The most cliched comment in the UK at present will almost certainly include the word 'ark', as we've had almost non-stop rain for about three months. As an introvert, I'm not the greatest fan of real summer, which, with its blue skies, sunshine etc, keeps pulling at me like an irritating child, but this greyness and endless rain is something else. However, it has made me concentrate on my latest publisher's brief - a challenge involving subverting some well-known and excellent texts. Work completed (or probably not - is it ever?) I really would like to sit in my garden (at present very soggy) and enjoy some sunshine.
My latest book - PRINCESS FROG - is just out, but I have yet to receive my author's free copies. Seeing and holding the actual book still feels like the culmination of the creative process, so what about ebooks where the words are everything and the material object doesn't exist? 'Real' books still draw me, but words and illustrations are ultimately what matters. Question - what is a real book? Discuss.
Talking of ebooks, I decided, on July 15/16th, to offer a two day free promotion on Kindle of two of my books in which animals are the main focus - one a cat, and one a dog. DRAGONCAT is set in a real North London Chinese supermarket, and involves a kitten who is not quite like other kittens (cover image by David Richemont). THE DREAM DOG is a sad/happy story involving a boy who desperately wants a dog, and a couple of unpleasant people who definitely don't deserve one. Jennifer Eachus did the original cover image of the wistful boy - quite beautiful. The book was translated into Japanese, with beautiful, soft pencil illustrations.
Offering work briefly for nothing takes a leap of faith (apologies for yet another cliche, but it did seem appropriate).The amazing result of this exercise was well over 1000 downloads for each book! DRAGONCAT was never traditionally published, but THE DREAM DOG was, and did very well at the time until it was put out of print. Where do these books go from there? I will let you know. Much food for thought in all of this, I feel, for any serious professional author considering e-publishing.