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Author, Avid Tweeter & Blogger, Lover of books, Teacher of Maths & Swimming, Mother, Speaks Spanish, Friend to many...

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Editing again...

This week I have been trying to get my second book to work...just when I was close to finishing it I decided to do something radical and cut out 10,000 words.  They have moved to book three so you could say I'm ahead of the game now.  I'm not really - am I? 

The bonus is that I get to think of some new raw material and I already have a lot of ideas.  I went on a school trip with my eight year daughter this week.  As we sat by the sea I got out my notepad and wrote a whole new scene.  Talk about inspiration.  Glorious sun, peaceful setting, perfection.


Anyway, I am off on holiday this week so I will take my notepad and try to be inspired again...it won't take that long to write another 10,000...ever the optimist!

For all you authors out there, hope you all get inpired in your writing journeys.  And don't be afraid to cut, edit, delete.  It's how a good story becomes a great one.

Thanks for all the positive comments I have received so far on Hybrid...

Vanessa :) xx

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Wow! More Five star reviews!

Well, last week was interesting to say the least... I had so many ups and downs I am sure I resmbled a yo-yo!  That's the way it goes right?  Anyway, in my muddled confused state I managed to come up with a new story which might just end up being a venting exercise.  Sometimes it's good to just write for the sake of it with no clear goal or objective... just to let go.

I have also started to edit the first novel I ever wrote... if I'm ever happy with it I'll publish.  Again, I though it was a waste for it to just sit there all alone, poor story!  Anyway, it'll probably be a freebie if I ever publish it.

I am back on track editing book two of the Evoultion Series.  I don't know if this happens to any of you writers out there... do you read your stuff back after a few months and ask yourself if you really wrote it?  I do... especially since it has been months since I had the chance to edit it.  People ask how long it takes to write a book.  Well, the answer is, how long is piece of thread?  I wrote it a year ago, but it was not like it is now.  A story has to evolve, adapt, be moulded and then, tentatively, you let go.  To see, to share...

Anyway, I am chuffed to bits to get another two five star ratings for HYBRID!  One on Amazon, one on smashwords... thank you JulieB & Sarah Hagen!

Good luck with whatever pursuit you choose to follow...Let the creative juices flow! :)
Vanessa Wester Author of HYBRID, Book One in the Evolution Series

Imaginative new author 20 May 2012 By Julieb!
I loved this book.You are engaged with the characters immediately, and the writing style is flowing, giving you a real page turner. The twist in the story is a surprise and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Well done to Vanessa!

Review by: Sarah Hagen on May 22, 2012 : star star star star star
Really enjoyed this book - actually I could not put it down. I would recommend this book highly. Cannot wait for the next book.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Self promotion

Finally, today I was granted Premium status by smashwords. In a few weeks my book will be available everywhere...it's daunting and I know I'm not the first to think... Now what? So, I will wait and see. Until then, I need to get my head back in the game. There is still so much I have to learn.

To be honest, if you had told me three years ago I would write a book I would have laughed. But, I can't turn the clock. I am where I am. I love to write and the Internet allows me to share it with relative ease. It's not easy, but then what in life is?

Anyway, thanks to Laura https://twitter.com/#!/LauraHoward78 on Twitter I have had another bash at sorting out this blog and have managed to attach the links... I am rather chuffed with myself!  Let me know what you think...

 Thanks for reading Vanessa :)

Monday, 14 May 2012

The world I knew nothing about...until now!

Today I witnessed a discussion between readers and an author which left a bad taste in my mouth.

The author had apparently spammed about his book and was caught making false reviews (apparently made by his family).  This led the readers to believe he had so many 5 star reviews which were actually supposedly fake.  The reader proceeded to tell the author to pxxx off and stop justifying something that was so obviously wrong!  Added to this the book appeared to be riddled with errors...oops!

Anyway, I felt sorry for the author. Obviously, he is trying to pitch his book to sell - I guess to make money?  But, he is deluded if he thinks what he has done/ is doing is right.  I would not dream of asking people to make fake reviews... but then, is this happening all the time?  I get the impression a lot of reviews are made up and do not actually give an honest opinion.

I am not the best reviewer, and I will seek to make amends and review items I purchase from now on.  If I look at the reviews then I might as well post my own.  But this is a strange world we live in.  A world of reviews...in the old days you went to a shop, you liked something and you bought it.  Sure people talked and gave reviews but usually you knew they were genuine. 

Also, I have bought enough tat in my time as childrens presents/ food from the shop to know that I can spend £5 easily on rubbish.  So, if you spend under £5 on a book are you justified to make that person feel like sxxx!  You can't take a toy back and say this is sxxx.  It's a risk on a cheap purchase.

Until I started writing I had no idea of the time, effort and work that goes into producing a book.  Yet, now we can pick up a paperback from the supermarket for £1.50 - wow!  That's cheaper than a portion of chips! What a world we live in...

But, I add I am always out for a good deal myself...so ce la vie...Let's toast to consumerism and the market economy - we should be so proud!
Vanessa :)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Self-Publishing is hard work!

After hours of tweaking, changing, amending, adding...etc...( you get the picture) I have published my book on Amazon. I was amazed by how quickly it all went once it was done. I am still waiting to hear from Smashwords about the premium status!

I am currently proofing the hard copy so it's pretty much all go!  It's very exciting, but I am also apprehensive.  Even though, so far, I have received great reviews I know it's only a matter of time before someone doesn't like it and I am bracing myself for any comments.

Anyway, hopefully now I can focus on editing my second book.  Even though I am in the process of translating Hybrid in Spanish and German...

To anyone looking to self publish or needing advice, drop me a line - I might have the answer. I also enjoy creating book covers so again if you need help, just ask.  I won't charge you...although, if I get inundated you might have to wait a while...ha ha!

Thanks for reading
Vanessa :)
xx

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Quest for Premium Status

After publishing via smashwords, I have been hoping to secure the illusive premium status, which will allow my book to sell via Apple and Barnes & Noble, etc...today I think I discovered what I had done wrong.  So, I will keep my fingers crossed and hope it will get accepted soon.

I have to admit that I debated publishing through Amazon as well,but I am confused.  I don't want to sell via the KDP scheme.  I self-published to maintain control, not to lose it!  Also, I think I need to purchase an ISBN number (even though it says it is optional - can anyone clarify this point?) which is $100. So, again, why would I want to do this when I get one for free at Smashbooks?

Also, you can download onto any media via smashwords - you can only download to Kindle via Amazon.  Is this true?  Again, does this smell of monopoly to you?

I guess if all I cared about was sales, Amazon is the place to be?  Or, is it? 

I think more people will have an ipad as they see what an excellent tool it is.  And personally, I love to read books on it. It's bigger, better and clearer.  Then again I recently bought a Kobo and again was surprised at how easy it was.  WiFi enabled, with access to the internet at £75 - a bargain.  So, why would you buy a kindle at over £100?

Am I missing the point?

Anyway, add comments to my musings and have an excellent weekend...
Vanessa :)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Amazing Reviews! What a feeling!


I have to admit that I am amazed and overwhelmed.  Just when the doubting gremlins were seeping back into my mind, I was told today by two different people how much they loved my book!  What a fantastic feeling... The thing is, everyone reads it always says "I could not put it down!" Well, in my books that's incredible.  All authors hope to hit the nerve with a reader, and as an unknown all I could do was hope. 

So, I will carry on writing and sharing and hope that others will follow.  Like I always say, "you never know!"

Thanks for reading!
Vanessa :)

p.s. I attach my latest reviews for HYBRID... pretty cool, don't you think?  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145641

Review by: Katie Elliott on April 20, 2012 : star star star star star
Loved it! I couldn't put it down. I am so looking forward to the next book.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: Adam Cuadra on April 15, 2012 : star star star star star
This is a very exciting read! Would appeal to the Twilight fan-base, but has definitely put it's own twist on the genre. This is a very well constructed piece, all the more impressive for being a debut novel. I admired the language and story-telling craft. I thought the second half of the book flowed better than the first, and it got to a point where I didn't want to put it down. Whilst I was hooked from the beginning I was quite uncertain as to where the story would go as those I assumed to be the main characters from the outset were definitely not once the story progressed - this slight clunkiness would be my only real gripe, but for me it didn't detract from a great adventure well written. Many congratulations Vanessa - I look forward to reading what happens next, both with the saga itself and also with your writing journey. 5 stars!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Review by: lynn collinson on April 09, 2012 : star star star star star
Fantastic! Not my usual genre but has wet my appetite and I will be trying a few other paranormal books in the furute. Already looking forward to book 2!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

So here it is...first glimpse of the cover for my second book INTEGRATION.  What are you views?  Do you like?  I have a few other ones to choose from, but so far this is the one I'm leaning towards...Tweet me or leave a comment - I'd love to hear what you think! Thanks :)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A very productive day...

Isn't it amazing how some days you are able to pack it all in! Today I made lasagne & meatballs (from scratch - no cheating!), cleared up the house, did two wash loads, edited for over an hour, went for a 30 minute walk and tried - we all try - to promote my book! Pre-school is the best invention ever! My edits are going very well and the second book of The Evolution series, Integration, is now at 85,000 words...it's creeping up as I edit! I also managed to create a new cover for the second book, courtesy of my sister in law who takes amazing pictures... I'll post another day for your review. My sales are still slow, but I decided to sell at $0.99 or £0.70 - a bargain!

Ultimately, I would love people to read my debut novel, Hybrid, and let me know what you think. I started writing to escape, to explore my creativity... I would give the book away for free but I get the impression free books are not viewed highly...what are your experiences? I have heard that if you are into Twilight, my writing is just for you... But I am convinced it is not like Twilight as it develops. So, give it a go and read the 20% free download. What do you have to lose?

Thanks for reading, hasta luego,
Vanessa xx