its details, sets out to discover the truth of Otis’s departure, she reaches the stunning and devastating conclusion that her beloved husband was not the man she thought she knew.
Susan’s Publishing Experience
A great deal of effort and time went into crafting a quality finished product. So far, she’s marketed her book through email lists, Paperless Posts, Amazon ad campaigns, Facebook ads, X (Twitter) ads, book festivals, Pinterest, BookBub, Goodreads, and Reddit. However, marketing has been the hardest part of the process for her:
“First, I abhor self-promotion. Second, I know next to nothing about social media sites where one must advertise these days. Third, I’d rather not spend a great deal of time learning about marketing instead of writing and editing my next book. However, I realize in today’s environment, the need to market one’s work is essential. So, the steep learning curve begins (and never ends). Since my knowledge in the marketing area was near zero, the three marketing consultants were quite helpful. I took copious notes and followed up on many of their leads and suggestions.”
She spent a great deal of time finding the perfect cover photo to convey her main character’s demeanor and style:
“Eve is a memorable character with a great sense of self. She deserved a great cover. This cover is the first encounter a reader has with this book and the rest of the series. The cover sets the expectations, conveys the essence of the book, the historical period and the mood. The cover needs to respect the story and the characters within, and it needs to communicate something important about the writer.”
The easiest part was finding an editor and designer, of which she says, “I have worked successfully with 1106 Design in the past, and been more than satisfied with their products, their expertise, and their approach.”
When faced with the decision to select print-on-demand or offset printing, she chose both. Having used only offset printing in the past, she wanted to compare the two production methods. Furthermore, offset printing enabled her to have a ready supply of print copies available to sell at book festivals and other venues, as well as to give as gifts to close friends and those who helped her through the editing and production process.
She also produced an eBook version of her book in order to lessen her environmental impact, to make her book available to those who prefer electronic formats, and to make her book more convenient for those in other countries to read. With settings in London, Edinburgh, Madrid, and Western Europe, this book could be of special interest to those residing in or familiar with those locations.
The Truth About Otis Battersby is available via independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Amazon, and other online book retailers.
“Make sure your story is the best it can be, let it sit for a while, reread it, revise it, find a good developmental editor, revise, revise again, revise once more, then find a good copy editor who is brutal. Don’t skimp on the cover! Proofread your work (even if you’ve done it twelve times before). . . . Enjoy every step of the process, and prepare to be amazed at how helpful people can be. Appreciate fellow writers and support their work.”
This won’t be the end of her publishing journey. In fact, The Truth About Otis Battersby is the first in a trilogy: “I have two more books in this series and look forward to working with the 1106 team again—if they’ll have me!”
If you’re nearing the end of writing your manuscript and you’re wondering what your next stages are, please feel free to reach out to us at 1106 Design. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. For Susan, we provided assistance with “cover design, interior design, editing, eBook design, and uploads to IngramSpark and KDP,” in addition to our signature hand-holding. Our services are tailored to the needs of each author. We won’t ever sell you services you don’t need/want.
The Truth About Otis Battersby
Author: Susan Turner
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery
Author website URL: www.authorsusancturner.com
Twitter handle: @SusanCTurner