Privacy Policy

(updated on 08.01.2023) is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy .

This Policy explains when, how and why we collect and process your personal information while you browse or use this website, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.

We may change this Policy from time to time so please keep checking this page to ensure that you’re happy with any changes. By using our website, you’re agreeing to this Policy. If you don’t agree with it you may stop viewing or visiting the website, and not submit any personal data to us.

You can ask any questions regarding this Policy via We’ll do our best to respond as quickly and usefully as we can.

Who are we?

The Dark Pen is the website name for Julie Holden an author and writer.

We are registered with the ICO (Information Commissioners’ Office) under the Data Protection Register, our registration number is: ZB320241

How do we collect information from you?

We obtain information about you when you use our website or connect with our business. We collect information when you buy a book or sign up to our newsletters (probably via downloading one of our free content offers).

What type of information is collected from you?

The personal information we collect might include your name, address, email address, IP address, and information regarding what pages are accessed and when. We do not collect or store any bank card information or similar at any point – payment takes place only through secure third party services, or another bookselling website if you click the link.

How is your information used?

We may use your information to:

  • Complete the delivery of a service you have requested
  • Respond to a question or discussion on the blog
  • Adapt our site to your particular interests
  • Communicate with you via newsletters
  • Otherwise fulfil our purpose as a reader-focused organisation

We review our retention periods for personal information on a regular basis, so any unengaged subscribers are dropped from our communications, and their data deleted.

Who has access to your information?

We will not sell or rent your information to third parties.

We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.

When you make any online payment with us, your payment will be processed by a third party payment processor, who specialises in the secure online capture and processing of credit/debit card transactions.

The only party who will ever handle your data is Julie Holden.

Your choices

You have a choice about whether or not you wish to receive information from us. If you do not want to receive our marketing communications, then you are free to unsubscribe at any time. There is an ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email, or you can email

We will not contact you for marketing purposes by email, unless you have given your prior consent. We will not contact you for marketing purposes by phone, SMS or direct mail.

If you chose to unsubscribe we take that to mean you want your details erasing and would do so as soon as we are aware of the unsubscription.

How you can access and update your information

If you want to update your information, you can email us for help.

You have the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you.

Security precautions in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of your information

When you give us your personal information, we take steps to ensure that it’s treated securely. Any sensitive information (such as credit or debit card details) is encrypted and protected with the following software 128 Bit encryption on SSL. The ‘lock’ icon on your browser will confirm that security protocol is in place.

Non-sensitive details (your email address etc.) are transmitted normally over the internet, and this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. Once we receive your information, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. If there ever was a breach of that security we would inform you as soon as possible that this had happened, and what actions we are taking.

Use of ‘cookies’

We use cookies on this website to provide you with a better user experience. We do this by placing a small text file on your device / computer hard drive to track how you use the website, to record or log whether you have seen particular messages that we display, to keep you logged into the website where applicable, and to display relevant adverts or content.

Some cookies are required to enjoy and use the full functionality of this website.

We use a cookie control system which allows you to accept the use of cookies, and control which cookies are saved to your device / computer. Some cookies will be saved for specific time periods, where others may last indefinitely. Your web browser should provide you with the controls to manage and delete cookies from your device, please see your web browser options.

Cookies that we use are;

Analytics: These measure information such as the number of visitors, how long they stay and what pages they visit.

Functional: allows to remember a visitor’s site preferences and choices, including username, region and language.

Performance: collects anonymous information on how visitors use the site. They can’t be used to directly identify a visitor. They help improve the website. Also known as Google Analytics.

Necessary: enable core functions like security, accessibility and network management.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to other websites run by other organisations. We are not responsible for the privacy policies of those other organisations.

16 or under

We are concerned to protect the privacy of children aged 16 or under. If you are aged 16 or under‚ please keep your parent or guardian properly informed. We don’t spam or anything like that, but some of the content may not be appropriate for under-age readers.

Holding your data outside the UK

We are UK-based , but our website is hosted via a technology that deploys servers worldwide. This means that your data may be collected and stored outside the UK, and the privacy policies which apply in those jurisdictions may be different. That said, the vast majority of our server use is in the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and other highly reputable jurisdictions. We’ll go on working, carefully, with highly responsible server partners.

Your communications with us

If you contact us with positive feedback, we may want to use that comment in our promotional literature. We would seek your permission before we do so and would only share what you want us to.

As with all of your personal information, you have the right to change your mind about sharing information with/about us.

If you wish any comments you have made to be removed from the website, please contact

Website analysis

We want our users to have a good experience on our website, so we will from time to time engage in analytical exercises that follow user behaviour on the site, and those exercises may involve significant data collection. This data is anonymous and collated into large statistical aggregates. The interest is in users-in-general – not personal.

Email marketing messages & subscription

Any email marketing messages we send are done so through an EMS, email marketing service provider. An EMS is a third party service provider of software / applications that allows marketers to send out email marketing campaigns to a list of users.

Email marketing messages that we send may contain tracking beacons / tracked clickable links or similar server technologies in order to track subscriber activity within email marketing messages. Where used, such marketing messages may record a range of data such as; times, dates, I.P addresses, opens, clicks, forwards, geographic and demographic data. Such data, within its limitations will show the activity each subscriber made for that email campaign.

Any email marketing messages we send are in accordance with the GDPR. We provide you with an easy method to withdraw your consent (unsubscribe) or manage your preferences / the information we hold about you at any time. See any marketing messages for instructions on how to unsubscribe or manage your preferences.

Our EMS provider is; Mailerlite. We hold the following information about you within our EMS system;

  • Email address
  • I.P address
  • Subscription time & date

We use MailerLite to manage our email marketing subscriber list and to send emails to our subscribers. MailerLite is a third-party provider, which may process your data using industry-standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our newsletter.

MailerLite’s privacy policy is available at

You can unsubscribe from our newsletter by clicking on the unsubscribe link provided at the end of each newsletter.