Bit of an unexpected one, this. I recently heard a rumour that my printed book outlet, CreateSpace, may not be much longer for this world. Don't get me wrong. It's just a rumour and may have no foundation in fact whatsoever, but I took some experimental action nonetheless.
I publish my Kindle ebooks through KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), a subsidiary of Amazon. The printed editions, however, are published through KDP's sister company, CreateSpace.
Now, however, the waters are a little muddied. KDP has opened its own printed book division, called KDP Print. This has developed considerably since its introduction about a year ago, and rumour has it that it may replace CreateSpace as a book publishing operation in time. CreateSpace also publishes music, videos etc. so it may not disappear altogether.
As things stand at present, KDP Print is still limited in that books published through it can only be sold on Amazon. There is no extended distribution facility that enables them to go into bookshops and libraries. That would have to be added to persuade me to move my existing paperback works over. If I do republish any of my CreateSpace books on KDP Print, the CreateSpace edition is retired and the decision cannot be reversed. Therefore, I am leaving them where they are for the present.
For all that, I have dipped my toe in the KDP Print waters by publishing 'The Author's Manual' (which was previously only available in Kindle form) as a paperback. I can report that the process was painless. It is very similar to publishing on Kindle and has an advantage over CreateSpace, in that we are allowed seven keywords instead of five.
Presumably, extended distribution will become available on KDP Print some time. When it does, I will probably move my other books over to it. Not until then, though.
This is the basic image that will form the cover of 'The Secret Angels' when it is published. It won't look exactly like this, of course, because it will have to be edited and manipulated, not to mention the cover text and information being applied. Nevertheless, it does form the basis of it. I will publish the actual cover image when it is finalised.
The picture actually shows the Schloss Itter, which is to be found in Austria's Tyrol. For the purposes of the book, it is to masquerade as the entirely fictitious Schloss Blitzenfels, which is in another Austrian province, Carinthia - or Karnten as the locals call it. Call up Google Maps and you will find the Malta Valley (Maltatal), southeast of the Grossglockner, Austria's highest mountain. The village of Koschach will be there, as will its splendid waterfall, the Fallbachfalle. What you won't find is a castle atop the crag from which the falls issue. The Schloss Blitzenfels is merely a figment of my imagination. The road by which Rutter and co. approach the castle, however, is real.
This morning, I passed a major landmark in the development of the book. I passed the 120,000 word mark, which makes it, officially, an epic rather than a novel. According to WPS Writer's word count facility, it now consists of 120,203 words. Bear in mind that the total includes things like chapter headings, title and copyright notice.
How much more remains to be written remains to be seen, but I would not be surprised if it was at least 10,000 words, so don't hold your breath. After that, of course, it must be edited, so the final figure will be lower.
Has it really been that long?. New Year's Resolution: make a point of updating my Blog much more regularly.
The good news is that 'The Secret Angels' is displaying a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. And what a long tunnel it has been! Previously, it took me between six and nine months to create a novel. If you check back through this Blog, you will discover that I began writing 'The Secret Angels' just before Christmas of 2015. That is more than two years ago, and it still isn't finished! I can only apologise profoundly for that. As you know the extended gestation period coincided with my beloved Mac giving up the ghost and being replaced by an old Linux machine, which also turned turtle on me. The whole lot wasn't replaced properly until last summer. Since then, I have been working on 'The Secret Angels', but it hasn't been easy. The fact that writers' block decided to pay me a visit did not exactly help.
Nevertheless, we persevere. I have struggled through the writers' block and conquered it. 'The Secret Angels' is back on track at last. I reckon it is about 90% done now, just the climax remaining to be written. Already we are homing in on the 120,000 word mark, which would qualify it as an epic, rather than a novel, and it could end up rivalling 'Rutter's Revolt' as my biggest ever book.
I have more time to devote to it now because I have finally retired as a supply teacher, a part time job that I did for five years. Now, at least, I can devote myself fully to what I truly love doping: telling stories.
Proof that the writers' block is over. My head is beginning to buzz with ideas for more books - always a healthy position to be in because you know what will come next. Anyway, I am hoping to finish the first draft of 'Angels' within the next month. After that, it goes to editing and proofreading, of course, but the wait shouldn't be too much longer.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.