Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Children’s books, Crooners, Cravings and Cartoons.


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

I hope that for those of you in North America are getting some respite from the searing heat of the last few days. The weather is certainly unpredictable at the moment although here in Ireland it is usually more so… in fact there is this which sums it up.

Before we get into the posts this week I just want to remind anyone who has a date for when their book is available either on pre-order or recently released, to let me know.  There is still room for more books on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore, either from existing authors or new to the promotions.

New Book Promotions in the Cafe and Bookstore

I began helping authors market their books back in 2001 when I was an agent (unpaid but loved the job) for a Canadian self-publisher with offices in Ireland. As I was in Spain at the time, and living between Madrid and Marbella, I was tasked to find new authors amongst the expat community in the south. We got to meet some fantastic writers and help them get their books published. That is when David, who had already formatted two of my books, began helping other authors who were unfamiliar with the software, and long before Amazon offered Kindle or there were other ebook formats available.

In those days with only print copies to market, it was very much more a localised affair, with a great deal of money being spent to put on a physical launch, get the press interested and present, to get follow up pieces published. As with Amazon, print copies could be bought from the self-publishing company at a discount, and they would also have on their website with commission paid to the author.

One author Lucy Wright, published a novel about criminal gang on the Costa del Sol, and we held a book launch in a night club in Puerto Banus. There were a number of ex-cons on the guest list who had offered insights! And with an Elvis impersonator to entertain the crowd, and spicy Indian tapas to eat, we had a riot of an evening. This is me on the left as you look at the photo and Lucy Wright author of Coke on the Rocks.

Here is Lucy with a happy book buyer and Elvis in the background…

We held another book launch in Madrid for a book that David had formatted and designed where the main character of the book was present, including at the dinner after the launch.. on a perch at the end of the table. Carefully watching every mouthful of lamb consumed!

Today things are very different, with print, ebooks and audio available, and there is no doubt that Amazon has now cornered the market in publishing and selling books….however, like most self-publishers they do not market the books for you. In fact some of their practices, such as the removal of perfectly legitimate reviews are anti-marketing.

As an Indie author It is down to you to do the marketing for your book, and I can tell you that there are many authors who are being mainstream published, who are also being told to do their own marketing!

There are a large number of companies and individuals online, who will offer to market your books to a wide audience, anything from a few thousand potential readers to 150,000 or more according to my research. The charges tend to be range from an average of $5 to $50 a day per book, with multiple mentions on social media, allegedly reaching their thousands of followers.

Only the majority of those that I checked had only a much small percentage of claimed followers. They are using accumulative numbers based on retweets or shares, to entice you to part with your money.

5000 followers – 10% retweeting – 500 to their 5000 followers etc, etc.

Buyer beware – double check their figures and only go with a recommended firm that others you know can verify. If in doubt ask them for a trial run of one day for one of your books and if successful you will buy another day!  If they won’t play ball then ask them to give you the names of happy customers that you can ask?

In the meantime…..It might not be as glitzy as a bar in Marbella…..but it will actually reach a great deal more people, around the world, more effectively.

You can be promoted FREE here on Smorgasbord in the Cafe and Bookstore – and all the details are in the post – I do ask that you have a few essential elements in place.. and that you participate.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-author-promotion/

In 2017 I did a series on media training and marketing for authors based on my experience over the last 18 years, and I will be repeating that throughout August as a reminder of how you can establish yourself online to market your books effectively.

Now time to get on with the round up of this week’s posts.

A rewind of the Literary Column with Jessica Norrie, and in the first post, a reminder of the wonderful books of childhood.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-literary-column-with-jessica-norrie-reading-from-the-very-start/

Today Robbie Cheadle shares every mother’s nightmare, when your child is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and you have to put your trust and their lives in the hands of someone else.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-a-sense-of-pain-by-robbie-cheadle/

This week I review Broken Heart Attack – Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 2 by James J. Cudney.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/smorgasbord-book-reviews-broken-heart-attack-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-2-by-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-the-crooners-part-two-nat-king-cole/

This week there is a change to the usual Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 136 as instead of prompt words, we have a photo prompt… exciting.

#Haibun – Those we leave behind by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-poetry-challenge-photo-prompt-haibun-those-we-leave-behind-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter Fourteen – Summer: The Rescue Mission

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-fourteen-summer-the-rescue-mission-by-sally-cronin/

The Piglet Races

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-fifteen-summer-the-piglet-races-by-sally-cronin/

This is the third post from the archives of writer Sherrey Meyer whose blog is titled Life in the Slow Lane. This week I have chosen a post about the preservation of family history, much of which is divulged in conversations with elderly members of the family. It is so important to discover and save this living hisory. Nonfiction Essay with Bonus | 7 Tips for Preserving Family Memories 2014 by Sherrey Meyer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-nonfiction-essay-with-bonus-7-tips-for-preserving-family-memories-2014-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the third of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. This week I have chosen a short story by Janet, which will give you an idea of what you might expect from her collections that are available on Amazon.  Friday Flash Fiction 500 – Biodegradable by Janet Gogerty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-flashfiction-friday-flash-fiction-500-biodegradable-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the third post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I chose this post because this is where our Brexit journey began. Elections – Casting a Vote 2016 by Stevie Turner

Vote

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-elections-casting-a-vote-2016-by-stevie-turner/

This is the third post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey .This story is a testament to Laura’s fortitude, warrior spirit and her faith… a long road back from this accident. Major Accident – The #Horse Came Back Alone… by Laura M. Bailey

IMG_0146-01

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-major-accident-the-horse-came-back-alone-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the third post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. We recently had some amazingly sweet and juicy peaches… and so this dessert immediately caught my attention…Dessert – Kind of Purple Peach Upside Down Cake by Dolly Aizenman

Upsdwn peach cake 5.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-dessert-kind-of-purple-peach-upside-down-cake-by-dolly-aizenman/

This is the third post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. In this post Annabelle pays tribute to the dogs who accompany soldiers into war and offer so much more than essential companionship. Mercy Dogs 2014 by Annabelle Franklin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-servicedogs-mercy-dogs-2014-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the final post from author Christa Polkinhorn who has been blogging since 2010.. This gave me access to her extensive archives. For this final post I am sharing Christa’s visit to Costa Rica in 2018 and if you explore her archives from May 2018 onwards you will find the other posts in the series on her blog Costa Rica, May 2018, Part 1 by Christa Polkinhorn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-travel-pura-vida-and-coffee-in-paradise-costa-rica-may-2018-part-1-by-christa-polkinhorn/

This is the final post from the archives of poet Dorinda Duclos… and although there is a month or so to go… this is one of my favourite times of year.. celebrated with a poem, Her Signal.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-her-signal-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the final post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week a post from 2016 and a visit to Glasgow… Glasgow University, Hogwarts and Kelvingrove Park by M. J. Mallon

Image M.J. Mallon

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-travel-glasgow-university-hogwarts-and-kelvingrove-park-by-m-j-mallon/

This is the final post from the archives of Sue Vincent who wanders the land..in search of the ancient and modern to share with us. Sue always welcomes guest writers with open arms and here is one from 2018 from another popular blogger and author, Robbie Cheadle.  Living Lore: A nursery rhyme with an interesting history

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-sue-vincent-hosts-robbie-cheadle-living-lore-a-nursery-rhyme-with-an-interesting-history/

This is the final post by Bill Hayes who blogs at Matterings of Mind and there is definitely a treasure trove of posts to be found covering many subjects. This week a more recent post and a lovely look back at Miami Beach in 1988 Miami Beach Where Neon Goes to Die 2019 by Bill Hayes

MB-1-Opening

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-miami-beach-where-neon-goes-to-die-2019-by-bill-hayes/

This is the final post from Donna W. Hill who has let me loose in her archives and I am sharing Donna’s post from 2015 on the Equal Rights for Blind Americans, and I would be interested to find out how much progress has been made in the last four years. Equal Rights for Blind Americans? Author Says We’re not There Yet 2015 by Donna W. Hill

Blooming Amarilis with a print copy of The Heart of Applebutter Hill by Donna W. Hill, a fantasy adventure featuring some awesome flowers: photo by Rich Hill.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-equal-rights-for-blind-americans-author-says-were-not-there-yet-2015-by-donna-w-hill/

This is the final post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and there is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This was Amanda’s first post on her blog, and I thought it a great reminder to everyone who is creative about the importance of sharing your work. Why Share Creative Work? by Amanda Reilly Sayer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-why-share-creative-work-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

 

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-brother-love-a-crossroad-by-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-are-we-there-yet-an-andorra-pett-adventure-by-richard-dee/

Author update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-d-g-kaye-toni-pike-sarah-brentyn-and-stevie-turner-19-writers/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-mary-adler-julia-benally-lizzie-chantree-and-audrey-driscoll/

Last week I looked at the impact on the heart of acute and chronic stress, and some strategies to combat the effects including a link to my breathing exercises.: Heart and Stress Connection

This week I am looking at how including certain nutrients in your diet can support the body and the brain during stressful events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-of-the-body-part-three-the-heart-and-stress-foods-and-nutrients-needed-to-support-you-by-sally-cronin/

In this series on the reasons behind our cravings I take a look at Salt and a lack of  trace minerals.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/17/smorgasbord-health-column-what-causes-your-cravings-part-three-salt-and-trace-minerals-by-sally-cronin/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-drive-your-spell-checker-nuts/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-3/

Thank you again for all your wonderful support…I hope you have enjoyed this week’s round up and look forward to seeing you again next week.. Thanks Sally.

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Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.


 

 

Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.

One of the problems with writing short stories and also novels with a cast of thousands is trying to find original last names for your characters.

First names are a different issue as you have to choose names that reflect the time you are writing about. I doubt there were many girls given the names Sharon and Tracy in the 1500s or Darren and North!

However, most surnames have a long and illustrious history and go back hundreds of years and one of the places that is a treasure trove of names to use in your writing, is in your family tree.

I researched my own for both maternal and paternal lines over ten years ago, and because there was little actual history attached to the names you find, I decided to research the names origins too. It is not essential but quite useful to know where the names originate so that if you have characters that come from different parts of the country you can assign them a name that would be in keeping with the area.

Whilst I know that it is a huge undertaking to research a complete family tree it is well worth going back at least 100 years. You only have to go back as far as your great grandparents to find several names that you can use. As well as a wonderful source of names for your characters, if you are really fortunate, your parents and grandparents might be able to give you stories on the more recent family members that will give you the basis for your character backgrounds.

Just a word on that… Not a good idea to base your characters on those family members still living who might object to having their secrets shared so openly in your latest novel. But if you have an interesting ancestor from the 1900s or earlier, then the chances are you won’t be sued.

So here is the treasure trove of names from my direct line through my father back to 1490. No doubt if you read some of my stories or novels in future years you may meet one or two of them again!

NAME ORIGINS FOR THE ANCESTORS OF MY FAMILY TREE 1490 -2015

Coleman
Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Clumháin ‘descendant of Clumhán’, a personal name from the diminutive of clúmh ‘down’, ‘feathers’.
English: occupational name for a burner of charcoal or a gatherer of coal, Middle English coleman, from Old English col ‘(char)coal’ + mann ‘man’.

Cliff / Cliffe
English: habitational name from a place named with Old English clif ‘slope’, ‘bank’, ‘cliff’, or a topographic name from the same word. The Old English word was used not only in the sense of modern English cliff but also of much gentler slopes and frequently also of a riverbank.

Chappell
English: topographic name for someone who lived near a chapel, from Middle English chapel(l)e ‘chapel’, via Old French, from Late Latin capella, originally a diminutive of capa ‘hood’, ‘cloak’, but later transferred to the sense ‘chapel’, ‘sanctuary’, with reference to the shrine at Tours where the cloak of St. Martin was preserved as a relic.

Whitlock
nickname for someone with white or fair hair, from Middle English whit ‘white’ + lock ‘tress’, ‘curl’. Old English personal name composed of the elements wiht ‘creature’, ‘demon’ + lac ‘play’, ‘sport’.

Mills
Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived near a mill, Middle English mille, milne (Old English myl(e)n, from Latin molina, a derivative of molere ‘to grind’). It was usually in effect an occupational name for a worker at a mill or for the miller himself. The mill, whether powered by water, wind, or (occasionally) animals, was an important center in every medieval settlement; it was normally operated by an agent of the local landowner, and individual peasants were compelled to come to him to have their grain ground into flour, a proportion of the ground grain being kept by the miller by way of payment.

Seller /Sellers
English and Scottish: topographic name, a variant of Sell.
English and Scottish: occupational name for a saddler, from Anglo-Norman French seller (Old French sellier, Latin sellarius, a derivative of sella ‘seat’, ‘saddle’).
English and Scottish: metonymic occupational name for someone employed in the cellars of a great house or monastery, from Anglo-Norman French celler ‘cellar’ (Old French cellier), or a reduction of the Middle English agent derivative cellerer.
English and Scottish: occupational name for a tradesman or merchant, from an agent derivative of Middle English sell(en) ‘to sell’ (Old English sellan ‘to hand over, deliver’).

Jackson
English, Scottish, and northern Irish: patronymic from Jack

Prince
English and French: nickname from Middle English, Old French prince (Latin princeps), presumably denoting someone who behaved in a regal manner or who had won the title in some contest of skill.

Hubbard
English (chiefly Leicestershire): variant of Hubert

Hubert
German, Dutch, English, French, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements hug ‘heart’, ‘mind’, ‘spirit’ + berht ‘bright’, ‘famous’. The name was borne by an 8th-century bishop of Maastricht who was adopted as the patron of hunters, and helped to increase the popularity of the personal name, especially in the Low Countries.

Hilton
English (Lancashire) and Scottish: habitational name from any of various places so called. Most, including those in Cambridgeshire (formerly Huntingdonshire), Cleveland, Derbyshire, and Shropshire, get the name from Old English hyll ‘hill’ + tun ‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’. Others, including those in Cumbria and Dorsetshire, have early forms in Hel- and probably have as their first element Old English hielde ‘slope’ or possibly helde ‘tansy’.
English: some early examples such as Ralph filius Hilton (Yorkshire 1219) point to occasional derivation from a personal name, possibly a Norman name Hildun, composed of the Germanic elements hild ‘strife’, ‘battle’ + hun ‘bear cub’. The English surname is present in Ireland (mostly taken to Ulster in the early 17th century, though recorded earlier in Dublin).

Garner
English: from Anglo-Norman French gerner ‘granary’ (Old French grenier, from Late Latin granarium, a derivative of granum ‘grain’). It may have been a topographic name for someone who lived near a barn or granary, or a metonymic occupational name for someone in charge of the stores kept in a granary.
English: variant of Warner, from a central Old French form.
English: reduced form of Gardener.

Boulton
English: variant spelling of Bolton.

Bolton
English: habitational name from any of the numerous places in northern England named Bolton, especially the one in Lancashire, from Old English boðl ‘dwelling’, ‘house’‘enclosure’, ‘settlement’.

Mountford
Possibly a habitational name from Mundford in Norfolk

Montfort
French and English (of Norman origin): habitational name from any of the numerous places called Montfort, from Old French mont ‘hill’ + fort ‘strong’, ‘impregnable’ (Latin fortis). A Norman bearer of this name, from Montfort-sur-Risle in Eure, near Brionne, accompanied William the Conqueror in his invasion of England in 1066.

Wright
English, Scottish, and northern Irish: occupational name for a maker of machinery, mostly in wood, of any of a wide range of kinds, from Old English wyrhta, wryhta ‘craftsman’ (a derivative of wyrcan ‘to work or make’). The term is found in various combinations (for example, Cartwright and Wainwright), but when used in isolation it generally referred to a builder of windmills or watermills.

I used a number of resources to find out the origins of these names and here are some links that might help you.

http://surnames.behindthename.com/names/usage/english
http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts
http://www.localhistories.org/surnames.html
http://forebears.co.uk/surnames

Have fun.. and thanks for dropping in today. Sally

Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Advertising – Covers, Titles and Key Words by Sally Cronin


I am continuing the series on media training and marketing for authors which is adapted from my media training course for small businesses and charities. Authors are small businesses with a product that needs marketing to obtain sales. Once you start thinking of yourself as a business it tends to focus your mind differently.

One of the jobs that gave me some perspective on marketing and promotion, was the several years I spent as advertising sales manager for a free paper in London and then a holiday publication company.

Part of my job was writing copy for clients who could not afford to spend a fortune with an agency. This was quite an interesting challenge because most companies, whatever their product wanted to put their name in large letters front and centre. So for example:

Great name, but what does the person who is looking for a new car see when they are skimming the adverts for cars?  Steve Smith and Sons.. but that is not the product for sale and is not going to grab the attention of the person looking to buy a car. If you are looking for a car, you are more likely to be interested in reading the same advert, but arranged very differently.

Using key words effectively will significantly increase your chances of reaching your customers.

Unfortunately this is also a mistake that we tend to make when we market our books.  Unless we are J.K Rowling or any other bestselling author who has a dedicated following, putting our names in very large print on our book covers is not going to achieve sales.

For an author trying to sell a first book and even others that follow, it is almost impossible to stand out from the other millions of books on sale on the primary online bookseller Amazon.. or even on the bookshelf of your local bookstore.

If you look in the average bookstore, novels are shelved alphabetically, not usually by genre, there are no reviews and they rely heavily on cover and back blurb to encourage you to buy. Non-fiction books do have an advantage as they will normally be listed by subject matter which does narrow the field somewhat.

Both however need to have a cover that reflects the contents of the book fiction or non-fiction or, is so visually stunning, that it invites readers to explore further. And very importantly, books need a title that screams out to the reader “buy me, I am the most informative, entertaining, interesting, relevant, novel, self-help book, inspiring story you will ever read” and also find away to convey all that is between the covers!

This is not easy since most titles are only usually between 1 and 5 words.

Finding a book title that sells your book.

There are millions of books available today digitally. This is why it is so important that your title leap out from the page and grab potential reader’s attention. Novels are tough as most of the words used to describe each genre are well used. For romance novelists it must be a nightmare since the words love, destiny, fate, romance, desire etc have to be used in a title in the most imaginative way.

With non-fiction it is not easy but it is simpler – providing you get your USP (unique selling point) in the title….remember that there could be thousands of books that are cover your particular subject matter and you want the reader to buy your book.

So what is your unique angle that makes your book different from all the other books on a particular subject that can be  incorporated in your title? This is where using MY comes in handy.. for who is more unique than you? Instead of A Lonely Childhood.. My Lonely Childhood etc.

Finding an original title for a novel can be tough since there are only so many words within each genre that you can use to convey the subject of your book.

Obviously the genre is a starting point – SF – thriller – comedy – Romance – Humour, Children’s etc, and my suggestion is that you take a good long look at other newish books in that genre so that you are not duplicating – write several down and still see if you can get something unique into your own title – try it out on all your friends and family and when you have your title, it is also important to Google it to see if anyone else has a book by that title.

You may find one or two but if you play around with the wording you can usually find one that is not already in use.

Remember – this is your advertising headline for your book – it has to grab the attention of your potential readers and also those that can help you promote the book.

Using Key Words as Taglines.

Your book cover and the wording are your advertisment and whilst it is not a good idea to crowd the cover with text, having a tag line can help.

This is a recent release by Jane Harper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Harper/e/B001KI8MCE

If the book had just been the image and the title, the book would have had no identity. The fact that it is written by Jane Harper would have attracted her fans; but what about a reader who is browsing to find a murder mystery or thriller, who had not read any of her books prevously?  But because of the key words and endorsements, the moment you look at this advertisement for the book you know exactly what is between the pages.

Here is another example of a non-fiction book that uses key words to attract the attention of readers. This is written by Sir Max Hugh Macdonald Hastings, who is a best-selling author, historian and journalist who can use his name as key words as can J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and other established best-selling authors. As you can see the use of any form of testimonial is important as is the use of specific words to identify that you are going to be reading about Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939 – 1945.

Book available: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Max-Hastings/e/B00MWZQP4G

Here are some more examples that show you how tag lines can provide you with that USP that makes your book stand out from the crowd.

“Your genetic makeup – Your grandmother’s legacy……..”. “Training a deaf dog – The hand signal manual”. “The Passion and the Anquish”…..Horror Stories from Beyond the Grave. “Murder at the Fair……. Do you dare ride the Ghost Train?”

If you have already received an editorial or advance reader review then you can certainly put a few words on the front cover with the name of the reviewer that are appropriate. It may not be The Guardian or The Sunday Times but it is still a recommendation to buy.

Note: If you convert your print books to Ebook after you have received reviews.. make sure to mention one or two on your Ebook cover.

Note Two: If you are publishing with Kindle rather than as an independent self publisher you will find that there are restrictions on some wording that you put on the front cover. Check that out before completing your cover design.

So this is effectively your car advertisement, and when you are designing your cover, you do need to think about those select few key words you are going to include in addition to the title and your name to attract readers to buy your book.

Book Blurb.

Amazon offers you the chance to put our back blurb on the selling page so that readers can find out more about the book. This is also part of your advertisement and whilst you should not writer a chapter on the book, you should let a reader know what they can expect.

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes.. If you were looking for a book to read, what would make you click the buy button.

Genre – basic story plot – main characters and importantly work your key words into the blurb as well. Add in some teasers too..

“Can Sally get to the chocolate before the cookie monster eats it all?”

You can also put some headline reviews from any advance readers here, especially if there was not room on the front cover.

“Fantastic edge of the seat read” – T.Jones – “Couldn’t put this thriller down until I had finished” – B. Smith  –  you get my drift.

Authors Page.

This is a headliner and a place where not only can a reader find your books but also something about you the author. A photo does help.. it makes you relateable.  Then something that gives a reader some confidence in your writing ability before they buy your book. This does not necessarily mean listing everything you have ever written, but by the way your write your biography.  This is an example of your work and if you don’t interest the reader or impress with your style of writing they may not feel like buying the book.

Check out the bios of succesful authors and find a style and content that you like and use that as a formula.

Categories and key words on Amazon as part of your advertisement tool box.

On Amazon you do have a number of different options to choose when you upload your book in addition to your cover and blurb. These include the option to choose a number of relevant categories, and very important key words that a potential reader might search for to find their next book.

Back to the example of the advertisement for cars!

If readers do not know your name, they are not going search for it and find you. So you have to be in the right place in the bookstore so that they at least might catch sight of your title and cover.  This requires you to be very specific with your chosen book categories and key words.

On Amazon you can use up to 5 – 7 key words for your book but you may find more impact by combining multiple key words together which is useful. Two or three together have more impact than just one. For example Rapid Healthy Weightloss is more specific than just weightloss Give up Smoking, Cooking with microwaves, Lancaster in 1960.

For fictionMurderer for Hire, Romantic short stories, Love Poetry, Thrilling Flash Fiction, Historical Romance etc.

NB.I suggest that you take a look at any older books that you have on Amazon, as they have introduced more options  for categories in the last couple of years. Here is a link also to a post that might help you with key words. Also check the blurb and  see if that might need a little TLC.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/A2EZES9JAJ6H02

Having established a place on the bookstore where the casual reader can find you, you now need to reach out and let specific fans of your genre or non-fiction book know how to find you there.

Next time… joining the right waterholes to find your potential readers for both print and ebooks.

Here are the previous posts on Press Releases, preparing for radio and television interviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/media-training-for-authors/

 

Smorgasbord Media Training for Authors – Getting a foot in the door – Press Releases and door knocking.


Despite the fact that it is very difficult to get the attention of the mainstream media, I still believe that you should make every effort to get your book noticed.  If you have done everything right – well written, edited, formatted and produced either in print, E-book or both, then it deserves your best shot.

This includes sending out press releases.

There are certainly a couple of things to consider.  Most self-publishing companies are not going to do your marketing for you.  You can pay quite a bit of money to a PR firm to compose and send out press releases to their contacts, and if you feel you will get a return on your money, then it is probably the most effective way to go.  They will compose your release and then direct it to specific contacts in the media who would be most interested in your genre or books in general. And, because they are a recognised PR firm they are likely to get it as far as the journalist in question.

Unfortunately today, unless you have a high profile name – either author or celebrity, your press release about your book, that you send in your own name, is unlikely to get past first base.  Short of changing your name by deed poll to J.K. Rowling, you are going to have to make sure that both the subject line of your email and the title of your book intrigues.

How can they find out more about you?

Also it is a good idea to have created some form of digital footprint so that if you peak someone in the media’s interest, they have access to information about you and your book before they consider contacting you.

I suggest that you use the usual social media – including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as well as your own website or webpage.  You notice that I put LinkedIn first as I use this one primarily for work and business related posts and my profile is geared towards my professional career rather than the more personal one on Facebook.

It is very important that you have an Amazon author page.. with a well thought out biography that is relevant to your profession which is a writer. Even if at this stage you only have one book… there will be others and if you do not have a website or blog this is a point of reference that someone searching for information is going to be checking.

You can also expect to be Googled.. This is where having an online presence, blog, social media and also interviews that you have done on other authors websites will be picked up.

Do make use of your contacts, it is a good idea to set up a page on Facebook for your new book and ask your contacts to like it.  You can put a lot of information on the page that can be accessed by anyone doing a search on you.  Never, be afraid to ask your contacts on any of your social media sites for help.  Your contacts, particularly if you have a few hundred on LinkedIn may in turn have someone they are connected to who might be able to help get your book noticed.  There are also groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn that may be interested in the subject or the genre of your book.  There are also groups of self-published authors and those who will promote your book for free.

You are reading this on a blog that has several ways that you can promote your books and also be interviewed.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

Press releases and door knocking.

With any press release I suggest that you start locally, as I mentioned before the nationals will pick up on good stories that have attracted attention at a local level. However, if you decide to go for the nationals at the same time make sure you have researched the individual journalists or columnists who would be appropriate for your book subject.

You can find most of the information regarding local and national journalists online at the contact page for the publication or radio station (always include) and you can then send a personalised release.

If you are sending your press release out en masse, then make sure you bcc the email addresses, it is very annoying to find your email address plastered all over an general email.  Also your server may block multiple emails as spam and I usually keep emails to four or five addressees at a time. I also like to track response to those I send out and then tweak my press release if needed.

Also do not send an attachment as this can be bounced.  Instead include everything in the body of your email. You can create in a word document with your book cover pasted in and the body of your press release.  Remember this is a sales message however, that requires a call to action, so first and foremost you need to have a an attention grabbing headline for the subject box.

Think about what might make this journalist who receives hundreds if not thousands of emails per week to open yours.  Is there a topical link to current news – what is the Unique selling point of your book and your title. Dogs are loved the world over so to use as an example this press release is for Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story.

Make it easy for them to find information out about you and your book and to contact you if they wish to.  Keep the body of the press release to fewer than 500 words. You can expand on this if you put together a CV version to send out with books by post or in person. (mine below).

Press releases are usually written in the third person.

The body of the press release expands on the Who- Why – What – When- Where and How of your book. Front cover, back blurb – emphasise any unique points that makes your book different from anyone else.  Remember that editors and presenters are likely to see hundreds of emails and if you want yours to stand out it needs to be as interesting as possible.

Repeat details about yourself with links to websites include the exact URL and if you have a web page or blog then link to that too.

Make sure that you have all the relevant contact details so that you can be reached to take the issue further.

Press Release:  Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story by Sally Cronin – A book for all dog lovers – New on the shelves – 16th September, 2017

About Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member. Millions of families around the world believe that their pet, dog or cat, is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.

Sam shares his life, from three weeks old when he is chosen by his new mistress, through his early years living in rural Ireland with his best friend Henry, a feral and very smelly old cat. Then he tells the story of his adventure crossing Europe, driving two thousand kilometres to his new home in the mountains of Spain, where he discovers new friends and adventures.

He describes his life articulately, and with wry humour, and on occasion deigns to speak; emphasising his need for cheese and hard boiled eggs.

 

One of the early reviews for the book (ask someone you trust to do an editorial review for the book so you can use on publication for marketing purposes until you  have received other reviews)

Delightful Read  on January 3, 2015

Meet Sam and you’ll know why a dog is man’s best friend. Being the owner of a dog for the first time in my life I greatly appreciated Sam’s viewpoint on different aspects of a dog’s life ranging from dog language, going to the vet, car trips, walks, friends, love at first sight, scents, food and, most importantly, being head of security.

The book reads like a personal memoir with photos of the author, her homes in Ireland and Spain, the beaches and, of course, beautiful Sam . It is a pleasant, gentle read that warmed my heart. As far as the type of books where dogs are the protagonist Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is a delightful read.

(Buy links for where the book is available in print and E-versionsAmazon Author Page, Barnes & Nobel, Smashwords etc. You can use a universal link but sometimes that can be a click too far for some journalists. They are more likely to click through to Amazon.)

Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story is available from all online bookstores including Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00GM0HPQE

Review copy available on request.

Also by Sally Cronin

Available Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

About the author Sally Georgina Cronin –   Wexford, Ireland

Sally Cronin is an effective communicator, project manager and coach with over thirty-five years’ experience at a senior level within key industries in Ireland, UK and Spain, including: Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Nutrition and Multi- Media broadcasting. Published author since 2001 with 11 titles in print and E books. Blogger of health and lifestyle topics which receives 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of over 30,000 followers.

Availability for interview by Skype, landline or locally in person.

Contact details.
Email: Sally.cronin@moyhill.com
Mobile Telephone: XXXXXXXXXX
Landline: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Any further information please contact or refer to the following websites. N.B. If you have a Facebook Author Page, then by all means add that, however you might want to hold off on sharing your personal FB or any other site where you might have shared photographs of you enjoying yourself a little too much on a night out!

Blog/Website: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58

Press Release End.

Once you have prepared in word, check and double check.  Spelling, grammar, contact details etc.  Then get other people to read it.  Did it interest them?  Did it read well?

Do not be disappointed if you do not get a call back or a response.  You are competing with many other press releases on every subject. Quite a few will be from other authors with requests for interviews or even a mention. This is another reason to start locally as there are less likely to be as many authors promoting their books at the same time. Also whilst there is an accepted format for press releases the purpose is to attract some attention and thinking outside the box may just do that. Images of yourself and your book cover should always be included but remember not to attach.. always insert into the email in the body of the press release.

I have used PrWeb for Press Releases in previous years as a third party which can get you through more doors.. but they have got quite expensive.. However here is a useful link with recommended Free press release distribution sites and also some that are very reasonably priced.

http://bookpublicityservices.com/list-press-release-distribution-websites/

I also have a list of the Book Reviewers and Editors for most of the nationals in the UK.. it is time consuming to compile as I also source the editors of the online media, including editors of Women’s magazines. However, that list is then yours for any following books.

Dropping in with your book and your CV.

I did mention yesterday that you can get some real traction locally if you drop a copy of your latest book (and if you have more, then add two of your most popular) personally to your local media.  Your local community radio stations are often delighted to get an interview with an author on their doorstep, especially if it is a local story that you have written about. It has worked for me twice…and now we are back in Ireland I am about to try my luck with my next book.  I will be dropping the latest book and some of my others with a covering letter to two radio stations along the coast.. and also my broadcast CV as I would love to get back into radio part-time.

This is your chance to tell them more about you at the local level.  Are you involved in local charities, organisations, sports clubs.. Anything that shows that you are an active part of the community.  Something about your work background and interests.

Here is my Writing and Broadcast CV as an example.

Sally Georgina Cronin
Email Sally.cronin@moyhill.com – Wexford, Ireland

Mobile Telephone: XXXXXXXXXX
Landline: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sally Cronin is an effective communicator, project manager and coach with over thirty-five years’ experience at a senior level within key industries in Ireland, UK and Spain including: Hospitality, Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, Nutrition and Multi- Media broadcasting. Published author since 2001 with 11 titles in print and E books. Blogger of health and lifestyle topics which receives 200,000 views a year and an established presence on key social media sites of over 30,000 followers.

BROADCAST EXPERIENCE 2004 – 2012

Director Moyhill Productions a freelance production company offering cost effective video options to businesses, authors, musicians, schools and colleges. December 2011 – April 2013.

Station Director of start-up Internet television Station. June 2010 – November 2011 Unpaid consultancy position -News Editor and presenter. Programme development and production. Staff selection and training. Newsreader, Current Affairs editor – Chat show host.

Radio Presenter. Expressfm 93.7 June 2008-October 2010 – voted Best Female Presenter 2010 The Sunday Morning Show – The Thursday Afternoon Health Show – DriveTime.

Radio Presenter, Ondacero International Radio, Marbella, Spain, 2004–2008 – Guest-presenter of The Morning Show and The Main Ingredient, and producer and narrator for three Short Story series.

WRITING AND PUBLISHING

All my books are available through the publishing website http://www.moyhill.com, and Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2 also on Goodreads and Smashwords. Full details of the books with reviews can be found on https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books/

My first book was based on my journal recording my loss of 70kilos at age 42. Size Matters, Especially when you weigh 330lbs received both local and national media coverage at the time and in 2014 was converted into an E book that is now selling to a much wider audience. http://www.moyhill.com/sm

Just An Odd Job Girl was a light-hearted look at marriage, divorce and the aftermath for a woman who is 50 and traded in for a younger model. In both print and E book. http://www.moyhill.com/jaojg

Just Food For Health began life as a workshop manual for my clients and provides a comprehensive guide to the body, major organs and the foods that provide the essential nutrients needed to be fit and healthy. Only in print currently due to the length and the illustrations. http://www.moyhill.com/html/just_food_for_health.html

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story is the memoir of an articulate collie that pretty much changed our lives from the moment he arrived into our home aged 8 weeks. A book for all ages and written from Sam’s perspective which was usually a humorous one. http://www.moyhill.com/sam

Turning Back The Clock is an anti-aging guide which looks at the strategies we can all put into place to slow down the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the aging process. We are as young as we feel so being fit and healthy is important but so is the right attitude. http://www.moyhill.com/tbtc/

Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot is a men’s health manual which covers the specific issues that face men, particularly in middle-age. This includes sexual dysfunction, heart disease and other lifestyle related medical conditions. http://www.moyhill.com/FTV

Media Training the Manual was based on my experience in advertising sales management, retail management, broadcasting and publishing. It focuses on the development of a relationship with local media to assist in promoting organisations such as charities and small businesses but also individuals such as authors and artists. http://www.moyhill.com/mttm

As well as non-fiction books and novels, I published my first collection of short stories, Flights of Fancy which included the novella The Sewing Circle in 2014. http://www.moyhill.com/fof/

This was  followed in December 2015 by Tales of the Garden a collection of fairy stories that brings to life statues and areas of the garden with magic and sorcery. http://www.moyhill.com/tales.

Two more collections have been released in 2017. What’s in a Name? Volume one and two in eBooks, with a combined print version to be released in September 2017.

My current work in progress is Tales from the Irish Garden with illustrations by Donata Zawadzka – Fairy Tales for all ages. Also in 2018 – The Village Square – following the lives of villagers at war from 1939 to 1945.

BLOGGING

I have been blogging since September 2013 and cover subjects which include health, music, publishing and humour but there is a strong focus on the promotion of other writers. I have several long running author promotional series which are based around the virtual Cafe and Bookstore. I also promote other bloggers in the Blogger Daily.

Current series including Smorgasbord Laughter Academy, Cook from Scratch, Smorgasbord Health – Top to Toe and Odd Jobs and characters. Guest writers who contribute regularly include Jazz Singer, composer and musician William Price King, Carol Taylor, Julie Lawford and fantasy author Paul Andruss who is Writer in Residence.

My aim is to create an online magazine approach with wide ranging topics and genres of fiction.

Further details can be found at this link for my About Me page on https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/

SOCIAL MEDIA

I have spent the last four years building up my presence on social media, particularly Twitter which is the second largest referrer to my blog. It is also vital as an author promoter, even in as a free service, to have a viable platform which provides a substantial potential readership.

Social Media connections.
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
https://twitter.com/sgc58
https://plus.google.com/+SallyCronin/about

A final few words

I am looking to get back into radio part-time so I have included my experience in that field. It is important that you too include any experience you have had as a public speaker or previous radio or television interviews.

Do not forget about local online news sites – I expect your area has one or two that are very popular and would be delighted to do an interview or publish and article about you.

Tomorrow – preparing for an interview on radio –Your press release or personal approach has been noticed and you get the call. 

Part one of this series: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/09/15/media-training-for-authors-introduction-dont-be-shy/

I hope this has been useful and of course look forward to your feedback.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Short Stories – The Flying Officer by Sally Cronin

Status


The first time Patrick Walsh saw her, was as he wended his way slowly down the hill between the slow moving trucks on his motorbike. The road was lined with women and old men who were handing out hastily cut sandwiches and mugs of tea to the men in the trucks, whose outstretched hands gratefully received these simple acts of kindness. It was clear from the their faces that they found the peaceful summer skies overhead, and clamour of women’s voices, a much needed reminder of home and safety.

He knew where they had come from, as for the last six days he had been flying over them as they had scrambled into small boats to be ferried out to the larger naval vessels waiting to take them to safety. He and his squadron were a part of the massive air defence operaton. Thousands of soldiers were pouring off the beaches having gathered over the last few days from the surrounding countryside; exposed and being attacked by superior German forces. On the last run today his spitfire had received a direct hit to the cockpit from a persistent Messerschmitt Me 109; luckily missing his head by inches apart from a cut over his eye, earning him a few hours respite. His plane would be ready to fly first thing in the morning. The ground crews at all fighter squadrons were working around the clock to get pilots back in the air until the evacuation from the French coast was complete.

As he carefully maneuvered between the trucks he responded to the shouts from the men above him with a small wave. He knew that their good natured jibes were aimed at his uniform and the wings that it displayed, and that their friendly ribbing was their way of showing gratitude. He decided that it would be easier to wait until the convoy had passed to continue into the village square. He dismounted, standing by the hedge to watch the villagers as they persisted in their need to comfort these dispirited men with tea and offerings of food.

She stood out from the crowd of women. Tall with long red hair tied back with an emerald green ribbon, she was dressed in overalls and wore heavy boots. She had a natural elegance as she darted between an older woman, holding a tea tray piled with jam sandwiches, and the trucks. Despite the men’s exhaustion, eager hands grasped the food, winking and flirting with the prettiest thing they had seen for a long while.

Patrick leaned back against the saddle of his bike and let himself enjoy this brief moment of humanity that was so rare today. He had been flying since the first weeks of the war and his squadron had suffered huge losses; particularly in the last few weeks as they had provided air cover for the retreating British forces. They had been warned that far worse was to come as the enemy amassed both fighters and bombers for an all-out offensive on the country. Having already lost many friends, Patrick knew that it was only a matter of time before he became a statistic.

Some of his fellow pilots and aircrew decided that they would live as hard as they fought. There were plenty of pretty girls around the station that were delighted to dance the night away and bring some laughter and sometimes love into the young men’s lives. He had seen the results of these whirlwind romances at the Saturday night dance in the village hall. As the airmen arrived in an ever changing group of young men, expectant faces would be watching the door and it was not unusual to see a girl being led away in tears by her friends.

Patrick loved to dance but gently refused the invitations to take to the floor and over the last few months he had become regarded as something of a misery. His friends gave up on their attempts to persuade him that he should live for the moment, and with a wry smile he listened to the chat up lines that were guaranteed to pull the heartstrings of a pretty girl.

But now as he watched the red head flying back and forth and smiling up at the men in the trucks, he felt an overwhelming urge to hold her in his arms and waltz around a dance floor. He shook his head and reminded himself that it would only lead to heartbreak for her, and he couldn’t bear the thought of those beautiful green eyes filling with tears.

An hour later the last truck in the convoy disappeared through the village square and out of sight. There would be more coming through from the coast, and Patrick watched as the crowd of villagers gathered up their cups and trays and disappeared back into their homes. They would prepare more from their meagre rations for the next wave of returning soldiers and be waiting for them by the roadside. He remained by the hedge until the red headed girl had linked arms with her mother and entered her house before riding down to the square.

‘Patrick, are you awake my friend?’ The voice of his Polish friend Jakub intruded into his daydream about dancing with his stunning red head.

‘Just about, do you want to go to the Black Swan for a beer? He sat up and rested his head in his hands and tried to bring his mind back to reality.

He looked around the Nissen hut that was their home, taking in the four empty cots that waited for the new arrivals. They would be mostly teenagers with only a few hours flying solo, and none of them in combat. He was only twenty-four, but he felt like an old man compared to the fresh faced and eager boys that would come through that door tomorrow.

It was now August and the skies were filled with formations of enemy bombers most nights. His plane was grounded again having the undercarriage repaired after a problem on his last landing. His mechanic said he had the ‘luck of the Irish’. Patrick was well aware that he was now one of only a handful of pilots remaining from the original group a year ago; he knew that his luck was bound to run out sooner or later. There was just one thing that he needed tonight, and that was the sight of Red, and she would be helping out her dad behind the bar at the Black Swan.

Two hours later he and Jakub sat quietly at a corner table with their glasses of beer. One beer was the limit as both of them would be back in the skies tomorrow; a cockpit was no place for lack of concentration. Jakub was married and expecting his first child and was happy to sit quietly in the warm and welcoming atmosphere thinking about his next leave in a week’s time. Patrick however spent his time watching Red as she served customers and laughed with the regulars. That laugh was in his head and was added to all the other pieces of her that he carried with him as he flew missions. The thought of those green eyes helped dispel the voice of the other constant companion that was by his side each time he buckled himself into the cockpit. Her presence in his heart and mind had helped him control his fear; bringing the realisation that he was in love for the first time in his life.

Over the weeks since that first day on the hill, there had been moments in the pub, when he would catch her eye and they would both smile then look away. By sitting at the bar when he popped in alone, he had gathered more information about her. She wasn’t called Red of course, but Georgina and Georgie to her friends. She didn’t seem to have a boyfriend amongst the regulars who frequented the pub, and one day he overheard that she had been engaged to a soldier who had been killed within weeks of the war starting.

He would watch as she gently refused all attempts by eager young warriors to take her on a date, realising that her heart had already been broken. This reinforced his resolve not to give in to the growing need to tell Georgie of his feelings; convinced it would only bring her further sorrow.

Through the rest of the summer months missions intensified, with both daylight and night bombing raids on the docks and major cities; almost bringing the country to its knees. In the October the tide began to turn, but not without the loss of thousands of fighter pilots and bomber air crews. It was then that Patrick’s luck ran out as he limped home with a badly damaged plane and shrapnel injuries in his chest and arm.

Patrick fought to stay conscious as the plane shuddered and bucked as he flew using his one good hand. Blood from a head wound almost blinded him, but as he saw the runway rushing up to meet him, he managed to bring the nose around and head for the grass to the side. The last thing that he thought about as the world went black was Georgie’s face and laugh.

A month later Patrick got one of the pilots to drop him off at the Black Swan and he walked into the early evening quiet of the bar. He had just received his new orders on his return from the hospital. From Monday he would be moving into an intelligence role where his experience in combat could be put to use. He was making a good recovery, but the extensive injuries to his arm meant the end of his flying career; now he would be ensuring that he kept others safe in the skies. In one way he felt that he was abandoning those that he regarded as family in their close knit squadron, but he also knew that it offered him the opportunity to fulfil a dream that was equally important.

Georgie was polishing glasses and looked up to greet the new customer with her usual smile but instead she took a deep breath. As he moved closer Patrick could see that there were tears in her glorious green eyes. Georgie stepped out from behind the bar and walked towards him, glancing at his arm in its sling and the scar that was etched into his forehead. She stood in front of him and neither spoke for a moment until he reached out his good arm to take her hand.

‘Is there any chance that you might let me take you to the dance tomorrow night?’

She smiled through her tears. ‘How are you going to be able to dance with only one free arm?’

He pulled her into him and looked down at the lips that he had imagined kissing so many times in the last few months.

‘Don’t worry Red… I’ll manage just fine.’

 

©sallycronin 2017

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you enjoyed the story. Thanks Sally

Guest Post – Wendy Janes – Musings on proofreading fiction and non-fiction


As writers it is always helpful when those who edit, proofread and format our words, provide us with tutorials.  This post by Wendy Janes was published two year’s ago but I think is worth revisiting. Particularly as I need to update Wendy’ books.

I will now hand you over to Wendy…. enjoy.

710u6nvmhnl-_ux250_Musings on proofreading fiction and non-fiction.

Back in the twentieth century when I started out as a freelance proofreader I worked solely on non-fiction, mainly academic texts for a variety of publishing houses. Each had an in-house style guide that editors and proofreaders were expected to work from, which was very useful for a newbie who felt she needed a safety net.

In addition to correcting grammar and punctuation, I became involved in decisions about the hierarchy of headings, styles for different types of lists, plus the setting of figures, tables and boxes. I was also required to check in-text quotations and references against bibliographies and reference lists, as well as ensuring that bibliographies and reference lists were set correctly and contained full publishing details. It was meticulous and rewarding work.

Friends used to remark that I must be very clever, since I spent my days reading so many interesting books about obscure aspects of subjects such as education, history, politics, art and film. Alas, this wasn’t the case. Although I had been totally immersed in a book while proofreading, once I’d finished, it was astonishing how little I could remember. Maybe there’s only so much my brain can retain. However, one fact I do recall is that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were delivered by the same midwife.

Anyway, let’s get back to the proofreading…

After a few years, a publisher offered me a novel to proofread. Elated by a sense of freedom – no lists, no figs/tabs/boxes, no quotes and, joy of joy, no extensive bibliographies and references to double-check – I reckoned this was going to be a doddle.

To my surprise, it wasn’t.

Very quickly I discovered that I had to constrain my initial impulse to impose every single rule I’d been required to use when proofreading non-fiction. Let’s take the following sentence, as an example:

The therapist should ensure they keep their notes up to date.

In the textbooks I’d been proofreading I was expected to change this to:

The therapist should ensure he or she keeps his or her notes up to date.

OR

Therapists should ensure they keep their notes up to date.

Some of my publishers encouraged their authors to make a note at the start of the book if they had chosen to run with masculine or feminine, but the mix of singular and plural was to be avoided at all costs. This is far less of an issue with informal non-fiction and in novels, where common usage and flow is more important. For a while when proofreading fiction I had to physically stop myself from correcting this. Mentally, I still make the correction, whatever I’m reading.

Similarly, I would correct the following contractions in the reference books I was working on:

Good therapists don’t doodle in their notebooks during therapy sessions. It’s not professional.

TO

Good therapists do not doodle in their notebooks during therapy sessions. It is not professional.

That formal style would make for a very stilted novel, and in dialogue (unless the character is particularly prim and proper) it would sound downright wrong.

As I received more fiction titles it became clearer that while errors in fiction can suck all the drama from a novel, errors in non-fiction make the reader doubt the authenticity and accuracy of the information. I also realised the importance of listening to the novelist’s voice and the need to take time to decide when to intervene and when to let something go. In fact my touch is now much lighter with both fiction and non-fiction, and I reckon that makes for better proofreading.

I believe I was lucky to start off proofreading non-fiction for publishers, picking up invaluable tips from the editors I worked with while honing my skills. I think this post is a sort of thank you for that start. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to make the move into proofreading for independent authors. Initially, working with indie authors felt like swinging through the air on a trapeze without a safety net below. No in-house style sheet to rely on, no editors to double-check things with, just a knowledge that I had the confidence and skills to take that leap, catch the bar, execute a perfect somersault and land gracefully on the other side.

Books by Wendy Janes

Wendy JanesOne of the excellent reviews for What Jennifer Knows

‘What Jennifer Knows’ is a subtle and shocking tale of modern family life and relationships.
Sensitively drawn characters charm us but we, like them, are unsure who to trust. The shifting nature of loyalty and love is portrayed through searingly honest glimpses into the characters’ lives, both past and present.

The children in the novel are beautifully drawn and the way Tim’s siblings give him the acceptance and understanding he needs is both heart-breaking and wonderful.
As the complex plot deepens, we become so caught up in the characters’ lives that we have a real sense of urgency to know what will happen. How will Jennifer deal with what she knows? The final twist gives a fitting ending to this extra-ordinary book.
 

Wendy Janes

One of the reviews for What Tim Knows and other stories.

After reading and enjoying “What Jennifer Knows” by Wendy Janes, I was looking forward to seeing what these short stories held. Although all the stories were engaging, my favorites were “The Never-Ending Day” and “What Tim Knows”.

“The Never-Ending Day” tells the story of a new young mother, and I was completely impressed with Janes ability to make the reader feel this poor woman’s anxiety, fear, and isolation as she tried to adjust to her new role as a parent. Becoming a mother is often painted as an awe-inspiring experience, but in truth we know that many women struggle with the new responsibility, and when they do it’s easy for them to feel as if there’s something wrong with them. This piece was intensely honest, and I was relieved when the story ended on a positive note.

“What Tim Knows” tells the story of a young autistic boy going to his first birthday party. Janes did an excellent job of showing what it must be like to go inside the mind of someone on the spectrum and the constant struggle to make sense of the world, especially as a child.

Janes has a wonderful ability to place herself inside the hearts and minds of a variety of character types, making her readers feel empathy for those characters, even in instances when the reader may not particularly like them. I would highly recommend this read. 

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Janes/e/B016J66C9G

About Wendy Janes

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. She is the author of the novel, What Jennifer Knows and the short story collection, What Tim Knows, and other stories. She has also contributed short stories to a number of anthologies, including the fundraising anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage.

Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only need a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

As well as writing contemporary fiction, she loves to read it too, and spreads
the word about good books online and in the real world.

Wendy is also a freelance proofreader, and a caseworker for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.
There are many testimonials for Wendy’s work and I am just sharing one with you here. I suggest that you pop over and read the others. You will be impressed.

“Wendy proofread my second novel, she is a pleasure to work with. Her knowledge, skill and sharp eyes picked up numerous, minor errors which both I and my editor had overlooked despite numerous read throughs. Wendy noted misleading sentences, caught graves which should have been acutes and found spaces in places they shouldn’t haven’t been.

My manuscript now sparkles, and I would definitely use Wendy again. Her prices are fair, her work is exemplary, and the proofread was completed ahead of schedule.
Thank you, Wendy, for a scrupulous and professional service. Thoroughly recommended.” Sam Russell, author of the contemporary romances A Bed of Barley Straw and A Bed of Brambles
 

To find out more about Wendy, proofreading, her own published work and how to get in touch here are the links.

Website: http://wendyproof.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wendyproof
LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/pub/wendy-janes/56/852/11a/en
Google + : https://plus.google.com/106071781880105004637/about
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/wendyjproof/about

My thanks to Wendy for her very interesting and useful post and you are of course welcome to share in anyway that is physically possible.  You are also most welcome to contribute to this blog.  I consider it a collaborative work in progress and the more variety the better..

Formatting your own Ebook – Q & A with David Cronin


We have now reached the end of this series that David posted on formatting and publishing your Ebook professionally. It is now time for the Q & A and if you have not read all the posts or specific ones of interest to you perhaps you might like to take the time this week  and then if you still have any questions make a note of them in the comment section.. David will then answer those here so that everyone who might have a similar query gets the answer too.

You should find most of what you need here but if not then you will find an email address at the end of the links. Thanks very much to those of you who have shared and commented on this series and glad that you found it interesting and helpful.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/the-ebook-doctor-making-your-own-ebooks-by-david-cronin-part-one/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/the-ebook-doctor-part-two-which-ereaders-for-format-your-books-for19394/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/the-ebook-doctor-part-three-anatomy-of-an-ebook/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/the-ebook-doctor-anatomy-of-an-ebook-continued/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/writing-your-own-ebook-part-four-what-ebook-format-should-i-use/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/making-your-own-ebooks-part-five-what-can-you-do-with-your-word-processor-to-make-your-ebooks-better/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/writing-your-own-ebook-part-six-creating-the-ebook-framework/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/making-your-own-ebook-part-seven-finishing-the-framework-for-the-book/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/making-your-own-ebook-part-eight-how-to-clean-the-formatting-in-your-word-file/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/making-your-own-ebook-part-nine-making-a-fresh-start/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/making-your-own-ebook-part-ten-metadata-your-digital-book-cover/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/making-your-own-ebook-part-eleven-fonts/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/writing-your-own-ebook-part-twelve-finaleimages-and-useful-links/
Mailbag
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/the-ebook-doctor-mailbag-epub-and-pdf-the-differences/
https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/mainstream-vs-self-publishing-2014-the-numbers-are-looking-very-interesting/

David Cronin

After over 30 years as a senior executive across the cable, telecommunications and cable television industries, David Cronin founded the Indie Publishing company Moyhill in 2004. Already involved with computers since the mid 1970s he quickly made the transition to book designer and publisher and the first book that Moyhill published in 2004, The Red Tailed Hawk, in Spanish won best digital print book in the UK that year.

If after reading these posts and the Q&A you feel you need more assistance to give your book a final polished format then you can contact him direct on TheEbookDoctor@gmail.com