Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FINALLY available as an iBook on iTunes

It has taken a really long time due to the stupid hoops Apple makes you jump through to (directly) publish on iTunes....
drumroll please...
with much thanks to my brother Nicholas,
Secrets of a Summer Village is now for sale on the shelves of the iBookstore near you!

 Here it is on the iTunes Bookstore (in Germany) as seen on my MacBook:

And here it is as seen on Nicholas' iPad:

This has taken many months, and a lot of trying on my side, and a lot of time on Nicholas' side.  But it's there now, and I hope people buy it from the iBookstore, because it sure wasn't easy to get it on their "shelves"!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


This article gives me hope that self-publishing can really work in the favor of authors with non-mainstream books:

Link courtesy of my brother, Scott. Gracias, hermano!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I should have seen it coming. 

As I have mentioned before, Secrets of a Summer Village is published by two publishers: Lulu and CreateSpace.  While I am slightly happier with the quality of printing provided by Lulu, the CreateSpace version is much less expensive.  That said, it's cheaper and faster for me to buy Lulu copies here in Europe, because Lulu has a printer in France, and postage is cheaper from France to Germany (where I live) than it is from the US.

When I was signing up for everything in the first place, I understood that the Lulu version could be distributed to all of the international Amazons through its "Global Distribution" package.  It wasn't clear to me that the CreateSpace version would be available outside of the United States, so I thought that I'd use both as publishers.

Apparently, I was wrong about the distribution of CreateSpace books.  They do get to all of the international Amazons, to Barnes and Noble, to the Book Depository, etc..., and they get there MUCH FASTER.  I know that now.  Unfortunately.  Because I got an e-mail from my Aunt yesterday telling me that my book suddenly costs over $20.00 (US) on Amazon, when it used to cost around $10.  After some research, I realized that the Lulu version has now somehow taken over the listing at  The cheaper version is still available, if you click around a bit, but it's not obvious.  Except in my version, below, with the pink piggy bank and pink arrow.

I have contacted, and am trying to remove my book from their Global Distribution package.  Unfortunately, it's not so easy to do unless I completely withdraw the book from Lulu, which I don't want to do.  So I hope that people don't see this ridiculous price and get turned off by it.  It's on for me.  It's on CreateSpace for everyone else.

I wish I had figured this out earlier, but this whole experience is a learning process for me, and I am very thankful to my aunt for alerting me to it.  It really brings to light the fact that Lulu's pricing structure is not competitive.  If you buy from their site AND live in the US, you can take advantage of some super deals directly on their website.  They have these "money saving" deals at least once a month.  BUT they are only valid in US dollars, and only from their website, so Amazon purchases do not benefit, and nor does anyone outside of the United States.  To me, this is a HUGE disadvantage of Lulu.  Even with their "great" sales, the prices aren't much better than CreateSpace.  I think that CreateSpace has a competitive advantage here, unless Lulu changes their pricing structure.  Clearly, as it stands, they have built the discounts into the inflated prices.

Not a happy customer here. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The ball is rolling

I try to spend about an hour a day working on something to do with being an author.  Sometimes, I don't even manage to get in five minutes before I'm too tired and watching a movie on tv instead.  Sometimes, I manage 3 hours in one day.  But the average is probably about an hour, and it seems to be enough to keep the ball rolling.

This week, things started coming together:

  • I finalized plans to do a reading at a local bookstore, The Munich Readery.  The reading will take place on January 14th.  We'll sell Turkish wine by the glass at the reading, and we'll also provide "pogaca" for snacking.  I'll have signed books available for sale.  I am VERY excited.
  • An acquaintance with whom I occasionally play tennis and who is also totally friendly, liked the sound of my book and asked her book club if they wanted to read it and have me as a guest on the evening when they discuss my book.  And they said YES!! That will happen in February.  I am VERY excited.
  • My book was mentioned in the Alumni newsletter of my high school, and the Alumni Relations Coordinator gave me some contact information for the instructors who should hear about my book.  So far, two instructors have written, expressing their interest and saying they would buy my book.  The librarian jumped at an offer of a copy, so my mother will bring her one.  Moms rock.  The instructors both sounded genuinely interested in Secrets of a Summer Village.  I loved my high school.  Being a teenager was as awkward for me as it is for anyone (or perhaps it was more awkward for me), but my high school was really special and different and truly inspired me to go for my dreams.  I would be thrilled if the students there read my book and let me know what they think of it, what they learned from it, and whether they want a sequel.  I am VERY excited.
  • I'm finally in touch with a local international high school that is interested in having me lecture about the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Sign Language(s).  This has nothing to do with Secrets of a Summer Village EXCEPT that I mentioned the book when I was talking to them, and they're now also interested in my talking to their students about my book, the writing process, and maybe about self-publishing. 
  • One of my brothers ordered a bunch of copies of my book to give as Xmas gifts.  I hope that none of the future recipients is reading this... Aren't brothers great?  
In order to keep things going, I've been working on some sample illustrations for my next book, which is a children's picture book about the winter solstice.  The illustrations are made of paper, like the cover of Secrets of a Summer Village, using a method called quilling.  I have submitted the text to a number of agents.  I get the feeling that they liked it but not enough to take me on as a client.  A large portion of agents that represent children's books only represent author-illustrators.  Even though I'd rather have some awesome artist illustrate my books, I'm just going to try and see.  What makes me feel significantly better is the quality of the illustrations in some of our children's books.  Or, shall I say, lack of quality.  It's worth a try.  Without illustrating the book myself, those agents are entirely out of reach to me.

I'm also filling out a form so that I can submit my ESL-version manuscript to Macmillan Education.  I am not very hopeful that someone as big as Macmillan would take on the project, but I have nothing to lose in trying....

Which is the message to take from this blog.  Try.  You just don't know until you try.