Posts Tagged ‘Publisher-CompletelyNovel’

Self Published Sunday: Interview with David L. Atkinson

This week we welcome David L. Atkinson.

inceptusIn this fifth Steele novel, Patrick tackles the person who has been surreptitiously dogging his footsteps over a number of his adventures. This is not without risk, and when the focus of his love, Naomi Kobayashi, disappears, Patrick’s ability to function is seriously affected. We begin to find out more about the man himself as the adventure takes him to Eire, France, the USA, before he returns to resolve the issue in the UK. Will Patrick finally rid himself of a deadly enemy? Can our hero rescue his love, or is it already too late?
Inceptus is another tension-filled, action-packed Patrick Steele adventure with the support provided by the team he has developed over the years

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing seriously about four years ago although I have written poetry for many years. I began writing because I’d reduced my work to part time and knew that I wanted to produce a novel.

What is your writing process?
The only things I tend to do is a brief outline that includes beginning situation and central characters and title pages, acknowledgements etc.

What prompted you to self publish?
I had submitted about 8 times with the usual rejection letters then saw an article in Publisher’s Weekly recommending Completely Novel and I’ve never looked back.

Tell us a bit about your self-publishing journey – just how did you do it?
I have half answered this question above but there was further justification in the blogs I’ve read from fellow indie authors. Added to that it seemed to me that anyone who is a celebrity can get published because their name is going to sell books irrespective of quality. The growth of self-publishing and the scope that is available for marketing has kept me in the indie game.

Can you tell us about the challenges and the achievements you have experienced in your writing and self-publishing journey?
The challenges have honestly been very few, mostly around formatting which varies between companies. Similarly, I have not had many achievements of any great significance apart from selling books in the USA, Canada and Europe.

We hear a lot about collaboration in self-publishing – do you work with other people (editors, marketers, publicists etc) when publishing your works?
I have worked with three different people on editing – that is all the collaboration in which I’ve been involved.

How do you get feedback on your work? How valuable is it to read the comments and reviews of others?
I am not one for looking at reviews because I believe that writing is an art and the reviews are almost entirely subjective. I will write irrespective of what people think. Those reviewers who criticise grammar or punctuation are like someone criticising the brand of paint an artist uses. Those who criticise style and content are entitled to their opinion but obviously it won’t coincide with mine.

Have you considered traditional publishing?
Yes. I still would like to be published out of a sense of vanity, I suppose, but I’m not that desperate.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Would you recommend self-publishing?

To answer in reverse order I definitely believe that self-publishing is the way to go. Advice for aspiring writers – well writing a book is rather like eating an elephant – you can only do it one mouthful at a time. Seriously though, if you’re writing a novel write the first 3 chapters before you review your work. I have spoken and read about many people who have written their first chapter, reviewed their first chapter and started again and they’ve done this several times! If you write the first three then review the beginning you will be happier with the style and content and are more likely to continue rejuvenated at your prowess.

Just for Fun:

If your book was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)?

Jason Statham

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?

Mark Knoffler

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee

Write at home or outside?

Home

Pen or PC?

PC

Email or letter/postcard?

email

And the all-controversial: print book or ebook?

Yes – both. My experience is that people who like reading have both.

image003Born in Sunderland, David L. Atkinson went to college in Bradford where he trained to be a teacher, a profession he followed for 34 years. After leaving the teaching profession he worked in a bank before taking up retirement. He remained in Yorkshire where he now dedicates his time to writing. David always had the ambition to write and eventually began writing in 2009. He has now completed five novels and is working on a sixth. He blogs daily at http://david-latkinson.blogspot.com, where you can find short stories, poetry and recipes, as well as commentary on the writing process.

Inceptus is available to buy from CompletelyNovel (here).

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Tom Evans

Today we welcome Tom Evans, author of The Zone

the-zoneWe know intuitively when we are in the zone. We know all too frustratingly when we are out of the zone. What we don’t often know is where this mythical zone is. Sometimes we end up there more by accident than design. When we’re out of it, there’s no map to get us back there.
The Zone is that map that shows us that there is not just one zone but many. We have Doing Zones and Being Zones. We can even get trapped in Danger Zones. It explores where the boundaries of the Zone lie and how to get past Border Control without a passport.
The aim is to end up in the Magic Zone. This is a place where we can live a charmed and enchanting life. It’s a place where we go with the flow and we stop pushing water uphill.
If you perform live as a sports person or on stage as a singer, musician or presenter, you will find much here to help you keep at your peak. If you work in the creative sphere where you are performing too but off line, this book will show you how to deliver high quality output consistently. If you are in business, there is much here you can use to give you a competitive edge.
When you are fully immersed in The Zone, life becomes a breeze and takes on a magical quality.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I wrote my first book by accident at 35,000ft over the Atlantic in a 747. It was called 100 Years of Ermintrude and tells the life story of a centenarian in just 33 poetic stanzas. As a result of writing it, I ended up walking around London in a bra for 26 miles, for Walk the Walk, and becoming an author’s mentor and a specialist at clearing writer’s block.
What is your writing process? (i.e., do you follow a regular routine?)
I write from 8:30 to 11am most days but only after meditation and either Mind Mapping or doodling around the subject I am about to write about. This tunes me into my Muse and gets the left and right brains working in sync.

What prompted you to self publish?
The last book I had traditionally published took them a year after getting my final edited draft. I wrote the sequel just after completing it and was able to publish the sequel 9 months ahead of its prequel by using CompletelyNovel.

Tell us a bit about your self-publishing journey – just how did you do it?
After publishing my first three books with traditional publishers, I had just finished the last chapter of my fourth book, opened up my emails and there was an email from CompletelyNovel. I uploaded the draft that day and got a printed copy back in a week (which makes proof reading so much easier). So it’s fair to say that self-publishing found me, not the other way around. Now it’s my first choice for speed and control.

Can you tell us about the challenges and the achievements you have experienced in your writing and self-publishing journey?
The only challenge I face, common with other writers, is spreading the word about my books. I found, though, that having a publisher made no real difference. What is great these days is that authors support each other and social media gives us global reach.

We hear a lot about collaboration in self-publishing – do you work with other people (editors, marketers, publicists etc) when publishing your works?
Yes, I have an online TV vodcast and audio podcast channel, and I interview other authors where there is overlap between our works. This promotes both of us.

How do you get feedback on your work? How valuable is it to read the comments and reviews of others?
I love all reviews. Good ones make my day. Not so good ones make me a better writer. I had a 1 star review the other day in a sea of 5 stars. It was really clever and funny and made me laugh and not take myself too seriously.

Have you considered traditional publishing?
Yes, I’ve done it three times and was not impressed. If the right publisher came along who was serious about marketing and taking a 21st century approach, I’d be open to having a chat though.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Would you recommend self-publishing?
My advice is to write something every day, no matter how small, as this exercises our linguistic neurological centres. Then share it via blogs, ebooks and in print. Only by sticking our heads above the parapet will we learn, and the doors it opens for us will amaze and astound us. I got my second publishing deal within 24 hours from a single blog and tweet that had nothing to do with the book. Just making connections allows serendipity to flow.

Just for Fun:

If your book was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)?
My last but one book, This We Know, would be a TV documentary and be narrated and fronted by Stephen Fry.

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
It would have incidental music by Moby and an opening song by Ed Sheeran.

Tea or Coffee?
I’m a tea man. No sugar but an accompanying digestive biscuit is my reward after each writing session.

Write at home or outside?
Both, I am mobile.

Pen or PC?
Tablet – my iPad is used for all first drafts, Mind Mapping and even cover design

Email or letter/postcard?
Email

And the all-controversial: print book or ebook?
Both but with ebook first to test the market and get reviews then an audiobook as this is the best way ever to proof read followed by print.

tom_whitebgTom Evans is an author, author’s mentor and wizard of light bulb moments.
He has spent 30 years in the cutting edge of product development in the broadcast and Internet industries. He has a knack for explaining complex concepts in simple terms. More recently has been researching the psychology and physiology behind inspiration and is lifting the lid on the mystery of where ideas, and thought, come from.
He has written three books on the creative process. Blocks explores what stops us being creative. The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments is all about those special types of thought that appear in less than a second, yet change our world forever. Flavours of Thought is an exploration of the different types of thought that appear in our heads.
His books, Planes of Being and This We Know, are philosophical explorations into what it means to be human and where we might be going as a species.
His latest book, The Zone, explores how to get into that creative space where our productivity soars and we get things done in ‘no time at all’.
For more information visit Tom’s Website (here) or his his facebook page (here), alternatively you can converse with him on Twitter (here)

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Sarah Honeysett

Please give a warm Big Book Little Book welcome to Sarah Honeysett.

severe-discomfortMarried for over thirty years, Lyn and Terry Walker bicker their way through an enforced early retirement in the house where they raised their two sons, resentfully supporting and depending on each other. Injured in a road traffic accident some years previously, Lyn takes comfort in her role of ‘Nana’ while husband Terry, unfit for work after two heart attacks, bitterly resents his loss of status as a skilled working man. But an anonymous letter triggers an investigation into their disability benefit entitlement by the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Walkers’ income is cut in half as a consequence. Worse, they are told they must repay over of fifty thousand pounds.
They seek help from the ‘Solent Welfare Rights Project’, where Terry’s case is allocated to awkward young trainee Sally Archer and office comedian, Toby Novak, while Lyn’s caseworkers are political activist Martin Connolly and veteran adviser, Hilary Carrington. The team will need all of their experience and ingenuity if they are to win the Walkers’ cases – but can they possibly succeed?
Topical and controversial, Severe Discomfort presents a sympathetic, claimant’s-eye view of the complex Social Security system and the tea-fuelled world of a cash-strapped independent advice project, with its eclectic workforce, peeling paintwork, second-hand furniture and eternal optimism.
Read the opening chapters and order the book at: http://www.completelynovel.com/books/severe-discomfort–1

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I wanted to give a voice to some of the people I’d seen in crisis during my work as a benefits adviser: I’d written a lot of serious reports about the Social Security system, but nothing to capture the imagination of someone not already involved with that line of work. Of course, I can’t write about real clients or their cases, but ‘Lyn’ and ‘Terry’ can be found in the waiting rooms of Citizens Advice Bureaux and Law Centres the length and breadth of the country every day of the working week.

What is your writing process?
‘Severe Discomfort’ started as odd episodes written during my husband’s weekly evening at the pub with his chums! These were stitched together, reviewed, distilled and rewritten, during the damp days of last summer until I had the finished story. I wrote something most days, and often spent all day writing! I’m currently redrafting a story with more ‘cases’ from the Solent Welfare Rights Centre, which I started immediately on finishing ‘Severe Discomfort’ and its sequel. That’s been happening spasmodically, but I’ll be more systematic about that when the nights draw in and the weather stops me gardening again.

What prompted you to self publish?
Impatience! The benefits at issue in ‘Severe Discomfort’ are being phased out over the next few year; the argument over whether this is right or wrong is happening right now and I want my book to play a part in that debate.

Tell us a bit about your self-publishing journey – just how did you do it?
Impulsively! I didn’t really want to use Amazon – they were getting panned for their tax affairs at the time and so hardly seemed a suitable vehicle for this project – and I couldn’t afford to squander hundreds of pounds on a glitzy ‘vanity publishing’ package. Trawling the Internet, I stumbled on CompletelyNovel’s website and really liked the friendly, co-operative feel of it, the eco-friendly ‘print-on-demand’ scheme for producing proper paperback books, and the quick, helpful responses I received to my queries.

Can you tell us about the challenges and the achievements you have experienced in your writing and self-publishing journey?
My biggest challenge is that I’m quite shy and not comfortable self-promoting, so I tend to apologise when asking people to read or review my books: it’s a lot easier now I’ve decided to donate any profits to Stoke-on-Trent CAB and I’m lobbying for a good cause. I’m genuinely proud of finishing ‘Severe Discomfort’ and its sequel, as I’m not great at completing projects. I’m also chuffed to have done quite a decent job of the cover and typesetting, thanks to CompletelyNovel’s online toolkit.

We hear a lot about collaboration in self-publishing – do you work with other people (editors, marketers, publicists etc) when publishing your works?
I’m sure I should, but apart from involving a trusted friend as proofreader, it’s been largely a solo project so far.

How do you get feedback on your work? How valuable is it to read the comments and reviews of others?
I tried the first draft out on close friends and family, and had some really helpful suggestions for edits from them. When I promoted the paperback through a campaigning organisation for disabled people, I got a couple of super reviews on Amazon and a request to make the book available as an ebook for better accessibility.
Best of all, I’ve had praise for my writing from people I really respect and who I can trust not to flatter me. One friend even declared that reading the book had made him ‘a better person’, which was extremely touching.

Have you considered traditional publishing?
I did try to interest several literary agents in ‘Severe Discomfort’ in the autumn of 2012 but as it didn’t fit neatly into any genre, and was quite open about its political nature, I wasn’t especially surprised to be rejected.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Would you recommend self-publishing?
Definitely, but don’t be haphazard and nervous about marketing and promotion as I’ve been. It’s no good being shy; if you’re proud of your work, tell everyone you know and don’t apologise for doing so!

Just for Fun:
If your book was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)?

It would suit the book to cast ‘unknowns’ in all the roles, although there are a few jokes about a certain character bearing a passing resemblance to George Clooney, so…?

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
It would have to include Uprising by Muse for Sally Archer and some Abba for Lyn, plus a few chords from Puccini’s Tosca at key moments in Hilary’s story.

Tea or Coffee?
Tea. Gallons of it!

Write at home or outside?
At home, on my own or in the evening. Especially J’s pub nights!

Pen or PC?
PC at home and work; pen for proofreading and notes on the narrowboat.

Email or letter/postcard?
I use email a lot, but when time permits I love writing, and receiving, letters.

And the all-controversial: print book or ebook?
I’m a Luddite at heart – it’s because I wanted to produce ‘real’ books that I opted for the CompletelyNovel publishing package

DSCN3517About Sarah: After working in Welfare Rights and Housing for twenty-five years in Hampshire and then Staffordshire, I took voluntary redundancy from Stoke-on-Trent Citizens’ Advice Bureau in the spring of 2011 to set up as a self-employed gardener. And there I was, fork, trowel and spade at the ready, when the ‘summer’ of 2012 came along… ‘Plan A’ was effectively rained off.
Missing my colleagues, clients and the world of welfare rights advice, I started to write about it. A few months later I had the first draft of Severe Discomfort and when the final version remained utterly resistible to several literary agents, I found CompletelyNovel online and through them self-published this first book and its sequel, Continual Supervision.
I rejoined Stoke-on-Trent CAB at the beginning of August 2013 in a training role, and I’m now donating any profits from sales of Severe Discomfort and Continual Supervision to this organisation, as right now we need all the help we can get.
I also write a light-hearted gardening blog with an occasional splash of social commentary at sarahhoneysettsgarden.blogspot.co.uk and comment seriously on Social Security policy at raggedskirt.blogspot.co.uk

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Self Published Sunday: A Completely Novel Experience

We are delighted to welcome Richard Sterry, author of Stay Away from the Buttercups, to discuss the experience of writing and publishing his novel.

Cover-Stay Away from the ButtercupsIf you are a cyclist, the appeal of the South Downs Way in the South of England is one of the Must Do mountain biker’s rides. To complete the full 100 mile length is one thing but to achieve it 3 times in succession is in a league of its own. The book describes the journey of the Triple ride, which dips into several technical areas that may help you achieve your next cycling quest.
For those who have a dream or a crazy goal, the book takes you on the journey how my crazy goal was conceived, established, planned and conquered. Even when my body was giving up on me for the second time, the deep rooted focus and determination gave me the strength to see it through to the finish.
Along the way many other people joined in with the journey by being part of the support crew, riding with me along the route and following my progress on-line. It is the contribution by all the onlookers and supporters that has made the journey so memorable and worthwhile. I want to thank everyone for volunteering to play their part and helping me to make a piece of history.

Completely Novice

37 hours on the bike with no sleep had physically and mentally broken me. My mind was full of the amazing 300 mile ride yet I was swamped by the emptiness of what to do next.

Writing about my experience provided a soothing release. Describing the journey calmed my mixed emotions and settled my thoughts. Recounting every detail, I pieced together my version of the ride. It looked good to me, but on discussing it with my friend Louise Poynton (a freelance sports journalist) she encouraged me to reshape it and add some colour. Incorporating the chatter from a cycling forum about my ride and the tweets during the event brought my words to life. Adding other people’s account of my crazy challenge gave another perspective.

With my family checking the words for spelling and grammar, I researched how to publish a book. Swamped by the number of choices for fonts, page sizes, margins, page numbers, headings and titles, I did my homework. Obtaining permission from the variety of sources and checking for copyright information added to the complications. I felt certain that a self-publish approach was the way forward for me with the attractive low cost print on demand feature. I had no idea on how well the book would sell.

Struggling to enter the unfamiliar world of book publishing was a challenge. Louise put me in touch with Andrew Sykes who had recently published his book “Crossing Europe on a Bike Called Reggie”. Andrew’s simple and effective message was to start with an ebook on Amazon, then go to the helpful people at Completely Novel to produce the paperback version.

Releasing the ebook after a couple of weeks was an amazing feeling.

Formatting and typesetting the paperback version took a few weeks. I couldn’t create the cover until I had uploaded the manuscript, as the width of the spine was calculated according to the number of pages. How do you design a cover with the most basic of Microsoft software and no artistic talent?

The FAQs at Completely Novel were really informative and my further questions were quickly answered by Anna Lewis, she even helped me get the barcode on the back cover.

Touching and feeling in my hands the first paperback book was incredible. The sharpness of the pages and the recognition of the contents gave me a deep warm smile inside.

Regular tweets gained steady sales of the ebook, achieving 5 Star reviews, whilst my blog received an increasing number of hits. Many of the 200 people mentioned in the book were at the Brighton Big Dog race in August. Launching the paperback version at the race, each rider received a promotional card in their goody bag and flyers were posted around the arena and on the course.

Andrew’s advice was really helpful; I wish I had sought more advice earlier.

My journey into the publishing world was challenging and exciting. Hopefully my book will inspire you to chase and conquer your own crazy dream.

RichardSterrySDWAbout the Author – Richard Sterry
Reading was boring at school and writing was equally dull. I also hated sport and anything involving too much effort, such as homework.
30 years later I became fitter than some elite athletes, I rode a bike non-stop for 37 hours covering 300 miles of the South Downs, then I wrote a book about it.
The transformation is tremendous and I describe in the book my amazing journey and the mental strategies required for succeeding and achieving your crazy goal.
Living in Reigate, I married Fiona in 1989 and our 18 year old twins have just completed their A Levels. In addition to the South Downs, I am often riding around Box Hill and the Surrey Hills enjoying the beauty of the South East of England.
More information about richard and his work cam be found by visiting Richards blog (here) or by conversing with Richard on Twitter (here).

Stay Away from the Buttercups is available to buy from CompletelyNovel (here) and from amazon.co.uk (here).

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