Tag Archives: #book

Sh….it’s a secret……

Sh…don’t tell your Kindle…but the paperback format of Long Shadows has crept out early and is available to purchase worldwide now on Amazon. 😉

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RR1FGLG

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RR1FGLG

You’re a what?…. I’m an indie author

“You’re a what?”

“I’m an indie author.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that I write independently and self-publish.”

“So, you’re not a real author then?”

 

WRONG!

support-indie-authors

An indie author is any author who writes then self-publishes to sell, who takes both writing and publishing seriously, who wants to reach as many readers as possible and to grow a profitable author/publishing business. (Sadly, that last bit eludes most of us…trust me on that!)

An indie author is every bit as much of an author as those souls who see their names on the books and ebooks on the various bestseller lists.

You could also argue that perhaps an indie author is more of an author than those backed by agents, editors, publishing houses and a team of publicists. I’ll leave that thought there for you to ponder on…..

So, how do you become an indie author?

Well, you write a book for a start.

I’ve mentioned before my tale of sitting down on my doorstep on 8 May 2013 and beginning to write the story that became Stronger Within, my debut novel, almost two years later. What I’ve not really mentioned is that I kept what I was doing quiet. I didn’t go around telling friends and family that I was writing a book. A part of that was an inbuilt fear of having them laugh at me and tell me I was wasting my time. At that point I was writing a story for me for the sheer pleasure of writing it. I guess I was testing myself to see if I could actually do it.

Then a few wonderful people, my Infamous 5, got behind me and encouraged me to type up my handwritten tale and to publish it as an ebook.

That was a steep learning curve!

Let’s dispel a myth right here about self-publishing. It doesn’t need to cost a fortune to do it. I’ve done it on a shoestring budget.

There are many self-publishing options but I opted for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) It doesn’t cost a penny to publish via KDP. Those lovely Amazon people even provide free templates to get you started and a step by step process for actually uploading your manuscript to keep you on the right track. Love those templates!

The biggest challenge, at least for me, is marketing and publicising my work. I’m naturally quite a shy person so selling my wares does not come naturally to me.

Precise figures on the subject of ebooks are hard to find. Currently there are somewhere in the region of 7.5M ebooks available on Kindle. Roughly 1700 new ebooks are published each and every day. That works out at about 70 per hour.

Sales figures are equally hard to track down but from what I can gather via Google approximately 50 000 ebooks are sold every month. That works out about 7500 per day.

Now, bear in mind, that readers have 7.5M to choose from.

As an indie author that’s an awfully big ocean to be swimming in and there are some very big fish swimming in it alongside you.

But this little indie author, who really is little more than one wee tiny krill in that vast ocean, remains undaunted.

(Repeats mantra to herself- Dreams get you started. Discipline keeps you going.)

Every time I see a little orange blob on my KDP sales report, my heart swells with pride.

Out of a choice of 7.5M available titles, someone chose one of mine!

Let me ask you in general terms – how often do you leave a review of a book you’ve read and enjoyed?

Each review and those twinkling stars that go with them are the indie author equivalent of throwing another hefty log onto the creative fire.

The very fact that not only did someone choose one of my books to invest their hard earned cash on, they also came back at a later date to say a few kind words about it.

That blows my mind!

At present, all five of my book babies are sitting proudly on Amazon.co.uk with 5* ratings overall.

To me, that’s huge! It’s a real dreams come true sight and something I am very proud to have achieved.

So back to the earlier question, how do you become an indie author? How do you actually do it?

Well, I guess you have to have a story to tell that you believe in and are passionate about.

Tell that story your own way. There are no hard and fast rules here. Write it out long hand (I do). Type it straight to Word. Do whatever works for you as an individual but tell your story your way.

Once you have that vital first draft of your book, proofread, spell check, grammar check and edit until you are sick of the sight of your own words. This is where my Infamous 5 are invaluable. I share my story with them in chunks and, in return, they offer honest critical feedback, pick up on any grammar errors, pick up on anything too Scottish in the wrong setting and spot any spelling/typing faux pas.

Before I hit “publish” on a new novel, I’ve read it at least six times from start to finish and that does not include writing it in the first instance.

Then it needs a cover before you can set it free. You can’t send your book baby out into the world naked!

Personally, I prefer quite simple eye-catching covers. No more than three things within the image to catch the attention of potential readers as they scroll through Amazon’s recommendations.

I also create my own to save costs. (I was helped out on the first one by my Rock Fairy Godmother who then taught me how to do it myself on the second one.) I’ll be honest here – Photoshop and I enjoy a love/hate relationship!

It takes a lot of time, a lot of patience and a lot of self-discipline to get a book over the line.

If this all sounds like a lot of hard work for most likely very little financial reward then you’d be right.

The key thing about us indie authors is we do it for the love of sharing our stories with you.

 

If you feel like sharing some love for this indie author, please take a moment to check out my books on Amazon

 

Silver Lake series

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Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

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Ellen

 

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

 

 

Ellen – have you been introduced?

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“If you don’t feel I’ll fit in then I’ll go now,” said Ellen, trying hard to hide the emotion in her voice. “I’d prefer though if you gave me a chance. Let’s rehearse. Jam a few numbers. If you don’t like what you hear then I’ll go.”

“Can’t say fairer than that, Luke,” challenged Cal, also keen to defend her.

“Luke,” stated Rocky coldly. “Let me put it to you this way. Ellen here passed the audition. The band unanimously voted to give her a shot. I don’t believe you cast your vote. Right now, I don’t believe you even opened the damn email I sent you. If anyone’s position in After Life is in jeopardy right now, it’s yours. You’re out of line, son. Take this as a final warning.”

“My uncle won’t….” began Luke, looking flustered behind his dark glasses.

“Don’t try to play the Garrett card with me. We all know he doesn’t fund the band. He’s already cast you adrift on your own there. Why he still lets you live in his house I’ll never fathom.”

“Fine. One rehearsal!” snapped Luke, getting to his feet, almost toppling the chair in the process. “Tomorrow. If she’s shit, she goes.”

As he marched out of the kitchen, Luke slammed the door behind him, rattling the display plates on the wall.

“I’m sorry,” whispered Ellen quietly.

 

 

 

Want to know more? Check out Ellen on Amazon today.

 

Amazon.com link     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link   https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

Who Says Book Promo Has To Be Serious?….

The days in the run up to, and the first few days after, the “birth” of a Book Baby are intense and stressful.

There’s the panic around… “What if no one buys it?” “What if no one turns up to the book launch?” “What if no one likes it?”

There’s the anxiety around receiving feedback…. “What of someone tells me its ugly?” “What if no one rates it?” “What if book reviewers slate it?”

I don’t have nerves of steel, as anyone who knows me will testify to. I fret and worry over every tiny thing in life. My Princess Paranoia head is never far away.

Over the past few years, I have learned that when it comes to receiving feedback on your creative exploits, you need to develop a thick hide and the mindset to not take it personally. Easier said than done…. Book Baby mamas are fiercely protective of their Book Baby young.

At the end of the day, this is YOUR Book Baby that is taking its first tentative steps in the world. Hundreds of hours of your time have been invested in it. In my case, my alpha and beta reads have also invested countless hours proofreading and feeding back to me (something I am eternally grateful to these wonderful people for.)

However, things can’t be taken too seriously. After all, writing should be enjoyable and there’s no harm in having a bit of fun with it all too

a bit of fun collage

 

 

If you’ve not been introduced to Book Baby 4 aka Ellen yet, you can find her here:

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

 

 

Cover Reveal Event – all welcome

Ellen cover reveal banner
Folks,

I’d like to cordially invite you to the online Cover Reveal event being held on 14 July ay 8pm UK time.

Yes, the time is almost upon us to reveal both the cover and the release date of Book Baby 4 aka Ellen ( EEEEKKKKK)

You can attend this one hour event using the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/events/275183199712870/

Alternatively, please check out my Facebook author page :

https://www.facebook.com/coralmccallumauthor/

Apart from revealing the cover and the release date, you’ll also be given an insight into some of the characters and a short extract from the book itself.

I look forward to seeing you all there 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pre-Christmas Coffee Catch Up With……Jake Power

coffee catch up

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon when I finally managed to catch up with Jake Power, front man with Silver Lake.  The band were in Glasgow a day early for the final show of their hugely successful Bonded Souls tour. Many of the arena shows in the UK have been sold out weeks in advance and Sunday’s show in the SSE Hydro is no exception. (I bought my ticket pre-sale over six months ago)

As we sat in a city centre coffee shop, I asked Jake how the recent run of shows had gone.

“They’ve been incredible! British audiences are so much more passionate than American crowds. And louder! You guys really know how to rock!” he enthused. “I don’t mean any disrespect to our American fan base but shows at home tend to be in smaller venues, security can be strict and things seem a little more reserved. In these 10 000 seater arenas here, we’ve seen mosh pits every night.”

Before reaching the UK, Silver Lake toured through mainland Europe so I asked how those shows had measured up.

“They were all great. Some countries are more passionate than others. Italy was insane. We played shows in Milan and Rome. Those crowds were crazy! Cologne in Germany was a good show too. We played in Amsterdam just before we came over here. That one didn’t pan out so well. There were a few glitches. The fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the venue twenty minutes into our set. I feel we owe those fans another show. We only had time to play three or four songs after they let us back into the building.”

With three critically acclaimed albums under their belts, I asked Jake what the Scottish fans could expect for the final show of the tour.

“A full two hour set, that’s for sure,” was Jake’s immediate reply. I was rewarded with one of those “Power” smiles! “We were talking about the set at lunch earlier. Grey has it written on the back of a napkin. I think we were up to nineteen or twenty songs. If we can work them all in before the curfew then we’ll play them.”

“Jake, you’ve been on the road for the last six weeks and have already commented on stage that it’s the longest that you’ve been away from your wife. How tough has that been?”

“Very,” admitted Jake, running his hand through his long blonde hair. “Usually Lori would travel with us for part of a tour. We had planned that she’d come over and spend a week or so here and travel back home with us but, when we really thought it through, it just wasn’t going to be practical. Both of us felt it would be too much for Miss Melody and would trash her routine.”

This is a rare mention by Jake of his baby daughter and seizing the moment I asked how she was.

“She’s incredible. I can’t wait to get home to my girls. Melody’s at the stage she’s changing every day. I’ve missed so much in six weeks. Her personality is developing. If only she slept a bit better at night!”

Almost shyly, Jake showed me a photo on his phone of his wife Lori holding their baby girl. So far, they’ve shielded their daughter from the media but trust me, she’s adorable.

Now that the Bonded Souls tour cycle is winding up, I asked Jake about his and Silver Lake’s plans for the coming year.

“We’re all taking a break over the holidays then I head into the studio late January with Weigh Station. Those guys plan to have a new album out in the spring and to do a few of the summer festivals. Maybe a few side shows too. My diary has a few dates both here in Europe and in the US pencilled in from May through till August. Silver Lake are planning to hit the studio again in the fall. The schedule is filling up for next year and the year after. There’s talk of a full Weigh Station tour and a Silver Lake tour.”

“So, what’s first on your agenda when you get home, Jake?”

“Laundry! I’m running out of clean shorts,” laughed the charismatic front man, his hazel brown eyes twinkling with mischief. “No, seriously, laundry and some quality time with my li’l ladies. A quiet family Christmas.”

“At the beach?”

“No. Actually we’re heading off to the Poconos on Dec 23rd. Lori and I spent a short honeymoon there last Christmas, thanks to our manager Jethro. We stayed in an amazing log cabin near a huge frozen lake. It was so quiet. So peaceful. Both of us loved it so much we decided to go back this year. We’ll head back to New York for New Year’s then home to Rehoboth a few days later. Both of us have some business commitments in the city the first week in January. We’ll bring in the New Year with Maddy, our manager. She throws these huge New Year’s parties every year at her apartment. I’m under strict orders to be there with my guitars.”

As Jake stretched out his long denim clad legs and settled back in his seat, we ordered another coffee then I asked if he found it hard to slip back into “normal” life after a tour.

“It takes a few days to adjust,” he confessed. “On tour we are ruled by the clock constantly. Jethro and Maddy run a tight ship. We stick to the published itinerary. Doing as the boss tells us..well, most of the time.” He paused then continued. “The first day or so, Lori usually gives me a bit of space to do my own thing. Come down time. Time to go for a couple of long runs. Time to sort out my guitars after the tour. Time to do my laundry! I suspect things might be a little different this time. It’s the first time I’ve been away from my daughter for so long.  I just want to spend time with her and with Lori. Family time. That has to come first.”

As our coffees arrived, I asked Jake how his bandmates chilled out after a tour. He laughed then revealed, “They’ll kill me for saying this. Grey needs to get his hands dirty. He’s a mechanic and his yard is full of “projects”. He’ll be under the hood of one of his wreckers before the jet lag hits him.  Paul needs a day to go fishing. He also needs to get past Maddison and that can be a challenge. She’s a scary lady! I’d put money on it though that Paul has a boat trip booked for the end of next week already. Rich is the only one who takes a proper vacation every time. He heads to Florida to his sister and her family. I guess he likes to thaw out in the sun after this cold winter weather. He’ll be back in Rehoboth mid-January as we have teaching workshops booked in.”

“Workshops?”

Jake nodded. “We’re both music teachers at heart still. Every chance we get, we run a workshop or two at the high school where we both taught. As we’re home for a few weeks, Rich has worked out a four week course. Grey and Paul are involved here too this time. I think it’s two workshops per week after school and two all-day Saturday sessions. The aim is to pull a band or maybe even two bands together in time for the Valentine’s Day Ball.”

It struck me that home really is at the heart of Silver Lake. All four members live in and around the same small town, Rehoboth, Delaware, and all seem keen to give something back to their local community.

“We owe a lot to the local fans,” Jake acknowledged. “They’ve been behind us for a long time and it’s a pity we don’t get to play more shows closer to home. The closest we get to Rehoboth is either Baltimore or Philly. We talked about doing some small local shows like we used to. You know, Friday night set in a local bar. Something impromptu and low key. Hopefully we’ll make it happen in the spring next year.”

I asked Jake if he had any plans for any solo shows.

“No but never say never,” he replied with a grin. “I’ve only ever done one. That was couple of years back at the air force base in Dover. My brothers are both air force. Peter called in a favour at the last minute. The band he had booked to play had missed their flight or something and were stuck in Canada. I only had a few hours’ notice but I didn’t want to let him down. It’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done! I felt like I was stripped naked in front of two hundred airmen.”

Now, there’s a thought, ladies….

I pointed out that Jake had appeared half naked several times with Weigh Station, prompting a fit of laughter.

“You can blame the late Dan Crow for that,” said Jake grinning. “And before you ask, I intend to keep all my clothes on in the Hydro tomorrow night. Too damn cold here to do anything else!”

Checking the time, Jake apologised that he would need to go, explaining that he had a call to make back at his hotel. I had time to squeeze in one last quick question so, as Christmas is only a couple of weeks off, I asked what he hoped Santa Claus would bring him this year.

“Actually, I’m hoping for a new laptop,” Jake said as he reached for his leather jacket. “I dropped mine in London the other night. It fell off the table in the dressing room. Smashed the screen. Split the casing. I haven’t confessed this to my wife yet though. I only got it just before we left for this tour. Maybe I’ll be on the naughty list for that and end up getting underwear and socks on Christmas morning.”

As I watched Jake leave the coffee  shop, flashing a smile at the waitresses behind the counter, I couldn’t help but wonder if he’ll get that laptop or not….

 

 

The Silver Lake series is available via Amazon both in  Kindle and paperback formats

Amazon.com link   https://www.amazon.com/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Amazon.co.uk link    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coral-McCallum/e/B00VYU1SZ6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Book 4 in the series is planned for  2019

 

(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)