Rachel Abbott

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Rachel Abbott
Rachel Abbott 2013.jpg
Born Sheila Rodgers
1952 (age 65–66)
Manchester, England
Pen name Rachel Abbott
Occupation Writer
Nationality British
Period 2011–present
Genre Fiction, crime, thriller
Notable works Only the Innocent
Sleep Tight

Rachel Abbott (the pen name of Sheila Rodgers, born 1952)[1] is a British author of psychological thrillers. A self-publisher, her first three novels have combined to sell over one million copies, and have all been bestsellers on Amazon's Kindle store.[2] In 2015, she was named the 14th bestselling author over the last five years on Amazon's Kindle in the UK.[3]

Early life

Abbott grew up near Manchester, England.[4] She worked as a systems analyst, and then founded an interactive media company, developing software and websites for the education market.[4] She sold the company for around £5 million in 2000. Following the sale, she moved from Lancashire, England, to Italy, where she restored a 15th-century Italian monastery that for a time she and her husband operated as a venue for weddings and holidays.[1][2][5]


In 2009, Abbott decided to write a book about an average, everyday woman put into a situation where she had no other option but to commit murder.[4] It took Abbott 18 months to write the first draft.[5][6] In November 2011, after it was rejected by several literary agents, Abbott, then 59, self-published her first novel, Only the Innocent, on Amazon, under her pen name.[2][5] The book sold slowly at first, with sales taking off after Abbott put together a strong marketing campaign.[7][8]

Abbott followed up Only the Innocent in 2013 with The Back Road and in 2014 with Sleep Tight.[6] Her fourth novel, Stranger Child, was published on 24 February 2015.[9] Later that year, she published the novella Nowhere Child, which has the same characters as Stranger Child.[10] In 2016, she published her sixth novel, Kill Me Again.[11] Her five novels and one novella all focus on relationships and crime, and all feature the same detective, Chief Inspector Tom Douglas.[6] Abbott has described the character as "a genuinely honest, nice guy who just seems to be attracted to the wrong women."[12]

Working with an agent since 2012,[2] she self-publishes in the UK, and through a publisher in North America.[13] Her books have been translated into seven different languages.[9]

By 2015, Abbott's first three novels, all self-published in the UK, with the first two published by Thomas & Mercer in the US, had combined to sell one million copies. All three have been bestsellers in Amazon's Kindle store.[2][6][12] By March 2016, she had sold two million books.[11] In 2015, Abbott was named Amazon's most popular independently published author in the UK;[14] she is Amazon's number one e-book seller in crime and thriller writing.[9] Also in 2015, she was named the 14th bestselling author over the last five years on Amazon's Kindle in the UK, after first publishing on the platform in 2011.[3][14] For the year 2015 (through August), Stranger Child was the most borrowed book from Amazon UK's Kindle Owners' Lending Library service, and number 11 on Amazon UK's list of best-selling eBooks of 2015.[15][16]

Personal life

Abbott and her husband divide their time between the Le Marche region of Italy and the island of Alderney, one of the Channel Islands.[1]


Title Publisher Publication date ISBN
Only the Innocent Thomas & Mercer / Black Dot Publishing 15 November 2011 ISBN 978-0-9576522-1-7
The Back Road Thomas & Mercer / Black Dot Publishing 3 March 2013 ISBN 978-0-9576522-0-0
Sleep Tight Black Dot Publishing 24 February 2014 ISBN 978-0-9576522-3-1
Stranger Child Black Dot Publishing 24 February 2015 ISBN 978-0-9576522-4-8
Nowhere Child (novella) Black Dot Publishing 29 October 2015 ISBN 978-0957652255
Kill Me Again Black Dot Publishing 17 February 2016 ISBN 978-0957652262
The Sixth Window Black Dot Publishing 21 February 2017 ISBN 978-0957652286
Come a Little Closer Black Dot Publishing 13 February 2018 ISBN 978-1999943707
And So It Begins Wildfire 15 November 2018 ISBN 978-1472254894


  1. ^ a b c Fred Redwood, “Ruined monastery was just what we’d been praying for! And after £1m rescue mission, it’s a stunning home with its own golf course,” The Daily Mail, March 21, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Dalya Alberge, “Crime writer hits killer 1m sales – with no publisher,” The Sunday Times, February 8, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Hannah Furness, "Retiree who wrote novel for fun joins world-famous authors on bestseller list," The Daily Telegraph, August 5, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Contemporary Authors Online". Biography in Context. Gale. 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Smita Mistry, “I Spent 14 Years Plotting a Murder!” Woman's Own, p. 38.
  6. ^ a b c d Khaleda Rahman, “Self-publishing author says she ‘astounded’ after her crime thriller which was rejected by literary agents sells one million copies,” The Daily Mail, February 7, 2015.
  7. ^ Lisa Campbell, "EL James tops five-year Amazon Kindle chart," The Bookseller, August 5, 2015.
  8. ^ Ben Falk, "How I Used My Retirement To Become Kindle’s Bestselling UK Author," Yahoo! Finance, September 7, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c “Bestselling writer in Alderney celebrates fourth novel,” ITV Report, February 24, 2015.
  10. ^ Emma Lazenby, "How to write your first book and get it published: 10 insider tips," bt.com, December 11, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Rachel Abbott, "14 hour days, marketing and dealing with snobbery: my life as a self-published bestseller," The Guardian, March 30, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Caroline Carpenter, “Self-published Rodgers hits a million in sales,” The Bookseller, February 9, 2015.
  13. ^ “Rachel Abbott: ‘Self-publishing means the success of my books is entirely down to me,” The Guardian, July 2, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Alison Flood, "Kindle turns five: independent women thrive in ebook bestseller charts," The Guardian, August 5, 2015.
  15. ^ Stefan Kyriazis, "Female authors whip the men' asses after writing 18 OUT OF TOP 20 bestsellers in 2015," Daily Express, August 26, 2015.
  16. ^ Alison Flood, "The Girl on the Train tops Amazon's UK ebook sales this year so far," The Guardian, August 25, 2015.

External links

  • Official website
  • Official blog
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