'Relapse' it is.
Oh dear, I am having such difficulty with the title of my new Rutter book. 'Rutter's Redemption' was no use because Julie Rutter is not redeemed in the story - mainly because she doesn't need redeeming. Nor does she redeem anybody else. It became 'Rutter's Relapse' because the old recurring nightmare of her parents' murder returns to haunt her after a gap of several months during which she slept peacefully. From that viewpoint, the title is appropriate. The problem is that it isn't actually very good. It took my good friend and fellow author, Elaine Waldron, to come up with an ingeniously simple solution. Just drop the name and call it 'Relapse'. Less is more. Thank you, Elaine. The best ideas are always simple ones.
'Relapse' it is.
I have just published a revised version of 'The Author's Manual'. This features a few very minor revisions to the original text and a completely rewritten section on promoting a book by harnessing the power of the Internet. This is something I have been learning about recently and I want to share my findings with other writers seeking success in the world of Literature.
'The Author's Manual' is a short non-fiction book that goes into all the whys and wherefores of writing and publishing a novel for the Kindle, although much of what it says can be adopted for use in other platforms as well. It is available, in Kindle form only, from Amazon for $0.99 (or equivalent wherever you live). The UK price is currently £0.77, so, if you do want to write a book, but need a little help, it shouldn't break the bank.
Not the character. She is still Julie Rutter, and always will be. I have had to retitle the book I am currently working on. It is the third of my 'Rutter' crime thrillers. You may remember that I switched to a new word processor, Nisus Writer Pro, a couple of months ago. There were a few teething problems involving conversion to ePub for uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing, but these are now sorted out, I am pleased to say. As part of my experimentation in getting it right, I uploaded a draft copy of the first three chapters of my current work, 'Rutter's Redemption' to KDP for conversion, intending to see whether they came out correctly (they did), but to leave them as an unpublished draft until the book is finished, whereupon I would simply upload the completed book over the draft and publish it.
That was the theory. The road to Hell, however, is paved with good intentions. Imagine my horror when I discovered that 'Rutter's Redemption' was on sale at Amazon.co.uk. Just the first three chapters of an unfinished book! Worse than that, somebody has bought a copy. If that person is reading this blog, I offer a sincere apology. This book should not have been published yet because it is nowhere near ready. I have written to Kindle Direct Publishing to point this out and request that they refund the customer and give an apology. If that person would also like to contact me through this website, I will be happy to gift them a copy of any of my books that they choose AND a copy of the new Rutter book when it is finished.
I have unpublished 'Rutter's Redemption' so that should prevent the error occurring again. It also leads to complications, however, because republishing an unpublished book is fraught with complications. I will, therefore, rename the book and publish the completed work, when it is ready, under a new title, 'Rutter's Relapse'. Perversely, this also works in the book's favour because, with the way it is developing, I was beginning to wonder exactly what sort of redemption Rutter would experience. Exactly how was she to be redeemed? She does, however, suffer a relapse.
My Facebook business page is now up and running.
Find it here:
David Waine's Facebook Page
This link is also available on my Home Page
You might notice that the site has changed a bit more, Instead of my books all being lumped together on a 'Published Works' page, they are now separated into their various categories. The six 'Avalind Books' are divided into their two trilogies: 'A King's Head' and 'A Queen's Heart', the 'Rutter Books' now have a section to themselves, while the remainder: 'The Planning Officers' and 'The Author's Manual' are now grouped as 'Other Works'. This is all part of my new promotional strategy, designed to use the power of the Internet to gain maximum exposure for my work.
I am still learning how to do it, but we are getting there.
You may notice that my 'Published Works' page now features the genres into which my various books fall. This is the result of an update to the website designed to increase its visibility on the Internet. I am putting in new keywords, which should promote the site - and, thus, my books - significantly. Another step in building my progress as a writer.
Christmas has, no count, had an effect, but sales do appear to be up regardless, and I am confident that the changes I have been making have contributed to that. Last night I registered my first-ever sale in India. It was for a copy of 'Rutter's Reunion'.
I am starting the new year off slightly early by targeting my Smashwords outlet. I am currently published on four fronts. These are KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), a division of Amazon that publishes Kindle ebooks, Smashwords, an independent organisation that puts me out on all electronic media (including Kindle and iBooks), CreateSpace, another division of Amazon that specialises in paperbacks and Uncovered Books, a new independent organisation that also puts me out on iBooks.
I have been with Smashwords for a little more than a year now and have enjoyed some success there. Their founder, Mark Coker, has recently added some exciting new features to really take on KDP and iBooks for the huge ebook market. These include distribution to Oyster and Scribd, which are basically online libraries.
His latest marketing tool is the Smashwords Interview, whereby authors are interviewed about their work online and the interview published on the Internet.
My Smashwords Interview is now available, and you can read it here:
This also involves me resubmitting all my books to Smashwords with all the relevant hyperlinks included in the end matter. Every little helps.
Compliments of the season to one and all. This is a little late for Christmas greetings, but I have been busy. Perhaps I should also add that there has been one more day to celebrate - for me, at least. Boxing Day was my birthday.
Things have been moving on the book front. 'The Author's Manual' has sold its first copies. It was never going to be a big seller because it is a small reference work, designed to help would-be authors get started. Some new writers should find useful information therein. 'The Power of Four Queens' has also started selling.
More significant developments have occurred on the word processor front. Ever since I bought my current computer (an Apple iMac), my word processor of choice has been Apple's own Pages, which was everything I ever wanted in a tool to enable me to write books. I also have Microsoft Word, which I respect as a writing tool, but have never liked. On occasion, I have also dabbled with the free-to-use Google Docs, Open Office and its near-identical twin, Libre Office. It was always Pages that I settled on, however, because it had that magical quality of letting me put everything where I wanted it to be without trying to make me do things its way. In short, it made itself available to me and let me get on with it.
Last autumn, however, Apple put a spanner in the works. They introduced a new version of their operating system, OS X, called Mavericks. This had been expected for months, so I downloaded it straight away to find that, other than the inclusion of iBooks and Apple Maps in the Dock, not much else seems to have changed. One thing that did, however, was the hitherto unannounced arrival of an all new, and completely rewritten, iWork (the office suite that includes Pages). The new Pages has a completely new (and admittedly pretty) interface, is now fully 64-bit compliant (whatever that means), has enhanced picture-handling facilities - but has also had its word processing capabilities slashed to the point where it is really no more use than the simple Google Docs to the serious writer. There has been a huge furore stirred up in their forums and the company have pledged to restore some of the missing features (and have, partly delivered on that), but it remains a crippled shadow of its former self, dressed up in a pretty new frock. Although it is still possible (just) to write an ebook in the new Pages, producing a conventional paper book is out of the question without exporting your manuscript to Word first because the new Pages has no facility to format for facing pages any more. You see my dilemma?
A trawl through the protests in the Apple forums revealed the existence of a word processor that I had never heard of before. It is called Nisus Writer Pro. It is a pay program (it costs about £55), but it is based on Libre Office Writer, for which I have little real love because of its clunky, poorly laid out interface. Nisus, however, is available on a fifteen day, no obligation, free trial. What did I have to lose?
The good news about Libre Office Writer, which supplies the source code, is that it is as powerful as Word. It does everything. What Nisus have done is take the free software and replace the clunky old interface with a smart, slick new one (which is what you pay for). The result is a revelation. Nisus Writer Pro is a powerful, fast application that simply makes its facilities available to you and lets you get on with it. It is the best word processor I have ever used. I didn't wait the fifteen days. I coughed up after four.
There were teething problems - partly caused my my Kindle unexpectedly dying on me just before Christmas and having to be replaced by a Mr. S. Claus - but they are sorted now and I am writing my new book, 'Rutter's Redemption' in pure Nisus - the best word processor that money can buy in my opinion.
My new book, 'The Power of Four Queens' has just gone live on Smashwords, making it available in all electronic formats. It sold its first copy there within a few hours. At the moment, it is only available through Smashwords' own website (www.smashwoprds.com) but it will go live on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc. within a few days when it achieves Smashwords premium certification.
I have updated my 'Published Works' page to include the relevant link.
Meanwhile, I am pressing ahead with my next Rutter book, 'Rutter's Redemption'. I am now about 20,000 words in, so there is still a long way to go, but I will keep you updated as to how things develop.
My latest novel, 'The Power of Four Queens' has now gone on sale in its Kindle and paperback editions. The file has also been submitted to Uncovered Books for iPad upload, but that will take a little while yet because they vet them very thoroughly before giving them the go-ahead. The Smashwords edition will be uploaded as soon as I can get round to it. It is exam marking time again, and I don't have enough hours in the day.
Nevertheless, all is developing. You can find the links to where they are available on the 'Published Works page. I recently enabled distribution of the paperback editions to bookshops and libraries, so, hopefully, they will be available in them before much longer.
Meanwhile, I have started work on my next book: the third Rutter novel, entitled 'Rutter's Redemption'. To date, I am three chapters into the first draft and it is going well.