New Book!

I’m really pleased to announce that yesterday I published the sequel to The Mouse and the Microlight as an e-book on Amazon. It’s called The Stowaways. I originally wrote both books as blogs, putting up a chapter a week with illustrations. I decided some time ago that they would convert very well to e-books and went ahead with The Mouse and the Microlight. It worked well and so I set about doing the same for The Stowaways (originally called ‘When the Hangar Came Down’). A complete edit was needed, all the artworks improved and resized, a table of content created and of course a cover which is always a favourite job.

This is about the book as published on Amazon:

The Stowaways is the second book by Jude Thompson about Mouse Formidable. In the first book, The Mouse and the Microlight, Mouse Formidable refuses to follow wood-mouse ways. He moves into a barn and builds a nest under the back seat of a microlight. He’s accepted by the couple who own it and he starts to go flying with them.

The Stowaways find Mouse Formidable getting home one day to find his beloved flying machine gone. And then the Louds (the name wood-mice have given humans) start dismantling his barn. With his whole world collapsing he stows away in their car and travels with the Louds into their world. Little does he know that someone is travelling with him. At the Louds house fantastic discoveries are made, but then Formidable is caught in a trap. Will he be found before it’s too late, and will he ever go flying again? In the meantime, many miles away, back in the wood where he was born, a fire starts. Mouse Formidable’s family are in terrible danger. With nowhere to run who will save them? The Stowaways is is a story of exploration, discovery, daring and friendship.

My next project, now that all my books are published e-books, is to go for paperbacks. It may take a while as all the e-book files have to be converted and made suitable for book publishing. Lots of research and trial an error I think! More about this in a later post.

Lastly a BIG thank you to those of you who have bought The Mouse and the Microlight!

aa-stowaways-12x9

Traditional Publishing versus Self-Publishing

Revived Post from 2011

*I wrote this post (now slightly edited) back in 2011. It’s rather interesting for me rereading it now. Looking back I’m still glad that I went the e-book route as opposed to continuing down the traditional route.

 

tortandbook4

The Traditional Route

In March 2008 I completed what I suppose is technically a memoir, then it festered in a drawer for nearly three years while I winged the standard synopsis and sample chapters off to publishers. To me the very word memoir is off-putting. It conjures up pictures of a white-haired old man relating his war experiences in a somewhat starched  and stuffy style. So when I approached publishers during that three years I avoided using it and instead I called it a True Romantic Adventure. It made no difference, I still got the standard pleasant and complimentary rejections. To get a personal story published I think you really need to be a celebrity of some sort.

Thousands of writers follow the same well-worn path of rejection, and not just for memoirs. It matters not what your genre is, it’s still a laborious and often disheartening task trying to get published, however dogged you are. A fact which also causes some concern is that some books which are now world-famous were turned down by dozens of publishers before eventually being accepted. I read recently that Zen and the Art of Motor-cycle Maintenance was turned down 121 times before it was accepted. So even if you are a good writer it could take donkeys years to get published. And even worse, what if your book was eventually published and sold like crazy after you had died; wouldn’t that cheese you right off!

Fortunately for me and a lot of other authors the age of the e-book is seriously with us now. It gives us all a long-awaited and sporting chance to sell our chosen genre. At last the author has some control. As one writer recently put it, ‘The Kindle (and other e-Readers) allows you to publish your work and let the people decide – democracy in action!

 

Promoting Your Book

I’ve been looking at ways of promoting my books via social media/networking etc. Not my thing at all but it has to be done, so I’ve been looking at some options.

I started with Facebook, which I was on anyway, and added a Facebook Author Page. That was easy. Once the page was created I just sent out a notification to all my friends asking them to ‘Like’ my page. Of course it’s best if you have a a few hundred friends!

Instagram – which includes ‘Bookstagram’ had been recommended to me but I soon found out that Instagram was used by smart-phone users, primarily to wing pictures off to friends. I don’t own a smart-phone and don’t really want to invest in one purely to be able to use Instagram, and as yet there doesn’t appear to be an app’ for a PC. I could use my tablet, but then I have to upload photos from my camera to the PC, and then the PC to the tablet, and then onto Instagram. Hmm! And I only know two people who use Instagram. It just doesn’t seem worth it.

I looked at Twitter, which has always been a mystery to me and after reading what it’s about and how it works, and having a look at the site, I decided it wasn’t for me either. In fact the more I looked at it the more my resistance grew! 

So in a nutshell I’ve decided that with Facebook, four blogs, and a fifth blog shared with my hubby, I’m already reaching out to a lot of people. I have about as much as I can cope with. If I was to take on Instagram and Twitter as well I’d have no time to write! And writing is what I love, it’s what I want to be doing, not spending hours on networking. Maybe my big intentions about promotion are not doing as well as I first intended! Ho-hum! 

Whatever happens you have to keep believing in yourself, keep writing, and enjoy the journey.

pigs-might-fly

Don’t get disgruntled and think pigs will fly before I sell some books!

The Sleighriders

Back in 2011 I published a fantasy novel called The Elf Girl’s Dream and at the time for some reason I liked the idea of using a pen-name; I’m really not sure now why I did that. As was my way I published on Amazon Kindle and then did absolutely no promotion, so just a few friends bought the book, and since then it’s grown cobwebs in the annals of the Amazon’s Kindle store.

With my new surge of enthusiasm and determination to do something about my work I decided Elf Girl needed a real facelift. First I did a complete edit, not to the story, just punctuation and a bit of tweaking here and there. Next I had to create a Table of Content which for some reason hadn’t worked on the first publishing. I don’t know why I didn’t fix that at the time. This turned into a nightmare and it took three attempts to get it all working, each time checking it in Amazon’s previewer which lets you see how your book will be seen on Kindle.

I wanted my own name on my book this time too so the pen name was binned. The next thing was the title which I’d never been entirely happy with. It kept coming across as possibly a gentle, dreamy book, which it definitely isn’t. I wanted a title that spoke of ‘movement’, of adventure, and danger, and so I eventually decided on The Sleighriders. With that in mind I created a brand new cover. It’s been quite a few weeks of work to bring the book back to life, but it’s been worth it. It also makes me realize yet again that what I love so much about writing is the creation process.

*If you’d like to leave a comment or a ‘like’ you need to click on the post title and the comments box will come up at the end of the post. 

final-e

The Sleighriders can be found on Amazon under Kindle Books.

Hello and Welcome!

The day before yesterday I published my third eBook on Amazon Kindle, and decided that I really must put some effort into promoting my work. I get so much fun out of writing, and equally as much out of creating illustrations.

My chance to write happened when I retired to France in 2004 with my boyfriend, Bob, who became my husband in 2005. What more of an idyllic spot could a budding writer have dreamed of than this isolated spot on a wooded hillside in the Dordogne, and on top of that I had suddenly become a time-millionaire! I can’t remember which year I started my first book ‘A Red Waterproof Jacket’ but looking back at records I was attempting to go the traditional publishing route with it in May 2010. It never happened and like probably many authors, sick of the long waiting game and rejections, I gave up and published on Amazon Kindle. That first book was a memoir, the next was a fantasy novel (which I’m currently making some minor changes to) which was huge fun to write.

Two days ago ‘The Mouse and the Microlight’ also zoomed off to Amazon Kindle. I said to myself, Jude, you have to do something about promotion this time. It’s not my bag, leaping into the limelight and shouting ‘Buy this book, it’s great!‘ But if I don’t then my wonderful works of art that I spent hours and hours writing and editing, and re-editing, and pouring over, and creating illustrations for, will languish quietly, gathering dust in the immeasurable ‘cloud’ that is Amazon’s ebook archive. I think I owe it to myself to make an effort.

So the first step is to create this author blog where I can show off my work, and then I’m told I should link it to Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and every other social media site possible (groan) and oh yes, start using some of Amazon’s options, like doing promotions. So here goes with step one – the blog.

Why do people want to become authors? Probably for lots of different reasons. For me, well I love reading, I love being taken out of this world and transported into mystery and murder, journeys into strange lands, romance and longing, and laughter. That’s what authors have given me. They’ve taken me with them into another time and place and filled me with all sorts of emotions and inspirations. I’ve been right there, woven into the thread of their story like a skein of wool in a sweater. I would love to achieve that and give it to my readers. That’s what I want out of writing.

*If you’d like to leave a comment or a ‘like’ you need to click on the post title and the comments box will come up at the end of the post. 

author of fantasy, fiction and memoir