‘I’ll never buy a Kindle’

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

And I kept saying it for quite a while. I had all the usual complaints.

‘I like to feel a book in my hands, not a piece of plastic.’

‘What about the bookshops and libraries?’

‘It’ll never catch on.’

As a self-publisher with my own publishing company, I realised that it was getting harder and harder to self-publish as the printing costs were increasing and I couldn’t keep up with big firm’s special ‘2 for 1’ offers and low budget books. Something had to give.

‘Make your books as ebooks’, a friend suggested. I looked at her as if she’d suggested a trip to the moon. Eventually I was worn down, after having decided that I’d published my last book. (Weaving Through the Years, 2012).41pgIKxVNML._AA160_

‘You’ll need a Kindle so that you can check them as the text sometimes get corrupted when files are converted to PDF format,’ another friend said.

So I bought one. And the sky didn’t fall down, Chicken Licken.

‘Why don’t you upload all your books to Amazon?’ my nephew Richard suggested. (He’s the technical part of my publishing company; the ‘Ric’ of Linric).

‘How do I do that?’ I asked nervously.

51IS+kK8zUL._AA160_‘I’ll do it,’ he offered. Phew! What a relief. And half an hour later, that’s what he’d done. All eight of them! And no need to change the format either – they all went in Word format.

It was very nice to see them on Amazon, available as downloads, but really, I thought, not much point, as no one will buy them, even though I had some good reviews.

I was wrong. The first and second month I only sold one download each month. So then I forgot about it. I didn’t know how to access my sales reports anyway at that time. But next time the nephew looked for me, I’d sold 16 downloads each month in the third and fourth book. And two of the sales were from America.

No books to be printed and stored in my house.

Pure profit!

Well, apart from Amazon’s cut of course. And I’ve just had notification that Amazon is making first payment this week. Momentous!41a9WbhVKNL._AA160_

So if you are in the same boat as I was, my suggestion is to just go for it! Or have a techy-savvy nephew handy if you can’t do it yourself. You never know ‘til you try?

And my Kindle? Well, it’s a bit dusty. I still don’t like it and prefer a book, except of course, when I go on holiday. Then it gets dusted off and is an important part of my luggage. The only problem I have now is that I want to download my own books on to my Kindle. But it’s ‘not possible at the present time’ according to Kindle Direct Publishing, without paying for them. Pay for my own books? Humph!


If you search for Linda Sawley on Amazon you’ll find paper & ‘e’ versions of all her books.

Scrapbooks, the new book trailer?


How do you bring a book to life, when introducing it to potential readers?

While artists and musicians have a fairly immediate way of presenting an image or a four minute song, it is harder for writers to capture the imagination of readers.

Of course a great cover and an interesting blurb are always the first steps to entice readers’ curiosity. Previews and excerpts allow a peek into the story and the author’s writing style.

But in an age when people’s attention span is short and immediate, authors have been finding new ways of attracting audiences to their books.

41cOSYrD7TL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_The book trailer has now been around for some time, and many authors have utilised the media to advertise their upcoming or published book. I had a go at it myself, with my first novel, “Playing on Cotton Clouds” http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playing-on-Cotton-Clouds-ebook/dp/B007WFK3B2 – and uploaded it on my Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2QcSh6MZJg

For my second novel, “A Summer of Love”, http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Summer-of-Love-ebook/dp/B00B3MKEQ4 I wanted to try something different. I wanted the readers to have a feel for the characters, the atmosphere and the writing style, as well as the plot, immerse them in the book experience, and somehow I felt a trailer was not the best way to convey it.

In the past I had used some images to present short passages from the book on my Facebook author page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michela-Sacchi-OBrien/16450121895 and I thought that perhaps I could do something a little more creative with it. So I developed the idea of a scrapbook, arranging the images on artistic backgrounds and accompany them with brief excerpts from the book. There are interesting ideas for compositions on the net or on photo and design softwares, which also provide guidance on how to put it all together.

The result can be seen on my blog http://words-in-a-jar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/a-summer-of-love-scrapbook_16.html

I think it really captures the essence of the book, allowing readers to get a feel for the story in a quicker, broader overview, and hopefully piquing their interest enough to make them want to read the novel.

What other creative ideas would you suggest to effectively promote a book?

A SUMMER OF LOVE – Michela O’Brien


Successful artist Jonah Briggs is a man who has made mistakes. Aged just eighteen, he was sent to prison for two years, leaving his family shattered and his first love, Sally, to wait for his return.

 But at eighteen, two years seem like a lifetime, and some promises are hard to keep. 

When Jonah reappears in her life, Sally finds herself torn between him and Ewan, the young Cornish farmer she has married, divided between loyalty and passion, duty and love. 

 Over the course of almost two decades, through meetings and partings, secrets and revelations, and two momentous summers, Jonah will have to confront his past and heal old wounds, while Sally will face the consequences of her choices – whether to follow her conscience or her heart.

What did the teenagers ask?


Monday morning I found myself behind a microphone being interviewed by five very bright, polite teenagers from King James’s School, Almondbury. They had been reading my novel, Once Removed, and asked some searching questions. Two Valleys Radio has a “listen again” facility, if you’d like to hear for yourself. This is the link: http://www.twovalleysradio.co.uk/listenagain/two-valleys-book-club-kb-walker/



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