Friday, 23 November 2012

Edison Blue

Yesterday I mentioned the glacial progress of Elsie Smith Vampyre Hunter.
Well, the book I wrote after Elsie Smith, titled Edison Blue, is out. Or nearly out. It’s certainly in the pipeline. You will be able to get it on Amazon, both as a real, solid book made out of bits of paper stuck together, or on your Kindle. (Link.)
The print version is thanks to CreateSpace, who offer one of the cheapest ways to make a “real” book available. This is because they charge you nothing until you buy a proof copy. You can purchase a bunch of services from them, but you don’t have to if you’re willing to persevere with formatting your MS and getting a cover from somewhere.

How Edison Blue came about:
About three years ago, my children and I brainstormed ideas for a book, my intention being to use every single darn thing we came up with. We brainstormed: a kid who turns blue, time travel, robots, magic, a smartphone, a dragon, musketeers, aliens, goblins, paladins, mind control, Armageddon, and school.
(Incidentally, I failed to fit everything on the list into the book. The dragon got written out of the final version of the ending. He was there in a draft, but he just didn’t fit, so he had to go. Maybe in the sequel…)

Here is the blurb:
It’s the End of the World as we know it.
Edison Hawthorne is about to be vaporised in a hail of reality-fracturing missiles launched by a mysterious alien known only as The Entity.
Edison’s one chance of survival lies in a large, hi-tech egg built by his mother, an inventor.
The egg does its job. Edison survives the destruction of his city. But when he wakes up, the world has gone insane.
Humanity has been bombed back to the Stone Age.
People are unaware of the concept of chocolate.
Edison is as blue as a peacock.
And his phone thinks it is as human as he is, and no longer wants to be his slave…

Kindle version cover (for which thanks for assistance go to Adrian):

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Publishing on the Kindle – 2

Astute as you are, Dear Reader, you will have noted a considerable hiatus between my entry “Publishing on Kindle – first steps” and any other Kindle-related activity.
The Grand Hiatus was actually composed of a series of Lesser Hiatuses.
First, no sooner had I congratulated myself on formatting Elsie Smith for the Kindle, but I realised that I was lacking a vital ingredient of even a Kindle book: a front cover. Yes, unlike a physical book, when you’re reading a kindle version, you can’t see the cover. But you still need a cover to go on the Kindle Store.
Art is not my forte. At photography I am mediocre. Photography it was then! But what to photograph? At length I settled on a dead hand, displaying a ring which features in the storyline. Having so decided, I needed to find and buy a ring resembling the ring in the story – which took some time.
Then it was time for the photograph. Several sessions followed (I’m grateful to my daughter for supplying the hand), but a “perfect” hand shot never emerged. Either the hand didn’t look dead, or it looked dead but the ring was not displayed to good effect. (On one occasion neither I nor my model had noticed that the ring was UPSIDE DOWN.)
Eventually I settled on making a cover from scratch, but that’s another story.
Hiatus number 2 was the title. Elsie Smith Vampyre Hunter had been Elsie Smith Vampyre Hunter since I first conceived of it and started making notes (2008). However, over the last year several external factors have been trying their best to push me away from that title.
The first of these was the film “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.” I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw the trailer for this at the cinema. By all accounts it is rather different in tone to Elsie Smith. (I haven’t seen it.) The second of these was the book “Anita Blake Vampire Hunter,” which my wife spotted in our local department store. Luckily this too (a series apparently) is also quite different in tone to Elsie Smith. (I haven’t read any of them.)
Well, Vampire Hunter appeared to be taken – so what else might I call the book? Several brainstorming sessions followed, which led to my daughter and I compiling a longlist of more than 30 possible titles or title fragments. Some of these revolved around times of day or the near extermination of humanity, or vampyres themselves and their characters.
Times of Day That are Dark are certainly well used on the Kindle Store. Here are the results of a search I did one morning:
Time of Day
Hits in Kindle Store (16.x.2012)
After Dark
Till Dawn
The Gloaming

Even “The Gloaming” has 6 hits! Times of day were clearly out.
I eventually decided to stick with Elsie Smith Vampyre Hunter for now. However, maybe I should change “Vampyre” to the standard form “Vampire”? If you search the Kindle store for “Vampire” you get 12,182 hits (as at 16.x.2012), but search for “Vampyre” and you only get 122 hits. Maybe people don’t search for “Vampyre”? Maybe I should change to “Vampire”, albeit to appear as item 12,183 in the Kindle Store? In the event I have decided to stick with “Vampyre.” We’ll see how it goes. My ham-fisted attempt at a cover: