Saturday, 31 March 2012

Nearly There!

Publishing my book is soooo close now.

The last illustrations arrived overnight and I put them in the print book file straight away Monday morning. The files were delivered to the printer on Monday, and I was so excited that I forgot to take the disc with the cover files, and my husband had to go back with them. Then I had to wait until Thursday for the proof copy, but it was perfect.

Since then I have been round to many of the shops which agreed to sell the book, and showed them the proof copy and delivered a poster and flyers. The two museums in Swansea both wanted to see the book before deciding whether to take it. I saw them today, and they both came on board. In fact, the Waterfront Museum want ten copies on sale or return, and the Swansea Museum want five TO BUY. The only outlet willing to pay up front.

Meanwhile, I put the illustrations in the ebook and uploaded it to Smashwords to give it a try. The Smashwords guide warned that the conversion could take some time and throw up errors, and I had been warned that illustrations in ebooks were tricky. I decided to try them and take them out if they didn't work. The book loaded in ten minutes with no errors, illustrations and all!

Right now it's only available on Smashwords here, but in the next week they will be sending it out to all the ereader platforms, except Kindle. Smashwords don't send books to Amazon for Kindle until they sell $1000 worth, and at $3.99 (£2.51) it is not likely to reach that, so I'm going to upload it to Amazon myself.

The print books will be ready by Thursday, and delivered to the shops on Good Friday. And we'll be live!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Book Launch Planning

I now have a date for my book launch at the Oxfam Bookshop in Swansea - Wednesday 18th April at 7pm. The arrangements are coming along well. My daughters are going to make cookies, and maybe mini cupcakes. My illustrator's mum is going to make non-alcoholic punch. And the shop will provide teas and coffees.

I'm going to talk about how I came to write the book and some of the fascinating stories I found, and my illustrator Carrie is going to talk about the illustrations. The shop have also offered a week-long exhibition of her drawings, which will be great for her and good publicity.

And I hope I will be signing lots of copies of the book bought on the night.

Thursday, 8 March 2012


I have been screwing up my courage and phoning various local shops and asking them to sell my book. So far I have ten, plus a few that want to see the book first, once it is printed. The shops so far are:

Visitors Centre, Oystermouth Castle
Cover to Cover - bookshop near the castle
Mumbles Tourist Information Centre
Swansea Town Centre Tourist Information Centre
Uplands Bookshop
Gower Heritage Centre - which is at the de Breos's hunting lodge
Reynoldston Post Office
Gower Kite Centre and Surf Supplies
Shepherds of Parkmill
Crofty Post Office

In addition, these want to see the book before making a decision:

National Waterfront Museum
Swansea Museum
Lewis News, Mumbles
The National Trust Shop, Rhossili
The Gower Society are having free copies as a gift, but hopefully will want more if they sell.

I have others where I have left messages or emailed, but I have decided not to chase them. I suddenly realised that, since all the shops want the book on sale or return, I have to buy all the books first. It already looks as if I will have to have 200 printed, which doubles my budget. Still, not a bad position to be in, is it?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

March 1st, 1327

I meant to post this on March 1st, but this will have to do.

When Edward III came to the throne, the barons who had rebelled against his father were forgiven, and their titles and lands returned to them. Unfortunately, the charter which originally conveyed the Lordship of Gower to John de Mowbray and Alina, was not valid. In typical form, William de Breos was negligent in obtaining the licence of the king, so Alina did not qualify.

But although the act of parliament did not operate in favour of Alina, the magnanimity of the king was graciously extended to her. Gower was returned to her, and the gift was legalised by charter, dated 1st March 1327.

Alina returned to live out her days in Oystermouth Castle, where she built a chapel. Local legend has it that her ghost has been seen in the castle, and she is known as the White Lady of Oystermouth.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Book Launch Venue!

This week I have again been blessed (or very lucky, if you prefer). I have started contacting places who might either publicise my book or sell it. The Evening Post (our local newspaper) told me that they do not promote new books or do book reviews, but if I had a book launch, they would cover it.

My immediate reaction was to wonder where on earth I could have a book launch and how would I go about arranging one?

Two hours later, the Oxfam charity second-hand bookshop (in Castle Street, Swansea - right by the castle) replied to my email, explaining that they could not sell my book as they only sell second-hand, but they could offer me a book launch. They had a 'Create Night' that evening and invited me down to chat about my book, and everyone agreed that I should give a talk at my book launch and tell some of the fascinating stories I had discovered.

So, I am going to have a book launch, probably sometime in April. How great is that?