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

The BIG Giveaway…the results.

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Image courtesy of Cjcj at Stock Xchng

 

Twelve days have gone by since the Big Giveaway of ‘A Construct of Angels’ and as promised, I’m typing a few lines of feedback to let you know if I thought it was all worthwhile.

Before the giveaway, ‘Construct’ had sold eighteen copies.  That wasn’t a problem – I’d always imagined that my first novel would be a slow seller.  As I’ve told many people, I didn’t buy any of Robin Hobb’s books until she’d written six of them.  The first Harry Potter book I considered buying was ‘The Goblet of Fire’ – book four in the series.  E E ‘Doc’ Smith had written seven Lensman books before I ever laid eyes upon them.  Robert Heinlein, Arthur C Clarke, Andre Norton…all the same.

So I wasn’t expecting a stampede.

The weekend of the giveaway arrived – December 1st and 2nd.  I watched with barely-restrained anxiety.  Would anybody bother?  I’d Tweeted, I’d Facebooked, I’d emailed, I’d reTweeted, I’d told KindleBoards plus everyone who knew I’d published.  What more could I do at this early stage in my self-publishing career?  Ryan Casey had warned me to expect hundreds of downloads.  I saw twenty.  I stared at my tiny Netbook screen, waiting for the numbers to change, but they remained steadfastly low.  I refreshed.  Nothing changed.  I logged out and back in again.  Still no change.

It wasn’t until I realised that my Netbook was only displaying part of the Amazon KDP screen that the true scale of what had just happened hit me.

I’d had eight hundred and twenty-six downloads.
Smiley Faces
I looked again, scarcely comprehending.

How many??

Even now, nearly two weeks later, I can scarcely believe it.

So, to say that word got around would be something of an understatement.  With only Twitter, Facebook, Kindleboards, this blog and my contact list to work from, at least a thousand people had received the message that ‘Construct’ was up for grabs.

I’m happy to report that the first part of the exercise has been, without any shadow of doubt, a big success.

Now I can only wait and hope that the main object of the exercise, the procurement of some useful feedback, will bear fruit.  Even if only 5% of the readers leave positive feedback, that would still be forty reviews to strengthen ‘Construct’s credibility.

Fingers crossed and on with the sequel.

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