Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Writing on Createspace and Lulu. Reading on the sofa

I'm considering republishing some of my childrens' Bible stories on Createspace so they'll be available on Amazon. I'm still not sure how it will work, but it's going well so far. The cover creator's not as nice or as flexible as Lulu's, and they won't write on the spine if you've got less than 135 pages, which is a bit of a shame. There's lots of information about distribution that I've not read yet--will I ever get these books in bookstores or libraries? I'm hoping maybe an ISBN will at least help with the local library who refused to even look at them when I started self-publishing with Lulu. Ah well, I'll let you know. (The reason I don't just use Lulu distribution is the higher Lulu print costs plus the wholesale pricing structure would make at least some of them cost too much.)

I do like the interior template on Createspace. It's kind of a bind shifting my text across but the formatting's nice, the choice of font (Garabond for the text and a cleanly different one for headers etc.) is good, and they make it very clear which extras - copyright, dedication etc - should go where. I wish they had docx as well as doc of course, and I miss the easily downloadable final pdfs provided by Lulu. Proofreading on a small screen is a pain.

Of course, it all takes time, which is time away from reading and writing. Still, I have read a few more books this week, so here are a couple of free reads I'm planning to buy and some quick reviews...

Free on Amazon kindle today:
7th Star Press's Cinema of Shadows by Michael West, at http://www.amazon.com/Cinema-of-Shadows-ebook/dp/B005I57L18/--an abandoned cinema, a band of parapsychology students, and terrors that aren't confined to the screen.
And, also from 7th Star Press, Stephen Zimmer's Exodus Gate, at http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-Gate-Rising-Dawn-ebook/dp/B001W6QKCI/--first in an epic urban fantasy dystopian series. They both sound good to me.

Meanwhile, here are the books I've read:

I got a copy of Mary Neal's To Heaven and Back from Waterbrook's Blogging for Books program. Written by a well-qualified medical doctor, I couldn't resist finding out how she'd tell her story of returning from the dead. And it's truly a well-written tale with its facts carefully presented and its emotions powerfully human and engaging. With so many return-from-heaven stories out there, I highly recommend this one, to be enjoyed with a well-balanced 3-star cup of coffee.

Kimberley Brock's The River Witch is a lovely literary novel of loss and redemption. The story flows as beautifully as the Georgia river where it's set and resounds to the music of alligators, Baptist singers and memory, as a woman who's lost her child and career meets a child who's lost her mother and found some seeds. There's nothing simple in the landscape or plot, but the characters are achingly, vividly real and the story's beautifully told. Enjoy it with  4-star elegant complex coffee.

Love in Lone Creek, by Mary Manners, is a thoroughly engaging lunch-time read with Lone Creek working its romantic magic on two wounded souls who learn to forgive themselves by tending to others. My review should appear in Nights and Weekends on July 3rd. Enjoy with a light crisp 1-star coffee.

Shadow of Reality by Donna Fletcher Crow delights with shades of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, twining two mysteries into one as a mystery themed vacation proves to hide secrets of its own. The author has a pleasing touch with faith, mystery, history and characters, and the novel's a thoroughly enjoyable curious read, best enjoyed with a 4-star elegant complex cup of coffee.

School of Lies, by Mickey Hoffman, is a mystery set firmly in the real world of an inner-city high school where the special ed department vies for scant resources with a vice principal who doesn't seem to care. When the police are called in to investigate a possible crime, the mix of lies, politics and blackmail has everyone keeping secrets, but young teacher Kendra Desola finds inner strength and solves more than one mystery in the end. A grittily plausible tale with a nice ray of hope, enjoy this one with a 5-star intense cup of coffee.

Finally, to lighten the load, there's the sparklingly different fairytale, Tangi's Teadrops by Liz Grace Davis offers an African Cinderella the chance to save a fairytale world if she can learn the meaning of love. Share this one with your children and enjoy a 2-star easy-drinking coffee as you read.

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