Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2015

Eyes open into world

Every writer is familiar with the advice to ‘write what you know’. We all approach it differently. Some take it literally, basing their stories on personal experiences and nothing else; we all remember how Anne Shirley became a published author once she started writing about everyday life in her beloved Avonlea. Some completely ignore it. How many of us are international spies, really – and how much would we miss if we didn’t have books that have no bearing in the author’s reality.

But most choose an approach that has a little of both. We may not have personal experience of what it feels like to run for our lives, but we have most likely been scared and frightened, and can use the emotions to describe how a spy would feel in a life-threatening situation. Or we write about being a parent without having children ourselves, basing it on observations and emotions similar to parents’ love – or frustration.
The rest is research. How exhaustive it is and how much of it actually ends in the …

End to an experiment

A while back, I published To Catch a Billionaire Dragon, a short contemporary romance. As I blogged at the time, I wrote and published it in three parts, each with its own story arc and cliff-hangers at the ends of parts one and two. I set the first book free – on all retailers other than Amazon, which refused to make it permafree.
The first part was downloaded really well from the start. And at first, parts two and three got some attention too, although not nearly in proportion to how much the first part was downloaded. In recent month, however, even the free downloads have dwindled to one a day and almost no one buys the rest of the book.
The experiment was useful though. I’ve learned that people like to download books for free. I’ve learned that readers liked the first part, some enough to buy the rest. But I also learned that nothing enrages some readers as much as having to pay for something when they have got something else for free first – even when they really liked what they…

Learning a new skill: 3D book covers

I’ve long wanted to make 3D covers for my Two-natured London boxed sets, but I haven’t had the skill and haven’t found an automatic cover maker for them. So I finally searched for instructions on how to make them with the GIMP software, and found a number of tutorials. I checked a few of them and ended up following these instructions by Lynne Cantwell on Indies Unlimited blog.
It’s a trial and error learning a new skill, but since I’ve created all my covers with GIMP, I at least have the basic skills. But it turns out there is a lot you can do with it that I had no idea about, and a box shape is one of them.
The instructions on the blog are simple enough to follow, at least if you’ve used GIMP before. I made a couple of practise boxes until I had the basics clear, and then set out to design special covers for the boxed sets. I used the existing covers for my Two-natured London books as the basis and designed the ‘spines’ for them that make one side of the box, the side that shows how…

Stranger at the station – a short story

Despite my best intentions, I haven’t blogged here in ages. To remedy that, here’s a short story to entertain you.

Stranger at the station
I stalked a stranger today. At the Paddington station on my way to work this morning. It’s not a pastime I indulge in often, and never in this intensity, but he was different.
I noticed him instantly when I walked into my usual café at the station for my morning latte and took a place in the line. He was so out of place here I couldn’t help but see him. He was sitting at the far table by the low railing that marked the border of the café, reading a paper, a cup of coffee in front of him, ignoring the people around him like he was inside his own bubble.
A man waiting. With purpose.
I was instantly intrigued. Who was he? Why was he here? Who or what was he waiting for? I could barely tear my eyes off him, almost forgetting to move forward in the line. I wasn’t the only one, mind you. Everyone watched him.
He was definitely the kind of man you notice. A be…

Summer is here – and so am I

This is a post to tell that I’m still here, even if I haven’t posted anything in months. I haven’t abandoned my blog. I just haven’t had anything to blog about. I’ve started to write a post a couple of times, only to abandon it when it turned out I had nothing to say after all.
One of the reasons I haven’t written anything here is that I want to change the direction of this blog. I’ve mostly written about my journey as an author-publisher, and while I’m sure my fellow indie authors have been interested in such posts, other readers probably haven’t. But it isn’t that easy to step outside my comfort zone and write about new things. I’ll try, though most of the posts probably will be related to books in some way.
As a proof that I’ve paid attention to this blog in my absence, I’ve changed the theme – again. Actually, I did it already last month, I just didn’t tell anyone about it. This new theme is green, as was, if I recall correctly, the first theme too, when I started this blog. Or w…

Glitches

As I wrote in my last post, I’m attempting a new way of publishing a book. New to me, anyway: serialised publishing.
I wrote a short contemporary romance, To Catch a Billionaire Dragon, in three parts rather than dividing it afterwards to equal sized books, each with its own narrative arch and cliff-hanger. I wanted each part to, if not stand entirely alone, at least offer the readers a pleasurable reading experience, no matter which part they pick up, and maybe be tempted to read the other parts too. To entice them further, the first part is free.
Or it’s supposed to be.

I published the first part a week ago on Amazon and Smashwords. The latter allows books to be priced free, so no problems there, but the former doesn’t, and the book is $/£/€ 0.99 there. However, Amazon has a policy of price matching books, so that they can offer the cheapest price. It was this I counted on – in vain.
Despite my efforts – and those of some helpful people that I enlisted on social media – Amazon hasn…

New book and a spring sale!

Happy spring to everyone, and happy Easter to all those who follow! I have been neglecting this blog lately — after promising to blog more diligently. Maybe with increased light I'll be more active here too.

I haven’t been completely idle. I’ve written a new short romance, To Catch a Billionaire Dragon, which despite its name doesn’t have actual dragons in it. It’s a story of Laurel, a fantasy author, who after a chance meeting with Logan, a New York businessman, decides to base a character of a dragon on him. He isn’t entirely happy about it, and he most definitely doesn’t like how she seems unable to see him and her dragon apart.
I’m trying a new model of publishing with this book. I’ve written it in three short parts, each about a ten thousand words, and I will publish it in three parts too. It’ll be interesting to see how that will work.
I have a cover for it too. I’m toying with the idea of having a slightly different cover for each three parts, so that readers won’t acciden…

New year, new ventures: e-book formatting and pre-made covers

I’ve been neglecting my blog recently. First I was busy getting The Croaking Raven out, and then I didn’t have anything worthwhile to write about, it seemed. Here’s to mending my ways.
An erratic blogging schedule seems to have been the theme of the entire 2014 with me. I wrote twelve posts less than the year before, although to compensate that, I wrote a second blog too – which I ended up neglecting even worse than this one. Maybe I’ll pick up with that later.
I published two books last year, Her Warrior for Eternity and It Happened on a Lie, and wrote a third, The Croaking Raven, that I published the first thing this year. So all in all, a fairly good year. Income-wise, however, the year was worse than the previous. I try not to blame the Kindle Unlimited, but it’s difficult.
To counter the declining sales on Amazon, I finally put those of my books not on KU on sale through Smashwords – the first new venture of this new year. It took a few trials and errors, but now that I know how it’…