RAYS OF SUNLIGHT shone through the tent, giving it a red glow and a warmth that Alken was grateful for. In his sleepy state he stretched an arm out and grabbed folds of cloth, pulling them back to him. He quickly realised that something was missing.
Chryssie had vanished and his heart panged a little that she hadn’t said a word. But it did little to diminish the warm feelings he had within his chest at that moment or to lessen the memory of the night before. What came next however, was certain to do just that.
The flap to his tent was whipped open. A gauntleted hand grabbed his ankle and yanked him in to the daylight. In his panic Alken grabbed at the sheets to try and cover his smooth skin. Soon hands were on his shoulders, arms and legs to pin him to the ground.
As Alken’s eyes adjusted he was aware of someone opening a scroll of paper by his left ear and heard the words “Definitely him.” The men holding him down were dressed in uniforms of leather and minimal brass plating’s. “Grab his things."
This is just a little taste of what I'm working on. I'm editing the first "Powers of Ishgam" book and it's my main project right now. I've taken a couple of little "breaks" to write other things but my main goal is definitely to get a first edit of this done and then share it with a friend of mine for some feedback.
A lot of people assume I've gone straight into writing book 2 of "Tales of the Key". A fair assumption, but behind the scenes my writing is never as simple as book 1, then 2 then 3 etc. I have so many ideas and projects at different stages. This was especially so when DS wasn't out yet. I even had a debate on whether to abandon DS in favour of the first Ishgam book. (So glad I didn't).
Long story short, the first draft of this was already finished long before editing on DS was finished.
A Book Cover Illustrator
Working on a book is long stretches of being a lonely loner followed by a sudden realisation that, oh crap, now you have to work with actual, living people!
For the independent author there are a few choices when it comes to getting a book cover, including making something yourself in something like Canva. But if you can afford to save up the cash you can work with an illustrator or graphic designer. I won't go into the details of finding someone, partly because I already knew who I wanted and partly because that feels like a topic all of its own.
The relationship between a writer and artist is always going to be different. But I can talk through how it worked for us and what I did to try and make things easier for Rachel my cover artist. The first step was to just establish the kind of things I was a fan of. I sent Rachel a few of my favourite book covers, with the reasons why I liked them.
It felt like an old promise was finally fulfilled when Rachel George started working on the cover for The Darwin Solution for me. I've had the joy of seeing her work just get better and better (and she was pretty damn good to start with) and I am so happy that her artwork is the first thing you see when you pick up my book.
But enough gooey sentiments! Rachel George has written about the experience of designing the cover. In fact she wrote it a month ago and I'm a terrible person for taking so long to sharing it here. If you want to read that then click the image below or this link right here.
It's been a while since I did the whole opinion piece thing. Since leaving MCM Buzz I've definitely missed writing about movies but after watching Batman v Superman, it seemed like the perfect time to write about an argument that comes up time and time again.
After Warner Bros and DC plotted and planned after the release of Man of Steel, a decision was made along the way to throw Batman in there and see if they could get the whole Justice League thing started. And everyone said the same thing. "Marvel spent 4 years building up a universe before they did Avengers, to jump from Man of Steel to something called Dawn of Justice is rushing it."
I got into a discussion with someone recently about changing genders in writing and it made me want to try an exercise. What if the main cast of The Darwin Solution were the opposite gender?
Freya. Without going into spoilers, Freya is a physically and emotionally strong person. In fact she's the strongest of the group leading her to be the first to fight and feeling as if it's up to her to defend others.
If you change her to a man, then Freya is closer to the tired trope of the male hero. You try and think of the "strong male hero" and you'll come up with thousands of references. You try the opposite and that number goes down drastically.
My proof copy of Darwin Solution arrived and it looks very nice indeed. However there were some minor changes to make to the cover wrap and the interior.
With the book having already been through a proof read, the things I'm looking at this stage are mainly formatting errors. For example one section of text was the wrong font size and the spacing in a few places wasn't quite right. And for the wrap the blurb need to move over a little bit so it wasn't overlapping the crease.
Proof copy no. 2 is already on the way and hopefully I can check that for errors and then press the big OK button that means I can finally start selling the print version.
The Darwin Solution actually came out on Monday night. And it went live at about midnight so I had to sit on it for the evening before telling people. And it's taken me this long to get some free time to actually talk about it. So I thought I'd pre-emptively answer some questions that no one asked but could.
When is the print version out?
The second I press the big "OK TO PRINT" button on Createspace. The proof copy is making its way from America and I paid extra for speedy delivery because I'm an impatient mother flipper. Once I've got it I'll need to check for errors and formatting issues and things like that before I commit to putting it on the store.
Is the ebook available on Kobo and Nook?
No. I've read a lot of information from other self pub authors claiming that about 95% of their readers are on Kindle. Obviously it does no harm to be in as many places as possible but my aim was to make the publishing process as economical and simple as possible. I'm being very wary of spending time and/ or money on things that aren't necessary. If there is sudden demand for other versions I'll be happy to go for it.
How come the print version is so much more expensive? (Print version will cost around £12)
For the simple reason that books cost money to print and this one's a biggy. Ironically I'll be getting a smaller royalty from print versions but I wanted to make that price as reasonable as possible. Traditional publishers could probably get a better per-book deal but for print-on-demand, big books cost money.
Is the Kindle book really free?
If you're signed up to Kindle Unlimited then YES! The positive side of only being on the one platform is that Kindle offers some good deals and schemes for authors, including the Kindle Select program that allows people to borrow the book for free from the Kindle library.
So how do you get money for that then?
You read more than 10% of the book then I'll get something from Amazon. :)