Charlie is now live

I am a very happy bunny today.  The second book in my Rainbow School series for 7-9s called ‘Charlie and the Captivating Cap’ is now live on Amazon. You can find it here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1548727415/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499958923&sr=8-1&keywords=Charlie+and+the+captivating+cap

It only took me five days to publish it. I began the process last Saturday, and each time I had to review the proof, a chapter heading was out of line. Talk about patience being a virtue.

I am currently working on Book 5 in the series which is Alistair’s story, who is a v anxious boy with Asperger’s.

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Getting discovered – Different formats

Today’s post is all about getting discovered. One way is to publish your book in different formats. What do I mean? There are 3 that I know about: audiobook, paperbook and ebook.

For those of you who write for children, paperbook is probably the only version to do, esp if you write for younger readers eg under 9 year-olds. I currently write for 7-9s and will only publish in print for that age range, but when I come to write the next series, which will be for 9-12s, I might do an ebook version, too. My previous children’s books are only available in ebooks for now, but I plan to start putting them back into print over the summer.

For those of you who write for adults, all three choices are good options, esp ebook and print.

I believe the more formats you have out there, the more readers you can reach. I do like to have print copies of my books to hand, esp if I go to a meeting or a library where I can meet people and show them my book. I might sell a copy or two.

So, if you write for older children, think about publishing your book in print and digital. If you write for adults, think about publishing your book in all three formats.

Writing a series – titles

Today’s post is again about writing a series. This one is about titles. It also has a quiz and prize with it.

So, when you are writing a series, the titles of each book should either have the same words in eg in my Guardian Angel YA series, they all end in Angels. The Railway Angel, The Racing Angel, The Railracing Angels, The Leaping Angels and The Fire Angels.

Or, they can have different names but must connect to a similar theme. I am giving another of my series as an example, and this is the quiz and prize. The series is my adult magical realism one called Geraldine’s Gems. The first one is called One Good Turn, the second is A Trouble Shared. As you probably have guessed by now, they are shortened versions of well known phrases/sayings. Here is the quiz for you:

One Good Turn

A Trouble Shared

More Fish in the Sea

Don’t Get Mad

Life in the Old Dog

A Friend in Need

Birds Flock Together

They are all the ebooks in the series. But can you name all the correct and full sayings? The first person who contacts me with the correct answers will win a free PDF version of One Good Turn.

Good luck. Look forward to hearing from a winner.

Writing a series – pointers

Today I am going to be talking about writing a series. This is one way to keep your readers entertained and with you for years. I have written a few for both adults and children, and have found there are a few pointers that writers should do when writing a series. Here is what I think you should keep in mind:

1. Have at least one character the same in each book of the series.
2. Keep the same premise and storyline in all of the books.
3. Keep the same format to the story. Eg If book 1 has both showing and dialogue, keep the rest of the series the same, and don’t make say book 2 mainly dialogue.
4. Have similar covers.
5. Have the same font type on the covers

All of these will let the reader know they belong to a series. And, they are helping you build a brand. You can see what I mean about the ‘having one character the same in each book’ with my adult magical realism series ‘Geraldine’s Gems’ (will be redoing covers so they are all similar) and you can see by all that I have said above from my YA series The Guardian Angels’. All my ebooks are available on Amazon or Smashwords.

Now go forth and write a series. No, see if you can plan a series with these pointers. I plot out each series before I write Book 1.

Writing exercise – Friends and confidence

Sorry I’ve not been with you the last few weeks. Such a lot has been going on here at home and I have been away for a weekend retreat where I wrote over 3000 words on my current WIP. I aimed for 2000 so I achieved my goal. Anyway, as some of you might know, I write for 7-9 year-olds at the moment, so this week’s letter is a writing exercise for that age range. My current books are about children with Asperger’s who find confidence to make friends. In each book in the series, the new friend acts as a mentor to the new main character. Eg Book 2 is about Charlie, so Billy from Book 1 Billy and the Sparkling Socks acts as his mentor.

Here is your exercise: I want you to think of a character who isn’t confident for some reason. Create a friend for them who can act as a mentor who helps them. Write a page where the friend helps the less confident child, describing what happens, showing readers what happens and how. No telling, please.

Good luck. Let me know how you get on.

Book 7 of Geraldine’s Gems is now published

This morning I finally got round to publishing Book 7 (the final one) of Geraldine’s Gems, my adult magical realism ebook series featuring a woman ghost going back to Earth to help her family get their lives back on track. I uploaded it to Amazon KDP and to Draft2Digital, where it will be distributed to Apple, B&N and other digital platforms and libraries. It should appear on there in a day or two time. (It says it’s ‘publishing’ on KDP so far). I will publish it to Kobo and Smashwords next week.

Meanwhile, have a great Bank Holiday weekend, if you live in the UK.

Discoverability – Have a book list card

Today I am going to talk about getting discovered again. This comes from an idea my author client and fellow children’s author, John Caritas, suggested to me on Monday to do with my own books as he helps me promote my books for me. So, here is the idea, if you haven’t done this already. John suggested that I create a card/leaflet that has the titles of all my books on and where they are available. So, I am going to make a hand-made card with the same information I put on the back page of my ebooks. It will have all my books/ebooks on it. I will print out several copies on card I already have and give some to John to hand out to people he knows. Another idea is to have some sort of logo on there. Mine will be a rainbow.

If you have published several books, this is a good idea. Especially if you attend various groups.

Have creative fun with this.