That was the easy bit, Part 2

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So I have the corrected manuscript and I’ve sent it to my beta readers, depending on what they say, and what I have thought about since I saw it last, there may well be bits to change, perfect and modify. Then it’s time for a second edit.

Meanwhile, I will have found a cover picture or at least a concept for one. I’m extremely fortunate to have a brilliant cover designer in Cathy Helms at Avalon Graphics and I’ve also found a local photo-artist in Vicki Boulter who got my idea for Myra perfectly.

Anyway, this is the time to sort out the cover and prepare the metadata, the nuts and bolts that go with the ISBN and the eBook. Things like the genre, the page count, keywords, long and short description etc. etc.

And if you think that writing the book is hard, try condensing it into 250 words for an interesting hook to put on the back cover (giving nothing away), or 350 CHARACTERS for an ISBN entry! Once I have input these the ISBN is assigned and cannot be changed. I prefer to use my own as I’m then identified as the publisher.

The metadata and manuscript go to my formatting service, Coinlea, who lay it out ready for printing as a paperback, depending on the final size I’ve chosen and as an eBook.

First Coinlea will send me a pdf of the paperback layout for approval and after having a look; it gets a final once-over from my editor.

And that’s where we are with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, the last step is to upload all my files for approval, then I can set up an on-sale date and press “publish!”

And then it’s about a week until I get a proof copy of the paperback in my hand, wow it feels good to get a physical copy in your hands.

Another check for quality and we’re ready to go. The eBook is uploaded and the marketing can start. And you can pre-order

Cover reveals and an update

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I’m a little bit early with the post this week, there are important grandad duties for me on Tuesday so the post is a day early. And I’m afraid that it also means that my next post about the book production process will have to wait for a bit.

This time I have two covers to reveal for you and also an update on my challenge for the year, I forgot to put it last weeks.

Firstly, the full cover for Andorra Pett is back from Avalon Graphics,  my thanks to Cathy for another great piece of work. Andorra is the creation of Matthew Britton and is brilliantly drawn, he’s captured her personality exactly as I imagined her. Chapter 1 is still available to sample HERE


The novel will make its debut at the Tiverton Literary Festival, firstly at Credfest on June 17th, and then at Tiverton Library on June 23rd, signed copies of all my titles will be available for a special price.

I have also made the cover for my next FREE collection of short stories,



which I’m hopeful will be out before the end of May. It will feature 21 stories and 8 excerpts, including three from books that have never seen the light of day, “Jungle Green,” the sequel to “Ribbonworld,” “Survive,” a spin-off from “Freefall” (and part of the Galactographic! universe), and “A new life in Ventis,” the sequel to “The Rocks of Aserol.”

While we’re on the subject of new work, so far this year I have written 155,000 words. Not all of them on one title, but “Survive” has 30,000, “A new life in Ventis” 60,000 and “Andorra Pett on Mars” has 50,000, with the rest spread over short stories.

You might have noticed the title “Andorra Pett on Mars” and wondered what I was on about, well it’s the second book featuring Andorra and I have two more in planning, “Andorra Pett takes a break” and “Andorra Pett and her sister.” They are very much at the initial planning stage as I write this, but I have basic plots and they will be produced, the only question is when?

I will have to add them to the list, which also includes a third Balcom story, provisionally entitled “The lost Princess,” and a sequel to “Myra,” which has no title at the moment. If I can keep up my wordcount and make 500,000 this year I should be able to get most of them done, as long as I don’t run out of ideas.

That was the easy bit

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I’ve just about got a new story finished, now a lot of you might think that was writing the story was the hardest part, after all, I started with a blank piece of paper and had to build my world, populate it and get my characters to have adventures. I had to guide them along the plot I’d chosen, kill a few of them off and give the survivors a triumph to two to celebrate.

Then, of course, it all had to tie up and make sense at the end, with maybe a place left open for a sequel to start from.

And that’s about where I am now, this story was actually a sequel, a tying up of a lot of loose ends and completion in a way. Even though the first book was complete, there was enough left over from the final few pages to inspire a “what happened next!”

It’s taken me a year or so, if I hadn’t been encouraged by readers of the first story asking me why I had finished it when I did, it would not have been done at all. But in my mind seeds were sown by their remarks and I began to wonder what might have happened after “The End.”

The result now has to go through a lot. First, it will be scrutinised by my wonderful editor, she will spot all my typos and grammar faux-pas, all my plot-holes and bad English and the bits that make no sense whatsoever. She may also say whether she liked it, or what she thinks it needs (not the delete button, hopefully!).

After I get it back I will correct it and re-write it, then send it off to my wonderful beta readers for their impression. That’s the bit I hate, waiting for the verdict on my creation.

Meantime, I’ve got to decide on a back cover blurb and liaise with my cover designer on initial ideas. As this is a sequel I will need to go with the same style as before, so that makes this part a lot easier.

And that’s just the first part of the process, there’s a whole lot more to do before the story can see the light of day (or kindle).

But that’s a story for next week.

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