We are so amazingly proud today to announce that Angela Marsons has just sold her one millionth novel… a staggering feat considering her first thriller Silent Scream was only published in February this year.
It’s a remarkable tale of rags to riches for the Black Country author who last year wondered if she’d ever write again.
Eighteen months ago, Angela had hit rock bottom. With money tight after being made redundant from her job of nineteen years, and with her disabled partner recovering from major surgery, Angela was turned down for a job in an Amazon warehouse. Forced to sell their belongings and borrow from family members to pay the mortgage, the prospect of losing their home was a very real one.
To make matters worse, Angela’s dreams of becoming an author were crushed when she parted ways from a top London literary agency. The feedback from traditional publishers on her crime thriller series was always the same: ‘We love it… but not enough’. Some worried about the Black Country setting, others that readers wouldn’t warm to her formidable, no-nonsense lead character, Detective Kim Stone. With her confidence crushed, Angela, who pens all her first drafts by hand, couldn’t even pick up a pencil to write.
In October last year, Angela received an email. The reader she had worked with at the literary agency, Keshini Naidoo, was now commissioning editor with us here at Bookouture – and Keshini asked whether Angela might be interested in publishing with us.
It was a lifeline for me – I didn’t have any expectations about what I’d sell, I thought maybe five hundred copies, but I just wanted to see what readers thought. I wanted them to enjoy it.
Silent Scream has gone on to sell over 600,000 copies and was the number one Amazon bestseller in the UK for more than a month. It also reached the top 5 in the US and has secured rights deals in ten countries, from Germany to Lithuania. Angela’s follow-up novels, Evil Games and Lost Girls both hit the Amazon UK top ten.
The massive eBook success of the Kim Stone books has now led to a major print deal for Angela’s first three novels with brand new publisher Bonnier Publishing Fiction. From July, the series will reach a whole new audience through bookstores and supermarkets in the UK and worldwide.
It is the feedback from readers though that Angela has found most rewarding – with over 6,000 5-star reviews to date.
After the feedback that I’d had from traditional publishers, I was worried whether readers would be put off by the setting of my books – but I get emails every single day from readers all around the world telling me that they love Kim Stone and can’t wait for more. It’s so exciting to have that kind of feedback – I’ve been in tears more than once at the messages that I’ve received.
As for the financial benefits of becoming an international bestseller almost overnight, Angela says it is still sinking in.
The dream for me was always to write for a living, and I just feel so privileged to do that now. Every time I get a royalty payment, I have to pinch myself – it seems like lottery money to me.
As for what is next for Detective Kim Stone, Angela says that she’s full of ideas for the next books – and certainly won’t be killing her off any time soon.
I started writing because I felt like I had a story to tell. Kim Stone was the character for me who just wouldn’t go away, and I feel like I’m just at the start of her journey – there’s still plenty more to be revealed about her past as well as the next cases.
Angela’s advice for aspiring authors is simple:
I know it’s a cliché, but never give up. There’s always a chance that your luck will turn – and my rollercoaster ride is testament to that.