Mel Sherratt – A Success in the Self Publishing World

writers, writing, publishing, self publishing

Why Do People Dislike Self-Publishing?

When someone mentions that they have self-published, seeking to gain momentum through the e-book world, it is often snubbed by many as a low-brow form of literature.

People assume that those who self-publish don’t have what it takes to gain a ‘real’ publishing deal; a deal that means a well-known, big-hitting publishing house will take care of your promotions, marketing and potentially line you up with a multiple book contract.

But, is this really the case?

Looking back to an article written by the Guardian in June of this year, the figures quoted would suggest that we are all wrong to think this.

You only have to look at the success that British author, Adam Croft, has had to know that even self-published writers can flourish.

Adam Croft, Author, Self Published

Adam Croft, Self Published Author

Adam, however, is not alone.

Who Is Mel Sherratt?

Mel Sherratt, self confessed writer of murder and mayhem, frequently finds herself on bestselling lists.  However, had she not been persistent with her desire to become an author; if she had solely sort to gain a publishing deal from a traditional source, we would not be enjoying her crime novels today.

Mel Sheratt, Wrtier, Author, Self-published, self publishing

Mel Sherratt

How fortunate are we that Mel had the self-belief to continue, albeit on her own.

It’s with thanks to that determination that I am able to bring you a review of one her newest novels today – The Girls Next Door.

Mel Sherratt, self published author, crime, thriller

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

The Synopsis

On a warm summer’s evening, whilst her friend Jess is forced to stay home unwell, Katie finds herself spending an evening with Nathan Lucas; the boyfriend who she doesn’t really like but is seeing him for the sake of both Jess and her boyfriend, Cayden.

If only she had stayed home that night.  The nightmare, for her at least, would have then been prevented. 

Rather than thinking for herself, she meets up with Nathan but very soon the night turns ugly and before Katie knows what has happened she is being arrested on a murder charge.  A girl that has never been in trouble before now faces life in prison for the killing of fellow teenager, Deanna Barker.

Years ago this may have seen improbably, but with almost daily stabbings, shootings and general high-jinx stupidity taking place across the UK nowadays, a group of teenagers getting arrested for harming another human being has now become quite ordinary.

As the trial approaches, tensions are running high.  The Barker family want justice for Deanna and it seems that they are prepared to go to any length to get it. Teenagers from around Stockleigh find themselves being attacked, although by whom no-one appears to know. 

One is forced into the back of a vehicle, stripped from below the waist and thrown out miles away from home with no means of calling anyone, another is attacked from behind, pushed to the ground and held down whilst another cuts chucks out of their hair.  So, when Jess, Katie’s friend, does not arrive home it is assumed that whoever is committing these attacks has also done something to her, especially when her boyfriend is found beaten to a pulp outside the local shops.

In fact, for the first 24 hours or so no-one even realises that anything untoward has happened – her mum believes she is staying at a friend’s house and because she works nights she is not yet aware of the terrible assaults taking place across the area.

However, once it is discovered that Jess is not where everyone thought she was panic sets in. 

Has she been taken by the same people?  Is she lying in a ditch somewhere unconscious?  Is she still alive?

Eden Berrisford, doc-martin wearing detective and Jess’s aunt, is quickly contacted and before long a full-blown investigation has began.

Will she find Jess before anything awful can take place? 

What is the motive behind the disappearance?

Our Thoughts on The Girls Next Door

Mel Sherratt has written a gripping, fast-paced novel which you feel compelled to read.  You feel like the characters have been developed with real-people in mind which only makes for a more realistic storyline; one that is so believable it would not be unrealistic to hear about something like this happening on the news at 10pm. 

Mel Sherratt may have added in a twist or two, after-all when the novel begins you believe it is going to be all about Katie and Nathan, but there is nothing outlandish which makes you think that it is more of a Hollywood blockbuster rather than real-life nightmare.

 I am pretty sure if we were to ask any Detective they would be able to say that there are certain cases that do in fact pan out in a similar way, which is probably why I personally enjoyed this book so much. 

This is a thriller that you can pick up one morning and feel driven to finish in one sitting. 

For me, when I read a book this good, it is easy to see why Mel Sherratt has been previously shortlisted for the CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger Award; one of the most prestigious crime writing awards out there where previous winners include Gillian Flynn, Mo Hayder and Val McDermid

It also makes me stop and think, if someone of Mel Sherratt’s calibre had to start her writing career through the realms of self-publishing then who else is out there?  Perhaps the next J.K. Rowling is currently plugging away on a novel that will only see the light of day because we now have the freedom to produce an e-book.  Surely, this is a positive thing for the publishing world and one that should be embraced rather than criticised.

Have you read any of Mel Sherratt’s novels?

Perhaps you have stumbled across a fantastic self-published author who you would love to see get more publicity.  Why not mention them in the comments below, I would love to find new authors to read.


  • Susan Pola says:

    You might like to check out Wendy Waters novel Catch The Moon Mary – I loved the book and would love also to see her get more exposure

    • Sounds like an interesting read – thanks for the suggestion. I don’t normally gravitate towards anything that has a paranormal story line attached but perhaps I will give this one a go! 🙂

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