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Monday, 31 December 2012

Alcandor is fearful

Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you enjoy this extract from MINE TO AVENGE, now available as paperback and e-book (details below).

But even Caterina didn’t know the truth of that dreadful last day— the day when a threat was delivered through the hand of a stranger, the threat that meant Alcandor couldn’t hope to stay in Greece at all, the threat that meant he never wanted to return under any circumstances.
He recalled the awful note, word for word. Each time he thought of it, he winced with pain, the words etched in his mind by a cruel finger of fire. He had kept the note all these years, not revealing its existence or contents to anyone. On the one hand, he wanted to share it, as it was a heavy burden to carry alone. On the other hand, he didn’t want to show it to anyone, as it would alarm his family—and there was the threat against his family if he did reveal it.
What might happen if he did talk? Was his family being watched as the note had warned? Who was watching? How could he warn his family of any potential harm? Could he—should he—talk to the police? He tried to push the questions from his mind and pushed himself up from the chair to fetch the cocoa and sugar from the cupboard.
It was only recently that these memories had begun troubling him again. He’d almost lost his mind during the weeks in Athens waiting to leave Greece, and the first few days on board ship were a paranoid blur as he inspected, spied, examined, surveyed and listened to anyone and anything—watching, waiting, alert to any potential threat.
But why were his memories being stirred up again in this new country so far away, and after so many years? Why was it troubling him now? Was it because his son was going to Greece for his honeymoon? Was that the cause of his uneasiness? What if their family’s enemies found out Dymas was there? Could their enemies reach out to harm his son while he was in Greece?

MINE TO AVENGE is available as below -

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Announcing winners of MINE TO AVENGE e-book launch giveaways

I’d like to thank all who took part in my e-book launch yesterday. Your participation made for a very successful day overall and has assisted in giving MINE TO AVENGE some extra publicity. I look forward to hearing from those who won copies of the e-book as they finish reading and review it for me.

I enjoyed giving away copies of my book and may do it again next month, but this time operating here from my blog, so as not to clutter up people’s Newsfeeds on Facebook, which is a significant drawback of the Facebook online event process. So keep checking in on my blog for future giveaways and promotions.

Below are the winners of the various giveaways during the day:

·      Cheryl Christian - e-book
·      Tim Warren - e-book
·      S. Rowe - e-book
·      Kimberly Atkins - e-book
·      Roberta Bates - e-book
·      Sonia Fogal - e-book
·      Brenda Telford - e-book and bookmark
·      Chris Tirimacco - e-book
·      Julie Oest - e-book
·      Janet Farr - e-book
·      Sanja Cvrlje - e-book
·      Jess Fitzpatrick - e-book and bookmark (Jess was also the 100th Liker of my Facebook page during the day)
·      Barbara Brown - e-book
·      Sandra Callington - bookmark
·      P. Jackson - bookmark
·      Jennifer Richmond - bookmark

All e-books are now on their way and bookmarks will be posted tomorrow.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The online launch of Mine to Avenge is underway

The online e-book launch of MINE TO AVENGE is underway at this very minute. There has already been one e-book won and a bookmark giveaway. Please feel free to join in if you’d like to participate and have a chance at winning a free copy of the e-book.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tomorrow is e-book launch day

I have just finished planning the posts and giveaways for tomorrow’s online launch of the e-book, Mine to Avenge. All up there will be 8 free e-books given away in competitions and plenty of free bookmarks on offer as well (signed).
The competitions have been planned around questions about MINE TO AVENGE, and to that end, I have made available two free chapters (PDF) for people to download in preparation for some of the questions. If you’d like a head-start, the chapter links are below. Please feel free to download the chapters even if you are unable to attend, and use them to consider whether the book is something you would enjoy, or something you might recommend to friends and family who enjoy mystery and suspense.
It’s not too late to register your attendance - just visit my Facebook page and click on the Events tab. Looking forward to your participation.

Link to free download of chapter 2 -

Link to free download of chapter 3 -

Less than 2 days to the launch of MINE TO AVENGE (ebook)

There are less than two days to go until the online launch of the e-book version of MINE TO AVENGE on Saturday 29th Dec 2012. I’m planning a day of quizzes to give participants the opportunity to win free copies of the e-book, so please come along and be part of the event, and encourage your e-book loving friends and family to be part of it too. You can register your attendance by clicking on the Events tab on my Facebook Author page, or just rock up anytime during the day. The launch is running from 7.00am to midnight (South Australian time). Please make allowances for your time-zone.

MINE TO AVENGE is currently available from:-

Friday, 21 December 2012

What are your favourite books from childhood?

I was prompted to think of my favourite childhood books while doing a spring clean today. I have my favourites grouped together in a place of honour in the spare room where I can easily see them when I enter the room.
Why are these few books my favourites? I am not really sure, but they evoke a certain response of warmth and security in me. I loved to immerse myself in books from a very early age, and found a safety, certainty and consistency within their pages. I knew that when I returned to the school library next time, my friends would be there - unless borrowed by someone else - and the worlds and characters within remained unchanged.
Below I share my special favourites with you and a few words about what I especially remember about each one.

‘A is for Apple Pie’ by Kate Greenaway
I love the art-work of Kate Greenaway, but for me this story was more about the alphabet. I am a calligrapher now and trace my love of letters and decorative alphabets back to this book. The various things happening to the apple pie throughout the story were only of minimal interest to me. 

‘Millions of Cats’ by Wanda Gag
I loved the artwork of Wanda Gag in this book as well as the story. I was always fascinated by the concept of the cats eating each other one by one until they were all gone. I remember lying in bed for hours at night, trying to visualise this happening. 

‘The Funny Thing’ by Wanda Gag
The second Wanda Gag book on my list. Again, I love the artwork of this book, but remember as a child believing that ‘jum-jills’ were real food. I thought my mother was so ignorant, not knowing what they were or how to make them. I remember cooking as a child trying to make something close to ‘jum-jills’ but with no success. I also have a vivid idea in my mind of the exact shade of blue of the points on the Funny Thing’s back and tail - I’ve always called it ‘jum-jill blue’. I also wanted to live in a cave like Bobo.

‘The Little House’ by Virginia Lee Burton
I loved the changing of the seasons around the Little House and wanted to live there. To my childlike mind it was an idyllic setting. It was quite alarming to see the city gradually encroaching upon the countryside around the house. I also remember my young mind trying to come to grips with the concept of generations as written on the very first page - ‘The man who built her so well said, “This Little House shall never be sold for gold or silver and she will live to see our great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren living in her.”’ I developed a passion for genealogy when older  - maybe this book had something to do with it. 

‘The Story of Little Black Sambo’ by Helen Bannerman
I loved the brilliantly coloured illustrations of this story and believed literally that tigers would turn into butter if they ran around in circles fast enough, holding on to each other’s tails. I think of this story every time I make pancakes.

‘The Cow Who Fell in the Canal’ by Phyllis Krasilovsky
This story sowed early seeds of ‘wanderlust’ in me, filling my mind with brightly coloured, naïve imaginings of what Holland was like. I always remember being really excited seeing my first real tulip many years later. I remember guessing at some of the Dutch words in the illustrations, and was also fascinated by the illustration that depicted round Dutch cheeses in balls. I nagged my mother to buy round cheese but there was no such thing in the supermarket where I grew up.

Do you have favourite books from your childhood? Share them here.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

You're invited to the ebook launch of Mine to Avenge

The launch of the ebook version of MINE TO AVENGE is now a little less than a fortnight away, and I am preparing for a fun day of quizzes and competitions and will be giving away copies of the ebook. At the moment I am planning more giveaways than I have people attending, so get your skates on and hop on over to my Facebook Author page and register your attendance - just click on the Events tab and add your name to the list. Invite your friends along as well. You just might win yourself an extra Christmas present.
Would you like to know what others are saying about MINE TO AVENGE before you decide? Have a browse through the testimonials, reviews and progress reports below from those who have read the book or are currently reading it.

E.J. RYCER - Boston, MA (progress report)

‘I was reading MINE TO AVENGE and accidentally took an extra 10 minutes at my lunch break because I was so absorbed in it... Safe to say I'm pretty hooked!'

E.J.RYCER - Boston, MA

‘MINE TO AVENGE by Kerry Letheby is one of the best books I have read in a long time! If you enjoy deep characters and rich detail combined with a timeless tale of love and vengeance, this is certainly a book you must read!
I was drawn into the story from beginning to end. The level of detail woven into the story made me feel as though I was experiencing everything right along with the characters. I became so emotionally invested in each of their journeys that the end of the book was almost bittersweet... I was very pleased with how things turned out, but I was sad to bid farewell to my new friends.’

DIANNE BARRATT - South Australia

‘If you are looking for a book that you can’t put down then MINE TO AVENGE is the book to read!  Kerry challenges the reader to consider our response to painful loss and grief.  How does the act of making judgments and not forgiving others affect those we love?  What choices would you make if you walked in the shoes of the Galanos and Anastos families?   Please read it, it’s a book not easy to forget.’

URSULA KUEHN - South Australia

A sweeping tale of family loyalty & blood feuds that takes the reader on a journey from war torn Greece, to the streets of Adelaide, South Australia, to New York and the terrible events of 9/11. A compelling read.’

DES SCHWARZ - Mount Gambier, South Australia

‘The novel had me hooked from the first paragraph. Although it is fiction, I could visualise and relate to the characters in the story. I could see this type of scenario actually happening in some parts of the world. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the novel down until I got to the end. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a story with suspense and mystery.’

ANNETTE LOVELL - Perth, Western Australia (progress report)
‘MINE TO AVENGE by Kerry Letheby is a great read. I am up to chapter 16 and really can’t keep my nose out of it. It’s a great story and I can't wait till I reach the end to see what happens.’
SUE TEASDALE - Mount Gambier, South Australia (progress report)

'Hi Kerry, found some time at long last to just sit back and start to read, MINE TO AVENGE. I’m loving it!! An easy and enjoyable read, the plot is just starting to thicken, can't wait to get back to it!!'

SUE TEASDALE - Mount Gambier, South Australia (second progress report)

'I finished MINE TO AVENGE last night. I even shed a few tears towards the end!! One very clever plot, interesting characters and a well-written story made one very enjoyable read!! It has left me wanting more; hope there is sequel under way!!'

EDEL SALISBURY, Co. Donegal, Ireland (progress report)

'I am half way through your book Kerry and I am glued to the pages!!! It's a real page turner… I have a feeling it is going to be a late night in my house tonight. Loving it!!!'

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Announcing winners of Mine to Avenge Giveaway

I'm pleased to announce the winners of the recent Goodreads Giveaway of my novel, Mine to Avenge. Congratulations to Violet Lauderdale, Carol Marshall and Diana Seay. Your books will be on the way shortly.
Thank you too, to the other 788 people who entered the Giveaway. I might even consider running another Giveaway again very soon.

What are your writing goals for 2013?

It’s almost that time of the year when everyone will begin thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I have never been one to do this much before, noting the tendency of many people to fail at keeping up with their resolutions.
Why is it that we fail to keep up with all the good intentions we set ourselves? There are probably many reasons but, as I think about it, the two reasons that immediately spring to mind are the following -
  1. People set themselves unrealistic goals. As an example, someone might aim to lose 5 kilograms a month, whereas a more realistic goal might be to aim to weigh less at the end of each month than you were at the beginning of it. Some say that goals need to be specific, but I think sometimes it is good to be less rigid. This is still something that is measurable.
  2. Generally good habits are harder to maintain than bad habits - if you think about it, I think it’s easier to overeat than to eat moderately; it’s easier to not exercise than to exercise regularly; it’s easier to not do the housework than to do it, and so on. It seems that not doing something that is good for you tends to be easier than actually doing it.
So with these two thoughts in mind, I thought I would try to plan some resolutions for my writing in 2013.
With respect to the first point above, it would probably be unrealistic for me to say that I want to be a successful, well-known author by the end of 2013. At this stage I have only just released my first novel as a paperback, the E-book is about to be released and the sequel companion volume is only about a third of the way through its first draft. It might be more realistic to say that my New Year’s resolutions for writing include things such as becoming better at my craft, learning more about marketing and promotion, and increasing my online presence.
These three goals are very broad but they could be further broken down into smaller, more specific goals. To become better at my craft I could try to write more regularly and block in regular writing time on my calendar or in my diary. I could resolve to do several short-term courses by the end of the year. I could aim to write a chapter a month. To learn more about marketing and promotion I could set aside some reading time to learn about these things. I could research and follow several marketing focussed blogs over the course of the year to see what they have to teach me. This would also link closely with smaller goals around increasing my online presence. If I weren’t already using such platforms as Facebook, Twitter and so on, I would choose one at a time to become familiar with.
The point is to make small, achievable goals along the way as stepping-stones to the big picture goal of becoming a well-known author. If you still like the idea of dreaming the big picture, maybe change the wording of your resolution so that the aim is not so much ‘to be a well-known author by the end of 2013’, but ‘to be a better known author than I am now by the end of 2013.’ The latter is an achievable, measurable goal, just as much as the former, but the former is unrealistic.
With reference to the second point above, the fact that I want to set resolutions for my writing suggests that there are certain habits of writing that I deem to be good for me and my development as a writer - habits that I don’t yet have but desire to have, and they will require work and discipline to continue in them. It will be easier not to do them than to do them.
With this in mind I will try to be prepared for the times when I don’t want to do what I have resolved to do, by planning to measure my goals in some way and maybe setting up a system of rewards for my successes as motivation. Perhaps it would work well to write my goals out and put them in a prominent place as a prompt with a reward next to each one - such as buying myself the book I badly want if I achieve a month worth of small goals. Maybe I could also give my list to a close friend whom I can trust to keep me accountable to what I have planned.
My next step is to actually plan some goals and apply the above principles to them. If I can work out a plan before the New Year I will share it here on the blog. In the meantime, if any other writers have some writing resolutions and tips for keeping them, please share them here with other readers.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Alcandor's agitation - from Mine to Avenge

    Alcandor loosened his tie and unbuttoned his shirt at the neck. He knew he was at his son’s wedding, but felt as if he was about to suffocate. He looked around at the wedding guests, to make sure no one was aware of his agitation. No one was, of course. They were all having fun. Caterina was having a conversation with Ardelis and didn’t see his distress.
    Nothing had happened in eighteen years. They were happy and secure here. Surely, Constantine had written those things in anger. Alcandor tried to tell himself he would have done the same thing, if the situation were reversed.
    Why did he still have a sense of unease? He turned to watch the celebrations again, and his eyes roamed over the guests. He looked at their clothes and watched conversations, trying to lip-read what they said on the other side of the room. His eyes fell on Charis’s parents, Mr and Mrs Petrides, and he thought what a wonderful family they were, and how fortunate Dymas was to be part of their family. He felt fortunate to have Charis as a daughter-in-law too, but the pleasant feeling vanished as rapidly as it had come.
    In the far corner of the room at the most distant table, he saw the two young men who worked with Stepan at the carpentry workshop, and, all at once, felt a strange disquiet. Alcandor had only met Fedor and Vasilios Chalakas briefly a few times before the wedding, but each time he met them, that inner disturbance of mind needled him like a burr in his socks. It was irritating him now as he watched them.
    They applied to Stepan with some excellent examples of their craftsmanship, and Stepan was impressed with the quality of the work. They proved their worth in time, and the business went from strength to strength.
    Twice Alcandor invited them, through Stepan, to come for a meal and meet the wider family, but each time they politely thanked him and pleaded inability because of their own family affairs.
    Alcandor averted his gaze, wanting to shake off his disquiet. He focused his attention on his family again, gaining comfort as he watched his grown children interacting with the grandchildren. He amused himself for a time, working out who each grandchild resembled.
    Someone walked by him and cast a shadow, interrupting his thoughts. He looked up to see the back of a young man who was walking towards Dymas at the other end of the hall. He recognised Dymas’s friend and best man, Spyridon Pagonis. As his eyes followed Spyridon along the length of the hall, he experienced the same unsettled emotions as when he was watching Fedor and Vasilios.
    Alcandor had also only met Spyridon a few times because Spyridon was as reluctant to socialise as Stepan’s employees were. Alcandor couldn’t understand why these three young men made him feel ill at ease. Was he feeling resentment that his sons were finding mateship with men apart from himself? Why wasn’t he happy that his sons had found good friends who had also proven their worth in employment? Was he really a jealous man at heart, resenting the influence of other men in his sons’ lives? He deliberately turned away, momentarily ashamed that there might be some truth in these thoughts.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Book Review: ‘Ishpirations - In Memoriam and Celebration of Life Vol 3’

I’m doing something completely different today and offering a book review of a little ‘gem’ I read on the weekend, by author Regina Griffin.

 In her book ‘Ishpirations - In Memoriam and Celebration of Life Vol 3’, Regina Griffin sets out to promote the awareness of breast cancer, by celebrating the joys of life and honoring individual breast cancer survivors.
She does this with a collection of ‘Ishpirations’, or, as defined in the book, ‘eclectic statement(s) intended to inspire.’ Many of the ‘Ishpirations’ are linked to either a survivor of breast cancer or to one who has come to the end of the battle. I took great care with my last phrase, choosing not to say ‘lost the battle’, because as you read these ‘Ishpirations’ you will realize that, to the contrary, these women lost nothing at all, but many of them gained a wealth and wisdom far surpassing anything the world considers valuable. As such they have left behind an inheritance of far greater value than any worldly riches. This inheritance is probably best summed up by Ishpiration # 208 - ‘Live a life that makes the world miss you when you are gone.’ These women have lived such a life - a life that ensures their immortality within the hearts of those who knew and loved them and, through the pages of this book, they now have the chance to also live on in the hearts of others who never knew them, spreading their abundant inheritance even further abroad. A short, sweet and inspirational read.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Which characters from novels would you like to have dinner with?

Today’s post was prompted when reading a selection of book reviews this afternoon about the book ‘Random Harvest’, which is one of my all time favorite stories. As I read, I was amazed at the different thoughts people had about the book and its characters, and it emphasized for me the subjective nature of reading. I have always been inspired by the main female character, Paula, but was surprised to read of others who didn’t like her character at all. I have always thought she is someone I would have liked to meet in real life if she really existed to learn more about her and hopefully discover something of the origins of her strength of character.
The world of fiction is full of wonderful characters that draw us in with their complexities, and I began thinking of some of my other favorites. I came up with a short list of four I would like to have dinner with if it were possible, and have listed them below. Who are some of the characters you would like to have dinner with and why?

1. Paula Ridgeway - ‘Random Harvest’
I admire her persevering love - being prepared to live as a stranger with her former husband who has amnesia and doesn’t remember her from their earlier life together. Yes, the plot is probably far fetched, but the story has something powerful to say about the nature of love. I’d want to talk to Paula about where her strength came from.

2. Sydney Carton - ‘A Tale of Two Cities’
Trapped emotionally by a love that isn’t reciprocated, Sydney is often drunk and coarse. At the end of the story, his character performs the ultimate act of sacrifice. I want to know whether he did it because it provided an easy way out for himself, or whether it was truly done for Lucie, the object of his unrequited love. It’s pure guesswork for the reader, I think.

3. Belle Watling - ‘Gone With the Wind’
I’d like to know more about her life - in other words the backstory to her presence in Gone With the Wind.

4. Violette Szabo - ‘Carve Her Name With Pride’
I would like to meet anyone such as Violette who would willingly give themselves over to torture rather than betray their friends and comrades in war. I don’t think many people would be able to withstand such treatment without yielding. I wouldn’t have any questions for her. I’d be completely in awe of her.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

An invitation to the MINE TO AVENGE online ebook launch!

You are invited to the MINE TO AVENGE online ebook launch!

At long last the ebook files for MINE TO AVENGE are ready and the book is already live on several sites including Amazon. I have now locked in a date for the online ebook launch and have begun preparing a day’s worth of giveaways to celebrate - including bookmarks and the paperback as well as the ebook itself. If you are reading this blog, please consider yourself invited. Please come and visit me on my Facebook Author page and register your interest in attending the launch. 

DATE: Saturday 29th December 2012
TIME: 7.00am - midnight (South Australian time)

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The mysterious note - excerpt from chapter 8 of Mine to Avenge

Alcandor felt something stir in the darker recesses of his mind, drawing his thoughts back beyond Australia. He didn’t want his memories to go back there. He fought his mind at first, but was powerless to resist and finally gave in. He thought about Constantine and Helena and found that his grief at the loss of Helena and the estrangement from his friend was still raw, all these years later.
But there was an element of his grief that had given birth to fear. He had kept a secret all these years and was unable to share it, even with his beloved Caterina, because it would frighten her as it frightened him. Surely, though, there was no need to fear anymore. They had been in Australia for eighteen years now and nothing had happened. Why couldn’t he shake his fear? Was it paranoia?
His mind went back to the last day at the village—the day they had left it forever. As the family packed their belongings, preparing for an early departure the following morning, Alcandor was outside tightening the wheels on the cart when he suddenly knew that he wasn’t alone. He straightened up to see an unknown man watching him from the lane.
‘Alcandor Galanos?’ the man asked.
‘I am,’ Alcandor replied, wiping his greasy hands upon his trousers, as he walked towards the man. ‘Can I help you?’
The man reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a piece of paper folded in quarters and held it out. ‘I’ve been asked to deliver this note, sir.’
Alcandor took the paper from the stranger, who nodded politely, then turned and began to walk away along the lane.
Alcandor called out after him. ‘Who sent this?’
‘I don’t know, sir. A lad brought it to me to deliver on behalf of someone else. I was coming this way and was asked to bring it.’
Alcandor stood by the gate and unfolded the paper, holding it with the tips of his greasy black fingers.
As he read it, he again felt the piercing burn he felt on the day of Helena’s funeral, when a javelin of unbridled malice was aimed at him and thrust through the air. He read the words in a haze of disbelief. He rubbed his eyes with his greasy hands and read the note again. It was from Constantine. Alcandor heard Constantine coldly pronouncing every word as if he was standing right next to him.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Win a copy of Mine to Avenge

    Today is the beginning of my third week at a new job. I love the work, and it is the first time that I can ever remember actually looking forward to going to work in the morning. Apart from the fact that a day job gets in the way of writing, marketing and promotion, I believe the job was tailor made for me - a perfect fit.
    This has kindled a spirit of generosity, and I would like to celebrate somehow, so thought I would like to host a competition with a free copy of Mine to Avenge on offer.

   To win the copy of Mine to Avenge, please answer the following question -

    Which variety of flowers was growing in the window box under Helena’s window? Please name variety of flower and colour.

   Hint - the answer can be found in a blog post from May 2012.

   How to win: Email me your answer to the email address found in the Contact tab of the blog. Please include your name and postal address details so I can arrange for delivery of the book. The first email I receive with the correct answer will be the winner, and I will then update this blog post with the announcement of the winner’s name.

   While not a condition of entry, I would appreciate it very much if the winner would be willing to read and review the book for me on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook or any of your networks.

Have fun!

UPDATE: Competition winner is Edel Salisbury - Congratulations! The answer was red geraniums.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Thoughts on self publishing

    I posted a quote on Facebook this morning from Adrienne Thompson - 
'Being self-published makes me no less "published" than the authors who are with publishing companies.' 
    The quote has stayed with me all day so I decided to explore it a little in my blog post today, while sharing a little of my own self-publishing experience.
    Why did I choose to self publish? I actually began by attempting to publish the traditional way - submitting to publishing houses, and being rejected. From memory, I think I only tried four or five submissions this way. I knew that self-publishing was an option when I began submitting, but I had this idea in my head that many people still have today, that you aren’t really published unless you get published the traditional way.
    One of the traditional publishers was kind enough to send some feedback with their rejection. The company required the first three chapters as part of the submission process. They said that they had found my first three chapters very intriguing, and were keen to see where the story went, but they said that with the sheer volume of submissions they receive, it was impossible to proceed with every manuscript they would like to, saying that they rejected many potentially wonderful stories. They then cited a statistic that was quite revealing. I’m not sure whether this statistic applies to all publishers, but they told me that their publishing house accepts less than one percent of the submissions that cross their desk. They said that they just don’t have the money to publish and promote the number they would like to.
    When you think about it, if traditional publishing were the only option, there would be many potentially good stories that would never see the light of day. However, there have also been many awful stories published in the traditional way.
    When I realised just how many potentially good stories were missing out on a chance to be read, I discarded my prejudiced view of traditional publishing and decided to seriously consider self-publishing for my own manuscript. I considered uploading to places such as Amazon and Lulu and came so close to pressing the ‘Upload’ button on the appropriate websites, but I was reluctant to send my hard work into cyberspace, feeling like I might lose control of it or lose it altogether. I wanted to have more hands-on input and speak regularly with a real live person about the process as it happened.
    So I researched, self-publishing options here in Australia. I made a list of options Australia wide, sent emails with my questions, and made many phone calls to speak with consultants, and gradually whittled the list down until I was left with Love of Books, located in Brisbane, Queensland. They made it easy to choose what I wanted by offering their services in a range of modules where I chose which ones I wanted to meet my needs.
    What I have appreciated is that I have been in control all the way, with the publishers doing everything I want, while still giving professional advice. They have always been on the end of the phone when I need help and have talked me through all my questions. They patiently put up with me returning the manuscript at least seven times post editing, because there were still things to clean up.
    Authors who submit the traditional way don’t have the same control, and after a few months, if the book isn’t selling well, it is often taken from the shelves and authors are left to their own devices to continue marketing and promotion while the publishers move on to their next potential ‘hit’ novel. This suggests too that publishers sometimes get it wrong with what they choose to publish, with many of their chosen books dying a natural death after only a few months.
    Of course while it is nice to be in total control of what you are doing, it doesn’t make it easy, as I am finding out. Self-promotion is hard work, and sometimes I wish I had an ‘expert’ doing it all for me. But I have actually enjoyed the journey so far and learned so much from the experience, making some wonderful friends and connections along the way.
Please feel free to share some of your own self-publishing thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.