Thursday, December 01, 2011

December 1st...

I'm wondering where this year has disappeared to as I make a start on the last month of the year. I've been busy signing books at Christmas fairs, and getting some more of my book stocks out of their boxes and into the hands of children where they belong.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Yorkshire Craft Fair

I'll be at St Williams College in York this weekend at an autumn craft fair. This is a well established fair, but my first time at it, so I'm not sure how many books to pack... I can always restock for Sunday as it's a two day event.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New venue

I was at a new venue on Sunday: The Clock craft fair in the market place in Knaresborough. Sales went well and I'll be back again in December.
Next I'll be at Yorkshire Craft Fairs autumn craft fair, at York's St William's college on: 22 &23 October.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eyes open... let the exploring begin!

The kittens eyes are open now but I don't think they are focusing as they still rummage about trying to find warm fur to snuggle up to. They're like tiny little explorers, after every meal they have a nap then set off on an expedition  They stagger around on their wobbly little legs until they reach the edge of their oblong world. They've found the edge of the world and it's cardboard...

Monday, October 03, 2011

Out numbered by cats and loving it...

You wouldn't think that kittens could have a personality before they even open their eyes - but they do. Bumble is the trouble maker and is always knocking everyone off when they're happily feeding and making them squeal. Captain, formally known as no.1 as he was first born, is growing fastest. They all looked the same size when they were born, but Captain must be more efficient at feeding, spends less time squirming about and more time getting on with it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Distraction or inspiration...

I've debated before over whether cats are a distraction or an inspiration to my writing. My first stories were cat stories, and my first published work was about cats - published in magazines. And now after my cat gave birth to 5 kittens in the small hours of Thursday morning, I have more distractions than ever. At the moment their eyes are shut and they wriggle around blindly searching for milk - I could sit and watch them for hours.  But what about when their eyes open and they spy a whole new world beyond their nursery box... those little bundles of fluff are all going to have individual personalities, and get up to untold mischief.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Excuses not to work...

For anyone looking for an excuse not to work - here's one... I couldn't get to my computer because there was a wardrobe in the way, but now the decorating is done and the marauding wardrobe returned to it's room - I can get on again, although the computer free time was not wasted as I've been getting on with some drawing. I always feel as if I'm skiving  from 'proper' work when I'm drawing, but really it's all part of the process when I'm writing a picture book.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting distracted

Yes I admit it I've been getting very distracted lately with life in general, so now with the new college term begun I have time... somewhere between running Mum's taxi, cooking and trying to get a decorating project finished, somewhere there are some little chunks of time where I can write and illustrate my next book.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book signing in York

I'm back at the Guildhall in York this Saturday encouraging everyone to get Lost in  Book - not a bad idea if this rain carried on...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book signing in York

I'll be in York's Guildhall this weekend at the Collectors, craft and Gift fair, doing a book signing. If you've ever got back from your holidays to find that most of your souvenirs didn't come from the the town or even country that you were visiting, well here's a breath of fresh air - my books are written, published and printed in York!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kindle book

More sales reported of Doodle Mayhem on Kindle! and there are 2 more books in the doodle series to convert to kindle...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Happy Birthday But I'm Not Sleepy

Happy second birthday to But I'm Not Sleepy 2 today 1st August 2011 and still my best seller - everyone can relate to those familiar words by children everywhere at bedtime...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Books can have birthdays too...

But I'm Not Sleepy is turning 2 on 1st August - Yorkshire Day. I'll be at York's Guildhall on Saturday, doing a book signing - I hope Downboy the sheepdog can keep all those sheep under control...

Books can have birthday too...

But I'm Not Sleepy is turning 2 on 1st August - Yorkshire Day. I'll be at York's Guildhall on Saturday, doing a book signing - I hope Downboy the sheepdog can keep all those sheep under control...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Splashing around in pixels...

Well I've tried the professional look for my website - so now I'm just going for fun... I've been splashing around in pixels in my virtual wellies - it's art but without the mess, hmm must get some proper paints out soon... anyway I've released some sheep onto my home page in celebration of the 2nd birthday of my book But I'm Not Sleepy and plan to update other pages soon... 

Monday, July 04, 2011

Books in the charts!

Just what I need on a Monday morning... some great news! 3 of my books are in the Independent Authors' top Ten! that's all of the doodle books: Doodle Mayhem, Lost in the Christmas Post and A Face Full of Snow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Last few 1st editions

I have only 8 1st edition Doodle Mayhem left now from a print run of 300! Doodle Mayhem is now out in 2nd edition under my own imprint Lost in a Book and also on kindle.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lost in a Book goes outdoors!

OK so I ducked out and went indoors on Saturday - but now I've booked to go to a Summer garden party at Stillingfleet Church ground and village hall -  Stillingfleet near York on 2nd July. The fun starts at 2.30pm and I'm hoping for sunshine... well I'm ever the optimist, we could be having a heat wave by then... and if not, well everyone could do with a new book to get lost in when they get home.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Book signing at Naburn

I had a good day at Naburn tabletop and craft fair on Saturday. This was supposed to be my one outdoor event of the season, but when I was offered an indoor or an outdoor table I went running inside for cover away from the storm clouds which were gathering, but I'm pleased to say that the clouds sailed innocently by so everyone stayed dry.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting distracted

The internet is a very distracting place, in fact I find the best way to get any actual writing done is to switch it off... But my dilemma is, should I be spending my time writing the next book, or trying to find new ways of getting my books out there to the wider population. Of course the answer is, as always - multi tasking. So I've done my bit of research on the net which has resulted in me ending up on amazon and buying a book... oh well I guess I'm just a lost cause when it comes to books... but now I'm going to switch off the net and write! 

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Outdoor event

I'm hoping for good weather on Saturday 18th June when I'll be doing a book signing at:
Naburn PTA Tabletop and Craft fair, at Naburn Primary School, York. 11am - 1.30pm I try to keep to indoor events usually but this one has the option of being indoors in case of rain, so no need to start thinking about gazebos.
I've heard a lot of traumatic stories about gazebos - anything from them tearing themselves apart in an attempt to escape their tethers, to actually flying away out to sea when their ropes weren't up to the job, so I've come to the conclusion that, far from being an inanimate object of shelter - they are in fact a wild beast intent on escape...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quiet event

It was quiet at the craft fair at the weekend, but I still managed to sell a few books and keep chipping away at the book mountain... they sell a lot faster at Christmas, but a book isn't just for Christmas - reading is an all year round activity. Having said that, I sold a Christmas story in May!

So... tempting as it is to do a 'Father Christmas' and hide in my workshop till the autumn, I still need to find a way to get my books out of their boxes and into little hands so that they can be to read.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book signing in York

This weekend I'll be at York's Guildhall on Saturday and Sunday, signing books at the Collectors', Craft and Gift Fair. Not only will I be selling my new 2nd edition Doodle Mayhem, but I also have a few 1st editions left - always popular at this event.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doodle Mayhem on Kindle

more sales recorded on Kindle, here's hoping the trickle will become a torrent as more readers discover Iver No-Idea and his mischievous ways in Doodle Mayhem.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Books!

Today I collected my new books from the printer! Doodle Mayhem now in 2nd edition has come home to Lost in a Book. Now all my books are published under my own imprint Lost in a Book, and printed locally - home grown books!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Onward and upward

If there's one thing I've learnt at recent fairs and events, it's that there's no point in going backwards. I started mainly at school fairs as they are generally cheaper, so not as much financial risk if I didn't sell as many books. But experience has shown that each time I step up to a new level, ie a bigger and consequently more expensive fair, I do better. There are some well established craft fairs in and around York with a diverse crowd of people passing through from all over the world, and with a large footfall my sales have increased.

The secret to making a profit from self-publishing is simple - keep the overheads down, and sell each book at a profit. What isn't so simple is getting those books out in large enough numbers to make a living...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New books ordered

Proof reading is complete for Doodle Mayhem 2nd edition and the books are now ordered. This is where I get to hand the project over to the printers for them to work their magic and produce beautiful books that I can be proud to go out and sell at book signings.

I still have a few 1st editions left which I'll be taking out to a book signing in Knaresborough on Saturday.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Doodle Mayhem 2nd edition

Doodle Mayhem, the first of the doodle series will soon be back in print in it's 2nd edition. I'll be viewing the proof copy over the weekend, but until then it's available on Kindle from amazon and I still have a few 1st editions left from my website shop or at book signings.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

New venue in Knaresborough

I'm looking forward to attending a new venue in Knaresborough on 16th April D&D Home and Garden Fair promises to be a lively new craft fair of products hand made and produced in Yorkshire. I'll be there signing my books, which I write illustrate and publish myself, and have printed locally to a very high standard.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Ideas are shy

Why are ideas so shy? When I'm deep in editing or marketing I long to get back to some 'propper writing', the sort where ideas flow and magic happens, but then when the opportunity comes the ideas try to flee to the far recesses of the mind. They need to be coaxed out and herded into order and filtered through the keyboard into the computer.
Downboy the sheepdog from: But I'm Not Sleepy

When I was researching and writing But I'm Not Sleepy I found all sorts of warning notes about sheepdogs - thinking this was strange I read on. Apparently sheep dogs can be troublesome if they don't have sheep to round up, as they have a tendency to round up other peoples' dogs whilst out on a walk.Maybe I need to employ Downboy the sheep dog to round up my stubborn characters, although as some of them are cats it might cause a whole host of new problems...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dilemma of the self publisher...

I've zapped my second edition Doodle Mayhem off to the printers - this is the only process I don't do myself, there are now printer and binder machines available but I think that is maybe a step too far, some things I prefer to leave to the professionals, so I have my books printed and bound locally to a very high standard. So now is my perfect opportunity to get some writing done - but here is the dilemma of the self publisher - to write the next book, into which I know I'll get totally immersed to the expense of all else - or to market the books I've already written and published and chip away at my book mountain... As ever I'll have to multi task and try to fit everything in. So it's marketing this morning and then the internet will get turned off and I'll try to drag some words kicking and screaming onto the keyboard.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Iver No-Idea up to his tricks again.

I've just been doing the final edits before zapping Doodle Mayhem off to the printers to print the second edition. I think Iver No-Idea must have been up to his tricks again shuffling letters around, but I've found them and done the necessary edits, and locked them into a PDF so hopefully even Iver can't mess them up now...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Online community

I've now joined Authorsden, an online community for writers and readers, I'm hoping to find some new readers for my books, and maybe find some books to read by authors that I haven't come across before...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kindle books for kids

No fairs this weekend, but my doodle characters are out and about in Doodle Mayhem on kindle, and available through amazon

Monday, March 14, 2011

Best seller again

Yet again, But I'm Not Sleepy was my best seller on Saturday. Surprisingly no Monster books sold - people were running scared of monsters this weekend, preferring to have sheep running around out of control instead...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chipping away at the book mountain...

It's been one of those weeks were life seemed to get in the way of writing, although sometimes I think staying away from the computer can relax the mind and allow inspiration to creep in. So now my head is buzzing with new ideas and new projects.

Tomorrow - Saturday 12th March, 10am - 4.30pm I'll be back at York's Guildhall doing a book signing and hopefully selling a bit of my book mountain - the bedroom is starting to look like a warehouse... I know digital printing means that you can have as few as one book printed, but in reality a bigger print run means lower unit costs, so I have as many books printed as I can reasonably afford at the time.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Bedtime story

I was back out there in the real world on Saturday, selling real books to real people while the computer sat home alone.

But I'm Not Sleepy is still my best seller. everyone can relate to a child who says they're not sleepy, but no one has yet admitted that they were just the same when they were kids! And what better thing to fill that gap between getting into bed and falling asleep, than a good bedtime story, to ignite the imagination and go to magical places.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Doodle Mayhem out on Kindle now!!

All the hard work has paid off, Doodle Mayhem 2nd edition is published now on kindle and available through amazon

It's exciting to see one of my books up there in a brand new format! one which nearly defeated me, but I hate to be beaten and kept chipping away at the obstacles.

The main problem was the illustrations, they behaved differently in the kindle format, and at first they ran amok through the text; for a printed book I can arrange the illustration where I like, dotting them about at will, but in kindle format I found the only way was to place them between the lines of text, so that they knew their boundaries... I also had to reduce the size of some of the pictures so that they appeared with the text, especially when they were for a chapter heading.

Now I need to get this 2nd edition into print... then I can start on a new project!!

This weekend I'll be at York's Guildhall Saturday 5th March 10am - 4.30pm doing a book signing - I only have a few 1st edition Doodle Mayhem left now...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Doodle Mayhem... out on kindle soon

Finally... my edits to the formatting are complete, and I've zapped Doodle Mayhem off into cyberspace - it should appear on kindle in the next few days.

My main problems were related to the illustrations, I think the characters just got over excited with all the extra space and ran amok all over the text. I also reduced some of them in size so that the text fitted around them better.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Formatting on kindle

I've progressed a little, I think, towards publishing on Kindle... I now have it in a zip file in kindle format, which apparently I can format at my leisure... when I figure out how to do that.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Not a great shock to discover that uploading a book onto kindle isn't as easy as it looks! Or not when there are pictures formatted into the text anyway... My little doodle figures went gallivanting around the screen when I tried to upload as a PDF, they fared a little better as a word document, but appear to be too big for the viewing screen. I'm sure I'll crack it in the end, but for now I'm calling it a day...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doodle Mayhem last the edits are complete and the front cover has had a makeover, now I think everything is ready to publish on kindle, I just hope it's as easy as it looks on the tutorial...

Friday, February 11, 2011

ebook coming soon

Why does everything always take longer than I expect? Or maybe someone hit the fast forward button this week, anyway it's Friday and the end of the week has arrived before the end of the work - but the good news is that Doodle Mayhem should be out as an ebook next week :)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Doodle Mayhem

I've been working hard towards republishing Doodle Mayhem in 2nd edition under my own imprint Lost in a Book, then all my books will have come home! I've added a couple of pictures and digitally remastered others. I'm hoping to publish as an ebook by the end of the week... then it will be back in print by the end of next month.

This is the book where it all began - the first in the doodle series:
A children’s fantasy where Eric’s doodles come to life.

Eric would rather doodle than write a story, but when the words start to disappear off the page in front of him, and his doodle starts talking to him, he thinks he must be dreaming.

Eric’s doodle has come to life, and he’s getting bored; he jumps into Miranda’s story, where he gets attacked by a rubber, then he’s blown off his feet when Natasha sneezes. Miss Roper is getting angrier by the second. How will Eric ever finish his story, when his doodle just wants to have fun, and create havoc?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2nd print run

But I'm Not Sleepy: Stocks of my best seller ran out at Christmas, but YPS have been busy printing more (still 1st editions, but 2nd print run), so I'll have new stocks for my first book signing of the year:

29th & 30th January at York's Guild Hall

I now have a few of the first print run again, after getting some back from an outlet where they were on sale or return.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Second edition Doodle Mayhem out soon...

I've been doing a bit of work on the illustrations for the second edition of Doodle Mayhem, and even adding a couple of new ones, but the text remains the same. I've also been researching into publishing it as an ebook - I can feel another learning curve coming on... I expect I'll just have to jump in and have a go.

Craft fairs are starting up again, and I'll be at: York's Guild Hall next weekend 29th & 30th Jan 10am - 4.30pm (4pm on Sunday)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Second print run for best seller

After a busy Christmas season I'm now waiting for a 2nd print run of But I'm Not Sleepy, my best seller during the Christmas fairs. I'm also getting ready to publish a 2nd edition of Doodle Mayhem, with 1st editions expected to run out soon...

And after all that, I'll be starting work on a new book...