FINAL ENTRY – click here for the new blog
August 17, 2014
Two Weeks Away But I Haven’t Been Idle
I didn’t have time to finish my editing of Goalden Sky before I cruised around the Baltic, so I took the proof with me and I managed to go through it one final time while I got a tan from the St Petersburg sun. Now I’m back and I can safely say that I am now completely satisfied. An announcement is pending! Honest to God, it is! This book will be published before September!
The only annoying thing was I couldn’t get onto the internet to do any book promotion. My smartphone couldn’t connect to the ship’s WiFi and I couldn’t hold onto a network in Europe long enough to remind people of the other books I’d written, and anyway, why waste time indoors on the ship PCs when the sun was shining on deck? I always worry about losing followers on Twitter or Facebook when I don’t give any news, but I’m happy to say this hasn’t happened.
What’s the next thing to do for Goalden Sky? Publish the press release. Tweet about it when it’s published. Announce its arrival here and on Facebook. Publish it on promo sites. Beg for reviews. All the usual stuff.
Meanwhile, for anyone who’s interested, this was the itinerary of our Baltic cruise:
Sailed along the Kiel Canal, ours being the only cruise ship small enough to do it (all the other cruise ships in port made ours look like a paddle steamer, bless her!) It was very busy, though, full of cargo ships, so it was slow going. We had to wait for them to pass (I wondered if there’s such a thing as canal rage if our captain got in a strop and decided he wanted to pass first!)
Had a walk around Warnemunde in old East Germany and had a ride on a train. Keith spotted a Trabant car (that made his holiday, he’s a classic car nut!)
Visited the small Danish island of Bornholm and went to a mackerel farm for our lunch. Bornholm’s a lovely place, would love to go back there.
Visited Riga and Tallinn, both amazing old towns. Stayed two days in St Petersburg and OMG what a place! Off the scale of varied and fantastic. Didn’t care for the iron-knickered Russian immigration women, though. One of them looked like she wanted to have me carried off to the Gulag, the frosty old cow.
Got up at 4.30 am to watch us sail under the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmo. Anyone seen The Bridge on telly? It’s brilliant.
Didn’t get ashore at Kalskrona in Sweden because we were anchored and the sea was too choppy for the tender boats, but it looked nice from the deck of the ship. Finally, our last stop was Kalundborg in Denmark and we had a lovely send off by the local majorette drum and pipe band.
At sea on the final day we attended a wine testing session and I got wellied. Way-hay!
So now it’s back to work and reality with a bump and a need to get Goalden Sky published before I scream with frustration, and before the new football season gets a grip on my sanity! 🙂
July 31, 2014
Children or Young Adults? The Age Range for Goalden Sky
Goalden Girl is aimed for readers age 9-12. It was easy to put it there, because it’s a light-hearted book for children about Gemma, who wants to start a girls’ football team at her new school. It has the usual conflicts in relationships with no bad language or sexual content – it’s merely good, clean, jolly hockey sticks (or footie boots!) fun with a contemporary feel, as it’s set in the present day. There’s also a sub-plot involving a mystery surrounding Shelley, Gemma’s loathsome stepmother.
But in the sequel, Goalden Sky, Gemma, Tyrone, Daz, Tanya and Kristy are a little bit older. More personal relationships are coming into play. Without giving too much away (don’t forget it’s not published yet!) Daz is entangled in a love triangle and Gemma makes what can only be described as a ‘compromising discovery’. Another character is ‘out’. There is only very minor profanity, the football still flows, I’ve tried to keep the humour going despite poor Portia’s predicament – but because of what I’ve just said about Daz and the other character, I feel I had no choice but to put it in the young adult category. The book stores might do this, anyway; they did it with Abbie’s Rival because it had a young romance angle.
The problem is ‘young adult’ for my publisher means age 13+ and I reckon that’s too old; 12+ is better – old enough to know how the world revolves yet too young for the extreme side of life. Yet for 15-year-olds the book may seem too young. It’s a dilemma, but I feel I can’t give it the 9-12 age range. Soz. 😦
July 30, 2014
Goalden Sky Delayed – Because I Have to Enjoy Myself on Holiday!
Well, Goalden Sky will be published in 2014, but not this month. Actually, I wanted to get it published last month, in June, but then there were delays over the cover. Now I’m about to go away for two weeks. I have a third proof to check and I’m going to have to take it away with me and do it! Still, it will give me time to do it properly and I won’t be able to rush it; the fine tooth comb will be packed in the suitcase with it!
The cover’s brilliant, but as usual for me, having read through the first two proofs I’ve been fussy over some of the content and the layout: a chapter heading is too low/too high, that phrase doesn’t read properly, not sure if that’s the right word, and so on. Pain in the neck, but I often do work through about three or four proofs.
It will also mean a delay in getting my press release out, but that’s already been drafted, so I’ll get that out on my return; and once I’m happy with the paperback version and is approved it will also go straight to Kindle. I won’t wait like I did with the other books. My Kindle editions are selling well (that reminds me I must get them all onto Nook, too). So please don’t go away, you’ll be able to buy Goalden Sky soon!
Meanwhile, many thanks to the WordPress forum for their help on the unwanted spam comments on my site. I got confused between discussion settings and comment settings and all the spam has gone, even if some of the comments did make me laugh.
July 7, 2014
I Didn’t Have All These Stupid Spam Comments on Blogger!
When I used Blogger.com for my website/blog, I had it set up so I could approve comments. When people commented on there, they were usually commenting on MY site, MY books etc. On this site, though, using the WordPress platform, I’m getting a pile of rubbish I still have to approve, but all the comments are intended for totally unrelated websites, not for mine! Is this a problem with the way WordPress is set up? I get about twenty of these things daily!
Here are examples of comments that have made me laugh out loud:
‘My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a
variety of websites for about a year and am concerned about
switching to another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.net.
Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!’
‘Fliгting does not always have to be sexual and
I wоuld strongly advice that you practice yoսr flirting techniques with women who do not intimidate you. The concept of tɦe alpha male is completely wrong but by now, I hope you got
іt right. If you don’t care, and even enjoƴ, when people trʏ to diss you (humоrously or not), you must have supreme confidence.’
‘Ƭhe average height is increasing by far now and if you are
short and wish tҺat you were taller then уou need to keep reаding.
Join your legs and extend them straight up and then bend them baсk in a way thеy can touch the floor.
These are just a few good tips on how to increasе your Һeight naturally.’
Don’t these morons know they’re commenting on a site for children’s books? Deleted permanently! Don’t blame me if your comments disappear! 🙂
June 22, 2014
The Goalden Sky Proof Copy Is On Its Way
So that’s the interior and the cover uploaded and I’ve sent for a proof copy to see how it turns out. At this stage I’m more concerned how the cover looks and I always like to read the book again in print to see if I can catch any more typos or weird phrasing – which is what you should do, anyway. Sometimes it takes me about four proofs before I’m completely happy with a book.
I hate the process of uploading and interior file and cover! Terrifies the life out of me, not sure why. I think because it’s at that point the system could tell me my file isn’t the right size, or the fonts haven’t embedded, or the cover’s too big or too small. I never trust these uploading wizards! As it was I had to upload the cover twice because the first time the preview for the spine looked peculiar. I think that was the web page, but just to be on the safe side.
Fingers crossed I won’t have much more to do before I make the book available for selling.
June 19, 2014
The Goalden Sky Cover Is Here!
The Goalden Sky book cover is done! Not long to go before the book will be available to buy…! And now I change my avatars on Twitter and Facebook, ‘cos if you weren’t sick of looking at Big Brother’s gob, I was! 🙂
June 15, 2014
Promoting Your Books on Social Media
You’ll see from the widget on this site that I love Twitter. I prefer it to Facebook. Facebook is OK as far as it goes: you have personal stuff and silly photos you share with people you know, friends/relatives, but considering I don’t want to know my relatives (aw, sad, eh :(), if I want to share stuff with my mates I’ll email them, text or, God forbid, open my gob and actually speak. I mainly use Facebook for book promotion with an author page, where I post about my books, and I’ve got it set so when I post it comes out on Twitter, as well.
From the articles I’ve read on book promotion and social media, I’ve taken the advice literally: with Facebook, be ‘professional’; keep your business page and personal page separate, so that’s what I’ve done, though I share my page posts on my personal timeline. My problem is this: my Facebook author page feels stilted and boring; there’s no personality there. With Twitter, on the other hand, the advice is the opposite, ‘Show your personality.’ This suggests to me that there’s nothing wrong in sharing tweets other than those about books, like hobbies and other interests; so, what side of me comes out on my Twitter account apart from my books? My passion for football, and Liverpool FC in particular. As I write this, the Premier League is over until August, but the World Cup is here, so I’m tweeting about that now and loving it. I have a warning on my Twitter profile for authors and readers: don’t read my tweets on match day; in other words, football is my interest and if you don’t like it, too bad, just don’t bother following. Someone suggested I open a separate Twitter account for my book news tweets and keep my footie tweets separate, but I’d get confused, and wouldn’t that make the book Twitter account as dull as the Facebook author page? Yes, it would; and keeping one Twitter account going hasn’t done my book sales any harm whatsoever. I tweet as @tmoraitauthor, so followers are in no doubt what the main intention of my account is, but often, yeah, I hold my hands up, the footie takes over…but considering most of my readers come from the footie-loving community I make no apology for that!
I often wonder, however, if you can overdo marketing on social media. When I’m not tweeting about football, I tweet about my books, telling people where they can buy them, whether they’re available in paperback or ebook, how much they are, what sites I advertise my books on, details about my website etc. I do this every other day if I can, but I often ask myself: are people bored reading them? I get a lot of retweets, but even so, sometimes I wonder if I should lay off constantly reminding people I’m on the Independent Author Network every five minutes (yeah, missus, we know, you said!) Then I think, if I don’t tweet, no one will know I’ve sold a copy of Big Brother on Kindle – to encourage them to do the same – or that Goalden Sky is finally published and available to buy.
Without social media I wouldn’t sell any of my books. It’s my main way of advertising, and the main route of promotion for most indie authors. Frankly, I’m not one of these authors who can do a book signing in a local bookshop or library, or even get a newspaper to do an article; you may not believe this, but I’m too shy! I would recommend Twitter over Facebook because you’re likely to reach a wider audience, people who don’t know you, but who might share your interests and who might like to read a book, or know someone who does read the sort of books you like. You never know, do you? How do you think I sold so many copies of Goalden Girl? It appealed to my football followers. With any luck Goalden Sky will do the same.
When tweeting, my advice would be to keep your book news short and snappy. You only have 140 characters, so this shouldn’t be a problem, unless you decide to use Twitlonger, one of the apps where you can tweet more than 140 characters and write an essay, only you don’t want to send your potential readers to sleep! Advertise your most recently published work with a short quote and a link to where the book can be purchased along with hashtags relating to subject/readership – I use #YA #fiction #children #kidlit #childrensfiction #YAfiction etc – but don’t forget your earlier works: people may have short memories, or may not even know what else you have written. Don’t bombard followers with requests for RTs and messages begging to check out your website: this is spam, and like the famous Monty Python sketch, I don’t like spam. If I get messages like this I ignore them. Let others RT at their discretion, and when they do, please thank them. They appreciate that. Also do some Twitter shoutouts like #ff as this shows appreciation to those who follow you. Sometimes when they thank me for the shoutouts I may say, ‘No need to thank me for a shoutout, if you see my book news on your timeline, please RT’, but that’s the only time I may chuck in a little appeal.
The other thing I would say about Twitter – and Facebook – is don’t give up on them. I’ve seen many author accounts suspended or deleted because people can’t be bothered with the effort Book promotion is the worst part of writing, but sadly it’s a necessary evil: no promo = no sales. Don’t forget Google Plus, either, or Pinterest. I use the former more than the latter. Instagram works for some, too.
If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please feel free to follow/Like me and I’d be happy to do the same, but watch out for the footie tweets on Twiiter! 😉
June 8, 2014
This blog needed an image. Very fitting, I thought; and when Keith finally finishes the Goalden Sky cover (if it’s not done by the end of next week we’re heading for a divorce! 😉 ) I’ll pop that on, too.
June 8, 2014
I have been using Blogger for years to post my book news, gripes, groans and grumbles about my writing, but thanks to some irritating changes to my Virgin blueyonder email account, I can no longer use it to log into Google services. I can’t be arsed to follow the instructions to change this, so here’s my new blog. Might as well keep it all together in one place, close to my website. It’s tidier, anyway. I just hope I can display and arrange this blog on WordPress in the same way (bet I can’t!) but it looks like I can only add it to the menu if it’s a new page, not a blog post (naff).
Hang on a mo…just thought of something else…
That’s a relief! I can still get into Google Adwords, for now, anyway!