August 1, 2016 · 2:20 pm
August 26th, I took part in “Hot Summer Nights”–Tuesdays in July when four members of Redwood Writers, the largest branch of the California Writers Club, read from recently their published books at Copperfield’s Book Store in Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa, CA. This is the fourth year Copperfield’s has partnered with us on this event.
Here’s a five minute clip my friend Beth filmed: https://youtu.be/auw1c9uoiJY
October 9, 2015 · 9:44 pm
My book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude has been published! Both the paperback and Kindle versions can be found here, at Amazon. Other digital versions can be found at Smashwords.
The memoir won first prize in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2005 contest under the name Blood Bond. That was a very bad time to market memoirs, I discovered, because of James Frey’s betrayal of the form when he exaggerated his personal story. I let the manuscript molder on my computer for seven years, then pulled it out and walked it through two more critique groups.
Bound to Love is the true story of a single mother who encountered and navigated a complicated nightmare for any parent. My child, the only child I could ever bear, was born with a life-threatening congenital heart defect, and suffered a more brutal health diagnosis soon after. Walk with me as I birth the courage and grit to meet Thom’s compounding challenges.
The memoir covers Thom’s first twenty years as we confront prejudice, injustice, and a share of compassion as well. This is an important read for any parent who feels alone raising a child with complex disabilities.
© Skye Blaine, 2015
October 7, 2015 · 10:09 pm
I uploaded the .mobi file that I formatted for Kindle. Because my book has quite a few sub-titles, and because I have the skill, I wanted to handle the formatting myself. With the help of Hugh O. Smith’s Seven Days to Kindle, the process went very well. Like all book formatting, there is unrelenting detail, and proofing, reproofing, and reproofing yet again. But finally, the book, in the Kindle Previewer software, looks the way I want it to.
When the file went through Kindle’s “meatgrinding” software, and was accepted, I of course went to the page to check it out. But when I clicked on the “Look Inside” link, I was disturbed by the preview–the formatting was different. I called, and was told that is always so: the previews are handled by different software, and will not be identical to the actual formatting of the book when it is purchased. The customer service person looked at my actual book, and said the formatting matched my description of it.
I also learned that it takes five business days for Amazon to link up the paperback and Kindle versions, and put them on the same page so the customer can easily choose which they want.
Another challenge I discovered is another author out there named Skye Blaine! I never expected that to happen. Her name is Allegra Skye Blaine, and she writes about dragons. My legal name is Amrita Skye Blaine: both authors, both names start with A and have the same rhythm. Surprising.
Once both versions of my book, Bound to Love: a memoir of grit and gratitude, are on the same Amazon page, I will announce its publication here.
© Skye Blaine, 2015
October 6, 2015 · 1:53 pm
I have had quite a week. First, because I prefer to do business locally, I got a bid from my favorite local printer. Each copy of my book would cost over $10. Then I planned to publish with IngramSpark, so my book will be in their catalog. I still will. However…
I have not yet reached IngramSpark by telephone to get questions answered. I have waited on hold for an hour each time, and finally hung up because I needed to go to appointments.
Frustrated, I decided to try CreateSpace. Each copy of my book will cost $4.32 including shipping. Their customer service department is simply amazing. Over the last week, I’ve spoken to eight or ten customer service representatives. I put in my phone number for them to call me “now,” and within about 30 seconds, my phone rang. I was then put on hold–but every time, the hold was approximately one minute. The representatives have been unfailingly helpful, friendly, and human. They seemed happy and upbeat. Only one had a slight accent that made it a little difficult to understand her–and the problem was most likely on my end, because I wear hearing aids.
There is no charge for uploading and proofing a book and its cover. I ended up uploading mine three times, because even after countless proofreadings, my husband and I still found small glitches–a missing drop cap, an indent with one extra space, a word that was supposed to be italicized, but I had missed it. Yes, I am a perfectionist.
When I placed the order for my first 100 books, the review invoice showed sales tax. I have a resale permit from California, so I called CreateSpace yet again. My window is getting smaller–I want to take the books to a retreat that begins on October 25th, and I should have my books by October 20th if I order them today. I had to send them a signed form and a copy of my resale permit. They found my email–addressed only to email@example.com–while I was on the telephone with them, corrected my account, and boom! Within 1/2 hour from first noticing, we solved the problem, and my invoice now shows up with no sales tax. ORDER PLACED! People grouse about Amazon all the time, but CreateSpace is one of their divisions, and I’m a fan.
Now back to waiting on the telephone for IngramSpark.
© Skye Blaine, 2015
September 4, 2015 · 9:26 pm
There are so many steps I need to complete in order to publish my book. I’m slowly working my way through the tasks:
- I registered the ISBN number for the Bound to Love paperback version. I will also need to register a second ISBN for the digital version. (Five years ago, I purchased ten ISBN numbers, and am now using them.) I’ve paid for the bar code–a separate expense–but won’t download it from Bowker until I decide on the book’s price.
- My business fictitious name was registered today. I filled out the form online, and took it to the County Clerk’s Office to have it stamped and get their official number. We went with our old business name from Oregon because we already have a Federal ID number (FEIN)
- I uploaded the stamped fictitious name form to a local newspaper for the required once- a-week for four weeks announcement.
- I filled out the State Board of Equalization registration online (so I can charge and pay California sales tax), and printed my seller’s permit. It’s in a frame in my office, “displayed conspicuously” as they require.
- My Square account is now set up so I can accept credit cards and process them on my iPhone.
- I completed the layout of the text in InDesign, and it’s been proofread three times.
- I’ve also made quite a bit of headway on the cover design. I got a cover template from IngramSparks for the size book I’m using, 6″x9″, and the number of pages: 256. They compute the spine width based on the weight of the paper. I’ve added my author photo to the back, a brief bio, and a paragraph about the book. I’m awaiting blurbs. One is promised, the other I’ve just asked for. Next I’ll place the ISBN barcode, and the price, of course.
And all I want to do is write!
© Skye Blaine, 2015