13 February 2019

Translate your books for free with Babelcube #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Have you ever wondered how much it would cost to have your books translated into other languages?  My books are available from Amazon in thirteen countries - but only to the English speaking readership, so I began looking into the costs of translation.

My research led me to the Babelcube website and the partnership model had an immediate appeal to me, as I've had great results with s similar approach for audiobook production with ACX.

Babelcube provides an easy way for publishers and independent book authors to partner with translators and distributes their books in up to fifteen languages globally. Translators are paid via a share of royalties, so the only cost is little time choosing and working with your preferred freelance translators.

Owen - Book One of the Tudor Trilogy has now been published in Spanish, is being translated into Italian, and the second book, Jasper, is also in hand.

The royalty share model mewans the translators have a real stake in the success of the book — a true partnership.

Tony Riches
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Do you have more ideas and suggestions on book translation? If so, please feel free to add a comment below

The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are HERE below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join in.

12 February 2019

Book Launch: This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin, by Emma Darwin

New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Everybody knows about Charles Darwin, and many know about others in his family, from Erasmus Darwin and Tom Wedgwood, the first photographer, to composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and poet and radical John Cornford, the first Briton to be killed in the Spanish Civil War. 

But when Charles and Emma Darwin's great-great-granddaughter, another Emma Darwin, tried to root her new novel in that history, the conflict between her complex heritage, and her own identity as a writer, became a battle that nearly killed her. 

This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin takes the reader on a writer's journey through the Darwin-Wedgwood-Galton clan, as seen through the lens of Emma's struggle. Along the way, her wry, witty and honest memoir becomes a brave book about failure - and, above all, a book about writing and how stories are told.

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About the Author

Emma Darwin was brought up in London, except when the family was in Manhattan or Brussels. Her childhood travelling often inspires the background of her fiction, while history is how she thinks; photography, time, food, words and horses also tend to come into the equation. Find out more at www.emmadarwin.com and follow her on Twitter @emma_darwin.

11 February 2019

Book Launch Interview with Kaya Quinsey, Author of Love, Amour, Amore: A collection of three love stories from around the world

Three distinct, completely charming love stories set in beautiful places that, after reading, you will want to visit. Wonderful characters. No helpless maidens here! Quinsey's heroines are energetic women in pursuit of their own dreams whilst they 
pursue love, or it pursues them!

New on Amazon UKAmazon US

I'm pleased to welcome Canadian author Kaya Quinsey to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book?

Thank you for welcoming me to your blog, Tony. My latest book, Love, Amour, Amore: A Collection of Three Loves Stories From Around The World, is just that - a collection of three of my romance novellas. The three stories all offer something a little different - a story of love rekindled, love found where it is least expected, and finding love after loss.

Valentine in Venice is a story set in Venice about Valentine Wells, a newly divorced wedding photographer from Chicago, who finds herself falling (literally) into the path of her first love, Lorenzo. A Coastal Christmas follows Jessica Beaton, the successful co-host of Wake Up Manhattan, as her co-host and boyfriend almost proposes to her on-air before backing out, leaving her dumped and embarrassed on national television. While retreating at her family's seaside cottage to evaluate her life, Jessica finds herself butting heads with Dean Adams, the mayor of Pebble Shores. But she quickly finds herself more enamored with life in Pebble Shores, the community spirit, and to her own surprise, Dean Adams. Finally, there is Paris Mends Broken Hearts. 

Gwendoline Delacroix finds herself fleeing Paris in a desperate attempt to escape the memories that haunt her in her French countryside chateau. Following the aftermath of WWII, she had become a widower and desperately missing her husband, Jean. Gwendoline eventually takes charge and in a quick turn of events, finds herself at the Hotel de la Belle Paix - the hotel run by her brother and sister-in-law in the Latin Quarter in Paris. Over the summer, Gwendoline finds work at an animal sanctuary run by an eccentric aristocrat. With new friends, an elderly cat, and a glass of wine in hand, Gwendoline proves to herself and everyone else that there is life after lost love.

Now twenty-six, Valentine is a successful wedding photographer in Chicago. Still impulsive, Valentine is recently divorced after being married for about a minute in Las Vegas. And she doesn't miss the irony of being a divorced wedding photographer. Also dealing with her mother's recent diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's, Valentine's father convinces her that she needs a break.

Now that she is back in Venice, Valentine wants to prove to herself that she's no longer the impulsive, daring girl who got married (and quickly divorced) in Vegas to a man she barely knew. Now, she is living by a new set of rules: planned, cautious, and carefully executed.

But her plan is challenged when she falls (literally) into the path of her first love, Lorenzo. And with Valentine's Day around the corner, will Valentine be able to keep herself from making another big mistake?

What inspired you to write Love, Amour, Amore?
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I wanted to put together a collection of short love stories just in time to celebrate.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read as much as you can, and write as much as possible. Keep a positive attitude to the best of your ability, and have fun!

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?
As this is a collection of three stories, I would say that a common thread I found challenging in each of these stories was creating an evocative setting, trying my best to do the cities (and town) justice. Paris and Venice are two of my favourite places, and it was such fun revisiting them as I wrote Valentine in Venice and Paris Mends Broken Hearts. The town of Pebble Shores (from A Coastal Christmas) is fictional, and I absolutely adored the process of creating a small, cozy town filled with quirky characters and a strong sense of community.

What are you planning on writing next?

I'm currently working on a book inspired by my time in the beautiful Basque Country. Keep an eye out for it! Thank you so much, Tony, for having me on your blog. It has been a pleasure!

Kaya Quinsey

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About the Author

 Kaya Quinsey is the author of Paris Mends Broken Hearts, Valentine in Venice, A Coastal Christmas, and most recently, Love, Amour, Amore: A Collection of Three Love Stories From Around The World. She holds her undergraduate and master’s degree in psychology. Her work has sold in seven countries and been translated into foreign languages. Kaya’s passion for culture, travel, and psychology blend for a reading style that is fun, full of surprises, and easy to read. A romantic at heart, Kaya’s writing offers a contemporary twist to traditional love stories. Through her stories, she hopes to inspire readers to fiercely chase their dreams. Find out more at Kaya's website: www.kayaquinsey.com and find her on Twitter @kayaquinsey 

8 February 2019

Guest Interview with Liri Bahar, Author of The Birth of the Ringmaster (The Circus Book 1)

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

For eighteen year old Cassandra, The Golden Circus is everything. It's where she was born, it's where she grew, it's where she belongs.

I'm pleased to welcome author Liri Bahar to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

My book is called "The Birth of the Ringmaster". It tells the story of Cassandra and her father, who had performed at The Golden Circus for years. When she turns eighteen years old, they are losing their job and force to find a new place to call their own. Cassandra's father had enough of the show business, but unlike him she refuses to fit into her new environment. 

When a new circus comes to town she sees it as her chance and run away with them, only to find out that the show business are not as glamorous as she remembers: The circus members are narrow click, the performers are amateurs, and she kept back from the spotlight. The main conflict is between the uneasy and boring reality and fake and colorful dreams. What are you rather to live, and how much will you pay to get the life you want?

What is your preferred writing routine?

I wake up at 6:30am. 7:50am I'm on the train, 8:50 final stop. This is the only time at day that I have to write. Is it my preferred? No, but I've got used to it and now I can only write on rides.
What advice do you have for new writers?

Keep writing, even if your story is bad. You can always edit your story later.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

The best way I found is to ask help from more experienced authors and writers. The author community is very supporting, and they would be glad to tell you what tips and tricks helped them. 

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

One of the characters in my book is Rex, the lion pet of Zack. When I first wrote down about Rex I wanted to make him evil and mean creature. When I searched for information about lions I found out that the lion is actually one of the first animals that humans kept around them, and that there were kings who kept tamed lions for entertainment. 

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

The hardest scene for me was the end. I kept struggle what was the fitting ending for story like that, and rewrite it over and over.

What are you planning to write next?

I hope to write a sequel for "The Birth of the Ringmaster" soon. 

Liri Bahar

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About the Author

Liri Bahar was born in the holy land in 1998, and ever since couldn't stop dreaming. Over the years she found different ways to express her stories - using art, acting, and of course, writing. When she was fourteen years old she posted her own writing blog, written in Hebrew and published fanfics on Fanfiction.net. You can find out more at Liri's website and follow her on Twitter @BaharLiri

7 February 2019

How to Create Large Print Editions of Your Books With Vellum

I've been using Vellum to format my books for eBooks and print editions for several years now and am happy with the ease of use and excellent results.  In particular, it is easy to make updates to your text and produce new editions with one click.

The latest version, Vellum 2.5 includes support for production of Large Print editions, which can help you reach the wide readership who may not be able to read a typical paperback. You can use the latest version of Vellum to create a Large Print edition in just a few steps.

  • Open Print Settings from Vellum’s File menu. Press More Options to find presets for large print
  • Find large print presets by pressing More Options
  • When you select one of the Large Print options shown, Vellum will use the indicated trim size and configure everything in your book for Large Print.
  • With a Large Print option selected, your text will use a significantly increased font size, equivalent in size to 16-point Adobe Garamond Pro.

Some Large Print Considerations

A larger font size will result in fewer words per line and fewer lines per page. To counter this, Vellum uses an outside margin that is smaller than what might be used for an equivalent trade paperback. Line spacing will also be slightly tighter than what is typical for such a large font size.

Because of the increased size of text, a Large Print version of your book will require more pages, making it more expensive to print.

As a Large Print edition will be bigger than a standard paperback, you’ll also need to adapt your existing cover layout to the new size.

Large Print on Amazon

Large Print editions require a new ISBN, which means you have to set up a new edition on your Amazon Bookshelf. (Amazon will provide a free ISBN.) When setting up your large print edition, check the Large Print box and your book's Amazon detail page will be marked 'Large Print' and linked to any matching editions. Your book will also be included in, but not limited to, large-print book browse results.

Tony Riches

5 February 2019

End of an era - the demise of Google+

In case you didn't know, Google+ is closing personal accounts on April 2, 2019. Any Google+ pages, including images and videos will also be deleted. If you are a Google+ user, this is therefore a good time to download and save your content. 

I was an early adopter of Google+ and have used it as part of my author platform since it started as an ‘invitation only’ network in 2011.  Since then Google+ matured into a lively and often thought provoking community. 

As well as being a great place to easily cross post from my blog, I would often have useful feedback on ideas. I must admit I haven't made much use of it for the past twelve months, but I would to thank the Google+ team and wish them well.

Tony Riches

1 February 2019

The Silence of Kings: Book One - The End of The Beginning, by Samuel Perin

New on Amazon US and Amazon UK

A young man named Leo Gryffl rediscovers an old family heirloom that goes on to change his world forever. The heirloom that he discovers sends him down a dark, whimsical, and sinister rabbit hole that leads him on a path of adventure, self-discovery, and insanity. 

On his journey he meets a cast of colorful and unique characters that all have a story to tell or a past to run away from. As the story progresses Leo goes on to find out that their world is not what it seems, and that someone (or something) is somehow influencing political events in almost every country that exists.

Things take a dark turn when entire governments begin to collapse all around our “heroes”. Strange occurrences begin to happen at every corner and terrifying people that hold mysterious “magical” powers start popping up as the world tears apart at its seams. Rumor in the "Shadow" is that a great beast has awoken beneath the bowels of society. A hydra that cannot be defeated. One that has extended its poisonous heads into the farthest depths of world affairs. But what happens next extends far beyond the reach of politics. 

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About the Author

Sam Perin is a visual artist and author who says, 'I've always had a passion for telling stories. Thus, my first book series: The Silence of Kings was born. When I'm not writing or painting, I can be found enjoying life with family and friends or going on various adventures outdoors.' Find out more at Sam's website www.samuelperinart.com/ and find him on Twitter @sam_perin