Thursday, 31 March 2016

Questions and Answers...

This morning I had a fantastic discussion with a few author friends regarding audiobooks and whether they are worth all the hassle and cost.

While we were talking I remembered that I had recorded a few bits and pieces from a couple of my novels. I will share those over the next few weeks if you like!  Please comment below and let me know if you would like audiobooks too!

Today, though, I would like to post this recorded Q&A session from the release day for Rosings.

Readers asked me questions and I answered them!  It was a pleasure to listen to this again!

I hope you enjoy it too! xxx

Monday, 28 March 2016

What to do when your book isn't selling...

All writers have experienced it, and those who haven't are either telling huge porky-pies or are amongst the 1% who actually make it as 'best-sellers'!

What am I talking about?

Having that one book out there, published, and not selling!

Anyone who has written a book knows what it feels like to pour a piece of your soul onto the pages, pay quite a lot of your, hard-earned cash, for someone to edit it, then pay someone else to wrap it in a gorgeous cover before you click the button and publish it.
Now, that sentence doesn't hold the weight it needs to. You bleed your soul into a book. Your life. Your experiences. Every book, film, and TV show you've ever watched gets mashed into little useful snippets you can add to YOUR book.  
By YOUR I mean, YOUR.  No one else could ever, ever have written that book!  If you gave a synopsis to two writers you would end up with two entirely different books. Why? Because you are unique!
So, we've established how hard it is to write a book and also what you put into it.  
Then, you're paying out hundreds of pounds. Yes, hundreds of pounds in editing, covers, marketing, etc and that's BEFORE you publish!
So, you publish, praying to make your money back, at least!
And.....the books sits there. Doing nothing. Earning nothing. 
You're out of pocket.

What do you do?

Well, go ahead. Have a hissy-fit. Moan about it to your spouse.Cry!  Go on, sob! Deeply!
It sucks!  Get those emotions out - IN PRIVATE!

Then, pull up your socks and think about what you can do.

You could go the complicated Smashwords route and make it perma-free. By going permanently-free, your book would then be what is known as a 'loss leader'. Hopefully, drawing readers by its constant 'freebie' status to, again, hopefully, buy your other books. It's a risk....but your choice.

Or, you could go the Amazon  only, KDP Select route. Since the majority of your sales will be through Amazon (that seems universal for all authors), then this might be the option for you. You sign up for KDP Select and then every 90 days go free for 5 days, then do a price countdown, where the price is reduced significantly - wash, dry, and repeat. This can go on endlessly every 90 days.

Lastly, take the book down. Unpublish it. It's not selling anyway, right?

I personally would not go with the last one. Why? Read the beginning again. Look what you've put into it!

Maybe it needs re-editing. Maybe it needs rethinking and anew sub-plot added. Maybe there's nothing wrong with it at all. It's a cracking good read that no one has picked up yet!

TIP: If it's part of a series, edit the cover and the inside (You can do that at any time through KDP) and abandon the series idea; erase all traces that this ever would have been a series!  That is, unless, you have the whole series burning in your head and heart. My advice then, would be, write it and make the first non-selling book a 'loss leader' through Smashwords.
If the book/series needs to be written, i.e. you would die if it isn't, then do it!

You are under no obligation to anyone to write the whole series if book one isn't selling. Often that will kill your passion for the series anyway. Scrap it and start another book you really want to write. 

Hopefully, these ideas will get your book selling. Even if it's only in dribs-and-drabs. That's better than not selling at all, eh?

In the end of the day, remember one this, "This above all: to thine own self be true..." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Write to please YOURSELF!  Do not write what you think people want to read; if you do, your heart and soul won't be in it!
When you write what is in your soul to write, people will read that, and love it. Kick start the sales with some of the ideas above, and, most importantly,  Don't give up!

And finally, it has been said that the best trick for selling books is to write more books!  Keep going!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A clipper ship, a bride, and a cover artist...

This week has been tremendous so far!
Yes, I am aware that it is still only Wednesday, but I have had the most amazing and successful two weeks!

Firstly, I have been writing. You know this, of course, because you read my last post.
Secondly, that writing has been prolific. That's the only word for it. PROLIFIC. Yes, the capitals were necessary!
I am excited to say that I have reached the 90% mark in the first draft of The Spice Bride, the first book in my planned Emberton Brothers series.
Phew! Let me take that in.... it's nearly finished!! Woohoo!! How exciting is that?
I am so amazed and blessed! Yay!!

So, this week has been filled with, not only more writing, but with images of clipper ships, beautifully adorned Regency ladies, and with discussion with the fantabulous Miranda Stork from Moon Rose Covers. (You know who I mean -- the lady who did Rosings and The Uncanny Life of Polly!)

We are drawing closer and closer to a decision on the cover art. I am in a whirlwind of excitement! I really am! I will do a cover reveal, when it's all done and ready.  I cannot show you and mock-ups because, as you may or may not know, they remain the property of the cover artist until the final one is finished. :-D

Do check out Miranda's great art HERE and I will keep you updated as to my continued progress!
Oh..... you can also keep an eye on that via the widget-thingy on the right of the page or by going to the Coming soon page!

Have a great week!  I know I will!

Hugs K xxx

Thursday, 10 March 2016

The air is filled with spices......

Where have I been?
I cannot say, because I do not know.
I lost my muse. I admit. I simply did not know what to write and had no motivation to write for a whole year!
Gosh, that seems ever-such a long time!
Now...I am back!
I am motivated, and I am writing, and loving every minute of it, too!

I really want to share with you a little of what I am doing. I know you can look on the 'coming soon' page or on the sidebar to keep an eye on any progress I make (if any!!). Yet, there's nothing quite like me actually posting a wee snippet of what's going on, is there?

Here we go.......

The setting..... India and the air is filled with spices.....

(Taken from The Spice Bride by Karen Aminadra ©2016) *(UNEDITED)

Grace stretched lazily in the hammock hung between two columns on the veranda of the plantation, and yawned. The sun was high in the sky and beat down mercilessly upon them all. It was too hot for her to walk about amongst the slaves that day. However, she had at least made the effort. She donned her bonnet after breakfast and headed out to the cottages with the intent of being as much use as she could to the elderly slaves her father allowed remain on the plantation after their useful working life was done. He said it was his Christian duty to do all he could for the poor souls. Grace felt the same, although not in the same way as her father. Slavery did not sit well with her. Whenever she looked into the faces or the dark brown eyes of the Indians it was as though she could hear the Reverend Clarke’s voice echoing inside her mind, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Neither bond nor free. She sighed and breathed deeply in the spice-scented air. There were times when she was ashamed of herself and now was one of those times. With a burst of energy, she sat upright and climbed out of the hammock. “What on earth has come over me? It’s too hot to help today!” She threw her hands up in the air in desperation and marched off towards her room. “What is my discomfort compared to that of those who are in slavery here on our plantation?” she mumbled as she walked. “All this,” she waved her arm around her as she continued to her room. “All this is because of them.” She entered her room and quietly shut the door behind her. Hurrying over to her bed, Grace knelt down and prayed. “Dear Father God, none of this is of my doing, but I know that if I can do anything at all to lighten my fellow creature’s burdens then I must. Please give me the fortitude I lack for the task. Amen.” She rose, went to her bowl and pitcher and washed the dust and perspiration from her face, neck and hands.
Once again, Grace picked up her straw bonnet, placed it on her head, tied the dusky pink ribbon under her chin, and set out for the cottages. As was her practice she passed through the kitchens and collected her basket, which remained where she left it that morning after deciding the day was too hot to venture outside the house. Without a backward glance, she marched off determinedly to visit one elderly man in particular – Dipali. He was so old and unable to move that he was incapable of feeding himself during the day while his family worked. “I will take on that task.” She cried out.
Grace ignored the cook as she called after her, “Miss Grace, where do you think you are going in this heat? The master will be in a temper if he knows you went out in such weather!”
Grace cared not. Her vigour was renewed and her shame at being so weak that morning urged her onward. The cottages always made her feel uncomfortable. They were roughly made out of wood and most of them were nothing more than one room for a family. The inhabitants, who were too sick or with child and not in the cinnamon forests, stared at her as she approached. She felt uncomfortable. She knew she had no right to be there, but pushed on regardless. As she neared Dipali’s cottage she saw that it too was in need of repair. I must speak to father about these conditions. This, at least, he ought to attend. She knocked on the roughly hewn door but no answer came from within. She knocked again and called out. “Dipali! It is I, Grace. Grace Hayward. Are you there?” She paused and strained her ears for any sound from Dipali. “May I come in?” 

Grace pushed open the door and stepped inside. Despite there being only two rooms and no floor at all, the cottage was remarkably clean and tidy. There was an area along one wall where cooking utensils were stacked, and against the back wall, there were grass mats and blankets in need of darning. A sound to her left made her jump. She turned and saw in the tiny side room Dipali lay on his mat with his hand raised in greeting. Grace gave him her warmest smile. “Dipali, how are you today?” In one motion, she entered the room and knelt beside him, caring not that her muslin dress was pressed against the soil. He placed his palms together as in prayer and bowed his head to her. She had long since discovered that this was some sort of greeting amongst the natives and repeated the gesture back to him.