Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Reviewers wanted...

Do you like to read short stories?

Can you write an honest review?

I am looking for a small number of followers who would be willing and able to read "DEEPER; Day One" before it goes live on Kindle and then write a review. It's a quick read at only 3000 words so shouldn't take too much of your time.

Due to the story content this is very much a task for those with a strong stomach and love of psycho thriller material... Torture and abuse are not for everyone!

If you would like to participate in the Deeper; Day One read/review please leave a comment below or DM me through Twitter (@mojocomms)

Counting down...

MoJo xx

A Step Closer...

This morning I have moved a step closer to being published on Kindle. My script is complete - including editing - and I am "stepping away" from it for a couple of hours, the idea being that when I go back and read it through one last time before publication I will be able to see any final adjustments needed before I hit the "Publish" button.

I have been having a crisis of confidence regarding this particular short story, which I am putting down to two things. Firstly, my inability to work through a whole piece without editing as I go - not the end of the world, I know, but that one habit has extended my publishing date by over a week - and Secondly, an overall feeling of "this is too easy" which has caused me to question my own style of writing and content choice.

As far as the editing goes I have decided to play with the settings on Word 2003, as part of the issue, well, most of it actually, was caused by squiggly red and green lines appearing underneath what I was writing. Now, I have to say, I think the grammar and spelling tools available through such as Word are fantastic. When you're on your own as far as final edits go they are invaluable. However, my personal experience of "as you go" error highlighting has been a wholly negative event. For me it has been like having someone stand over me screeching "wrong" in my ear at every little error.

Automatic screening off, the annoying "wrong"s have disappeared and in their place rests the peace and tranquility needed in order for me to complete my work uninterrupted. I estimate that I can now write a 3000 word short story, from start to finish including editing, within the day. Very much food for thought...

As for the self criticism, I've opted for a more relaxed "what the hell" attitude as it has been pointed out to me that whatever I write is bound to attract criticism from some of it's readers!  Gosh - I hadn't thought of it like that before but it's true!! Proof of that, I think, is very evident in the success levels of many of the indie authors who are selling well on Kindle. Plenty of authors have produced work over the years at which agents and legacy publishers have turned up their noses; what they have read has not appealed  to them or it has been their opinion that the script would fail to be commercially viable. Agents and publishers had the first (and often the last) say as to what went on sale. No more is that the case. Now it is the reader who has the job of deciding good from bad, hence why success has been seen by authors whose books, had it not been for Kindle etc, may never have been given the chance to sell at all. "Unsaleable" novels have made good money for their authors and prompted a new wave of confidence in many who had all but given up on seeing their work go on sale.

My next update should be within the next few hours and have details of how easy it was to go live!!

Happy Days!!

MoJo xx

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Prepare for Take-Off...

Well, I was maybe being a little ambitious thinking my book would be on Kindle by Saturday; mainly because I had no book cover! I was contemplating putting it on sale without any cover at all, but realised that I would probably be wasting my time as I know myself from browsing through the Kindle book store that it is often the cover which catches the eye first.

I needed a cover - and quick!! I spent hours on various diffferent software programs trying to come up with something, but failed. I decided I needed some guidance so I had a look on the Kindle boards - which provided my solution!!

I searched for ebook cover design and a post came up from someone advertising a clearance sale on books covers!! Had to be worth a look, I thought. As soon as I went on the designer's site I saw my book cover!! It was ideal... not too fussy... had a watch on a chain - which ties in nicely with my Hypnotic antagonist - it was perfect! Even more perfect was the price; just $10! (around £6.50). I contacted the designer and within hours he'd emailed my book cover - Kindle ready.

So what now? Well, I need to tweak, edit and format everything then I'll use Mobi Pocket (which I downloaded for free from the Kindle Publishing site) to get it Kindle ready. Another piece of software I downloaded for free from the same place is "Kindle Preview" - software that will allow me to see my book how others will see it.

Once I'm happy with it I can upload it and send it live!!

So Saturday wasn't way too off the mark as publishing day - just a day out (assuming I hit no more obstacles).

I'll be back later with more updates!!

MoJo xox

Friday, 4 March 2011

And so the countdown begins...

The following is the first 500 or so words of the first short story I will be publishing via Kindle... I'm really excited about it as it is a collection of 7 shorts which I will sell both individually AND as a collection. The first will be released within the next 24 hours. Check out the Kindle store tomorrow for DEEPER by Mo James if you want to see the whole story in all of it's gory detail!!

It was Tessa’s last week of work before she went on a year long trip abroad to fulfil a childhood dream – she would be working as a volunteer on an African reservation where she would be playing surrogate Mum to an orphaned big cat. She wasn’t sure exactly which cat it would be, but she did know that there was a good chance it would be either a white lion or a cheetah.

In anticipation of her trip, she’d planned her previous months workloads meticulously, only taking on clients she knew she could complete therapy with prior to her leaving. She didn’t want to leave things un-finished for clients as she knew it could have a serious effect on their well-being once they couldn’t get hold of her. Unfortunately it meant that a lot of the candidates she had taken on were in need of relatively simple treatments – lots of smokers who didn’t want to smoke any more, a few dieters who had lost the ability to lose weight without outside intervention, several people in need of intense bereavement counselling and the usual bunch of over-achievers needing to learn new stress relieving strategies. But then there were the exceptions...

Seven clients – none of whom had been referred – had deeper rooted issues; emotional issues which had brought each one of them to the brink of suicide. It was Tessa they had come to for help after she’d spoken to them on the internet. Her introductions had been through a site which catered for no-one other than people thinking of ending their own lives and looking for support. To avoid un-wanted stalking Tessa had assumed a different name on the site – Verity Jones.

In addition to the name-change Tessa had opted for working with her alternative clients in a more public place – a hotel about sixty miles from where she normally lived and worked - but still fairly central to each of her client’s homes.

This being Tessa’s last week she’d decided to tie in her work with a week of sight-seeing, so the London hotel she had chosen was perfect. Her plan was to see one client a day – 10am start – then once the sessions were complete she could enjoy London’s sights for the rest of the day.

It was Sunday evening. Tessa was laid in bed reading the information she had been sent by the owner of the reserve she would be living on in 10 days time. She couldn’t wait. As she drifted off to sleep her thoughts turned to the final week of paid work she was about to embark upon, more so the clients she would be working with, and how she hoped that she would be successful in her quest to give them all something they would remember until the day they died…

Monday – 10am; Brian Donahue…

This was to be Brian’s eighth and final session with Tessa. He had actually told Tessa that he didn’t feel he needed her help any more by the sixth session, but Tessa had pointed out that he’d already paid for up to eight sessions, and, in her professional opinion, it was worth him seeing them through to the end so Tessa could be absolutely sure he would suffer no relapse in the future. On consideration he agreed with her, and in truth, he didn’t mind spending the time with her anyway as he found her so easy to talk to – so understanding.

The whole story finishes at around the 2500 word mark so it's a quick read.

PLEASE forward this on to as many people as you can - I'd love to see just how well a truly unknown writer can do with their first published story that hasn't been professionally edited etc!

To the Notepad...

MoJo xox

Thursday, 24 February 2011

11am - Thursday 24th Feb 2011 - A Eureka Moment...

I was sitting doodling and scribbling down ideas for short stories for around two hours this morning, in between ploughing through post after post on other writers blogs in the hopes of finding hints and tips for producing saleable - dare I even say profitable? - short stories. I've never written a short story before so feel I need all the help I can get.

My thoughts turned to my Novel (as yet un-published and in need of splitting and tweeking if it's ever to find it's way on to the Kindle marketplace) and it hit me... Sarah, the main character of my novel, was the source of my short story! The novel starts twelve months after Sarah travels to Africa with her Fiance. Something happens to her on that trip which changes both her and her life forever. The events which took place in Africa are, of course, outlined in the Novel, but the whole story isn't told in it's full detail, but it could be - as a stand alone short story!

Now, I'm not really in the habit of writing to word counts, as I prefer the freedom of writing until I run out of things to write, but, for Sarah and her shocking experiences at the hands of her captors - I can make an exception! I've looked at Kindle sold shorts and they seem to be around the 8000 word mark (give or take) which is very do-able, so that's my first goal - a short story about Sarah's lifechanging trip to Africa in around 8000 words!!

To the notepad!!

Tick Tock...

MoJo xox

This is it - Ground Zero!!!

Today is my official "Kindle Journey Start" day. It is the day I have chosen for taking that all important first step towards publication. It is the start of a new life as an Author and, if all goes to plan, a new career doing something I love to do, the way I want to do it.

I have spent the last few weeks reading various blogs and forums which have had a variety of posts regarding the whole question of self-publishing. Most of what I have read has been very pro-indie, with stories of Kindle sales outstripping traditional book sales for some Authors. Most of the less enthusiastic materials I have read have actually been within the comments left on the main posts, and are, it would appear, by people who have already experienced failure as indies or are scared of failing so have developed a habit of "what if" 'ing for paragraphs at a time.

Personally, I'd like to learn by experience. I am of the mind-set that I'll never truly know if something will work for me until I've tried it for myself. I have nothing to lose by publishing through Kindle. I'm writing the material anyway so I may as well give it my best shot!!

From now on the blog posts will be written as if they were diary entries. There may be days where I publish more than one post, but I will be putting the date and time on each one in order to remain accurate with timescales etc. 

I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey. It's always nice to have some company along the way!!

Tick Tock...

MoJo xox

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Confucius said "A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step"...

And he was right. Check back in from 24th February when I will be officially starting on my Kindle journey.

Tick Tock...

MoJo xox