Monday, 28 November 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 3: Lulu

Uploading my collection of short stories to Lulu was the upload I had the most fun with. I loved the part when you could fiddle about with the prices, I loved flicking through the "book" online and being able to see what it would look like on paper, and I loved creating the cover in their wizard as well. There really was some wizardry going on as the whole process on Lulu was simple and fun... and they even give you a voucher for a free proof copy too.

I'm waiting for my proof copy and then I'll check it through. If everything is ok I'll then be able to click on the "approve" button and then Lulu will very kindly make my book available to buy from not only their own shop but also many different places online as I have got myself an ISBN from them for absolutely free and that means they will make it available on Amazon as well as various other places.

I will, of course, let you know when it is available in paperback!

Exciting posts to come later this week; interviews with my editor and cover designer.

As always, thanks for reading.  x X x

Click here to read the next post in this series, all about the edit for this collection.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 2: Smashwords

I had heard things about Smashwords from several writer friends and somehow in my head had built it up to be a rather scary place to submit to. I'd read in various places the submission process can take a long time, and be rather complicated. 

However, for me, it was a breeze. I know, how lucky?!

From signing up to Smashwords to having everything uploaded took me twenty minutes in total. I started at 6.40am, thinking I would get started, stop at 7 to get the children ready for school and do the school run and then finish later. When I submitted my file was #2 in the queue, and luckily for me it was all accepted first time, so everything was finished by the time 7am arrived. I would definitely suggest submitting early in the morning, UK time!

At the time of writing this post I am just waiting to see if they accept it into the premium catalogue. Fingers crossed.

You can see A Knowing Look and Other Stories on Smashwords here.

Oh yes, two things I noticed about Smashwords. Firstly they let you download all the formats of your own book for free because it's, you know, your book. (Not so on Kindle.)

Secondly they have a "special" submission page for people who are submitting NaNoWriMo novels. Firstly I thought, seriously? But then it dawned on me that perhaps Smashwords are trying to keep novels of a certain quality in a "special" place. I'm not saying there won't be some excellent novels as a result of NaNoWriMo... just that the actual words written in November should be considered a first draft, and as such why would anyone be submitting already? You know what I mean. Hopefully.

Thank you for reading!  x X x

Click here to see part 3 of this series of blog posts.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

My Self-Publishing Adventures: Part 1: Kindle

My story collection A Knowing Look and Other Stories is now available via Kindle and I am very delighted to say people have actually started buying it, bless each & every one of them.

To think this all started as a passing thought, 'I wish I had my favourite stories all in one place.'

A number of factors followed on from that thought. Firstly I signed up to support National Flash Fiction Day, secondly I read a guest blog by Nik Perring over on The Long and Short of It and thirdly I got bored of my NaNoWriMo projects and as a result started focussing on this. As you do.

Anyway, after the edit and cover design was sorted out (more on both of those later), I got my Kindle out and opened up my copy of Catherine Ryan Howard's superb book Self-Printing: The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing and I have to say thank goodness for this book, it was absolutely perfect as a step-by-step guide to formatting for Kindle.

I was quite surprised as I uploaded my files at 2pm yesterday, and by 7pm A Knowing Look and Other Stories was live on both and

I ended yesterday feeling quite proud of myself. I also learnt some very useful tips like how to create hyperlinks, and I discovered my Kindle has a web browser in it by clicking on one of my own links. Who knew?

Thank you for reading x X x

Click here to read the second post in this series.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Coming Soon...

Here is a sneak preview of something I have been working on. I am self publishing a collection of my short stories and flash fiction.

So far I have worked with Nik Perring who has edited my collection of short stories, and Paul Townend who has created this work of art cover. Both of them will be showcased on my blog in the near future.

I can't put into words how I feel about this project. I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

My Latest Three Publications

If you're a regular reader of my blog you may remember I took part in the Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign recently. I met a lot of new people, bookmarked a lot of new blogs and took part in all three writing challenges.

The good news is, a rather wonderful lady called Cat, suggested that we create a book out of some of our stories, and publish it to raise money for Help Harry Help Others which was set up by an incredibly brave boy called Harry Moseley who recently died of a brain tumour at the age of 11.

I am keen to support cancer charities so I donated all three of my stories. They were all accepted for publication in the book, which is now available via and as well as from Smashwords.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Flash: Dentist/Actress

At my writing class this week, we were working on character development. We were asked to chose two different characteristics for one person and given five minutes to write a short piece about them.
This is what I wrote:


I’m drilling away at my three o’clock and the nurse won’t shut up. I think how much happier I would be at the end of the day if she would give it a rest.

“Can you pass the…” and I’ve forgotten the name again.
“Polisher,” calls the voice from behind the curtain.

The voice is always there when I forget my words. It feels like a safety net.

I’ve lost concentration again…
“Exit through the door, I’ll…” nudges the voice.
“I’ll be back shortly, Mr Brown, I need to get some equipment,” I say.

I walk out of the surgery and as I head up the corridor, I spot the curtain twitching in my peripheral vision.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Feeling Like A Proper Writer, At Last

The other evening, I was holding a book in my hand. I read the acknowledgments, I read the copyright notice, then I flipped it over and looked at the back. And then at last, from nowhere, into my head came the thought, 'Oh my God I really did write this book'.

It's taken ages for that to happen. It's taken this long to feel real, and I'm starting to feel like a proper writer now. Shall I tell you why?

1. I have started see good book reviews appearing on Amazon and Goodreads from people I have never met and never will, and don't know at all online. Strangers. Liking my book. That is amazing.

2. I have started to get emails from readers asking what else they can read of mine.

3. I have begun to gather up a little collection of rejections. And the rejections honestly don't bother me, as I have accepted that this is an important part of the publishing process. (This is massive for me. I thought I would cry every time. But, nothing...)

4. I have decided to self-publish a collection of flash fiction and short stories. And I have the contacts and knowledge to make it happen.

5. NaNoWriMo isn't bothering me in the slightest. I write so much every day now anyway, I feel quietly confident that I'll finish the first draft of my third book this month.

6. I have been trying out new things. Submitting short stories for anthologies, magazines and learning more about different markets.

All in all I am really happy right now.

If you have read this, you are a part of this process so as I say at the end of many of my blog posts:
Thanks so much for reading.

Rebecca x X x