SLUR Cover Reveal

Here it is at last, the cover for my forthcoming crime thriller, “Slur”, designed by the talented Chris Howard at: blondesign@gmail.com.

slur_V2

I think that this image captures my lead character (Julie) perfectly and I love what Chris has done with it. By focusing on her face he has shown the distress that Julie is going through. She is also a very stunning young woman and the image is big enough to show both of these elements even at thumbnail size. Chris has added some make-up as well, which makes Julie even more attractive.

I love the background colours and fonts that Chris has used. I wanted “Slur” to appear almost handwritten – you’ll understand why when you read the book. Chris was great to work with and willing to make changes until we had a cover that we were both happy with. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend his services to other authors.

Here is the blurb for the book:

How would it feel to be accused of a murder you didn’t commit? To believe your friends, family and colleagues had turned against you. Would you reach breaking point or fight to prove your innocence?

Julie Quinley finds herself in this position following the events of one fateful night. She has to bear the slights and accusations of colleagues and acquaintances, and life becomes unbearable. Eventually, thinking that she has lost the respect of everyone around her, Julie plunges into a deep depression.

However, unknown to Julie, those closest to her are rallying support. She reaches a turning point when her friends reveal that they may have found the real killer. Realising she must act in order to clear her name, Julie joins them in trying to find evidence.

But proving a vicious murderer guilty is never going to be easy, especially when the police remain unconvinced. Will Julie and her friends succeed? And is their suspect really responsible for the crime?

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I’m hoping to launch “Slur” sometime in September and will be posting updates as we get nearer the time. To celebrate the publication of my debut novel I’ll be hosting a big online launch party with competitions and lots of great prizes, and will publish announcements via this blog, on my Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/DianeMannionWritingServices and on Twitter @Dydywriter. In the meantime, you can preview the first chapter at: http://www.dianemannion.co.uk/books.html. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Read a Sample Chapter’.

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Free Book – Kids’ Clubs and Organizations

21st August is FREE PROMO day for “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations – A Comprehensive UK Guide”. It’s almost here so put the date in your diary and spread the word to anyone in the UK with childrenFree Book Promo from toddlers to teens. The book will be available to download FREE to the Kindle at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008IG41DU for ONE DAY ONLY so be sure not to miss it. It’s an invaluable guide for anyone with children. If you want to find out why, here are some details about the book:

“Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” introduces you to literally thousands of groups that provide children’s activities and events at little or no cost to families. You’d be surprised at the number of activities that you never even thought about for your children.

Children’s groups are available for all ages from babies to young adults, providing a broad range of enriching and educational experiences. Although the book is aimed primarily at UK parents, there are plenty of useful ideas for parents everywhere.

Here are some of the ways that you and your children can benefit through membership of a local kids’ club or organization:

Front book cover finalChildren can develop new skills

– It can prevent your children from becoming bored and disruptive

– Children can discover previously unknown talents

– You will be able to meet other parents with children of similar ages

– You can take pride in your children’s achievements

– Children will be able to make new friends

– You will get satisfaction from seeing your children happily engaged in worthwhile activities

We have divided the book into 24 chapters with each one focusing on a particular type of group. The chapters are then split into sections, starting with an overview and followed by sections about who can join, benefits, costs, how to find a group and how parents can get involved (where appropriate).

“Kids Clubs and Organizations” is the definitive guide to the wealth of groups in the UK that are devoted to children. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to find the right group and that’s where this book can help. Although each chapter gives a comprehensive guide to each type of club or organization, the last chapter provides even more sources of further information.

Great ideas to keep your children happy and fulfilled!

The free offer applies to the Kindle download only. If you prefer a printed copy you can purchase one using the same link at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008IG41DU.

Self-Publishing Facts and Figures

Following on from last week’s blog in which I stressed the importance of supporting independent authors, I decided to find some figures to back up my claim that independent publishing is a growing trend. I’ve also included some other interesting facts and figures relating to self-publishing, which I’ve gleaned from various Internet sources. For simplicity I have used the term ‘self-publishing’ to refer to all publishing that isn’t through a traditional publisher, including independent publishing. For a fuller explanation of the terms ‘self-publishing’ and ‘independent publishing’ please refer to the paragraph at the bottom of this post.

Pie chart

1) According to figures published by Bowker Market Research, self-published books accounted for 2% of all UK book sales in 2012, but 12% of all digital UK book sales. However, in the crime, humour and romance genres self-published UK book sales reached more than 20%!

2) Between 2006 and 2011 the number of self-published titles produced in the US tripled, reaching a combined total of 235,625 books and eBooks in 2011.

3) In 2012, 17 of the top-selling 100 Kindle books were self-published.

4) Included amongst the growing list of famous authors that have self-published some of their work are: Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf and John Grisham.

5) If authors use a traditional publisher they can expect to earn between 17.5% and 25% royalties on an eBook, whereas by self-publishing they can earn up to 70-80% of the sale price of the eBook.

6) The total number of books produced by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers in 2009 was a whopping 764,448.

7) In 2009 CreateSpace produced 21,819 books and Lulu produced 10,386.

8) Apart from financial gain, self-publishing offers a number of other advantages to authors; the self-published author sets the price, retains all rights and decides the release date.

9) There are more self-published eBooks than print books, which contributes to the overall trends although the publication of eBooks is growing generally. From 2006 to 2011, total US eBook production rose 129% compared to a rise of 33% for print book production.

10) 39% of all self-published print books were produced via CreateSpace in 2011. This represents a total of 58,412 titles published using CreateSpace in 2011 compared to 21,819 in 2009.

Bar chart

Self-Publishing or Independent Publishing?
There is some confusion about the terms ‘self-publishing’ and ‘independent publishing’ with many people using them interchangeably. Self-publishing is the term that has been used for many years to refer to any publishing that isn’t through a traditional publisher. At one time the only way to do this was through vanity publishing where authors would have to make an upfront payment to the vanity publisher. However, the publishing platforms available nowadays give authors more freedom, especially with the growth of digital publishing. This enables authors to be listed as the publisher as well as being able to obtain their own ISBN numbers. This is what is known as independent publishing. Through their own publishing businesses many authors also choose to publish books for other authors. When figures are quoted regarding the publishing industry, many people use the term ‘self-publishing’ to refer to both independent and vanity publishing.
If you have enjoyed my fun facts please let me have your feedback below or feel free to add your own interesting facts relating to self-publishing.
N.B. This information was drawn from a variety of Internet sources and I cannot give any guarantees regarding its authentication.