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.

’tis the season

img_3352This time last year, I was grappling with the intricacies of publishing and feeling somewhat nervous about releasing my work into the world.

Thank you to everyone who provided me with so much support throughout the year. The many lovely responses to the publication of ‘Climbing the Coconut Tree’ has been truly amazing and beyond my expectations.

One year later; my collection of short stories is nearly complete and I’m over the half way mark for my second novel.  I’ll let you know more about these two projects early next year.

So for now, I’m going to relax (as much as anyone can in the lead up to Christmas) for a couple of weeks enjoying a hot summer in Melbourne.

I’d like to wish you and your families a joyous, peaceful  Christmas and may 2017 bring everything you hope for.

S.C Karakaltsas

The Journey of a Book

 

Courtesy of Andrew Richards
Courtesy of Andrew Richards – Hamilton Island

Do you ever wonder where books go after purchase?

Some stay in their wrapping tucked away waiting to be read. Some sit on a bedside table or bookshelf in company with others.   But a book can be lucky to travel to far off places.

Readers are letting me know that ‘Climbing the Coconut Tree’ is getting around and since publication earlier this year has travelled around the world.

The drink of the day in the late 1940’s in the tropics was gin and tonic. Readers in the Whitsunday’s certainly got into the ‘spirit’.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Richards
Photo courtesy of Andrew Richards -Whitsundays

Set in the Central Pacific, this historical fiction revisited ghosts of the past in Fiji where the murderer was tried and executed in 1950.

Stuck in the vegetation in Fiji
Fiji

Last month it enjoyed the magnificent sights and sounds of Bali before relaxing on the beach. What a perfect location for reading about life in the tropics?

Courtesy of Sandra Goding
Courtesy of Sandra Goding- Bali

It made it to Byron Bay, too late for the Writers Festival but relaxed instead by the pool.

Courtesy of Susan Richards
Courtesy of Susan Richards – Byron Bay

I’ve heard from sources that it’s been sighted in most capital cities in Australia, Colorado,Paris, London, Italy, Canada and Majorca.

Where next?

If you would like to share a photo with me feel free to send it via my contact details.

My Book is Actually Published.

It was quite accidental really. After uploading my book into Createspace umpteen times, fixing format, spell checking and staring at the same errors over and over, I finally pressed the approve button.

Then the message popped up, “Congratulations. You are now published.”  Oops! I hadn’t meant for it to be out there so soon.

You see I ‘d decided to present my book at a formal book launch with supportive friends and family, but somehow it made its own way to the  Amazon book store. Then  within a few days the book was purchased not by one but three customers. I was very nervous as well as excited. Of course, the launch is still being readied.

I just can’t quite believe it, but now I’m a published author.

But a word of warning – go back and check the instructions before you press that approval button.

If you’re curious, feel free to check  out my novel “Climbing the Coconut Tree”  at the link below.

The Publishing Merry-go-Round

I had restructured, edited and rewritten my whole book. Spent nights and days thinking about nothing else.

It was time to send it out to traditional publishers.

I researched how to write a pitch or query letter. There are plenty of great ones on line.  I carefully read the submission requirements for each publisher. I tested the waters and sent the first three chapters off to three or four publishers.  Then sent another three or four and so on. So then the waiting began. Most tell you that if they want to read more they’ll get back to you. You may never hear back and, if three months has passed then you know that you will never get a response. That’s just the way it is. It’s nothing personal – it’s just business.

One afternoon I received a phone call from Adam. He rang to let me know that my submission had been received- a nice touch instead of the obligatory email, I thought. He had read my query letter and asked me a few questions about the book. Like a job interview, I answered his questions and well, perhaps earbashed him with my enthusiastic response. He told me that he would refer it to the team for them to read. I hung up the phone in disbelief and excitement. But I think, in truth, I was feeling anxious. Was I truly ready for someone else to read my work? Did I want to hand over my baby to others?

A month later, I received some rejection letters from other big name publishers. Thanks but it’s not what we’re looking for … and so on. It was as I expected.

Then Adam called. “We’re interested,” he said, “but we need to get an evaluation report externally to determine the books saleability. We might need to change the title or structure.” He went on to say that I would need to make an investment to meet the cost of the evaluation feedback. Warning bells rang in my head. Traditional publishers never ask for money. Was Adam a vanity publisher? That is, one who’ll publish your book for a substantial fee. His web page indicated otherwise.

It was my turn to interview him. My years in business enabled me to get some answers. And I wasn’t very satisfied. The whole reason why a traditional publisher is sought after, is for their distribution network. They can get your books into book stores. Yet Adam’s distribution network was very small and mostly in schools. Then, I heard a podcast, warning writers about unscrupulous publishers stinging writers for tens of thousands of dollars. Adam’s company was one of them. I realised that he was not the publisher for me. Which is why it’s so important to research publishers.

It is indeed a hard slog for writers to get a book published by a traditional publisher. It is after all a business for book sellers, distributors, agents and publishers who together must make a living – often taking 90-95% of the takings from a book sale. The author gets the rest.

It was time for me to take stock and consider my options.

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