Saturday, 19 October 2013

To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question.

New book, & ebook.. new cover... see below

A troubling week at Hedges Towers. BH departed for his annual Italian Jaunt, upon which 3 fence panels instantly fell down, I mislaid my mobile and house keys and the car developed a 'no-don't-just-turn-up-the-music-sort-it noise under the bonnet. I believe this stare of affairs is called Sod's Law and I'm guessing that things are not going to get any better until he returns. Teeth are being gritted and loins girded in anticipation.

Added to this, the elderly cat (18 years old) continues to decline into furry senescence and needs copious care. I am putting up with the constant demands for attention, broken nights, having to spend a fortune on the only cat food he will now eat and letting him sleep under the radiator in the hope that when I am old and in my dotage, someone will do the same for me.

Meanwhile with publication day drawing closer, I have been asked by several people why I decided to go with a commercial publisher as opposed to self-publishing my book, as I did previously with Jigsaw Pieces Two reasons: firstly, it is all too easy nowadays to write a book, cobble together a cover and upload the finished product to Amazon (actually, it darn well isn't .. as you can read here:). Advances in technology have opened up enormous opportunities for self-publishing that were never there when I started writing books, and that is a good thing.

However, inevitably there is a lot of dross out there and it lets the side down. Poorly produced books with typos, badly designed covers, sold at rock bottom prices is not the way I want to go. Despite the many ''Hey, I produced a book for virtually nothing'' blogs, the writers of the best self-published books have usually used beta readers, then paid out for professional editing, proofreading and cover designing. Hats off to them. It is hard work and not cheap and having done it once, I'm not keen to do it again.

Secondly, to be accepted by a commercial publisher is a sign that my work is of a certain standard. Very few writers are now being taken on by the ''big'' mainstream houses. You have to be young, connected to somebody, the possessor of a fabulously interesting/made up back story, or a celeb. Small commercial independents like Crooked Cat (my publisher) are now the first port of call for serious writers who find the big publishing doors slammed shut. The market is changing once more, as evidenced when Crooked Cat recently opened its doors for submissions and was totally taken aback by the inundation of manuscripts. They are in the business of making money, as are all independent publishers and they only take on a small percentage of the writers who apply. I am one of the lucky few.

With this in mind, I have uploaded the new cover(s) for you to see. It was created by Designer Dave, who is a friend, a professional graphic artist and designed the cover for Jigsaw Pieces. The full title of the new novel is Diamonds & Dust, A Victorian Murder Mystery and the book and ebook should be available on Amazon at the beginning of December, just in time for Christmas. The cover reminds me of contemporary newspaper headings, or theatrical posters which is appropriate to the plot, although I have also been told it is reminiscent of very early Penguin covers. It is quirky and different ... just like the story itself .. and, dare I say it, like the author of the story herself!






27 comments:

  1. Book cover looks very Victorian, to me! Sorry you've had one of those weeks, but please don't grit your teeth too hard, you don't want to add a trip to the dentist to your woes x

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  2. I shall take them out first! haha. Thanks

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  3. You can sleep under my radiator any time, Carol!

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  4. Tough week, my friend, but I'm sure you've weathered the storm with your usual aplomb and humor, as the above text indicates. Have fun with DD, let the sodding fence wait for BH, comfort the cat, and oh yeah, if I had radiators, you'd be welcome to curl up under any or all of them. Love ya!

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    1. It's good to know there are a plethora of radiators out there...hahaha

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  5. The very best of luck with your Diamonds, Carol. I agree - there's a tremendous amount of dross in the self-published pit now, which makes it really hard for the gems to rise to the top (though they are still there!)

    There are rights and wrongs on both sides - so thanks for being balanced (I've read too many blogs insisting that the 'other side' are rubbish!)

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    1. Indeed. It does divide people, this one. But I have done both, so feel I can speak - from my experience- of both sides.

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  6. Need I say it? You should have went to Italy! My hubby is away one night and two days every week and that's the time anything that is going to go wrong does. Burst pipes,dog needing the vet,etc.
    Your book cover is very posh, you must be so proud of it.
    I really don't know how people can go to all the bother of self publishing and the sell the book for 99 p it must be soul destroying,all that hard work.
    Good luck with the book,as for the books written by celebs,they always end up in the pound shop after a few months.

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    1. I think book pricing is another whole can of worms!!! Thanks for comment.

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  7. Seems you're experiencing quite a tumultuous time in the wake of BH's departure to the tantalising textures of Italy...ah what can one do but Keep Karma and Carry On!...

    I liked your book cover the moment I saw it!. For me it manages to merge modernity with cobwebs and cobbled streets and that's a definite 'pick me up now' factor for myself and legions of others I'm sure.

    So good luck with the launch...my strange, delightful little pal...and always know there's a cat litter tray waiting here for you should you ever need it....x

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    1. Given the level and inclination of a certain pet in your household..I may need it...

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  8. I like small press publishers too and think they are the best option for new and unknown authors like me. I know from my own experience that it isn't easy to get taken on by these guys who have a whole world of manuscripts to choose from - so well done and I'm sure the book will be brilliant!

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  9. Looking forward to DIAMONDS & DUST. The cover is lovely. I like how they've made the title of the book the star.

    Also, thanks for the balanced comments on self-publishing vs. traditional. I'm about to self-publish after two decades of false starts with agents/traditional publishers. I've decided that I'm tired of sitting around waiting to be "discovered." If my work is crap, I'm sure readers will let me know. In the meantime, I'm enjoying myself a great deal.

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    1. I think you make an important point here. ''enjoying yourself'' ...it's easy to become stuck in one way of doing a thing....we are supposed to be having fun with our writing, not getting into an argumentative loop about how we get our work out there.

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  10. Pretty much the same reasons I went to Crooked Cat Publishing, Carol. Quality from a professional organisation. Good luck with the imminent launch! Richard

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  11. Loving the cover, pet. I won't comment on the publisher/independent publishing thing, because we have already had this conversation and you know my views about it!

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    1. It's like my views on free promos....

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  12. Love, love the cover! I'm not much of a mystery reader, but it definitely makes me interested. It sets a certain tone that I'm fond of--historical, maybe. Old-timey casino....I'm thinking feather boas and diamond tiaras.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Jessica...think crinolines and gas light and you're nearer the mark!

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  13. Self-publishing is tough! I've only done it for short pieces and I couldn't imagine doing it for a novel.

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  14. So sorry you've had all those problems and just when BH is away. Like you say, it's sod's law. As for the book cover, I think it's stunning. You're on to a winner and you deserve it. You're a very talented lady... even if you are a tad quirky at times!! ;-)

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    1. Haha..thanks. Would you have me any other way?

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  15. Ah, CarolStar, I've been away a few days and missed my Saturday morning read. So sorry to hear about the collapse of Hedges Towers in the absence of Himself. I hope you'll be able to hold a few bricks in place until he returns! As for the DIY issue, it's hard for me to say as I've done both and there's pros and cons on both sides. I think you've got a winner there in any event, and the cover is truly classy - just like you! xx :-)

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    1. thanks val - though the proof will come when people read it....

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  16. congrats on the new deal and of course the book.whoop whoop!
    KK xx

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