Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Discoverability - Publishing in different formats

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

For those of you who write for children, paperbook is probably the only version to do, esp if you write for younger readers eg under 9 year-olds. I currently write for 7-9s and will only publish in print for that age range, especially that I have discovered children of that age do like paper books more. When I come to write the next series, which will be for 9-12s, I might do an ebook version, too. Children of that age do have Kindles as I have been told by one mother who wanted a book for her daughter who was ten. My previous children's books are only available in ebooks for now, but I plan to start putting them back into print this year.

For those of you who write for adults, all three choices are good options, esp ebook and print. There is also audio. I won't be doing this as I don't make enough money on my adult ebooks to warrant this.

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

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

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

More changes in Womagland

That is the land of women's magazines, esp fiction. Authors who write fiction for womags, esp Woman's Weekly, are up in arms at the moment because of recent changes that have been found out. They weren't happy before because their payment date was changed to when their story was published and not on acceptance like it used to be. Now they are even more unhappy as there are two more changes now that the company who owns the magazine has been taken over. The following changes are:

1. Stories accepted, whether by new or established authors, will have acceptances on an 'all rights' basis. This is not good at all. All rights means that they take all your rights away from you so you are no longer the copyright holder of the story, and you can't do anything else with that story yourself, inc submitting it to the ALCS. It also means the magazine can do what they like with it and maybe not pay you for it. Wrong on all accounts.

2. New authors who get their story accepted also have a pay cut. It used to be £150 but it's now £100, and possibly no chance to have a raise with more stories published.

So, if you do want to have a story accepted by Woman's Weekly, please think again. If you're not sure about the contract that comes with it, you could try to get it changed but it might not work. The only option is to refuse to sign and find another market for that story. or self-publish it.

The best blog to read about all this and more on writing for womags is https://womagwriter.blogspot.com/. Even the author who runs this blog says she would refuse to sign the contract on the all rights basis now.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Support your local library

I had a book launch at my local community library on Saturday, and it was brilliant. The librarians are very friendly and helpful, esp the main librarian called Sue. This is why I want authors and readers to support their own local libraries, esp community ones. I have been doing events and taking part in the library's own events such as fayres over the last 5 years. They have been understanding and supportive of me and my Asperger's, and are always helping me and praising me to their customers. So, if you are an author, please think about doing events at your local library, even more if it is a community led one like mine. There are a few others libraries in my borough, but none of them have been interested in me having events there. It has just been the community led one, who support me as an indie author. I thank them each time for having me. But I made a bigger thank you to them, esp Sue, by mentioning them in the acknowledgement pages in the back of Susie and the Jiggling Jumper (available on Amazon).

So, go and find your local library and ask if you can do events there from time to time. You will be bringing in more readers to them as well as yourself. A win-win, I believe.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Patience is a virtue...

It certainly was for me the last week when I had been trying to publish my latest children's book on Createspace. I didn't complete the first setup to start with, then there was a problem with the cover, then the interior file, then the cover, then inside again. The cover was sorted out by my illustrator. It was accepted. The interior file (contents) aren't perfect as there are no page numbers and the text isn't the same length on each page (like the others) but I am going to get it sorted out very soon as my illustrator has said she does interior formatting, and I will ask her to help me out to reformat it. Anyway, Tuesday just gone I finally got Susie out the in world. Her story is now on Amazon, available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Susie-Jiggling-Jumper-Rainbow-School/dp/1720452539/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528460311&sr=1-1&keywords=susie+and+the+jiggling+jumper.

This story is close to my heart because Susie is based on me when I was at primary school, with Asperger's and heart problems (I still have both).

I hope you will buy it and spread the word about Asperger's and heart problems that go with it.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

I am a hybrid author

Keep meaning to write this post but so busy with home things going on and writing my books. Am here now.

I believe now that I am a hybrid author. For those not in the know, a hybrid author is someone who writes for both mainstream/traditional publishers and is self-published. I always thought of myself as just an indie author until last year that is. I read a blog post by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (do read it if you are an author) last year, and she wrote that she is a hybrid author. She wrote that as well as self-publishing her books, she also writes short stories for magazines. It got me thinking - what have I had published in mainstream magazines? Fillers. Lots of them over the years. So I have been published traditionally too. This makes me a hybrid author. I am quite pleased with that title. I will be having a short story published in a magazine in July, so that definitely will make me a hybrid author.

So, if you think you are just an indie author, think about what else you might have published? Esp in magazines. You could be surprised like I was.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

ASD, gastro problems and anxiety - tips to help

I don't recall having any gastro problems as a child, or being anxious to cause it. I was anxious, I know, cos I used to bite my fingernails (not done so for over 20 years now.)

I am not a health expert, so these are just my ideas.

If your child does have gastro problems cos of anxiety, then try to calm them down. Maybe with a toy they like, or singing if that's what they like doing. Get their mind away from what is going on with their body to something they enjoy.

For older children to adults. There are two ways that help me at times, that you could try.

1. Deep breathing exercise that can be called 'the 4-5-4'. You breathe through the nose to the count of 4, hold for 5 seconds, then breathe out of your mouth to the count of 4, relaxing as you go. Do that a few times. I have done this on a bus to go shopping to calm my anxiety so I didn't have to dash to the toilet.

2. Mindfulness. I was taught this in CBT. I usually do it in bed at night. I lie down, arms at my side, breathing in and out calmly. I tense my feet for a few seconds then release, then my legs, working my way up to my head. Then I loosen my body so I'm relaxed enough to turn over and go to sleep. It is meant to work.

I hope these can be of help to your autistic child.

Sunday, 22 April 2018


April is Autism Awareness month, and IBS and Stress Awareness month, and all three of these can be closely connected. People with autism often have gastro problems, which IBS is one of, and stress from autism can cause IBS, and this is why I am posting about all three now.

I have autism and IBS. My IBS started when I was an adult in the 90s. Most of the time it is caused by foods. Other times it is from nerves, anxiety and stress.

My tips if it is due to foods is to work out which ones cause the problem and eliminate them for a month, then add them back in to your diet one by one with a few days in between. That way you will get to know what the foods are to avoid. My foods are many. I'm intolerant to dairy, gluten. I can't eat raw apples, carrots, or dark green veg, except a few Brussels. I can't eat too much fibre either. I have since found out that many of these are high FODMAP foods. (Fermented, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monos and Polyols (sweeteners ending in 'ol')).

If you know for certain that a particular food causes a problem eg stomach upset, then avoid it altogether. I avoid all dairy and gluten foods, esp butter which makes me v ill, except Marmite. I esp avoid wheat as I know that does give me IBS flare ups.

So that is what to do if food causes you gastro problems. What if it's anxiety and stress? Read my next post for that topic....