Thursday, August 30, 2012

Delroy and the Marog Princess on Amazon

Delroy and the Marog Princess is now available on Amazon. Click on the link to get to my Amazon page, where you are invited to look inside the book, and of course purchase!

There were a few obstacles to overcome, including not being able to upload the cover. Fortunately, my illustrator, Erold Bailey, was able to upload it for me. Thank you, Erold. I had set the price at $5.99, so was taken aback when I saw that it was on offer for $7.99. Discovering that there is a $2.00 charge if you are not on the continental US, I dropped my price to $3.99, so you can buy it for $5.99.
The formatting for Amazon differs from formatting for Smashwords in several ways. In the building of the Table of Contents, Amazon uses the 'heading' method, while Smashwords builds it from hyperlinks and bookmarks. For Amazon, you put in page breaks, but not for Smashwords. For Amazon, you save your file as an HTML  document for Amazon, but for Smashwords as a Word 1997-2003 document. The methods of uploading and previewing also differ slightly. You can have your book on both Amazon and Smashwords, but you need to indicate on the Smashwords Channel Manager that you don't want them to distrubute to Amazon. If you want to opt for Kindle Direct Publishing Select, instead of the regular KDP, you can't publish anywhere else.
  I would recommend anyone wanting to self-publish to do their own formatting for both Amazon and Smashwords. It gives you more control over your work and of necessity you have to re-read one more time and pick up any errors that may have slipped through your previous edits. If a non-technical person like me can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

'Delroy in the Marog Kingdom' at the Granville Reading Program

This is a follow-up to the guest blog with Natalie Bennett on the Summer Reading and Arts Program. On July 23, I went with  friends and family to the Granville Community Centre, where we were warmly greeted by Jakki Strong-Rhoden, the co-ordinator of the program. She suggested that we start by gathering a group of children around each of us at different tables and  read age-appropriate material to them.  We observed some of the problems Natalie mentioned, especially the inattention and tendency for the children to get confrontational with each other.
   After about half an hour, most of the children enrolled in the program had arrived, so it was time for me to read from Delroy and the Marog Kingdom. This story is actually intended for 9-13 year-olds, so I was not expecting the younger ones to concentrate for long. However, as I began by introducing them to the frog who says "Ribbit, ribbit" and asking if frogs could talk, in order to explain that this story is not only fiction, but is also fantasy, their attention was engaged. Then an 11-year-old boy, acting as Delroy, put the frog in the pot and another boy, acting as Mario, clamped on the lid. Acting as Delroy's mama, I screamed when I opened the pot and saw the frog. I also read from the chapter 'River Mumma' and of Delroy's conversion into a marog (a type of frog). I hope that the parts of the story I read were enough to motivate the older children to read the whole story for themselves.

Presenting a copy of my book to Jakki

Thanks to Dr. Doris Channer-Watson, who, in addition to buying a copy of Delroy in the Marog Kingdom, paid for a copy to be given to a worthy recipient, I was able to donate it to the Granville Summer Programme. People have suggested to me that I should donate copies of my book to schools. I would love to be able to do this, but I cannot afford to, as I myself have to purchase them. I do not have a stack of free books to give away! When you buy a book, the author receives only a small percentage. The rest goes to the publisher, who has paid for the cover design, editing, typesetting, printing, shipping and warehousing; and to the bookshops who have all their overheads to cover. Neither the publisher, nor author nor bookshop can afford to give away books, unless it is for promotional purposes, from which they expect to get some returns.  However, if anyone reading this post would like to purchase a copy of my book to be given to a school, I would be happy to read to the children from my book at the same time as it is presented to the school.