Cover Unveiling Coming Soon

I’ve done this before.

So you’d think I could decide on a cover fairly quickly. It should be an easy process. But it’s not. Anthony, my cover designer has the patience of a saint.

I chew on my fingernails and ponder. Is the art work right? Is the font the right size; is it in the right spot? Does the blurb make any sense to anyone else but me? Is the layout good enough? Is it eye catching enough? Then finally I think it’s nailed and I stuff up the dimensions of the book. And I find out that size really does matter. So many things to think about.
Yes, getting the book cover right is time consuming.

So where is the cover for ‘Out of Nowhere’, you ask? Coming out soon.

How do I Market a Collection of Short Stories?

Eighteen months ago I decided to expand my writing horizon and learn how to write short stories for no other reason, than to see if I could. Playing around with voice and structure, I was inspired by lots of different things around me and let my imagination run wild on the page.

Some of my stories were leveraged from real events which I suppose many writers do. I read somewhere that writers should write what they know. Historical fiction for me is not necessarily what I know but what I’ve found out. My short stories on the other hand are closer to what I know or have observed.

Now that I have a collection of short stories what do I do with them? One of my stories has been published in the Monash Writers Group Anthology while another was short listed in the Lane Cove Literary Awards.

I’ve published one novel so why not publish a collection of short stories. The process is similar. It needs an editor, a snappy book cover, an ISBN, formatting etc.

But the marketing is quite different. My novel fell neatly into an historical fiction niche. Where does a collection of short stories fall? Who reviews short stories? Who are my readers? How do I get a readership in amongst all the books that are published daily?

If anyone has successfully marketed a short story collection, I would love to hear from you. In the meantime, I’m getting read to publish and take the leap into another new round of learning.

How do you take your books?

The other day someone asked, “How do you take your books?”
“With a cup of tea or a gin and tonic depending on the time of the day,” I replied with a grin.
But it got me thinking.

With bulging bookcases and little space, some years ago, I began reading my books electronically saving space and weight particularly when on holiday or travelling. Reading on my iPad meant I didn’t have to search for the best lighting – I could just take it with me. Simple and easy. The cost of electronic books was also very affordable which meant I could buy more. With so many advantages to reading on a device, why don’t more people buy and read their books that way?

Perhaps it was a fad but I find myself now reverting back to the good old paperback. I like to hold it and flip the pages back and forwards. To read the blurb on the back cover, inside cover, to look at the artwork. Sure I can do that electronically, but I like the feel of it in my hands. Sometimes I just don’t want to look at another screen.

 I like to read in bed – a paperback doesn’t hurt as much as a dropped iPad on the face. Yes, that has happened to me. I bought a new book shelf and I actually love to look at my books – I don’t get that same feeling with the books on my device. Sometimes, I scan the shelf, pick a book I’ve already read, open it anywhere and start reading. I’m also fussy when I buy a paperback not just because it’s more expensive but it has to earn its place on the tight real estate space of my book shelf.

I haven’t totally given up electronic books- I still get them occasionally. Now I’m thinking about audio books. I can listen while I’m out walking or driving and I like that idea.

Thinking about that question again, I’d say, I take my books in a variety of forms but I prefer the paperback.

What about you?

It’s my anniversary.

Twelve months ago I launched my debut novel, ‘Climbing the Coconut Tree.’ Three years ago I commenced my writing journey, made a heap of mistakes and learnt a lot along the way.  How time flies.

So how’s it been going?

Here’s my report card on Climbing the Coconut Tree-:

  • It received 23 reviews across various sites.
  • It’s available to buy across UK, Europe, USA, Australia and NZ in print format and across more than 70 worldwide digital platforms including Amazon, Kobo and Apple.
  • E-book sales are 12.6% of my total sales.
  • It’s available in seven libraries and two independent book stores in Melbourne.
  • Three book groups have included it on their list.
  • It’s travelled the length and breadth of Australia, across the Pacific to the US and  Europe in the hands of multiple readers, many of whom have embraced the beach lifestyle and drink of choice, gin and tonic.
  • It’s been spotted with a number of celebrities, including past Presidents, sportspeople and movie stars although they may have been in a wax museum . . . see my earlier post on that one https://sckarakaltsas.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/whos-reading-my-book/

What else is coming?

My collection of short stories, ‘Out of Nowhere’ is completed and once the cover is finalised will be released shortly.

A short story, On the Side of a Hill was recently published in the Monash Writers Anthology. Another called, ‘The Surprise’ was short listed in the Lane Cove Literary Awards in 2016. Both stories will be available in my collection.

I’m also working on another historical novel called, ‘The Perfect Stone’  set during the Greek Civil War in 1948. Hopefully it will be out in 2018.

Whew! I guess I have been just a little bit busy.

What does your book pile say about you?

pics-of-books
I love to read.

Last year, I read some terrific books including – The Natural Way of Things; All the Light We Cannot See; People of the Book; One True Thing; A Man called Ove; Of a Boy; When There’s Nowhere Else to Run; The Marriage of Opposites; Donna Quixote; La Rose; Where My Heart Used to Beat; View from A Barred Window to name just a handful.

I’ve listed twelve titles randomly and realise that six of them are historical fiction. My list consists of seven Australian authors, six of whom are women. Interestingly, of my list of twelve, nine are by women. Many have won awards and two are self-published.

I do like to read historical fiction.  In fact, I like it so much that I wrote and published my own historical fiction. Now I’m in the middle of writing a second novel set in Northern Greece during the Greek Civil War. I confess I’ve only just recently realised this about myself. I always thought I read widely – perhaps not widely enough across genres. There’s three written with the Second World War as a backdrop;  five set in Australia; one in the US; one in Europe; one in Sweden and one in the Virgin Islands.

Perhaps I like historical fiction because I like history? I’m not a history buff but I do like to learn about historical events through story. I like being transported back in time and place. I guess that’s what draws me. That, and of course, a well written book which is probably written by a woman set in Australia. Is that called unconscious bias? Too bad if it is.

I enjoyed each book in my list of twelve but if I had to name a favourite for last year, it would have to be All the Light We Cannot See – that’s one I’ll read again and again.

As for what I’m reading currently? You guessed it – another historical fiction called Beauty is a Wound set in Indonesia but it is written by a man.

What does your book pile reveal about you ?