Saturday, 27 August 2016

Proof copy

Proof copy arrived this morning and it looks good!

So glad I chose larger font and 5 x 7 3/4 size. H'mm. If I say it is 7.75 inches, maybe that makes it clear? It is the size most paperbacks are published at in the UK and feels so much nicer in the hand than the larger size. I followed Createspace recommendation of 6x9 for my previous book, since they said it was the most popular size. Maybe it is in the US, but I didn't like it much. Too tall, too thin.

Amazingly this copy was posted from South Carolina on the 11th August, so it has taken fifteen days to reach me. It would seem from the post marks to have landed in France  - La poste US Reims. No doubt that accounts for the delay. So now all I have to do is read through and see if I can spot any errors. Found one on page 52 - I'd omitted the word "he" from a sentence. I hope that will be the only one!

Friday, 26 August 2016


Still no proof copy from Amazon, which is a little worrying. Soon I'll have forgotten what I was doing and have to start all over again. I don't understand why it is taking so long, because Postal services are pretty good these days.

In one of our odd weather quirks we had a miserable grey day yesterday. The air was full of moisture, yet I came home dry; but the grass in the fields was covered in water droplets and I had wet feet. Tim and I did not see another soul in all our 7,879 steps.  (Yes, I've got a new pedometer. Since I got it on the 16th, I've done 78,132 steps - and one day I forgot to record the total. It tells me that 5,000 steps equals 2.2 miles, so that must work out at roughly 15.5 miles. Wow. No wonder I'm hungry all the time!) Now today we are back to brilliant blue sky and sunshine. Tim and I have done our walk - 4677 steps or 2.1 miles and we didn't see anyone again. School holidays certainly make a difference to how people organise their lives. In term time the ladies tell me they get the kids off to school and then walk the dogs.

I'm picking up the pace with PR once more, so I apologise to all my friends who seem to see nothing but my book promotions. While I was in France I did none and it certainly had an effect on my sales and KENP. I also missed responding to people who wanted friendship on Facebook, for I found a whole batch of people who had contacted me while I was away. I guess six weeks is a long time. I befriended them all this morning!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Windows 10 and Matfen Hall

 Problems with Windows 10 still crop up when least expected. For example, I wanted to upload pictures from my camera to my computer, something I've done for the last few years without a hitch. This morning I found I had uploaded yesterday's pics, but they were in a different folder, and I couldn't access them in the accustomed way. Nor could I use one on Facebook or here on my blog. Once more dh came to the rescue and sorted out a route for me. What would I do without him?

I am still awaiting the proof copy of my paperback of Queen's Courier. Twelve days now and counting since they reported that "it had shipped." I'm beginning to wonder if they've sent it sea mail! I'm sure the last time I ordered one of these proofs, it arrived almost the next day.

Work on the new book is going at a steady pace. It will be a regency romance/adventure and the title is The Matfen Affair. There is a real Matfen Hall not far from my home, and though some details tally - such as the physical description of the outside of the hall and the general location - it isn't intended that "my" Matfen is the same as the real Matfen which belongs to the Blackett family. I've enjoyed some very pleasant meals in the Library Restaurant, the Conservatory and the Greenkeeper's Lodge and hope to enjoy many more!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Olympics and Windows 10

The Olympics are nearly over. Many will be sighing in relief that life  will get back to normal, and I did get a little tired of seeing beach volleyball with very nearly naked women throwing themselves about in the early days, but then sports that I like came along and things got better. I was sad that Rafa left without a singles medal, but when he was playing two matches per day for three or four days, I conclude that he didn't really expect to win but just wanted to take part. The Trott-Kenny partnership is amazing and Laura is so slight  one wonders where she gets the power from. Small, neat people often do well in gymnastics, but I must say I like it when people of average size take on the pint size little girls, and do well. I think that's because it must be harder for them, especially on the high bars - imagine forgetting to move your feet and clouting the lower bar as you twirl around the high bar. The dressage was so amazing I cried. If I could get my dog half so well trained I'd be delighted.

The picture is one I took near Crinan on 21st August last year. I haven't taken many pics since I came back from France. Windows 10 meant I had to find a new way of uploading  from camera to computer, and now my latest pics are locked away in another file. Uploading W10 caused no end of problems and has taken a great deal of time and frustration to sort out. Thank goodness dh has the patience and knowhow - and the kind of mind required - to sort it for me. It's like driving - I don't want to know how the car works; I just want to drive it.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Createspace quibbles

As a warning to anyone else who sets out to create a paperback with Createspace, be warned: if you get in a muddle with trim sizes (or whatever other problem) and decide to cut your losses, delete it all and start again, this is where the system clocks your ISBN and won't let you re-use it - not even for the same story.  So don't delete - persevere, otherwise you will lose your ISBN.

Despite my 5 complaints and 5 responses from Amazon staff all assuring me I would now be able to re-use my ISBN, I could not; it still came up as Invalid in red  text. Exasperated, I remembered they could only be bought from Nielsen in batches of ten, so I had a few still on file. I tested a different ISBN - with the trim sizes I wanted this time - and it worked. I have made progress at the cost of losing my original ISBN and considering they probably cost around £10 a time, that's quite a loss.

I suppose I can re-use the initial ISBN with another system such as Lulu, or Smashwords or whatever, It will be interesting to see if I can ever re-use it for another story on Amazon. All I can say is that Createspace has a definite slant on persuading people to use their own (free) Createspace ISBNs.

Another thing - the fifth and final response from Amazon told me I should be using Firefox instead of Internet Explorer 11. Evidently Createspace was designed to be used with Firefox because of "its encryption and security coding"- but why is that not made clear right at the point of starting out? There were other hints and tips such a reloading the page from the server, clearing out the cache on my pc so that it would work more efficiently, but if these things failed, then I should "contact my service engineer for a system revision." In other words - it was my fault.

I am using  Mozilla Firefox for Createspace now and by using a new ISBN I have got the book to the proofing stage without any hitches this time. Hopefully when the proof copy arrives, it will be OK. We shall see!

Monday, 8 August 2016

windows 10 and problems

I have so many things on the go at the moment I am rapidly getting dizzy. Upgrading to IEE11  and Windows  10 has given me problems and is really trying my patience - and I don't have a lot to spare.
I suppose I'll get used to it in time, but as of this moment I am not enamoured with it.

The new wip is progressing slowly, without problems other than me not concentrating on it as I should. My attempt to put Queen's Courier on Createspace as a paperback is proving problematical to the extent I'm wondering why I thought it was so easy the first time I tried it.

Even my pictures seem distorted in this new windows format, but  I shall plod on and see if things improve. Wish me luck! At least there is slight chance I might see Rafa playing tennis during this Olympic fortnight.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Queen's Courier and re-makes

Queen's Courier went live on 31st July - available on Kindle. at last. Yesterday I spent fiddling about with Createspace to see if I could produce a paperback copy. I've done it once before, but I'd forgotten how fiddly a process it is. I shall have another go today, once I've showered, walked Tim and popped into the store to get some beef in order to prepare lunch for visitors expected this week or early next.
This is my final cover picture - a little less green now after a friend commented that she looked seasick. (Her complexion was rather too green in the shadows!)
Already I've gone over chapter two of the my new wip. So much to do, so little time! I wish I'd started writing much earlier, but I never seemed to have much time, or the confidence to do it. When I was a child, wanting to be an author seemed such a pretentious thing to say but nowadays everybody and the dog are at it. No wonder agents are flooded with submissions every day of the week.

In spite of the fact that most re-makes don't do well at the box-office, Hollywood seems to be rehashing famous stories all the time, as if they can't find enough "new" stories worth filming. I wonder when they will get around to re-doing Gone with the Wind or Forever Amber? Surely it is only a matter of time. What about Brief Encounter? Would that be believable in today's world? Probably not.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Cover Reveal ~ Queen's Courier

I've lost count of how many times I've said this - I'm almost at the end of the final edits on Queen's Courier - but I really mean it this time. I am reading at a snail's pace and finding things to correct, which makes it worth while. This is the final read through via the Online Previewer and the cover is already loaded, won't change and so I'll put it here today.

I've been looking back over the year's KENP stats (since July 2015) and I'm happy to say that they are definitely going up. The month just closed was the highest figure I've had, and it is mostly due to The Gybford Affair. Strange to think that it sat with MuseItUp for a year or two and attracted very few readers. I think the combination of pretty but irrelevant cover pic plus a high price did the trick, but it could also have been because I did very little PR work on it. So once I get Q'sC off my hands  (ie published,) I'll concentrate on PR and see if it has any results.

It is interesting to see how the stats go in waves. A book will be read for two or three months and then there'll be a gap when it is not read at all, then off it will go again. I can only assume it is when promotion works. Maybe those alerts Amazon send out - yes, they advertise my books to me, which always amuses me - maybe they do a lot more good than I know.


Adapting to colder temperatures now. Frantically Housecleaning to remove a month's dust, the washing mountain has diminished and we'...