Books

Sometimes all you need is a few words

Today I’m thrilled to have author Sharon Grigg on my blog.

As part of my 2018 book challenge, I’m reading more poetry – not something I typically read. Sharon’s coffee break companion is a compilation of short stories and poems. I thought this one, Sky, was beautiful, plus it has a link to a prophecy in Eternal Seas, but you’ll need to read my book to find out why!

 

SKY

When it’s dark and quiet

While my World sleeps

I sit and stare

Feel the magic in the air

The sky at night

A true delight

Moodily cloud covered

Or sparkling clear

I love to see the stars that shine

Constellations I can barely name

And the moon

Waxing, waning, crescent or full

The sky at night

A true delight

Peaceful and free

Alone with just me

The colours behold me

Blues of every shade

Sapphire and twilight

Prussian and midnight

Deep purple to maroon

All gone too soon

As dawn creeps in

Bringing new light

The darkness fades

Stars hide away

Birds begin to sing

New light on everything

 

To celebrate the six month anniversary of the release of Coffee Break Companion you can pick up a copy for just 99p for the week of 28th August to 3rd September 2018.

6 month offer

Blurb: Grab that cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer), maybe add a splash of something stronger, settle down and enjoy your break with this gripping collection of flash fiction and poetry that will send shivers down your spine. With an added bonus of a longer story at the end that will fill your lunch break. What are you waiting for? Dive in! Everything from a discovery in an Ice Cavern, to a tornado. Mermaids, and Dragons. Mystery and Horror. This collection of flash fiction and poetry has something to capture anyone’s imagination, with a final chilling thriller that will leave you gasping for air.

Author Bio: This is the first published book by S.L. Grigg having previously written a popular blog on mental health, and having articles published by Mind, the mental health charity, and NHS England. Working for NHS England from a home in Bromsgrove, England, S.L Grigg lives with a partner and two adult children. S.L Grigg has studied everything from Science and Law, to Journalism and Pilates but writing has always been the greatest passion in S.L.Grigg’s life.

 

SLGrigg CBC

Sharon Grigg, who writes under the pen name S.L Grigg, made it her new year’s resolution to publish her book ‘Coffee Break Companion’ during 2018. After bouncing back from mental health problems (BPD), following the death of her husband from a brain tumour in 2009, Sharon was struck down with kidney and other health problems, believed to be linked to having the Essure sterilisation device she had implanted back in 2008. In September 2017 she underwent major surgery to have a non-functioning hydronephrotic kidney removed at the same time as a full hysterectomy to remove the essure device. Just two months after setting her goal Sharon launched the collection of dark, short stories and poetry on Amazon. Many of the stories were written during Sharon’s battle with mental health. 41-year-old mother of two, Sharon says “For me publishing was never about, money or fame. I just wanted to be able to hold a copy of my book and say, ‘I wrote this’ and now I can.”

Links: http://www.facebook.com/SLGRIGG76 http://www.slgrigg76.wordpress.com

Wherever you are in the #World this link will take you to your local #Amazon site so you can pick up a copy of my #firstbook #selfpub #newauthor #indieauthors #free on #Kindleunlimited – https://t.co/3AYfZ79zLl

Books

Judging a book by its cover? 10 tips

A good book cover boosts sales, both of eBooks and paperbacks. We really do judge a book by its cover. Getting the right cover takes a huge amount of time and effort, but here are 10 tips to help you get started.

  1. Establish your style. I include colours, fonts and images that might inspire my cover – of course it’s going to be distinctive too, right! Clarity here will save you time when you start browsing designer portfolios for your shortlist, and help you avoid expensive mistakes when you brief later your designer.
  2. Look at different genres. There are definite “themes” i.e. dragons = fantasy, ladies in long dresses = historical fiction, ragged fonts = crime. Readers will make a snap judgment on the type of book based on this broad first impression, so don’t confuse them by using dragons for a romance. It is highly recommended to stay in the genre and not try anything too different to avoid accidentally losing readers.
  3. Check out any recent trends. This article looks at some key trends for 2018, although I think they should rename the page link from “trashed-7”! https://the-digital-reader.com/2017/12/06/__trashed-7/
  4. Analyse other covers to try to understand what does or doesn’t work, and why. The website https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2011/08/monthly-e-book-cover-design-awards/ has a monthly competition with brief comments on good and bad covers. It is well worth spending some time on, but it would be great if you could sort the designs by genre. For more detailed analysis of a few covers, I recommend this webcast https://selfpublishingadvice.org/designing-book-covers-that-sell-the-7-must-haves-derek-murphy/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email
  5. Research designers of covers that you like. There is no doubt this is time consuming, but at least you know what their style is and if it is in line with what you want. IMG_9250
  6. Alternatively, you can use an agency. Services like https://99designs.co.uk/book-cover-design will provide lots of options and ideas through a competition. With 99designs you set some parameters around the type of cover you want (this is where having gone through the above steps will really help you) and designers from around the world can pitch for your project. There are a range of pricing packages.
  7. DIY it. Not sure I am brave enough, but if you are more artistic than me or on a strict budget, you can design your own cover. There are lots of templates you can use. I like the simplicity of Canva https://www.canva.com, or you could look at Adobe Spark https://spark.adobe.com/make/book-cover-make. I recommend this podcast to get you started https://selfpublishingadvice.org/beginners-self-publishing-salon-podcast-designing-your-own-cover/
  8. Is it part of a series? If so, before committing to a design, it’s worth considering how you could link the covers by changing elements but keeping a recognisable link. I love these covers by Kristina Beck for the Collide series – they are clearly linked, but still different.
  9. Computer vs. physical design? It’s likely you are designing on a computer, but if you do want to go one step further, this article by Ben Denzer shows the impact incorporating physical layering can make to the final visual. http://lithub.com/secrets-of-the-book-designer-creating-something-from-nothing/
  10. Don’t panic! If you change your mind you can always relaunch with a new cover – lots of authors do. It’s particularly easy if you are indie published. With print-on-demand and eBooks you won’t even have a big pile of books in the old cover to dispose of either. Take a look at these before and after shots from the hugely successful Wool series by Hugh Howey for example!

Whatever you decide, have fun and good luck!

Featured image by Karim Ghantous on Unsplash.com – thanks!

 

 

Books

The Alcina Is A Stunning Boat In Real Life

Top advice for authors usually includes “Write about what you know” – well I know nothing about smuggling, but I do know a lot about sailing so that’s where the whole idea for The Relic Hunters started.

Finn and Aria’s boat is based on a real boat, Indianna. We anchored next to Indianna in a small bay in a Greek island and started chatting to the owners, Roger and Anne. They lived aboard Indianna with their two dogs, Indi and Sollie. The story is that one day, after (quite) a few lunch time drinks, they decided to quit their jobs and buy a boat. Sailing round the UK while they were learning the ropes seemed a sensible idea given they were both novices, but this was in January. Unsurprisingly, a couple of hundred miles north, Anne announced “if you don’t turn this boat and head somewhere warmer, I’m getting off.” And that started a nine year trip through the Mediterranean.

Indianna is a lovely ketch – solidly built, with beautifully varnished woodwork down below and a deep cockpit.

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Books

The truth about the locations in my books

Sailing gives a wonderful freedom to choosing your location. The first book, Eternal Seas, starts in a lush tropical island, passing through some ports with bustling bazaars, before returning to the rugged islands off the north west coast of Scotland via London.

None of the locations are real, but they are all based on actual places.

 

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