Short story as an ebook and macaroons from Paris, by Enid Richemont

 A confession - I have never self-published.

All my ebooks are out there because when they went out of print, which to an author is like death, my husband David very expertly re-published them. This has meant that all the cover illustrations were professionally designed (I had to ask permission from the artists involved), so they look pretty good - a great asset for which I claim no credit.

However, recently, I've been thinking of publishing one of my many short stories, a number of which appeared in magazines. One of these stories: The Only Way, was given an unusual full page, black and white illustration which I'd like to use as the base for an ebook cover, but so far the artist: Barbara Anne Taylor, seems to be untraceable, and believe me, I've googled her. She was working successfully in the 70s, and this is the illustration I'd like to use, simply by inserting a title somewhere - what do you think? Would it work?

And, incidentally, do single short stories work as ebooks? How are they priced, when obviously you're getting far fewer pages for your money. Please do comment, and if you can come up with anything on Barbara Anne Taylor, I will be forever grateful. I'd also be grateful for any recommendations for a reasonably-priced self-publishing site, preferably based in the UK, as back-up support with the techie stuff, as, sadly, I no longer have David, and I am a total wuss at it.

At present I am fictionally developing a rather dislikeable small boy who has grievances, many quite unreasonable but understandable, and wondering if I can still get the plot to work as a Middle Grade novel. The engine driving this story is anger which I can feel almost physically. Do dislikeable characters ever survive as main protagonists, or are unlovely traits solely the preserves of villains? The plot's an unusual one, too, and I'm not sure how to pitch it. He does become a lot nicer at the end.

I've just finished reading, for the second time round, Peter Ackroyd's The Clerkenwell Tales. Set in the 14th century, it closely follows the structure of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, with a chapter given to each character, and with all of them gradually meshing. His research of the period is fascinating and so detailed, but I did find that the extensive details, for me, got in the way of the story. He still makes me want to walk those streets around Clerkenwell, though, and the site of the convent with its prophecying nun, Sister Clarice, in the story, is still there - she was real. Our city, like every other city, must be so full of ghosts.

The film I've mentioned here from time to time has progressed to location stuff, and part of it, set in the 16th century, was recently shot at Chavenage House, near Tetbury in Wiltshire - the right period, and the right kind of house. I met the people involved for the first time, not long ago, and they arrived with this glorious box of macaroons from Paris. which I had to photograph and post - well, wouldn't you? I'm sorry current technology won't allow you to reach out a hand and help yourself, but believe me, they tasted every bit as good as they look! The very dark ones were flavoured with black pepper - an amazing taste. 

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Umberto Tosi said…
I wish Amazon would let us do tie-ins with our own works - and with other vendors - e.g. Buy my novel, get two short stories free, or better yet, buy this box of macaroons and get my short story. Anyway, thank you for a tasty post! :)
AliB said…
Fascinating image, Enid, how frustrating not to trace the artist. (Believe me I know that feeling).
Sorry I haven't got to involved in self-pub either, at least not from scratch, but I know there are many useful guides including one by Chris Longmuir called something like 'Nuts and Bolts'.
You might also find it worthwhile to join Alli (alliance of independent authors) who provide advice on anything and everything .
Sandra Horn said…
Short stories do work as ebooks, Enid - try the Cutalongstory site. Great news about the film!
Chris Longmuir said…
Enid, I think you would be taking a big risk using the illustration. Even if the artist has departed this world copyright remains in force for 70 years after death. It would be far safer to commission a cover and there are a variety of cover designers advertising their services, all you need to do is google for a cover designer or ask others for recommendations. Prices are variable but some designers do starving author rates. Oh, and my book which AliB kindly mentioned is the "Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing: How to Self-Publish Ebooks and Paperbacks". You can get it as a Kindle or paperback but a reference book is usually better as a paperback because it's easier to reference.
Chris Longmuir said…
I should also have said a magazine full page illustration would probably be useless as a cover in any case as it would not be a high enough resolution and would probably come out pixellated unless, of course, you have the original illustration.
Enid Richemont said…
Thanks for the advice, Chris - will heed. Sandra - I did have dealings with Cut... and wasn't impressed. However, what I gave them experimentally was a children's novel, so really not their thing, and they seem to do very little marketing or publicity.

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