Sunday, February 21, 2010

CONF 626: PREVIEW MY EBOOK

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There have been so many tiny, tiny but important things to do. Have been at computer all weekend, ironing out glitches, making the secured preview copies for the mailing list, setting up the shop on the website, remembering things I've forgotten, screwing up the spacing by adding new things but think it's all there now.

No it's not. Thursday now and new things keep on cropping up. Getting the document onto Kindle was relatively straightforward but then again not. And I keep finding new 'platforms' - there's Smashwords for Sony E-Readers and Mobi Pocket for BlackBerry and apparently you can put up a book as an App on iTunes. But before that, how the heck do I attach PDF document to this blog, surely that's a simple thing?

I'm now going to click Help to see about this PDF thing.....

*several false trails later* Got it, thanks to www.scribd.com. Here are the first 3 chapters:
Done & Dusted - The Organic Home on a Budget C1-3





Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

CONF 625: COMING OUT

And so, farewell Amanda and, er, hi. This is me.



Why did Amanda have to exist at all? Well, though I made no huge efforts to be totally anonymous, at the same time I didn't want to become known around the outer fringes of the business as that author who writes about being a failure. Not as cringe-making as writing a sex blog or anything but not a great image. On the other hand, what with Michael Landy's new art bin celebrating failure and all who sail in her, maybe in true Amanda style I've just got my timing spectacularly wrong again.

Nearly there now. All edits done, pictures inserted, links checked, and the book is out now for its final proof read. Your preview copies will be available by the end of the week.

My next job is to check Amazon Kindle for style & content tips. It's a free App on iPhone/iPodtouch, Kindle is now. And there's a free PC version as well. It's brilliant, you can download the first 3 chapters of any book out there & have a read. I got totally wrapped up in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma last night & just might have to make my first purchase.

Meantime, this is my ebook site: www.blackbirdebooks.com. What do you think? Any comments, criticisms, suggestions? Recognise anybody?

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

NEW SUPERSTAR ALERT!

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My friend Diana is on BBC3 tonight at 9.00pm in a new show called

DANCING ON WHEELS!

It's truly amazing stuff. I was lucky enough to be in the studio audience and know so know so.

Her blog telling you all about it is here:


http://dianadancingonwheels.blogspot.com/2010/02/unreal-world-of-reality-television.html

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CONF 624 - NUTS & BOLTS OF EBOOK PUBLISHING

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In theory finished writing the ebook weeks ago but so much still to do.

A couple of days ago all the stills disappeared from the main document & from every earlier draft as well. Every picture replaced with squares and funny graphics signs. Open Office help is very technical. It took hours to get them back, reduced to typing HELP! into Google very loudly. Through it now. It was another geek thing that was so unbelievably simple as long as you know how - Tools/Picture/Graphics on/off. I know. A reminder, really, to get a proper web designer on board sooner rather than later. I'm thinking of offering a good percentage of every book sold, as I'm doing with the publicist. She's turning out great, doubling up as proof reader/editor plus she'll be authoring her own book in the future. E's from the world of music business PR rather than publishing, which looks like it might be a blessing. An author who's worked in both fields was telling me the other day that the publishing PRs she's worked with haven't been a patch on the music business ones.

As the first one is a domestic advice book with suggestions that certain types of (un-named) products are best avoided, I've been looking into professional indemnity insurance. The Society of Authors has recommended insurers but I haven't got the money to join them to get the list to get their discount. Also looking at registering the website publisher as a company. Tenancy agreements mean I'm not allowed to run a company from home. I won't be setting up straight away but easing in gently through Kindle and, all being well, iBooks when they're up and running. When I do, have bookmarked Companies Made Simple which looks like the business.

We've made a publication date - 24th February. As seems to be the ebook tradition, the first 3 chapters will be free to preview. As promised, I'll be putting a link here to the whole book for friends, probably a few days before that. To celebrate, E and I are going to treat ourselves to a good working lunch with the proceeds from last week's radio show.

Meanwhile the world of fiction remains quiet. I guess my agent's sent the ms to the editor now and I know it could be a long wait. Thank God for other eggs and other baskets.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

LINK TO THE SHOW

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Insane interlude.

Sit at computer sit at computer sit at computer sit at computer sit at computer (repeat for years on end), until slinky grey merc arrives, parks in author next door's chauffeur spot except it's for me, go OUT AND SPEAK THROUGH MICROPHONE TO LOTS OF PEOPLE, sit at computer sit at computer sit at computer (repeat...

Before, imaginary scenarios were playing over and over in mind, now, afterwards, keep going through it.

If you move the pink line along to 1:30:35 that's where it starts.

Clue: I'm not Alan Carr, Hollywood actress, in Joy Division, a DIY person or (drop down gorgeous) chef.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qg1w2#p0069v4m

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

CONF 623: KICKING OFF

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Well, it's all happening. Have had head down with my lovely publicist for the past week, writing and rewriting, editing the book and fine-tuning the website. Mailing lists are really important, so managed to get that up today, AND worked out how to get thumbnails up. Like many computer things it's easy once you know how. On a Mac you press command, shift and 4 and then you can size your image how you like, let go of the keys and it does camera shutter click. Then you put a dot and a jpg sign at the end and it's ready to export.

We have a launch date - 24 Feb - and tomorrow, Thursday 4 Feb, I go on the radio, national, BBC.

I know! ME. Bit of a shock.

It's because of my newspaper column rather than the book, but they are going to mention it. I'm scared they're going to find out I'm a fraud, it's not a book book but an ebook, and ring up and say sorry, big mistake, so I'm not going to say too much yet. If I don't make a total prat of myself will post the link here when it's over.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.