Technology woes and a new title

Everything has broken.

Well, okay, not quite everything. My Kindle is old and slow with a cracked case, but I can still read things on it so long as I give it time to find them first. My phone is working, yay! My netbook has the screen hanging off by one hinge. After the other hinge broke, the keyboard stopped working and then the wireless adapter stopped working. It had been waiting for a trip to the Tip Of Doom. Until yesterday when my main work laptop died. Utterly, completely died. No lights, no sound, no action.

You may imagine how traumatic it was to get home after Bible study and realise I had no way of watching the Great British Bake Off on iPlayer. Having confirmed that the big laptop wasn’t coming back to life, I tried the netbook again. I am typing on it now. It’s slow and very fragile, but it is now more or less operational. But I can’t do any work on it.

So today I bought a new laptop. It is shiny. And it has Windows 8.1 which is not nearly as horrible as I had feared. You can use a normal desktop and not go near the tiles bit at all. I have mostly managed to install all the software I need, though I have lost the serial key for BibleWorks which is a bit worrying. I have emailed support, but I’m not hopeful. I’ve had fun trying to remember all the passwords I normally don’t need to know. I locked myself out of this site for a while and had to change things in myphpadmin which was a bit scary.

ANYWAY. Before things all died yesterday, I had been working on the formatting of my new short story and was hoping to have pressed publish today. That is not going to happen. The story is safe but the cover has been lost. I had uploaded the cover here but not the latest version with a new title! So I need to redo that. And then check that I haven’t lost any revisions. And redo the formatting. I hope to press publish tomorrow.

Oh, the new title. It made me laugh so much when I thought of it, and twitter and facebook were uncharacteristically unanimous in support of it. So, ‘Grass is Always Greener’ will now be known as ‘Not My Field.’

Ros Clarke Romances

The print anthology has landed! I’ve just approved the proof copy and it’s now available to buy at Lulu. In due course it will also be available via Amazon and other online retailers. Here’s the blurb:

Three fun, sexy romance novellas from Ros Clarke including:
Reckless Runaway at the Racecourse
Teasing, testing, tempting Fliss Merrick is the worst sort of distraction for calm, orderly racehorse trainer Luke Caldecott. Before he knows quite what’s happened, she’s in his home and in his life. Now he has to work out how to hold on to her.
The Tycoon’s Convenient Wife

Fifteen years ago, Emily Standish and Guy Munro were friends. Until she fell in love with him and he married someone else. Now Guy needs an enormous favour from his old friend and Emily has a chance to see if love can strike twice.
Flirting with the Camera
Hattie Bell is beautiful, brilliant and bigger than your average plus-sized model. Sparks in the studio of top fashion photographer, Tom Metcalfe, set off a sizzlingly sexy affair that has both of them revealing more than they’d bargained for.

And it has a shiny new cover:

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Would make an ideal Christmas present for anyone who likes reading romance novellas in print anthology format. It’s £10.99 but if you buy it today, there’s a 30% off code: #decktheshelf which makes it not much more than the combined price of the digital books. Bargain!

Update, a first chapter and a freebie

Well, it has been a slow and frustrating week while the mills of Smashwords grind slow and they grind exceeding small. I’m still waiting for Flirting With The Camera to be accepted into the Premium Catalogue. The other three books have all made it through and the new covers and editions are beginning to appear at Apple, B&N, Kobo and elsewhere.

The Tycoon’s Convenient Wife is now free! I think, though I have not completely decided, that it will be permanently free from now on. It’s already had a ton of downloads and it’s only been free for 24 hours or so. And now that there is better back matter with links to the other books and a sign up for news, and so on, I feel like that could be a really good way to boost sales across the board. Anyway, if you haven’t read it and would like to, now’s a good time.

I’ve entered So You Think You Can Write 2013. The competition is open to published writers this year, provided you haven’t been published with Harlequin/M&B. My manuscript is just over half done, and I need to have it finished by Nov 12th in case I get through to the next round. You can read my first chapter of Traitor in the Sheikh’s Bed here and comment, if you like, but there’s no voting at this stage. I can assure you that if I get through to a voting round, you’ll know about it!

Trying technology

Today has been a somewhat trying day.

After uploading Flirting with the Camera to Amazon yesterday, I got the email this morning to say that it had gone live. Except it hadn’t. The link in the email went to a 404 error page and searching Amazon brought up no results. I emailed customer support. Then checked the forums (should have done this first). Apparently, that is now a thing. So I waited and a few hours later, it appeared. Hooray! Except, boo, no table of contents. So I redid the file, converted it to mobi, checked it on my Kindle and uploaded it again. Except somehow I uploaded the Smashwords file instead. Disaster! You can’t make any changes until the book is live again, so I waited, and have finally just uploaded it again. If it’s not right this time I shall scream. Or cry. Probably both.

Anyway, once the link went live the first time, I was able to add it to the new editions of the other books and upload those. Hoping that they have the right files! I think they do. The kdp uploaded did spot a couple of typos in Reckless Runaway, so I have corrected those. And uploaded a corrected file at Smashwords.

So now, the state of play is that you can buy all the books at Amazon, though you may not get the best file of Flirting with the Camera if you buy it right now. You can buy the up-to-date editions of all the books at Smashwords. And you can buy old editions of everything except Flirting with the Camera everywhere else. This is because they are all still pending review at Smashwords, before they can be pushed out to the other retailers from there. This tends to happen in stages, over the course of a week or two. You’ll recognise when the new editions are available because they will have the new covers. And of course I’ll add the links for Flirting with the Camera here as they go live.

In amongst all this, I have been sending out Kickstarter rewards. So far, I’ve done all the non-personalised ones and one personalised one. The rest are going to have to wait until tomorrow, I think. I’m too tired and frazzled to do it right today.

Phew.

The process has begun

It is something of an epic journey this time round, since I’ve given all my self-published titles new editions and new covers.

Tonight I’ve uploaded the new editions and new covers of The Tycoon’s Convenient Wife, Reckless Runaway at the Racecourse, and Twelve Days at Smashwords. It was somewhat more traumatic than usual because Smashwords kept insisting that I had not included the phrase ‘Smashwords Edition’ on my copyright page. Which I had. Anyway, it is all sorted now. I have to wait for the new files to be checked before they will be uploaded to the Premium Catalog, from which they will be distributed to B&N, Apple, Kobo, Sony et al. It could be a couple of days or even a couple of weeks before you’ll see the new covers everywhere.

Tomorrow’s task is to format the final version of Flirting With The Camera, add the back matter, write the blurb and then upload that to Smashwords and Amazon. Once it’s gone live at Amazon, I’ll add the link to the files of the new editions of the other books and upload those to Amazon. Still with me? Not sure I am! I have a list. It goes into double figures.

I’ve decided to set The Tycoon’s Convenient Wife to be permanently free. It’s free at Smashwords now and that should percolate into other sites soon. It will probably take longest at Amazon, since they will only set it to free in response to that price elsewhere.

After that, I’ll have the fun of sending out Kickstarter rewards. Some people are getting personalised copies of the ebook, so I need to add in ‘signature’ pages with a message for them. I’ll also need to format it for printing, since some people chose that Kickstarter reward level. If it goes well, I’m thinking of bundling some of the books into a print anthology. Hopefully that will be more cost-effective than printing the individual books. And since they’re short, it seems possible. We’ll see.

Oh, and did I mention here that I’m planning to enter this year’s So You Think You Can Write contest? It’s open to published authors this time. The only catch is that the entries need to be in by October 9th. You only need a first chapter to enter, but they’ll choose 50 entries to request a full manuscript from. So really, the whole book needs to be finished by then. I’ve written 12,000 words since Saturday. I’m loving it but it’s still quite a long way from finished. I’m still working on my Scottish short story too. The editor wants that by October 6th. Plenty to keep me busy, then.

New covers, new title, new everything!

NEWCOVERS

I really love the bright, fresh colours and hopefully they also have easier text for reading in thumbnail size. I’m happy to have everything with a consistent look and I think it will help to have the word ‘romance’ on the cover for attracting potential new readers.

What do you think of the new look covers? They’ll be rolling out in the next couple of weeks in preparation for the launch of Tom and Hattie.

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