Thursday, April 21, 2011

Guest Interview



This coming Saturday, April 23rd, I will be a guest on Babs World of Book Reviews, so if you're interested, head on over to her terrific book review blog and take a look. And in case you need an additional incentive (but why on earth would you?), I'll also be doing a book giveaway of The End of the World.

Babs gave The End of the World a lovely review on her site last week and it's been a real pleasure getting to know her a little, as she's a terrific person who truly loves books.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Marketing Mania!



All of my time seems to be taken up at the moment by marketing my book. I never knew how much effort it would take. Actually, I suppose I should say, I never knew could much effort it could take, as no one has a gun to my head. But having adapted it and gone through the whole process of making it available, it would be silly to let it just sit there gathering e-dust. So I've been researching and nosing around all over the place to find out the most successful ways to get your book noticed. It's hard! Still, I've always loved a challenge, and until the fire in me turns to apathy I'll be doing all I can. If I find out anything that I think others may not be aware of, I'll be sure to post it.

I just did a revamp of my book's cover. I think it's a bit more impacting now, and despite what adages tell us, we all fall victim to judging a book...

I'm just now waiting for my Smashwords edition to be approved, so that should help. I read a lot of posts on Kindleboards of people despairing of no sales despite gargantuan efforts of all kinds, so I'm wondering if luck plays a part. I also read that it can take months, perhaps even a year or more for your book to find traction.

Of course, I'm also aware that my book isn't mainstream genre fiction, so that will surely limit its commercial appeal to some degree. But I think there's still an audience out there for it, and I will track them and find them if it's the last thing I do!

And now for a joke: A woman walks into a bar and asks for a double entendre. So the barman gives her one.

Is that old? I just heard it recently and liked it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The One-Eyed Guru



I've decided that my next project will be to adapt my one-act play The One-Eyed Guru into a short story. Generally, my writing tends to fall into one of two camps: a heightened reality/absurdist style or straightforward realism/naturalism. I didn't decide this...it's just how I write. The One-Eyed Guru was, at the time that I wrote it, the most naturalistic play I'd written up until that point, which was still very early in my writing career. I have no idea where the idea for the story came from, but it appeared in my head one day and I wrote it all out. For whatever reason, I never really pushed that play in any marketing sense, though its had several productions and still generates interest from visitors to my website. But I've never really given it the attention that I honestly think it deserves.

Part of that is the onset of the "anything longer than 10-Minutes will not be accepted" trend in one-act festivals that has taken place over the past decade. But, honestly, part of it is my own negligence of that play.

Looking at it now, I realise that it would make a very good candidate for a quick, interesting short story, so that is what I shall do. Roughly ten years after the fact, this play will now get my undivided attention. Currently it runs at about 30 pages (in play script format), though I have no idea how long it'll end up when I've adapted it. So much disappears, so much is added.

By the way, in case you're wondering if I'm looking to adapt most of the 40 or so plays I've written into novel form at some juncture, that's not going to happen. Most of them simply aren't viable possibilities due to the way they're written. But I think that this one is. And I admit there are one or two more that might fit the bill. But that's it. Right now, I've discovered a new way of reinterpreting some of my plays and I'm loving the challenge. It's uncharted territory for me and I'm enjoying the process and experience immensely. Perhaps sometime I'll write a novel from scratch. I'd certainly like to be able to do that. But the truth is, my heart has always been and always will be with the theatre.

In the meantime, I'll continue interloping.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Book Bind



As I mentioned before, I’ve been formatting The End of the World through CreateSpace (an Amazon company) to create a paperback version to sell alongside the Kindle edition. I’m just going over my second proof copy now, and I have to say they do a pretty fine job. It’s also quite simple now that they provide templates that you can simply insert your body text into, and their cover creator is very easy to work with. It’s somewhat limited in terms of font options and things like that, but they provide enough styles that it’s not difficult to find and modify one of them into something you like. My only problem is that the length of my book (about 96 pages in this format) means I can’t use spine text (meaning, for instance, it could never be sold in a bricks and mortar store…those that are still left, sadly). Actually, I could add spine text, but they don’t recommend it for books of fewer than 130 pages or so, as the accuracy in getting the spine text exactly centered on such a narrow area can’t be guaranteed. I took their advice and decided not to as I didn't want to risk having a naff-looking project. So I am…uh, yes…spineless.

Also, here’s a tip for anyone who publishes their work through KDP that they may not be aware of. When I was initially publishing The End of the World, I was getting horribly frustrated by the fact that the chapter titles would sit directly on top of the beginning of the first paragraph, with no space in-between. This also went for any other page that I had separate lines of information on. The problem arises from the fact that the process that converts your document into the Kindle format does not recognize empty (white space) lines. However, I finally figured out that if I went to the paragraph option in the format tab in Word and widened the line spacing for the title, I could adjust the gap between the title and the first paragraph to my liking. The Kindle process keeps the gap in place because it’s reading a line spacing, not an empty line.

All good fun…when my blood pressure returned to normal, that is.