Saturday, 28 January 2012

Life's a beach!

What a day this has been! I seem to have been on the computer non- stop and my right arm is twitching, I think it's trying to break away from using the mouse! But I'm being ruthless and will make it keep working on for a bit longer - tomorrow it can rest! The reason why I've been on the computer so much is because yes, today I've just self-published the third in the Burly & Grum tales, 'Burly & Grum and The Birthday Surprise'. It's now on Amazon and is only 77p/99c - a bargain! I have to say that I really enjoyed writing the story, there are lots of new quirky characters and I laughed a lot as I was typing (always a good sign!). I hope you enjoy it!
    What else has been happening? Well, Burly & Grum and The Secret City has been reviewed by Rukky, a 4th grader, for Kids Kindle and I was so pleased to discover he liked it! More children should have the opportunity to review the books that are on the market - they always know what they like, that's for sure!
    Earlier this week sent off (for the final time I hope), for a proof print copy of the first two books from Createspace. I've gone through them time and time again with a fine tooth comb and I'm pretty confident that any glitches have been dealt with. Boy, that kind of comment is just asking for pay back isn't it?! As soon as they arrive I'll be going through them and then, if everything is okay, I'll be putting them up on Amazon.  Print copies of my books - it's hard to believe that last year I didn't even know what an indie writer was!
    And last but not least, over 1,000 copies a day of The Secret City are being downloaded at the moment. Eep, I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and it will all be a dream!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Birthday Surprise!

I couldn't resist showing you the cover of the third book for two reasons - firstly, it's pretty darn brilliant isn't it? And secondly, it's my birthday tomorrow so it's very appropriate!  Burly & Grum and the Birthday Surprise will be published very, very soon and I'm looking forward to seeing it on Amazon. 
    If I can see it that is - at the moment I'm practically cross-eyed as I seem to have spent most of the weekend on the computer! I've been updating 'Beyond the Forest' and 'The Secret City'.  I've been going through this exercise because a friend of mine, Linda Palmer, has edited both books with a fine tooth comb and pointed out all my punctuation failings and the little glitches. Although my eyes are tired, I have to say the books are looking so much more professional and they do read more smoothly.  Also, I've managed to put off the pile of ironing - way to go Linda - thank you!
    I've just read my Amazon(.com and .co.uk) reviews for the first time in months; I don't get notified when one of the books receives a review so I generally forget to look, and when I do look I usually do so with just one eye and, trust me, it's also squinting (I get very nervous reading reviews....).  To my absolute delight, they were wonderful and I was so touched by what the readers said. So to those of you who took the time to write a review, thank you and I'm very, very pleased that you and your children liked the books; it means a great deal to me.
    I also have to thank Richard Farr for his wonderful work on the book covers. The two books have very different covers so it was difficult to create continuity of design, but now they'll sit beautifully on the shelf together. He's put in a lot of time and has also, with great humour, answered other questions I've had about graphic design (which, to me, is a real minefield). 
    I'm always very grateful to those who help me and hope one day I'll be able to repay them properly - cups of coffee are all very well but don't pay the bills!  
    Before I go, however, I should mention that the conversation about funding for Burly and Grum is moving on in a very positive way. Can't say any more at the moment but I'll keep you posted as and when I can. ;)
   

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A bolt from the blue!

The first week of 2012 is now over and, actually, quite a lot has happened since my past post.
   Downloads of The Secret City from Amazon.com (as opposed to Amazon.co.uk) are very steady - approximately 1,000 a day. Now all I have to do is hope people like them and download Beyond the Forest -  fingers crossed everyone please!
   Over Christmas I thought a lot about how I market the books. Initially, I started out putting the Burly and Grum as ebooks on the internet to find out the processes of self-publishing; I've learnt a lot and now I want to take it to the next stage. The first two books are going to be available in print form from Amazon (hopefully by next weekend) and the third book will not be far behind, but I really wanted to go one step further and print them independently. If I can do this I'd be able to approach bookshops, etc. I'd also like to be able to sell products like cards, calendars, colouring books, etc. I'd printed a few Burly and Grum Christmas cards and they were a great success, so I was confident that's the right way to go. My biggest worry was how I was going to do this as I don't have the finance available to invest in developing it. 
   As it happens, I need not have worried because, out of the blue, a message was sent to me from an old friend, Pete, who said he was interested in putting some money in. I hadn't seen Pete for a couple of years but funnily enough we met pretty quickly after that message and chatted about Burly and Grum and what we both wanted. We've both had a chance to think about things and we're going to meet again this week to do some more talking and see if we can progress things to a more formal footing. There's quite a lot to think about.
   So the future for Burly and Grum is looking very different even from last week - please keep everything crossed, not just fingers, and I'll update you next week!