Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Conf 664: From Ebook to Print

Well, quite a few of my friends aren't too keen about reading online.

Plus there's an article coming out next week in Irish mag Woman's Way so I thought I'd better make it available via tree pretty quickly.

An interesting exercise that took me all day to work out how to go about it.  Smashwords (who I totally trust) works in tandem with Wordclay. Like  CreateSpace, they offer free POD (print on demand) to authors but the cost of the book and the postage from the USA on top just makes it all too much.

Lulu's basic free POD system gets you a bound paperback and a retail price in the realms of normal book prices. I've priced mine at £6.99 out of which I get to keep £1.86 per sale. It all goes up on site instantly and you as the author don't have to get involved in the distribution side. The buyer orders from Lulu, they print and post it and pay you via PayPal. All you have to do is provide a buy here button, um, like this one on your site:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Look Who's Back!

She was waiting on the balcony 3 mornings ago. Didn't want to be too sure at first but the way she pecked (furiously) and wiped her beak on the railings afterwards looked familiar. Yesterday she flew down when I opened the balcony doors, and those 2 white marks on the back look familiar. This morning she was there waiting again. Not as confident or chatty as before but hopefully that will return...

A fortuitous return.  I'm just about to publish blackbirdebooks' first author who isn't me on my epublishing site  More about that next week.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Confession 663: I Appear To Be Getting Somewhere

When things start to go well with your book, how do you deal with it? Emailing your close friends is one thing but posting links to great reviews to the world and its neighbours isn't great Twitter & FB ettiquete.

On the other hand, authors just have to self-promote online these days. Especially self-published authors who don't have a single cog of industry machinery in the background churning away. I did do a bit of a splurge on Twitter when my novel came out, and direct-tweeted magazine editors (spamming!). Then I  shut up. I've allowed myself one little tweet on what's happening now.  But here, at least, after all the miserable, negative news over the years I can indulge a little:

Top right, above (above) Keith Richards:

Not sure how these came about, but bizarreness of this Google prompted a screenshot.

The music of Leonard Cohen plays an important role in the novel:

Keith Richards again:

Then this happened:

How did this all come about?

One review by Leslie Wright at She posted on  the massive, influential, where it was picked up by Seattle pi  and off it went all the way to Huffington.

Book Review: Ten Good Reasons to Lie About Your Age by Stephanie Zia


Living the dream and having a life that others only wish for is an amazing existence. Spending your life with the man you love, watching your children grow together is only what happens to other people. But what if that other person happens to be you? And what if instead of growing old together, he dies in a tragic accident?

Sally Lightfoot is now living this life. Growing up in the time of free love and music, she found the man of her dreams, a music producer who loved life and fun, as well as Sally. Bereft at his death she does the best she can, coming to terms with the changes.

Age is a factor, she is no long young and her children have grown, money too is a new issue she is has to deal with. Her only option is to sell the home that they so lovingly put together. Dissociative behavior seems to rule her life, she struggles just doing the simple things, and yet she must.

The house is barely on the market when she finds a buyer, yet she is still not sure where she will go or where she will live. As she decides to take a vacation to a remote Greek island, a chance to regroup her life and to reconnect with her children, she realizes that her life no longer has meaning. She is no longer sure who she is.

In Ten Good Reasons to Lie About Your Age, Stephanie Zia has developed a story of life and hope. Sally is a woman who buried herself in her marriage and her children. She loses her footing when her husband dies, and struggles through her new life. Interrupted in the most devastating of ways, life has changed and she is unsure of herself. Their friends slowly slip away into their own lives, but she makes friends with a neighbor who she barely tolerated before Dominic’s death. This neighbor gives her a stability she needs.

Being on her own on the island brings a new set of problems, but as each day moves into the next and as she makes her rental habitable she finds a beauty she did not expect. Even those she was most awkward with have become her friends. When she meets Loro, all bets are off. Handsome, close to her own age, he has the voice and the charisma to carry it off. Life takes on more meaning as Sally’s life takes another turn.

Stephanie Zia makes you feel the pressure and hopelessness that is Sally’s life, from the funeral right through her grieving process. As life begins to bloom again, you feel the veil lifted along with her, and when she finally makes decisions based off her own feelings, you cheer her on. Through it all, she feels as though Dom (her dead husband) continues to try to take care of her from the other side. As love and longing bloom, she finds she no longer needs that crutch and is able to get back to real living.

I would recommend this book for reading and book clubs. It is insightful and delightful, full of thoughtful dialogue and exceptional clarity. Sally feels real, like a neighbor or a friend and that makes the story take on a presence of its own. It is a story of hope and learning to love yourself, to find that inner you that sometimes is lost when we make other’s lives more important than our own.

This is a book about life and it is a romance as well, you will get lost in the story and not want to put it down until it is finished.

Click here for more information about my novel.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Free Ebooks - Download Hundreds of Free, Quality Ebooks


Smashwords' amazing annual free ebook promotion is under way.

For a completely free, no obligation, copy of my novel Ten Good Reasons To Lie About Your Age in any ebook format or to read on your computer, click here! Only two days left to go!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Self-publishing my novel as an ebook: feedback 1 (Conf 662)

A new template for a new era.

Sorry for the long absence. It's been a very busy time as the novel I started at the same time as this blog all those years ago takes its first baby steps out in the world.

It's been a time of high neurosis waiting for the first verdicts. Thankfully the reviews are starting to come in now, all is well and I've started breathing again.

I have to say the whole process has been much more nerve wracking than having a novel published in print. There you have several layers of professionalism between you and the raw audience. You know your agent loved it, and your editor at least. With self-published ebooks you don't, you're straight out there. If the feedback is bad (or, more likely if it's not going down well, non-existent), you've only yourself to blame.

Promoting your work once it's out there is really hard work. I made an online press release and Tweeted it to magazine editors, nil result. I'm getting better at shameless self-promotion but Twitter isn't really the place. Instead I've set up an account in my character's nick-name @LadyGrnningSoul, and she's having a much better time out there.

I also did a good old-fashioned snailmail press release which had 2 positive responses. One from Ireland's biggest women's mag (with readers in the hundreds of thousands a week) who I've written an article for and another big UK mag is considering reviewing at the moment. Ebooks have come a long way in such a short time. When we tried getting my first ebook in print magazines we had a great initial response but nearly all of them blew off when they found out it was 'only' an ebook.

I've also been taking my first baby steps as an epublisher. (How did THAT happen!) I've been working with 2 fantastic authors, editing, (and having my edits accepted phew), agreeing contracts, proof reading and all the rest.  They're both completely new, original works by authors like me who have been published before. I didn't know either author, but had sort of 'met' them both online. I can't wait to reveal these fantastic books. One's going to be our book of the month for April, the second will be book of the month in May.

We've quietly opened submissions now as well.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.