Book Tours and Reviews and Oracle Readings!

It really has been a busy few weeks, and things seem set to continue in that way. This is just a short update, to mention a few things that have been happening.

First of all, I had a lovely review posted by Tiffany Hathorn, who read and loved The Elphite. She also interviewed me for her blog the other week. It seems mad that many people have read and loved The Elphite, but I have so few reviews on Amazon (or anywhere) for it. I’m determined to remedy that, by doing some more marketing for it, a part of my Visionary Collection launch.

I have finally edited and posted a new Oracle Card Reading, and will post another later in the week. You can watch it below 🙂

[youtube http://youtu.be/UOzIPZiV8z0]

And finally, in this short update, I would like to put a call out to anyone who would like to get involved in my book tour, because I have to say, I think it will be epic! You can check out all of the details on the website.

Aside from that, I am focussed on finishing I’m Here, ready for release in just a couple of weeks, and organising more publishing workshops. (Oh and watching Fringe – ever so slightly addicted to it!)

I will post another update soon!

Advertisements

eBook Workshop in West Wales

I will be holding a workshop in Lampeter, West Wales, on the 6th May, in which over the course of a day, I will take the participants through the process of publishing an eBook. It’s going to be a mad, jam-packed day, as there is quite a lot to cover!

For the course fee, each aspiring author will receive the day’s tuition, a comprehensive manual, and follow-up e-mail support. There are only 8 places left, so if you live in West Wales and would like to learn how to publish your own eBook, get in touch. You can e-mail me at theamethystangel@hotmail.co.uk or call me on 07910946573.

I will be holding more of these workshops in other areas of Wales and England, so if you are interested in attending one, please get in touch and let me know where you are.

workshop flyer

Sorting out the Editing!

The weather has been so beautiful in the UK this week, that I decided to spend the day editing my new novel, I’m Here, in the sunshine. Increasing the brightness of my screen solved the visibility issue, but the sun was getting a bit too bright for my eyes, and seeing as I don’t own any prescription sunglasses, a hat was needed.

Well, this was all I could find…

wpid-20140418_104104.jpg

Sat in the sun, wrapped in a blanket and wearing a sorting hat. Can editing get any better than this?

Yes, it is a leather sorting hat. I created it for the Harry Potter parties that I did last year for friends, and my own in January. I thought it would get too heavy after a while, but I have worn it for the morning, and thanks to the amazing hat, I have finished the first edit of my novel. Because of writing the novel over such a long period of time, there were a few inconsistencies that needed clearing up, as well as a couple of threads that needed tying up at the end. I’m ready now to pass it over to my editor and my trusty beta readers, to get their feedback. As yet, no one else has read it, so the jury is still out on whether it is any good. Seeing as I plan to publish it by the end of May, I’m crossing my fingers that it is!

Joking aside, I cannot stress how important the editing stage is. It still amazes me when authors put their work out without having it edited or proofread by someone other than themselves. I do edit my books quite a lot, but I know that having another pair of eyes, (or two or three pairs) is invaluable. I’m not saying that my books will be completely error-free, but I do strive to get them as good as humanly possible before releasing them into the world.

Very, very soon, I will be revealing the new covers for the Visionary Collection, including the cover for I’m Here. I absolutely adore them, and I cannot wait for you to see them. But until then, have a giggle at my mad editing selfie 🙂

 wpid-20140418_113851.jpg

On Taking Advice

blue butterfly

I don’t know about you, but as a writer and a creative, I often find it difficult to take advice. Oh, I have no problems in giving advice, I could do that all day. Accepting and actioning advice from others? Hmmm, well, uhh, yeah, maybe.

As an avid advice-giver, I know how frustrating it is, when you offer something advice, or even when they ask you for advice, and then when you give it – they ignore it completely. *cue screaming into a pillow*

First of all, I would like to apologise to anyone who has given me advice in my life which I have ignored, I’m sorry for being stubborn, I’m sorry for thinking I knew best, I’m sorry if it upset you. Of course, I don’t regret a single choice I have ever made in my life, because it has brought me to where I am right now, and I wouldn’t change that for anything. But there is a chance that had I heeded some of the advice along the way, I could have got here without so many obstacles.

Conversely, I have been given advice over the last few years, that I HAVE followed, only to realise later that perhaps the person dispensing said advice did not have the best intentions for me. So, I have decided that there must be some kind of method, some sort of formula for which advice should be followed, and which should be ignored.

The criteria that should be met by someone whose advice I will give serious consideration to, is as follows:

1. They genuinely want me to succeed in whatever the advice is given for (whether it’s my business, relationship etc.)

2. They’re not profiting from the advice they’re giving (this is a tricky one, will address this further below.)

3. They are an expert in that field, and they have tested out their own advice.

4. I would trust them with my life. (or at least with my livelihood and happiness!)

(I believe that advice that comes from a source that does not meet the above criteria, should be treated with caution.)

In the past few years, I have taken advice from people who have not met the above criteria, and it has not been good advice for me. I took relationship advice from someone who I found out later, did not want my relationship to succeed, and though I don’t regret what happened as a result, it made me realise that perhaps I was just a little too trusting, and didn’t listen to my intuition.

The part on profiting from the advice, well, that is tricky. Because someone might be advising me to do a course or buy a product, that will genuinely help me. Yes, they might be making money from the transaction, but it could be exactly what I need to change my life. But there are so many just trying to make money, who aren’t really interested in me or my success, and that’s why I need to look at all four of the points above before deciding.

I run a small Indie Publishing business, called The Amethyst Angel, and I get queries from authors who want me to work with them to independently publish their books. Often they say they just want formatting, or proofreading, as they don’t feel it needs any editing work, they’re happy with it they way it is. The first thing I will do (which I don’t charge for) is to read the manuscript. And I warn them that I will be completely and utterly honest about what I think. I have told some authors that I think they need to completely re-write the book before considering having it edited, and I have told some authors that it needs editing before it can be proofread and formatted. Sometimes, they listen, and we work together and produce awesome books, and also become very good friends, after all, I genuinely want them to succeed. And sometimes, they don’t like my advice, and they go and find someone who will just format it and publish it, as it is, with no further work done on it.

Being an Independent Author means that it’s entirely your choice. It’s their choice to ignore my advice, and that’s fine, after all, my opinion may not be the same as others, and I accept that. But what I want them to know, if that I’m not giving them that advice so I can make money from them. I am giving them that advice so that the standard of Indie books is raised up just a little more. At the end of the day, I am an Indie Author. I am on the author’s side. I would never tell an author that a book needs work when it doesn’t because it would be a waste of my time and their money. And I will not work on a book that isn’t even ready to be edited, because it would end up costing the author too much. I would always advise them to re-write, revise, and find willing beta readers who will help them first.

I apologise for my rant. But I do feel very strongly that this is an important issue. If Indie Authors want to be seen as professionals, if they want to be taken seriously in the publishing world, then it’s time they started producing professional pieces of work. Now, I’m not saying that as an Indie Author, I have it all figured out, because I don’t. In fact, I’m currently re-branding three of my books because my original covers and blurbs aren’t cutting it. I created the covers myself, and though I thought they were good, and others seemed to agree, I realise now that they do not do the books justice. Because whether we like it or not, a large percentage of people do still judge a book by its cover!

I will keep you updated on the new covers, they should be ready to be revealed very soon, and I hope that my advice on taking and ignoring advice was useful to you! Have a wonderful week 🙂

Gallery

Ready to launch!

Well, it’s very nearly launch time, I have everything packed, ready to go tomorrow. It’s amazing how much preparation has gone into getting everything ready for a two-day event! And it’s amazing how many awesome people have helped me to … Continue reading

The end is nigh….

The wait is nearly over! In just a few weeks my novel will finally be available to buy! I am on the last edit, and the over is nearly done, will be ordering my proof copy soon! Then the real hard work begins…

I’m launching my novel at the Heart of the Dragon Festival in Newcastle Emlyn, West Wales, on th 2nd July 2011. It’s going to be a great event, I can’t wait to take my dragon there!

I’d better get back to the editing, just wanted to post a quick update, here’s the link to the dragon festival website if you want more info:

http://www.heartofthedragonwales.org/

See you there!

Long time no blog!

I know, I know, I promised to update the blog as often as possible, but the thing is, you can’t blog about self-publishing if you haven’t actually done anything in the area for a while! But I have done some editing this week, I have changed on the digital copy all the errors I found in my boyfriend’s copy, though there are a few storyline things that need sorting. My boyfriend finished reading it yesterday, and gave me the best compliment I could ask for : “It would make a great movie.” Aside from books, I have always been a huge movie fan, I absolutely love losing myself in a good romance, drama, comedy, action, fantasy – any film, actually apart from horror or period drama! Well, there may be a few exceptions to the period dramas, there are a couple I like. I’ve fantasised about having my books made into movies, because when I write them, I see them in my mind as a movie. And I would love for everyone to see what I see. But I would propbably be quite an annoying writer, because I would want to be involved in the film-making process, and I think I would insist that the actors playing the characters actually have the personality traits of the Earth Angels… oh dear, I’m not sure who would be brave enough to take me on!

Well, I’m afraid this post is going to be brief, because I’m in the middle of scrapbooking a page for my birthday, which is today! I’m attempting to capture who I am in this moment, by writing down my likes, loves and passions. I think it will be interesting to look back at in a few years time!

I will write more soon, but until then, make sure you smile at strangers, you never know, you might just make their day 🙂

Merry Christmas!

The New Year is still four days away, but I feel impatient to get going with the publishing process, problem is, I’m not entirely sure where to begin… you would think I would have a plan or schedule of sorts, but I’m really just making it up as I go along, I’ve been thinking about the acknowledgement page, and I should make a list of all the people who have helped me write the book, either with their encouragement or with their editing skills. I should also read through the book again, and see if there are any more errors to correct, I would hope I’ve got them all by now, but the odd little one may have snuck in there. Hmm, I guess another good thing to sort out would be a review or two, so I could put the snippets on the cover, I always think it  looks good that someone has actually read the book and enjoyed it! Well I think this may be the beginning of a plan – Acknowledgement pages, another read through, and then obtaining a review from my friends who have read it.

I’m feeling like I should get on with adding to and editing the sequel too, I keep getting new ideas for it, and I feel it would be a good idea to have it pretty much done by the time I publish the first one, so I can then publish it not too long later. I hate it when I’ve read a good book but I have to wait months or years for the next one! There’s a book series that I loved more then ten years ago, and the final book never got published. I’m still waiting faithfully, but I have to admit, by the time I actually get my hands on it, I’m not sure it will have as much impact as it would have done all those years ago. We’ll see! I won’t make my readers wait so long, I promise.

Here’s a bit of fun, I mentioned it in my other blog – Organicism – it’s a great tool for making yourself write quickly, it’s called Write or Die and you can set it to do various things, such as flash different colours if you pause writing for more than a few seconds, or even, if you pause too long, it will start to delete you words!! You can set your own time limits and word limits, and I wrote a short piece on it, I think it was about 500 words in 17 minutes, which is pretty good going! Check it out, it’s good for a laugh. http://writeordie.com/

Well, I think it may be time for lunch, I’m feeling a bit lazy right now, which I suppose is allowed over the Christmas period, but I feel the need to do something creative, so it’s time to get off the internet I think! I will update with the progress of the plan!

Merry Christmas!