I'm at home sick. In fact, I've been sick quite a lot this month. A persistent infection and three different types of antibiotic played havoc with my immune system and now I have flu. You know, pounding head, achy bones, that kind of thing. So after spending most of the day asleep on the couch, I feel I should do something, so here I am, pondering on the results of my self-publishing Footloose & Faerie Free on Amazon KDP Select for the past three weeks and I'm going to give you my nana's famous banana cake recipe. Because… well, why not?
With Amazon introducing pre-order for self-published authors, I delayed the release of Footloose & Faerie Free so that I could use the facility. It wasn't a big release on 9 September with huge fanfare, in fact, I've done very little promo owing to the fact that I've been under the weather and working full-time as well as being a nana to my darling wee grandson.
Having self-published a book, I learned the following (not necessarily in the right order:
- Edit, edit, edit and don't edit the life out of it
- Proof check your book and when you think it's perfect proof check it again (I found errors which have since been updated - le sigh!) In fact, get it both professionally edited and proof checked.
- Have your book ready months ahead of release date - I didn't
- Have a newsletter and place a link at the beginning and end of your book.
- Send your precious baby out for reviews well ahead of your launch date - I did this but only a handful.
- Don't respond to people who write reviews that are weird - I had one, and didn't respond but others waded in and said - don't be silly. Next minute Amazon had taken down that particular review.
- Start writing your next book - I'm working on The Spell Weaver which is Book 3 in the Greenwood Witches Trilogy. When it is done I shall be undertaking a more considered approach to releasing them across all platforms and not just Amazon.
- Don't bow to pressure to write several books a year if it's not in you - if you can only write one book a year, that's fine.
- Don't check your sales figures every five minutes. It will drive you batty!
- Develop a thick skin. Not everyone is going to like what you write. I learned that a long time ago and it really doesn't bother me if someone doesn't like what I write.
- Right now, as well as writing The Spell Weaver, I'm in the middle of preparing a print version of Footloose & Faerie Free. That in itself is a whole new learning curve.
- Overall, I've really enjoyed the entire experience and in being control of the entire creative process. After doing this, I understand why some choose the traditional route. The publisher does the artwork, the editing and the proofing etc, but there is something magical about having your finger in all the publishing process pies.
And that's it for now. I'd probably have more lessons but my brain is defunct and I'm on headache pills to dull the banging going on in there.
Which brings me to food - as one does when one hasn't had any…..
My grandson and I ate banana cake one weekend - he licked the beaters and I naughtily, licked the knife (behind his back)!! We then took the cake home to mum and dad's house and iced it with lemon & passionfruit icing. Quite frankly - it was DELICIOUS!!! I used to bake a lot but do so very little these days. The recipe I used was one my grandmother and mother passed down to me. Here it is and the photos are below the recipe. Do you have a favorite recipe passed down from family?
Nana Ro's Banana Cake
8 oz of flour (nearly 2 cups)
pinch of salt
1/4 pint of sour milk & 1/2 - 1 tsp bicarbonate soda (heated together)
1 tsp baking powder
4 oz butter
6 oz sugar
1 cup of mashed bananas (I always use brown skinned bananas)
- Creatm butter & sugar together unil light and creamy
- Add eggs and lemon essence - mix well
- Add mashed bananas
- Add heated milk & bicarbonate of soda
- Mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet mixture
- Pour into cake tin
- Cook at 370 degrees Farenheight (180 Celcius)
I just keep an eye on it and when a skewer comes out clean or it bounces back under a light touch in the centre, it's cooked. Cool and then ice.
- A good amount of icing sugar - sorry I never measure.
- Butter - I like at least 2 oz of butter, as I prefer my icing a little buttery
- Squeeze juice of one lemon into icing
- Squeeze passionfruit pulp (only a little) in as well.
- If too wet, just add more icing sugar
Mix all together and then spread over cake. Result. Delicious!!
And that's it from me for now.