Sunday, 28 October 2012

October 28th - my birthday, innit?

So, I'm blogging on this significant date, when the world was burdened, or enriched, depending on your point of view, by yet another of those 'you-know-whats'.

Maybe, though, this is one of the reason I've always loved Autumn with its fiery colours (this is the rampant Virginia Creeper putting on a show in my front garden) and its silhouettes, its short days and its drama -  that ominous beginning-to-be-winter chilly breath behind its fake gold. I've always loved Keats's poem - yes, that one - the one we all know, but which never grows stale... 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...' And we have the very last of our homegrown tomatoes ripening on the windowsill.

In this same month, I've also re-published as an ebook, GEMMA AND THE BEETLE PEOPLE, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009NW7XLK
This was originally published by Walker Books, as an Early Reader, with short chapters and very accessible language, and it's still doing well
in libraries - I still receive a fairly healthy Public Lending Right share on it - but nevertheless, it's out of print.

I offered it at the lowest price yet for one of my o/p books - 99p - because it's short. It's also the 'youngest' of my Kindle books, and I thought it might 
connect nicely with JAMIE AND THE WHIPPERSNAPPER http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004VYQU4Q  which seems to be popular in the USA.

Throughout the day there were no sales, and then, via Twitter, it received one of the nicest and most personal reviews I've ever had (and that includes The Times/Guardian/Kirkus/ Carousel etc etc). It came from a tired mum up in the Highlands of Scotland, who, not feeling too well herself, was trying to amuse her three children, ages from 2-7. They seem to have spent an enjoyable afternoon playing with this story, laughing, and ending up with the kids making paper spaceships. For a children's author, that kind of feedback is worth its weight in gold.

The problem with writing, or converting, books for younger children is the need to make them visual, and also the very reasonable objection on the part of parents that they don't want their younger kids stuck in front of yet another screen. On the other hand, the nice thing about ebooks is the ability to change the font size, so if you have a struggling young reader, text becomes much more manageable. And surely, having an adult read to you from their Kindle must stimulate your own mental images?

I still have some out of print books to convert, like, possibly, this one - KACHUNKA! - which features an alien dinner lady with a name that sounds just like a sneeze, making it fun to take into schools. What I'm still avoiding is publishing some of my unpublished work, partly because the cover images for my published books are so professionally done that I can't imagine producing anything comparable. The cover image is the packaging for the story, and we're all, as readers, influenced by it. So far, my only investment in this ebook business has been time, but perhaps at some stage that will have to change.

It might be interesting, though, to 'do a Dickens' and publish sample chapters of longer books. I did this once, many years ago, using my (then) agent and my editor as readers, and they both became captivated... satisfying on a personal level, but the book was never published. A cover image for this one would be challenging - it's called THE RECURRENCE OF RED.


 

6 comments:

julia jones said...

Why not follow Andrew Crofts example and try putting up a chapter at a time on Wattpad?

madwippitt said...

A chapter at a time worked for Alexander McCall Smith too ...

And the review sounded lovely!

madwippitt said...

Gor blimey where are me manners: I blame this headache - but hope you have a lovely birthday!

Hywela Lyn said...

Happy Birthday from me too, Enid. I'm an 'October baby' too, although born at the beginning of the month. Wishing you a lovely day, with everything you wish for yourself and even more success with your books

John A. A. Logan said...

Happy Birthday Enid!
I'm happy too that you had those brilliant reviews from appreciative readers in Scottish Highlands.

Jan Needle said...

happy birthday from rainy lancashire as well. i've just got back from my daughter's birthday party - she's in good company! not much mellow fruitfulness up here in the soggy pennines, tho, but a bracing atmosphere to walk off the cake and buns and doughnuts and biscuits. she's thirty three, but never really took to the idea of growing up! (and she's got little children, to be fair...)