Tag Archives: ebooks

News!

Gosh it’s been a while since I did a blog here, or for Josie, so I thought it must be time to catch up and let you all know what’s going on at the moment.  It’s been quite busy in the High-Heels And Slippers department and I haven’t had much time to write much at all (even though I am VERY excited about getting my second book, currently named Holding Me Up, ready for publication).    Truth is that book marketing takes up a lot of time!  

I am ECSTATIC  to let you know that High-Heels And Slippers is now officially available for $12.99 in paperback at Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/High-Heels-Slippers-Ella-Slayne/dp/1466239328/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1319042043&sr=8-1

A shipment of books is currently on its way to me  in readiness for a book launch party planned in November (eek!).  Must give another shout out to Marek Jagucki for the AWSOME cover!  Such a talent – check out his website: http://www.mjcartoons.co.uk/

I’m also so excited to let you know that the High-Heels And Slippers online blog tour will take place between the 28th November and 19th December.   Thank you to all the FIFTEEN (eek!) reviewers taking part  I can’t wait to hear what you think of the book! And a BIG thank you to Samantha Robey who swiftly and efficiently organised the whole thing!  Click on this link for her contact details and details of the tour: http://chicklitplusblogtours.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/high-heels-and-slippers-by-ella-slayne/

I will be posting updates on the blog. 🙂

I’m also thrilled to taking part in an author Q&A at Chick Lit Central on January 5th.  This website is a must for Chick Lit fans! Check it out: http://chicklitcentraltheblog.blogspot.com/

So it’s all go and no doubt Josie is feeling a tad neglected but I’ll get to her in the next few days – I promise!

Hope you’re all having a FAB week! Please feel free to stop by the blog and say “hello!” 🙂

 

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IT’S ARRIVED!!!!

Just got the first print copy of High-Heels And Slippers in the mail today and I can’t tell you how FAB it felt!  I’m so excited and have been carrying it with me everywhere I go, clutching it like a baby.   It’s just incredibly wonderful to have it right there in front of me, in the flesh.  At some point I have to organise a book launch party and marketing strategy but for now all I seem to be able to do is sport a daft grin! 🙂 Here’s a pic…

A rather spiff looking proof copy of High-Heels And Slippers!
 

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Swimsuits And Writing Critiques

My daughter recently joined a swim team.  She loves to swim so it seemed like a good idea. I bought her a new swimsuit to celebrate.  It was one of those sporty swimsuits; navy blue and designed for serious swimming!   Of course she hated it and immediately told me so.   She didn’t like the straps because “they felt strange”.  She didn’t like the colour because “it was too dark” and she wasn’t going to wear it because she was certain she would be the only swimmer in the pool wearing “that kind of swimsuit.”  She wanted to wear her favourite swimsuit; the one with spaghetti straps covered in pink and lime hearts.

A heated debate ensued, where I explained that it was better to keep her strappy swimsuits for fun and use the new one for swim team because it was designed to be comfortable for competitive swimming.   In return she shouted a lot, there were tears and a slammed door, but  to my surprise I eventually won and my daughter solemnly went to her room to change. 

When it came to the next swim class I prepared myself for another battle.  I handed her the swim-bag and waited for the moans and groans.  But none came.  Instead my daughter skipped off to change with the comment: “Thanks for getting me this new swimsuit Mum, you were right: it’s much better for swim team!”  I was dumbfounded. 

It occurred to me that receiving a tough writing critique is similar to this in some ways.  It’s natural to be attached to our writing. We can be particularly proud of a certain phrase or a character. Then we take our work to the critique group only to find that our fellow trusted writers suggest cutting that particular phrase or even that we change a character or plotline.  And we balk at the advice; it hurts.  We suck it up and go home with a mind to ignore it completely! What do they know anyway right?

But see here’s the thing: if we wait a while and then pluck up the courage to look at that advice again, we usually find that they were right after all.  And if we can be brave enough to take it on board and make some changes, we find that our work has improved.

I have really found that the best advice I’ve received has been feedback that I’ve thought, at first, was negative and hard to take.  I’ve sobbed into the pages of my manuscript lamenting the ruthless suggestion to cut whole paragraphs.  I have cried spooning sugar into my cup of tea as I mull over the suggestion to rewrite a whole plotline.  But every time, when I have had the guts to do it, it has worked out for the better and I have almost certainly learned much more in the process.

So I think writing critiques are just like my daughter and the swimsuit.  We should be open and try the new swimsuit on, even if we don’t like the colour or style… because we might find that actually it’s a perfect fit! 🙂

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‘Fessing up and learning from my mistakes!

Oh gosh this whole epublishing thing is a real rollercoaster!  I was on such a high when I published High-Heels And Slippers in July, thrilled to actually sell some copies and convinced that I had edited every typo away.

I downloaded my own copy immediately, so that I could read it through on my Kindle and check it.  But I felt physically sick every time I opened it up.  Really.  I just couldn’t face it. So I chickened out and put it to one side.  It was utter cowardice on my part, I admit.

Then slowly it transpired through chatting with various friends who had bought copies (THANKYOU SO MUCH), that there were indeed still some errors lurking in there – AARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Although luckily, this did not seem to mar their enjoyment of the book  – phew!)
Now I felt sick, for a different reason – I was embarrassed that I had succumbed to my impatience (I was a tad over-excited) and published my book without making another final edit. I had spent a substantial amount having it professionally edited and formatted, so I had assumed it would be ready to publish.  But actually that was part of the problem – every time a manuscript is handled by someone else an opportunity for correcion AND ERROR is opened up.  The responsibility for the final edit has to lie with the author. 

I’ve chided myself for being a wimp, learned my lesson and vowed not to make the same mistake again!  And now I hope that I have managed to get rid of all the typos, although I’m sure there must be one hiding in there somewhere!!!

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Blown Away!

Ok so the internet apparently turned twenty a couple of days ago.  Seems unbelievable that it’s only been twenty years since it was launched and now it has become such an integral part of our lives.   I’ve been even more aware of this since I released High-Heels And Slippers as an ebook.  Not just because of the whole epublishing thing, which would simply not have existed twenty years ago, but because I’ve been researching and sourcing relevant networks, forums, websites.  It is absolutely incredible how much is out there.  How much support and advice you can find just by doing careful internet searches.  And it blows me away!

It’s fantastic that you can reach like-minded people all over the globe, that you can share info and learn from each other.  I love humans – I love humans because of what we can achieve, because we have this wonderful urge and ability to reach out and communicate.  It’s empowering and humbling at the same time.

I’ve been reaching out on Twitter, Facebook and the internet.  I’ve joined new forums like SheWrites and ChickLit Writers. I’ve subscribed to more blogs so that I can learn from the poeple who write them. I’m making comments and asking questions. And I’m meeting some lovely people along the way – thank you to the internet for making this possible.  Happy 20th Birthday!

Have a great day everyone! 🙂

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I Felt The Fear – And Did It Anyway!

Gulp! I have self-published High-Heels And Slippers as an ebook.  And it feels super-scary and super-exciting at the same time.  And it has been a HUGE learning curve! 

I’d been thinking about it for a while but had stalled because of the fear of rejection and the negative image that self-publishing has had in the past.  But all that has changed, more and more people are using ereaders and with that authors now have the opportunity to put their work out there, if they choose, without the middle man.  There is no doubt that the world of publishing is changing and I decided to take advantage of that.

I am not a computer whizz by any stretch of the imagination.  A lot of time was spent stressing over the formatting.  I downloaded software and  taught myself about the difference between a word document, epub and html.   There’s so much information available and thank goodness most of it in comprehensible for a computer-dummy like me!  I bought my ISBN numbers, I set up accounts on Smashwords, Amazon Kindle and Pubit.  I read ebooks on epublishing and emarketing – which I’m still reading of course! 

There was so much to learn and at times I thought my head would explode!   I have to say that I found the Smashwords StyleGuide by Mark Coker essential reading and would highly recommend anyone thinking of epublishing their book to read it – here’s the link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52  There is also a marketing guide which is very useful: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/305  They are both FREE!

After the initial struggles, the rest of the process was relatively easy.  In less than 24 hours my book for sale on both the Amazon and Smashwords websites!  I put a link on my Facebook page and almost immediately someone bought my book – it was incredible!   Since then I’ve had some more sales  – it feels amazing after three years of work that there are people out there reading my book! 

I’m not sure whether self-epublishing will ever replace the benefits of having a professional agent though, obviously it’s a huge benefit to be able to access the wealth of information and contact that someone in the world of publishing has. But I do think self-publishing my book and having it out there in accessible to the public is much better than having it sitting on my computer hard-drive or stuck in an agent’s slush-pile. 

Now of course I’m working on my marketing strategy and I’m waiting for the feedback  – eek! I must confess to bouts of panic as I wonder what the response will be.  It will be the feedback of the readers who will determine the success of my book. 

Ultimately though, I feel empowered by my epublishing experience and I’m so glad I took the plunge!

What about you? Are you thinking of breaking out into the world of epublishing?  Or are you too apprehensive? Maybe you already have?  Is it working for you? I would love to hear about your epublishing experience! 

Ella 🙂

PS: High-Heels And Slippers is available now @ http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/75878  and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005E8KCUG

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Ok I admit it: I’m Hooked!

I just finished reading my first official e-book –  Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  The book itself was completely brilliant. I didn’t want it end.  So much so that I immediately downloaded the sequel which I’m currently reading. 

So the book was great and so was the experience of reading it on my Kindle.  It’s light, easy to handle (although I did miss holding the spine of a book and didn’t feel comfortable reading in the bath like I usually would) and the screen was just like reading a paper page – completely different to a computer screen and much easier on the eyes.  It’s light and easy to carry around.

But the best thing about it has to be the fact that it can hold so many books and the online purchasing with Amazon makes it so easy! I have also been able to download some free samples of books, which has been useful for children’s material.  My daughter is sharing it with me and reading The Tale Of Despereaux at the moment. 

At first I missed not having a visible page number and seeing how far I had read but then I realised it gives you a percentage at the bottom instead which serves the same purpose. 

So far I haven’t even had to recharge the battery which is pretty good seeing as there are two of us using it!

I’m no longer a sceptic of the e-book phenomenon but rather a convert!  So if you too are a ebook reader – I totally get it now! And if you’re not I really think you should give it a try – it is probably better than you think – honestly!

Meanwhile, I’m excited to plan my summer reading and download some more cracking books! 🙂

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