Saturday, 9 April 2011

I Actually AM a Cotswold Novelist Now!

My book is out. It will be available for £4.99 from 20th April, but I've put it out at a special Word Nerd rate for those who've helped me on the journey. Grab it before the 20th and it's only £2.99. 

The e-books are non-DRM, so you can give them as gifts. To encourage people to introduce the new tradition of #EbookEaster - more on my author blog - I'm putting up special offers between now and then on multiple purchases. 

TODAY'S OFFER: Buy 3 books (any combination of Kindle, iPad, Sony Reader, Nook and PDF) and you get a further 20% off! A decent sized Cadbury egg costs £6. 

Easter Gift suggestion: I'm suggesting you put a gift card into an egg/bunny shaped box or tin (there are so many right now) and include the download link. You can print an image of the book if you like. I've endured non-chocolate Easters (due to allergies) and they are NO fun, because there's no alternative. Let's create an alternative: e-books. Do you have a family member with diabetes or who's on a diet or just doesn't like lots and lots of chocolate? Perfect present. Cheaper than an egg. Frugal and classy, and you get to be the person who made them feel SPECIAL rather than just different. 

My book has already been reviewed by a US editor: 

Hope you enjoy Palaces & Calluses!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

2011 Update - Where I Am Now

I haven't written in my online diary for so long. Much has happened. Here goes:

The magazine closed without warning, so my column - before it was even an entity - was no more.

Dad got an aneurysm. A big one. A MASSIVE one. The summer and autumn were a series of operations. I spent days praying. Days were spent in waiting rooms (listening to people cry) and in wards (listening to people scream). My book stopped being a priority.

Anyhow. He's alive. He's home, and things are improving every month. Once I knew he was on the mend, I started to move things along again for my writing. Here's what happened:

Writing Magazine Article
Groupon Blog

My novel went to America to be beta read by an editor over there, to make sure it is readable for the US. I'm now editing it YET AGAIN, and when that's done it will be published. In the magazine, I said it would be out in the spring, so it will.

Meanwhile, I'm making book trailers for people. Here's an example of what I can do:

If anyone happens upon this diary, and wants to be a pen pal of mine, they only need to click here for their wish to come true. :)


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Carrie Bradshaw of the Cotswolds?

I'm a columnist. Wow. Not sure what to add to that. By the end of this year, I should be both a published author and a columnist. Here's the magazine...


Sunday, 11 July 2010

Dear Diary... It's Just Not Fair!

The 'not being able to afford to publish' hurdle was behind me. Just a hop, skip, and an ISBN and my book would be free to be whatever people wanted to make of it. Then it happened. Virus.

My trusty netbook. My web-travelling chum. My twitter companion and blog buddy. We'd been through so much together. She barely remembers her own name now. Nervous breakdown follows nervous breakdown. A flash of recognition is followed by a lack of response and a sudden crash. Her hard-drive is corrupted. Her battery is a burnt out wreck. She's a goner. They say she might limp along with some degree of ability but, without a full costs-more-than-the-netbook overhaul, she cannot be put in charge of fork lift trucks, hot kettles, or my manuscript. *Sniff*.

So, I had to get another netbook. Where would the money come from? The Publishing Fund, of course. I'd scrimped enough to form a barrier against misfortune. I bought a netbook. It was less pretty, less qualified in many ways, but it could handle the tasks for which it was so desperately needed.

It arrived. Within minutes, it developed a cough of some description. When it came time for bed, it refused to close its eyes. It wouldn't shut down. It wouldn't switch on. It crashed, it stalled, it cried and bawled. (Couldn't resist. Oh, who cares? It's my diary and I'll rhyme if I want to). 'To' at the end of a sentence? Damn right! Huh!

Anyhow, the new netbook was less use than a pen on a string, so I phoned QVC (the place from whence it had emerged) and explained. They handed me the number of Hewlett Packard that I'd already spent a fortune calling. The general level of service from them had been a bit beyond 'have you tried turning it off and on again?' but not far off. Hubby and I decided to negotiate. The self same netbook was being pimped out on the self same channel that very day. Surely, they would just trade one for t'other? Nope. I'll spare the details but the conclusion was that the ill computer must be sent back. No refund would be received. If I wanted access to the web, I must buy another computer from them. At some point in the future a refund would arrive for the first computer. Until then, we will have forked out for TWO netbooks from... oh yes... the Publishing Fund.

There's not a chance that this book will be out in the summer now. No chance. The original plan had been to be published by/in September. I'm reverting to that. I've set myself the deadline of 18th September. It's a deadline. A firm deadline. A cross my heart and hope to be tickled until I beg for mercy deadline. I've no idea how I'll hit it, but I will hit it. Meanwhile, if that next netbook arrives and develops some kind of malady, it will just have to limp on regardless. Tech problems have held me back long enough. They could undo all my hard work if I give in to their childish demands. Up with this I WILL NOT PUT.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Easy Breezy Lemon Squeezy

People are asking for books. Worrying. There are no books. Well, there ARE books, but they're not bound. Well, they ARE bound but they're not for sale. Galleys. I have galleys and am dealing with the hell of pantone colours about which I know squat.

That is a mere garnish on the plate of dung stew with which I am presented. I could be published tomorrow. I could put out a PDF and charge for it. Don't want to do that though. I picture people snuggling down with hot beverages and slankets/snuggies or cold beverages and floppy holiday hats. They are reading my story. They are not wincing at formatting errors. After all this work, I want the end product to be worth the wait.

Of course, in between trying to pay for food, hot water, and broadband, I also need to put aside cash for the books legally required within a month of publication by: the British Library, Bodleian Library in Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, and Trinity College Library, Dublin.

You had better make it available in the right format for my device or you're just asking for me to pirate it.

Of course I'm asking for you to pirate my work, Cherub.  What else would I be doing?  Not working my butt off, trying to get my books to you even though every step of the way impoverishes me still further.  Absolutely you should steal from me.  Why not?

Pages of digital and physical paper fill my table, computer and brain.  If I want it to look right on an iPad, I need to pay X amount to this person.  For it to work properly on a Kindle, then I need to pay X amount to that person.  I have to have ISBNs, but if I have them then Lulu will double the price, unless I pick the easy breezy free ISBN option.  That'll be Lulu registered as the publisher then?  Publishers rights would rest with... um... not me, that's for sure.

You had better keep the price low.  If it goes over $9.99 you've lost me as a reader FOR LIFE!!!  

Oh, okay then.  Um... what if I can't actually supply it to you for that amount without losing money?  What if Lulu or whomever has their own way of doing business that is completely out of my hands?  Oh.  You unfollowed.  Oh look.  You're flaming me because I'm such a money-grabbing capitalist.  I should provide you with the stories you want and pay you for the privilege of you reading them.  Bye then.

When is this book coming out?  You said it was finished!  

It is finished.  I wish I could get it to you yesterday but publishing takes time.  It takes publishing houses months and months and months.  They have employees and specialists, and budgets.  I just have me.

Copyright laws aren't the same in America.  Need to pay X amount to a company to register my copyright.  Have to make sure I register for my other rights to be protected.  That money comes out of income.  Income?  What income?  My head hurts.  I'm nearly out of paracetamol and they've changed the formulation.  Don't know if I'm allergic to this one or not.  Hmm... another night in hospital or should I just put up with the headache?  Just put up with the headache.

What the hell are you doing automating tweets?  You have no right!  

Sorry.  I did it in response to complaints on the other side of the world that I wasn't tweeting enough for their time zone.  Apparently I had no right to do that either.  I looked at the stats.  My following is global.  Not a time zone missed out.  To tweet in person to the whims of each user would mean I could never again sleep.  You know I have C.F.S./M.E. right?  Do you think I can go without sleep?  Hmm?

Not sure when I became a public service.  Do people pay taxes for me to entertain them?  If so, I haven't been informed.

The latest galley isn't the right size for book shops.  It's gorgeous though.  It may be the best sized book I've ever read.  It fits in my hands perfectly.  I tested it out in extreme reading conditions.  I threw it at my husband.  It survived.  I read it in the bath.  It survived.  I dropped it in the bath.  It survived.  It's not quite the traditional ticket size-wise though so I need to try out another one.  More money.  Thank God for my slow metabolism.  Nothing like being chunky to get you through a financial crisis.  No starvation for me.  Hurrah!

Paying rent is a chore.  Ah... rent.... the wonder of the tenancy agreement.  Can't register a business to a rented property.  To get ISBNs you have to register yourself as a publisher.  Your address gets printed.  Can't happen.  Cost of PO Box for one year? £95.

What if I jump through all these hoops and nobody likes it?  Well, there's nothing I can do about that.  It won't be for lack of trying.  I put up a page for people to help if they want to, but that will probably get me shouted at.  Turns out that self-publishing in a professional way, on a tight budget, isn't a doddle - not that I thought it would be.

Why don't you just sell a PDF?  Stop pretending it's hard to self-publish.  Anyone can do it!

Oh, sod off!


Monday, 22 February 2010

My Book Has a Trailer

There are many elements to my first novel, but I liked the idea of basing the book trailer on the relationship between the main character and an unusual and special friend who plays an important role in the plot. This part of the story starts very early in the book so nothing here spoils anything beyond about the third chapter.


Awards, Announcements, and Anguish

The official email came through, confirming I was a finalist, and inviting me to the Shorty Awards ceremony in New York.  I declined.  Obviously.  Where the heck would I find the cash for a plane ticket?  If you're there, when they say 'the nominees are...' and read out my name, raise a glass in the direction of England.

I announced - finally - my desire to self-publish.  How long have I battled with that one? It was always the shiny option for me, but I know that is not a widely held view so I kept putting off the moment I dedicated myself to it in public.  Commitment-phobe.  I made the announcement yesterday on my blog - From Brain to Bookshelf yesterday.

This will be hard.  People yearn for the perfect publishing deal, where they are free from the burdens of enterprise and left to do nothing but write.  I'm not one of them, but I am aware of the task ahead.  Anguish and adventure, here I come.

Rebecca Woodhead's Fan Box