27 May 2013


by Kate Atkinson

I’ve just finished reading Kate Atkinson’s new book, Life After Life.  It’s an unconventional story about a girl who lives different parts of her life over again.  I wouldn’t say that it’s about reincarnation, although I must admit, it has left me wondering how, exactly, to describe what’s happening in this story.
Confused?  Let me try to explain.
Ursula Todd starts out life in 1910 and promptly dies.  She then starts out life again, also in 1910, and this time she survives. This sets the pattern for this book that presents a kaleidoscope of possibilities.
I started to think that the author was just presenting different scenarios of the same situations, but as the story continues, it’s clear that, at times, Ursula does experience déjà vu.  Although, having said that, it’s never made clear to the reader whether she remembers her previous lives.  This creates an atmosphere of mystery.  At least it did for me.
It’s a rich story filled with the most wonderful characters, all interesting and unique.  The story continues on through the First World War, the 1920-30s and into the Second World War where Ursula, now in her thirties, experiences the London Blitz.  And so does the reader.  It’s so marvellously written that I felt I was watching a movie.  Hats off to Kate Atkinson’s wonderful writing!
This is a thought provoking book because it shows how the different choices we make in life, however large or small, create totally different outcomes.  I enjoyed it very much even if I am left with a certain sense of confusion.  I think I’ll read it again!

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20 May 2013

SELF PUBLISHING AN EBOOK - PART 5 - Publishing your eBook

So, you now have your eBook formatted, you have a book blurb that will capture your readers imagination, an eye catching cover, ISBN, and you have chosen where you will publish.  But before you start this process, give some thought to the following:-

Your eBook’s retail price.
You will find information on pricing at both the Kindle Direct Publishing site and Smashwords.

Categories to place your book in
On KDP during the publishing process, you will be asked to place your book in two categories.  For example, for my mystery books, I chose Police Procedural and Suspense.  You will have the opportunity to choose your categories from a drop down menu.

Keywords that describe your book
You will also be asked to choose keywords that will place your book in searches. For example, for my mystery books I chose mystery, detective fiction, murder/mystery, cozy mystery etc.  I seem to remember that you can have 7 keyword phrases so it's probably a good idea to give some thought about them beforehand.  

Here is a link to KDP that discusses categories:-

When uploading to Smashwords, you will be asked to choose keywords that describe your book such as mystery, cozy mystery, crime etc., depending on your genre.  There again, best to have a few keywords in mind before you begin the publishing process.

Also have your formatted manuscript ready to upload, and your book cover.

Here are links for uploading your book to Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords if you have chosen to use one or both of these.

Good Luck!

Any questions?

PART 1 - Self Publishing an eBook - Formatting your manuscript
PART 2 - Self Publishing an eBook - Writing a Catchy Blurb
PART 3 - Self Publishing an eBook -  Book Cover/ ISBN
PART 4 - Self Publishing an eBook - Choosing Where to Publish your eBook

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13 May 2013

SELF PUBLISHING AN EBOOK - PART 4 - Choosing where to publish your eBook

Now that you have your manuscript formatted for an eBook, a catchy book blurb prepared, and a fantastic cover created, you're ready to publish your eBook.  But where can you do that?

For the purpose of this post, I'll list just a few that come to mind.  

KDP Select enrolment (See KDP)

I’ll talk about the ones I have had experience with, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) which is the eBook publishing arm of Amazon, KDP Select, also with Amazon, and Smashwords.

Kindle Direct Publishing KDP
If you choose to publish your eBook on Kindle Direct Publishing, it will be available for sale on Amazon in Kindle format.  In so doing you are allowed to publish your eBook on other retail outlets such as Smashwords, Google, Google Play etc.

Kindle Direct Publising and KDP Select
If you choose to publish on both Kindle Direct Publishing and also enroll it in the KDP Select program, your book will be available on Amazon in Kindle format but must be exclusively sold on Amazon.  In other words, it cannot be sold through any other retail outlet such as Smashwords.

If you choose Smashwords, you have the opportunity for your eBook to be available for sale not only on Smashwords but also through the retail outlets that Smashwords distribute to.  These include:-

Barnes Noble
Baker & Taylor

PART 1: Self Publishing an eBook - Part 1 - Formatting your manuscript
PART 2: Self Publishing an eBook - Part 2 - Writing a Catchy Blurb
PART 3: Self Publishing an eBook - Part 3 - Book Cover/ ISBN

Any questions?

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6 May 2013


Whether you're planning to create your own book cover, or employing a cover design service to do it for you, give some thought as to what you want your cover to look like overall.  This includes colour, font/size, and the position of the title in relation to your name.
Remember, your book’s cover is yet another shop window that will help draw readers, so it must be eye catching in every respect.
To find a cover design service all you need do is a Google search and you will be overwhelmed.  Plan to spend some time on your choice.  Most sites will have a gallery of their work, and the all important price list.

In the meantime, you might like to take a look at these sites.  Please note that I have not used any of these myself.




The International Standard Book Number (ISBN), is a number that uniquely identifies your book.  This can be purchased from your country’s national ISBN registration agency.

For example:-
United States - RR Bowker
Australia - Thorpe-Bowker

Please note that if you publish your book in paperback format as well as in eBook format, they will each need their own ISBN numbers.  And for the paperback edition you might also consider having that ISBN attached to a barcode.

If publishing your eBook on Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon), it is not necessary to have an ISBN number as Amazon assign ASIN#’s to all their eBooks for identification.  However, if you do choose to have an ISBN as well, this number can be entered during the publishing process.

If publishing on Smashwords, you have the choice of obtaining a free ISBN from Smashwords or providing your own.  However, if you use a Smashwords free ISBN, Smashwords will appear as your publisher rather than yourself.

PART 1:  Self Publishing an eBook - Part 1 - Formatting your manuscript

PART 2: Self Publishing an eBook - Part 2 -Writing a Catchy Blurb

Any questions?

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