Sunday, 29 December 2013

Announcing New Distribution Channels and Book 3 Update

One of the great things about these online publishing tools is that you can see your sales immediately, and can see which channels are delivering. As a result of a review of my Smashwords sales stats, for example, I've decided to upload my first ebook, Death in the Forsythia, directly to Kobo, since I can count on my fingers and toes the number of books that have sold to Kobo through Smashwords. Should be interesting to see if this makes a difference. Also, I took the plunge and signed up with Xinxii, the German ebook distributor. They're still small (23k books currently available compared to Smashwords' 275k books) but reach different channels, including a bunch I haven't heard of: Casa del Libro, PagePlace, Flipkart and e-Sentral.

Now wouldn't it be great if I finished writing book 3? It's 70% written, but being a "pantser"*, I didn't work with an outline and have been stuck in one place because I haven't decided who the murderer is! (To be fair, I've now employed three book outline tools and none of them have led me to a finished outline. No glowing endorsement for book outlines coming from these quarters.) So regardless of the path you take, if you haven't thought the plot through to the end, you may reach a point at which you become stymied and need to resolve it (proactively, see below) before you can continue.

Although it's still technically 2013, I've already completed two 2014 resolutions (above) and would dearly like to finish book 3. I think it's just a matter of strapping myself to a chair and sitting there until I've resolve the "snag" so I can move ahead. (So far I've just assumed the solution will just hit me one day in an "aha" moment while I'm driving or washing dishes. As if.)

To all those writers out there, all the best in health, happiness and prosperity for 2014!!

*Pantser defined: An author that prefers to write without a book outline, preferring just to let it flow with the expectation that it will all come together in the end. There are plenty of authors in both camps. If you haven't guessed it already, the word comes from the expression "seat of your pants".

Monday, 25 March 2013

Today I obtained a EIN and submitted W-8BEN forms to Amazon, CreateSpace and SmashWords. Obtaining an EIN was required in order to submit the W-8BEN, and the W-8BENs were required in order to receive royalties from these U.S. based publisher/retailers, as a 30% withholding tax is otherwise applied to royalties before they're sent to an author. As Canada has a tax treaty with the U.S., all these forms permit us to receive royalties at a 0% tax withholding.
All this applies, of course, when you're not a U.S. resident and don't pay U.S. taxes. This must apply to a lot of people, since so many authors are pursuing this route in order to become published, including a lot of international authors.
You can learn more about the process at the following blog, where a few kind people have graciously documented a simple process for getting this done:

So glad to have finally done this. Another check mark on my "to do" list!
Happy writing!

Monday, 18 March 2013

I'm delighted to announce that Death in the Forsythia, Second Edition,will shortly be available on-line in print book and e-book versions. The cover artwork has been finalized, and I think you'll agree that illustrator Kathleen Howell has done a fantastic job creating a cover image that captures the essence of the book. As followers of my blog, you're the first to see the new cover that will grace the second edition:

I'll also be at the Margaret Dunn Branch of the Caledon Public Library tomorrow at 1:00 pm to share my writing and publishing experiences and to offer copies of Death in the Forsythia (1st Ed.) and Grounds for Death for sale. I hope you're able to attend and look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions

January has flown by, but not without my having established some challenging resolutions. I've never been one to have new year's resolutions, preferring instead to set goals throughout the year as I mull things over for some time to ensure it's what I really want before committing.

This past year was slightly different for me. For the first time in my life, I established myself as a self-employed professional, with 2012 being my first full year of operations. And it worked!

That means that 2013 is the year to be serious and start setting goals to achieve all of the things I know I have the capacity to do and do well.

Like writing. I've finally taken the plunge and cancelled my iUniverse contract for the first book in the Garden Plot Mystery series, Death in the Forsythia, after finding that I could be doing much better elsewhere when it comes to royalties. This has been a plan for over a year, but I hadn't nailed down the mechanics to make it so. I had to obtain a new ISBN, which had originally been supplied by iUniverse for this book, and obtain new cover artwork, as this, too, belonged to iUniverse. Having since developed a cover style that more aptly suits cozy mysteries, the contract cancellation has been a further godsend by paving the way for Book 1 to match Grounds for Death's cover style. As a result, I'll be publishing the Second Edition of Death in the Forsythia shortly (Resolution #1). For those of you with First Editions, hold onto them! They may eventually become priceless. Okay, maybe not, but you can always dream.

Sadly, I'll lose all the "Likes" you kind folk have showered on me at I hope that my readers will again post their "Likes" once the Second Edition is available.

And I've promised myself that 2013 is the year that I publish Book 3 (Resolution #2). I've chosen a challenging plot line for this one, and to help me work through some of the kinks I signed up for two courses, one dealing with creating dynamic characters (Resolution #3), and one to help create a plot outline to help me ensure that the scenes unfurl as expected in a mystery (Resolution #4). Both courses are providing me with fabulous tools I will be able to use with future books in the series.

So there we have it: four writing goals in 2013, all of which are well underway. I look forward to being able to announce the re-launch of Death in the Forsythia in the coming days and weeks.

I encourage you,too, to set some audacious goals for 2013 and achieve those elusive dreams!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

I've finally launched my author website! I'd love your thoughts about it. You can check it out at

Thursday, 8 November 2012

This Saturday, November 10th,  from 10 am to noon, I will be signing and selling Death in the Forsythia and Grounds For Death, Books 1 and 2 in the Garden Plot Mystery series, at the Albion Bolton Community Centre Holiday Treats and Wellness Show.

Come by, check out this wonderful early holiday gift buying opportunity and drop by my table to say hi and pick up a great read!


Friday, 12 October 2012

If you find yourself in Caledon this evening ...

If you find yourself in Caledon, Ontario this evening, come join us at the Caledon Library Literary Launch taking place at 150 Queen Street South at the Albion Bolton Public Library.

The winners of the creative writing contest will be announced (I judged the Adult Short Story Contest), and local authors will be recognized and showcased (that would include me). I'll be there, offering Death in the Forsythia and Grounds for Death for purchase.

I look forward to seeing you there!