Showing posts from March, 2011

Kindle 12 – Publishing your e-book

This is the exciting bit… if you’ve been following my posts in this series, you’re now ready to make your book available for others to download and read on their Kindle or Kindle apps. To do this, you need amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform (the new name for the old Digital Text Platform). You can find it at The first thing you’ll need to do is register. If you buy books from amazon already, you can use your existing account. If not, then follow the instructions to set one up. At the top of the KDP home page you’ll see three different areas: Bookshelf – which will be empty at the moment. Later it’s where you’ll see a list of all the e-books you have published for Kindle and their current status. Reports – sales reports, where you can check how many copies you have sold and see your royalty statements. These sales reports are instant, which is a bit scary for those more used to having to wait six months to see these figures. But they can be useful for judgi

Meet King Arthur’s daughter - Rhianna Pendragon!

The Muse has been glittering to tell you about Katherine’s brand new Arthurian fantasy series, which she has had me hard at work on for some time. I've briefly escaped the enchanted mists to tell you the good news. From February 2012, you’ll be able to start reading the adventures of Rhianna Pendragon and her friends Elphin, Cai, and Arianhrod as they battle dragons and the evil Mordred in their quest to restore King Arthur’s soul to his body. You didn’t know King Arthur had a daughter…? Well, that’s because she was taken to the enchanted isle of Avalon as a baby to grow up with the fairy people. Her friend Elphin is a prince of Avalon and can work magic with his harp, which is just as well since King Arthur’s druid Merlin is getting old and forgetful. Cai is a squire who dreams of being a famous knight like his father, even though he's more likely to drop his lance than hit anyone with it, and Arianhrod becomes Rhianna’s maid at Camelot after escaping the clutches of Mordre

Friday Favourite - WEST OF THE MOON by Katherine Langrish

The Muse has had his horn stuck into this book ever since Katherine Langrish’s Nis post . If you’ve been following the official “West of the Moon” blog tour, you’ll probably realize by now that it brings together her three previous Troll novels: Troll Fell, Troll Mill and Troll Blood. But even if you have already read all of these, it’s worth getting your hands on this book because: * it has a beautiful cover * it has a lovely romantic title * the original books have been reworked by the author to make an epic story in three parts, rather than simply binding up the three novels and slapping on a new cover, as sometimes happens. The story follows young Peer, who is orphaned at the start of the book and dragged off by his wicked uncles to help them work the mill on Troll Fell. It’s a miserable, haunted place. His only friends are his dog Loki and the red-hatted Nis, who does the housework (sometimes) in return for a bowl of ‘groute’. Fortunately, Peer also finds a human friend in

Kindle 11 – Testing, testing, testing!

If you've been following my Kindle posts so far, you’ve done most of the work. Now for the exciting part. This is where your e-book publishing venture either goes smoothly or horribly wrong, depending how careful you’ve been throughout the formatting stages and which version of Word you are using. The good news is that it’s not vital to get things right first time with e-publishing, since even if you accidentally publish your e-book with errors in it (you won’t be the first!), you can easily unpublish it within a few days and either fix it up or start over. You haven’t gone to the expense of print run, so you don’t lose anything financially. But it’s always nice to get things right first time, so some kind of testing is advisable. At this point you’ll need access to a Kindle. If you don’t have one, then you’ll have to cross your fingers and skip this stage. Come back next week to find out how to upload your file to amazon, where there will be an opportunity for some limited onl

Kindle 10 – E-book covers

An e-book doesn’t have a cover or jacket in the sense of a printed book (i.e. to protect the pages inside) because your e-reader now does that job for you. In a sense, the device you use to read your e-books acts as a cover for your entire library bound up in one slim volume. This seems to be the main resistance readers have to e-books, because a nicely produced paper book with a well-designed cover is more than just the text inside. After all, you can’t decorate your bookshelves with thin grey e-readers… at least, not unless you are a very geeky millionaire! You can now get a range of pretty covers for your Kindle in the same way you can get “skins” for your phone, so you’re not stuck with boring grey or white. But each book on your e-shelf is physically coverless. So no cover needed, right? Well, yes and no. E-books can contain electronic pictures (which you insert as .jpg files into your text). So, in theory, they can have a .jpg version of a cover, too. In fact, Amazon’s current

Story Weekend - THE LAST ROSE by Alzrith

This weekend the unicorn is delighted to post a lovely sensitive story from Alzrith, who uses her own pen name as the heroine... bet you can't read it without getting at least one tear in your eye! THE LAST ROSE © Alzrith The door swung loudly and deliberately behind little Alzrith, who was holding back tears.   "I hate you, Daddy... I HATE YOU!" came her faint cry as she ran away.   The master of the house – Alzrith's father – peered through his window, looking down at the little figure running away from the mansion into the concealed gardens ahead. Behind him, the door opened and closed.   "Señor, are we to find the Señorita?"   Without turning around, the Señor answered, "No need." A faint smile curved on his lips. "I know where she goes in times like this..."   In times like this, Alzrith would go nowhere but the rose garden a few kilometers from the mansion. She stared longingly at her rose-bushes and, suddenly, her eyes fille

Kindle 9 – making your e-book work

Now the unicorn has seen Katherine Langrish’s red-hatted Nis off on the next leg of his blog tour, it’s time to talk about the extras found in an e-book that are not possible in a paper book. If you own a Kindle, you’ll probably realize I’m talking about the “go to” menu that allows your reader to jump to selected places in your e-text. If you are not familiar with reading on Kindle, I suggest you go back and read my second post in this series before going any further. In the original version of the Kindle software 3.0 ( Muse: the latest version when my author wrote her review of the Kindle… see how fast things move in this brave new e-world ?), readers could pull up a menu and select GO TO: cover – the book’s cover image, as seen on amazon’s product description page. start – the place where the publisher suggests you to start reading (e.g. at the beginning of chapter 1). location – any location between the beginning of your book (location 1 – which may be different to “start”)

Story Weekend – Zhuangzi and the Butterfly

Since my author has been too busy to write a poem this week (excuses, excuses!) and nobody else has sent one in, the Muse would like to share this famous Chinese story with you, which comes from a book of ancient wisdom written by the sage Zhuangzi: Zhuangzi fell asleep and dreamt he was a butterfly. He fluttered from flower to flower, not knowing he was Zhuangzi. When Zhuangzi woke up, he did not know if he was a man who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly now dreaming he was a man. What do YOU think? Young writers are always welcome to share their creativity on this blog – simply email your stories or poems to  or see the “share your creativity” link for more details.