The editing continues – revisiting CoA (again)

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lucianotb remington

Sometimes, I’ve been extremely fortunate in my writing journey. When I’ve needed them the most, I’ve met people who have shown me that ePublishing is not only possible, but in some ways it is preferable to traditional publishing. 

During my year of querying agencies and receiving a whole basketful of raspberries, around the time I’d started to build my author platform, I quickly began to encounter other writers, some of whom were still querying, others who had decided to go it alone by self-publishing.

And as they proved to me that there is definitely hope after rejection, one author in particular steered me towards the tutorials that explained how I could complete the process myself.  Thanks Ryan!

I’ve also become friends with several other authors who went on to recommended exactly the right cover artist.

Thank you everybody! You are my guardian angels. Or at the very least, he recommended you all. :)

Now I am entering a new phase in my writing. By sheer chance, and some very fortunate timing, I have become friends with Tara, an aspiring editor who began by examining my first chapter, but went on to review the entire MS.  We are now working together on a complete and thorough edit of CoA.

When I wrote the post How to accept editing feedback I thought that accepting a professional critique would be much more daunting, but Tara has been fair as well as thorough with my MS.

She even likes my jokes… :)

As I write this, we have already made some major changes to the story and I now have several words to purge from the MS, on pain of nagging.

It seems that I use the words ‘just’, ‘like’ and ‘sigh’ a great deal (thanks, WordSmith!), to the point where it has begun to leap off the page at Tara. *Sighs* We are also discussing the intricacies of ‘forwards’ versus ‘forward’ and it looks as if I have sinned with ‘towards’ as well. Taking into account that I write in British English (BrE), we both understand that different rules apply on our respective sides of the Big Pond, but she may have me cornered in this instance. :)

However, Tara seems to enjoying the peculiarities of BrE and I’m slowly introducing her to some of our colloqualisms. I’ll soon have her speaking like a native of the UK and then we can be china plates for life!

Once we’ve finished my fish hook, of course. 

Toodle-pip!

signature plus n270

Practising my Author’s signature – with good reason.

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erkinsahin signature

This morning I used up four perfectly good sheets of blank paper as I tried to create an author signature that I was happy with.

No, I wasn’t being vain, or dreaming of fame and fortune. I didn’t even have Waterstone book signings in mind (*shudders* see my last post for why I DONT dream of such things).

The signatures were being prepared for something I’ve never done before – a signed copy of my eBook ‘A Construct of Angels.’  Yes, it IS possible to do such a thing.  There’s a feature called Kindlegraph that allows a reader to request an autograph via Twitter.

I haven’t managed to embrace such technologies as yet, nor do I envisage an electronic stampede from readers, so my Mark One version will have to do for now.

Using a pen, paper (remember them?) and a scanner, I managed to create a usable scribble. It’s not as easy as it sounds. If you bear in mind that most authors don’t write under their birth names, then creating a smoothly-flowing squiggle from an unfamiliar name doesn’t come naturally to the hand or the eye.

Try it – pick a celebrity name and pretend you are surrounded by clamouring fans desperate for the smell of a Sharpie. Now try to produce ten consistent squiggles. That was my problem this morning. ‘Andrew’ really is my birth name, so that was no problem…but ‘Toynbee’ threw my brain completely off the tacks.

So, anyway, after the forementioned sheets of paper had been sacrificed, this is the result;

signature

So, I now have a .png version that I can add into my .html eBook file. By dedicating a page to each fan in particular and adding a personal message, I’m able to create a personalised eBook for them. I currently have six in my queue and each book that I create will be unique.

It’s an interesting exercise and it’s refreshing my memory on eBook formatting. Since October 2012, my leaky brain has forgotten about half of the fomatting process *sigh* and I need to get back into the saddle, as it were.

.

keep calm plus author inside

Author interview with Draegon Grey

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smoking man

I’ve just completed the first part of an author interview with Draegon Grey.  It surprised me how much fun something like this can be – almost like reliving the whole process of writing the novel over again.  Happy memories, the small problems that seemed so insurmountable at the time and the joy of completing the work…they all came flooding back.

The second part, a character interview with Sara Finn, my protagonist, will follow soon.

In the meantime, you can read the ‘Author Moment’ interview here.

Write on!

I’ve only been and gone and done it again!

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calendar page

This weekend, I did a quick mental calculation and realised that ‘A Constuct of Angels’ had been live on Amazon for almost three months.

How time flies!

Rightly or wrongly, I’d signed up to KDP Select’s 90-day exclusivity deal in order to test the Amazonian waters (well, it WAS my first time) and was interested by Amazon’s ‘Lending Library’ scheme that promised authors a share of umpteen millions per month depending on how many books were borrowed by other KDP members.  Part of the downside of this is that the author has to sign an exclusivity deal with Amazon for a minimum of 90 days.  Well, those 90 days have now expired and I had a peek at how many of my books had been borrowed by other KDP Select members.

So…(opens envelope), Ladies and Gentlemen, the number of borrowed books after 90 days totalled exactly (drum roll, please);

Zero, nada, nill.

Zero multiplied by umpteen millions = ?  Well, you can do the math, as they say.

Sheesh.

Amazon automatically renew KDP Select for the author, UNLESS that author remembers to untick the renewal box.  With only two days to go, I unticked and have now dipped my toe into the next part of the adventure.

‘A Construct of Angels’ continues to be live at Amazon, but as of today, it’s also available from Smashwords in multiple formats.

Now, I’ve been warned that Smashwords is not simply a ‘post and forget’ site; that marketing work needs to continue.

Smashwords has many detractors on various blog sites, with some authors complaining about low sales.  Others are constantly chiding these same authors for not marketing effectively.

So it will be an interesting experiment.  A steep learning curve lies ahead, but I intend to do everything that my spare time allows to spread the word.

Also, now that I’m no longer tied into Amazon, I’m free to explore beyond the boundaries.  To infinity – and beyond?

I will let you know how I get on.

.

Write on in 2013!

Blog of the Year 2012

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Well, now that SPOTY is all wrapped up and X Factor winner has been decided, I’m pleased to be able to peer into the latest mysterious (virtual) envelope and see my own name on the Blog of the Year nomination roll.

Yes, Patwoodblogging has very, very kindly nommed me which means that I am now entitled to display (and I do so with pride) the following button;

Thank you, PatWoodBlogging

Thank you, PatWoodBlogging

And, then, not long afterwards, this one;

Thank you, NutsForTreasure

Thank you, NutsForTreasure

 

I’ve endeavoured to make this blog interesting, whilst passing on what I’ve learned over the past couple of years.  However, I can say that without any doubt, I have probably learned far more than I have imparted.  And isn’t that the way it should be?  Because so many fellow bloggers have been so very generous with their hints, tips, lessons and sharing of experience, my blogging and my writing has flourished during 2012.

It hardly seems possible that my very first post ‘The best rejection letter ever?‘ was only published in July of this year, finally catapulting my introverted presence into the Blogsphere.   Since then, I’ve blogged (a little irregularly, I confess), joined Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, published on Amazon and I’m already part-way through the First Draft of my sequel.

What an amazing year it’s been!

Thank you to everyone who has visited, commented and assisted me with my lifelong dream to publish my first novel.

I’d like to nominating the following sites whose content instructed, guided, shared, encouraged or contained perfectly entertaining prose that cheered and lifted us all throughout 2012;

Candace Knoebel for being ‘Awesome’ with every blog.

PatrickLatter for providing inspirational images.

Karen Gadient for being both graphic (it’s not what you’re thinking!) and thoroughly entertaining.

C G Blake for fascinating and instructional content.

Ryan Casey for always providing the right answers on his blog – even before I knew I needed to know them.

Jacqui Murray – her blog is packed to the rafters with useful content.

Michelle Proulx for being thoroughly entertaining!

Pat Wood – for her incessant and infectious cheerfulness!  Have another star, you star!

I would love to include absolutely everybody that I follow in this list, but that isn’t practical.  Instead, I’d ask that you spread the nominations to everyone whose work you love to follow and learn from.  This award can be sent out even in the New Year, so don’t stop when the 31st is worn out.

Hope you all have amazing (and Awesome – can I say that Candace?) holiday.

See you on the other side!!!

Write on in 2013, everyone!

~

Do you know a blog that deserves an award?

Do you have special blogs that you love to read?

Which blogs do you bookmark and follow?

Would you like to give them an award this year?

Then the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award is for you!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   

and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group 

and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

6 stars image

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Badges

Here are the six badges for you to collect – you can either ‘swop’ your badge for the next one each time you are given the award – or even proudly display all six badges if you are lucky enough to be presented with the award six times!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg

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Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

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Need to know more? Check out our FAQ page

And Congratulations! on being chosen for the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

~

A Construct of Angels is FREE on Amazon Dec 1st and 2nd 2012

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‘A Construct of Angels’ has now been live at Amazon for five weeks now…the time has come to use two of the five ‘freebie days’ on Amazon KDP to list ‘Construct’ as a free download.

This will (if all goes to plan) apply to Saturday and Sunday (1st and 2nd December), hopefully from 0001 Pacific Time Saturday to 2359 Pacific on Sunday…give or take.

If you’ve already downloaded a copy, please tell your Kindle (or Kindle-for-PC enabled – a free download from Amazon) friends that ‘Construct’ will be available for this period.

Or if you’ve been the (lucky?) recipient of one of my advance copies, please download a free copy so that you will be able to (if you so desire) leave a line of feedback when you are able.

The rumour is that Amazon is busy removing feedback from peeps that haven’t procured a copy from their site.

I emphasise that this is just gossip at the moment and I haven’t seen any first-hand evidence of it.

As this is the first time I have tried the Amazon KDP free download day feature, I will feed my  experiences back to you in my next post.

Please take advantage of this offer if the genre appeals to you and if you are able to, please be kind and leave some feedback.

Feedback is a very valuable commodity to debuting authors and helps to boost credibility, build buyers’ confidence and hopefully encourage future sales!

Thank you.

Write on!

It’s been a busy old month!

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Hello Fellow Bloggers!

I haven’t posted anything for nearly five weeks now and I feel terribly guilty.

You may (or may not) have noticed.

The lack of posts, that is,not the guilt.

Following the upload of my book to Amazon, I have had my head down and have been peddling (!) furiously in an effort to spread the word about ‘A Construct of Angels’.

Complimentary PDF copies have been sent out to those who assisted me in the research phase back in 2010.

I’ve produced laminated posters and around 300 bookmarks (Excellent idea, thanks Sonya!) which have been passed out to everyone who admitted to being a reader of books.  The bookmarks have also been liberally scattered wherever reading material (magazines and books) were found to be clustered on waiting room tables.

My works vehicle has become an advertising hoarding, plastered with magnetic signs in the hope of generating further interest.

I’ve fluffed up my Facebook account, joined MySpace, KindleBoards, a dozen authors’ forums at LinkedIn, the World Literary Cafe, Goodreads and sent links to half-a-dozen book review sites.

Next up is CreateSpace, Search Inside the Book and Author Central.

I’m even considering contacting regional newspapers as a ‘local author’ to see if they’d be interested.

I have, however, stopped short of Tweeting, although it has now become apparent to me how useful it could be.   Tweeting 140 characters instead of waiting for a spare half-hour (which never seems to arrive) to compose a full post?  That has possibilities.  I may yet find myself becoming a Twitter convert.

Naturally, with all the new traffic, I now find that my Inbox is overwhelmed *sighs* and is now in need of a re-jig, i.e. creating new folders for comments, updates and notifications to flow into.

And on top of all that, I have finally, finally managed to forge ahead with my sequel, ‘A Vengeance of Angels’.

By an odd and completely unplanned coincidence, I began it on the first day of NaNoWriMo.  Not that I could keep up that sort of pace.  1500 words a day?  The first day saw me pen around 1000 words.  The second? About 500.  And so on down a sliding scale until I found myself not writing at all on some days.

But I’m back in the saddle and currently 10,000 words or so into ‘Vengeance’ and re-discovering the joy of ‘pantsing’ - but more on that later.

The project that I’m most excited about is slowly coming together.  Normally, my work bats me around the country like a ping-pong ball, but lately, I’ve been working in one place for the past six weeks and that looks to continue up until Christmas.  So, I’ve contacted a local drama group with a proposition;  Would they like to be actors and extras in a three-minute video that will ultimately serve to promote ‘Construct’?

My question has apparently caused a great deal of excitement amongst the students.  Their Head of Department is currently reading through ‘Construct’ and is very keen to discuss my ideas.

Watch this space…

So, what I now need to ask is; in addition to the endeavours above, has anyone had notable success with any particular method of advertising?

Bearing in mind that ‘Construct’ is an eBook, activities such as book signings and book parties wouldn’t work, unless anyone has a ‘twist’ that could be applied…

As always, all ideas and comments are welcomed. :D

Write on!

 

Click me if you dare

 

Well, I’ve only been and gone and done it!

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Well, I’ve only been and gone and done it (as they used to say in the old Brit flicks).

jumping for joy

Yep.  It’s done.  Too late to back out now.

What? I hear you cry in exasperation.

I’ve only gone and published on Amazon.

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