Friday, September 26, 2014

Banana Cake and My Thoughts on Self-Publishing Footloose & Faerie Free

Banana Cake and my Thoughts on Self-Publishing

Footloose & Faerie Free 

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:

  1. Edit, edit, edit and don't edit the life out of it
  2. 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.
  3. Have your book ready months ahead of release date - I didn't
  4. Have a newsletter and place a link at the beginning and end of your book.
  5. Send your precious baby out for reviews well ahead of your launch date - I did this but only a handful.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. Don't check your sales figures every five minutes. It will drive you batty!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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

Ingredients
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
lemon essence
2 eggs
1 cup of mashed bananas (I always use brown skinned bananas)

Method
  1. Creatm butter & sugar together unil light and creamy
  2. Add eggs and lemon essence - mix well
  3. Add mashed bananas
  4. Add heated milk & bicarbonate of soda
  5. Mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet mixture
  6. Pour into cake tin
  7. 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.

Icing
  1. A good amount of icing sugar - sorry I never measure.
  2. Butter - I like at least 2 oz of butter, as I prefer my icing a little buttery
  3. Squeeze juice of one lemon into icing
  4. Squeeze passionfruit pulp (only a little) in as well. 
  5. 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.

Hugs
Rowena






Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dandelion's, Medication & Footloose & Faerie Free!!

Dandelion's, Medication & Footloose & Faerie Free!!

Yes. You read that right. I'm on medication for a virus and my mind is a ball of fluffy dandelions, but I'm a happy little kitten because Footloose & Faerie Free is out on Tuesday 9 September but you can pre-order it now if you want.  I've been fighting an infection and then on top of that a virus descended which has pretty much turned my mind into a muddled mush.  It's called early springitis (my diagnosis).  

What do you need to feel better? Read something light and funny.  So far, I've finished Takedown Twenty and Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich.  I just adore this series and each release is on my must buy list.  I've also finished In This Life - book 1 of the Past Life Series by Terri Herman-Ponce.  A really, really good, psychological reincarnation romance!  

Now that I have a Kindle again (my first one was stolen four months ago along with a whole lot of other stuff) I'm reading what has been sitting in the cloud for some time. It's like rediscovering a secret treasure.

I'm also waiting for Kristan Higgin's latest In Your Dreams to arrive in the mail from Amazon. I adore her work. Can't wait to get my hands on that little beauty.
Pre Order Now

So I have much to look forward to:

  • the publication of my very first ebook, Footloose & Faerie Free with Amazon on Tuesday 9 September.
  • the end of my virus, 
  • the arrival of spring and of course,
  • lots of lovely books to read. 

How about you? What are you looking forward to?




Monday, September 1, 2014

Footloose & Faerie Free is now available for pre-order

Break out the Bubbles! Footloose & Faerie Free 

is now available for Pre-Order on Amazon for Kindle


It's been such a hectic time getting everything ready for my very first self-published release. I knew I had work to do but phew - wipes hand over brow - it was intense and every waking hour was devoted to getting this book to you.  Footloose & Faerie Free is like a baby to me.  It's the first book I ever entered into a competition and it was placed third. Alas, that competition no longer exists but it gave me  courage to keep writing.  Since then I've written several other books, so guess what? I'm moving on to the next one to self-publish.  

Here are a couple of links:   

Because I'm new to the self-publishing world, I'm going to keep it with Amazon KDP for now to try and get some reviews and readers.  If you purchase Footloose & Faerie Free, I'd love it if you took the time to review it as it helps readers find me.  The more reviews I receive, the more it pops up in other searches for books.