What I’ve Learned Since Getting Published by Helen Yendall – Writing Tips

What I’ve Learned Since Getting Published by Helen Yendall – Writing Tips

Our new segment for 2022 is for new authors/writers and written by published authors, titled – Writing Tips. These posts will be shared with you every Wednesday.

Our latest post is from author Helen Yendall on the subject ‘What I’ve Learned Since Getting Published’. This post contains affiliate links.

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What I’ve Learned Since Getting Published

My debut novel, ‘A Wartime Secret’, was published earlier this year by HQ (Harper Collins). It’s been exciting and of course, I’m still pinching myself. But it’s also been a steep learning curve.

I wasn’t prepared for any of this, when I landed my first publishing deal:

Delivering the book is only the start.

When the novel was accepted for publication, it had already been through edits with my agent. But the work was far from over. There were structural, line and copy edits to work through, plus proof-reading, before the book was finally declared ‘finished’. Those rounds of edits all had timescales and deadlines attached to them. Pressure!

Non-writers look at you pityingly when you explain this process, clearly thinking your writing must be awful, to need so much ‘help’. But all books go through it and it definitely made mine better.

Title, Cover & Blurb

As a first-time, unknown novelist, you have little say in your book’s title, cover or ‘blurb’.

I imagined receiving a selection of covers and several possible titles to peruse but I received just one of each, for my approval.
If I’d absolutely hated them, I’m sure (I hope!) my concerns would have been taken into account but, as the author, I’ve learned you are responsible for everything inside the book, while the publisher is responsible for everything on the outside (cover, title, blurb and price).


On particularly busy days in the UK, as many as 600 new books are published. How do you make your novel stand out? Unless you’re a celebrity or your novel’s sold for a 6-figure sum, it’s likely that it will appear with relatively little fuss and fanfare.

If you’re thinking ‘posters on the side of a bus and big launch party!’, think again.

On launch day, my publisher sent flowers and organised a blog tour and there was plenty of social media activity, so I’m not complaining. But you are expected to do a fair amount of promotion yourself. If you don’t, your book may well sink without a trace.

Something else to bear in mind (this happened to me): when your first novel is launched, you could well be busy writing the next one, with a looming deadline. You won’t have as much time as you’d like, to organise a launch party or to shout about your debut.

Reviews and Reactions

Reviews and other people’s reactions are a fact of life when you’re published. Fortunately, most of mine have been favourable.

I was actually surprised at how easily I shrugged off the odd snarky review. E.g.: ‘But hey, put a bunch of quirky characters together and call it a book!’ Ouch! That stung when I first read it but now it makes me smile. I’ve accepted that it’s impossible to write a book that everyone will like. Some people simply won’t ‘get’ your book and that’s fine.

What hurts more is when fellow writers (people, often, that you’ve supported in the past), don’t congratulate you. As author Joanne Harris explains in her book ‘Ten Things About Writing’, ‘it’s sometimes hard to come to terms with the success of a friend, when you’re trying so hard to achieve that success for yourself.’

Mostly, though, it’s been a positive experience. Once you have a publisher, producing a book becomes a collaborative process, with a whole team of people helping to make your book the best it can be. You’re not on your own anymore! And that’s definitely an upside of getting published.

Many thanks to Stacey for inviting me onto her blog.

About the Author

Helen Yendall What Ive Learned Since Getting Published

Helen Yendall lives in the English Cotswolds and has been writing ever since she could pick up a pencil. Her first novel, set in WW2 and about a bank that moves from London to the Cotswolds to escape the Blitz, was published by HQ (Harper Collins) in 2022.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys teaching Creative Writing to adults and in her spare time, she likes playing tennis, swimming and walking Bonnie the cocker spaniel in the beautiful countryside where she lives.

Author Links


A Wartime secret by helen yendall

A Wartime Secret

Author – Helen Yendall
Publisher – HQ Digital
Pages – 352
Release Date – 17th March 2022
ISBN 13 – 978-0008523114
Format – ebook, paperback, audio

Synopsis writing tips 2022

England, 1940. Can Maggie keep her family – and her secret – safe? An emotional and heartbreaking wartime novel for fans of Diney Costeloe, Dilly Court and Mandy Robotham.

When Maggie’s new job takes her from bombed-out London to grand Snowden Hall in the Cotswolds she’s apprehensive but determined to do her bit for the war effort. She’s also keeping a secret, one she knows would turn opinion against her. Her mother is German: Maggie is related to the enemy.

Then her evacuee sister sends her a worrying letter, missing the code they agreed Violet would use to confirm everything was well, and Maggie’s heart sinks. Violet is miles away; how can she get to her in the middle of a war? Worse, her mother, arrested for her nationality, is now missing, and Maggie has no idea where she is.

As a secret project at Snowden Hall risks revealing Maggie’s German side, she becomes even more determined to protect her family. Can she find a way to get to her sister? And will she ever find out where her mother has been taken?

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1 Response

  1. 14/04/2022

    […] to write about what I’ve learned since I’ve been published and it appeared yesterday. Here it is, if you’re interested (I tried to keep it chirpy but quite a lot of moaning crept in…! […]