November 16th, 2011

thinking

What's this about KINDLEGRAPH?




Kindlegraph

lets authors send personalized inscriptions and signatures ("kindlegraphs") directly to the electronic reading devices of their fans.

Readers - contact your favourite authors and collect e-autographs!

Authors - reach your readers in an even more personalised way!

There's a very useful mini-video on how it works on the site, but here is a brief, additional run-down.


I'm an Author, what do I do? 
* Sign up for Twitter, if you haven't already. You DON'T have to use Twitter after that, although you may learn to love it :). Either way, you only need a Twitter ID at the moment for Kindlegraph.
* Go to Kindlegraph and use your Twitter ID to register you as an author. You'll be asked to add a contact email address. Now readers can find you there!
* Add your book(s). All you need is the Amazon ASIN reference, it's listed on the Amazon book page. Copy or type that in, then the book will appear on your Author page with a "Request Kindlegraph" button underneath for a reader to use.


* When a reader requests a Kindlegraph, you'll get an email letting you know. You sign into Kindlegraph, find "Requests" at the top right of your screen, follow that link to the request and write something to them. Kindlegraph offers an automated signature for your message, but you can add your own. Press "Send Kindlegraph" and off it goes!

I'm a reader, what do I do?
You don't need to own or buy the book in order to receive a Kindlegraph, nor do you need to own a Kindle. The Kindlegraph is not inserted into the e-book. It arrives as a separate document. This allows a reader to create a "collection" on their reading device and keep all of their Kindlegraphs together.

1. Sign on to Twitter as above.
2. Go to Kindlegraph, search for your favourite author(s), click on any of their books and send a request. You can add a personal message to them if you want.
3. When they've completed a Kindlegraph back to you, you'll get an email notification. You can then access it on your Kindle, on your iBooks, or directly from the Kindlegraph site. Log in, look for "My Collection" at the top right of the screen, and your Kindlegraphs are accessible as PDFs, attached to a copy of the cover art.

Authors, want to check how it works?
Request a Kindlegraph for yourself, from your own book! Or buddy up with another author and request from each other. Then you can follow through the process and see what it looks like.

 
To request a personalized signature go to http://kindlegraph.com/books.

And look, here's ME *lol*: 
http://www.kindlegraph.com/authors/clare_london



We're promoting Kindlegraph this week - and will again - on the Not Your Usual Suspects blog. Come on over and support your favourite romantic suspense / suspense / crime authors! Kindlegraph is a chance to say "HI", and enjoy a personalised souvenir for books you've enjoyed - or are looking forward to!


hooray

Update on a visit from Wight Mischief



Author jl_merrow visited the blog recently and kindly offered a lovely prize to one lucky commenter. The winner was diannakay, who commented on the Joyfully Jay blog.

Thanks to everyone who took part, and don't forget you can get your copy of Wight Mischief is available now from Samhain and Amazon.

BLURB: A stranger could light up his world...or drive him deeper into darkness.

Will thinks a camping trip with his friend-with-benefits Baz will be a fun break from his usual job as a personal trainer. But the trip turns into a rollercoaster ride as he meets author Marcus - and Marcus' mysterious guardian Leif.

Journalist Baz is supposed to be researching a book on ghosts, yet he seems curiously interested in secrets lying in the reclusive Marcus' past. But these are secrets that someone's determined they should let lie - and if they're not careful, Will and Baz could end up adding to the Island's ghostly population...


wink

Clare and Chrissy: on Location, Location, Location ...

Clare and Chrissy talk Location, Location, Location.

Clare: and Chrissy: Hello! Thanks for taking time out of your busy pre-holiday season to join us. We’d like to jump right in this month by asking for a show of hands, how many of us indulged in some travel this past year? A family holiday, GayRomLit or a convention like the UK Meet, travel for work meetings, or maybe just a weekend trip to check out a local hotspot?

Chrissy: And, if authors, how many of us have a niggling little idea in the back of our head that we could use our destination in a future work?

Clare: Obviously we can’t really see everyone’s hands, but we’ll take a good guess that most of us gave them a good wave. Especially those of us still fresh from GRL. New Orleans is a city that just begs to be used in fiction.

Chrissy: Apart from …

Clare: Well, yes, obviously I won’t be committing THAT scene to paper, or repeating THAT conversation, or recalling THAT time when the margaritas flowed so freely, and I stumbled back to the hotel so bloody awkwardly …

Chrissy: Nuff said. So let me nudge everyone and ask, "what are you waiting for"?

Clare: So demanding (still sulking).

Chrissy: Which brings us to this month’s topic: Location, Location, Location. Yes, that wonderful catch phrase is not just for real estate anymore.

Clare: Aside from characters, names, and a kernel of an idea for plot, top of the authorly checklist is the question “where is my story taking place”.

Chrissy: And there is a myriad of answers.

Clare: Do we set our story in our own, tiny hometown or use a favorite vacation spot?

Chrissy: Would we be better off if we created a completely different world or city?

Clare: Then there’s the vague, never-defined mystery locale.

Chrissy: That one is always *my* favorite.

Clare: You’re kidding, right? You’ve set I don’t know how many stories in cities around the state of Michigan.

Chrissy: Who's keeping count?

Clare: Well, actually -

Chrissy: *glares* But that's purely by accident. I didn't start out to be a Michigan travelogue writer. I just get so excited I can’t help myself. I have to use the location in a story.

Clare: And it's one of your many literary strengths, my dear :). The sights and sounds and feelings come vividly alive for the reader.

Chrissy: Awwwh, thanks Honey!*thumps Clare on the virtual shoulder*

Clare: *rubs blossoming bruise* And what if the author happens to live outside the U.S., our largest book-buying market? We Brits enjoy, and are used to reading many stories set in the North American continent. But there are increasing numbers set in other countries - not just Britain, but Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia etc. Are American readers interested in stories set in other countries?

Chrissy: As one member of the American book-buying public, my answer is a resounding yes!! I'm quite looking forward to a slew of U.K. romances set against the backdrop of the Olympics. Just think of the possibilities; all those unattached tourists littering the English Countryside in search of a pint of lager, a packet of crisps, and the handsome bloke to sit beside and share them with.

Clare: You're an Honorary Brit, methinks :). Well, I think we need more of *you*.

Chrissy: *smirks* That's a given.

Clare: However, there are pluses and pitfalls inherent in each of these paths. It's enough to make a gal tear out her bangs (joke! joke! I wouldn't really use that phrase in the English countryside...).

Chrissy: I'm sure we've all read book reviews where a real location is used, and the reader notes that "you can't turn right at that intersection".

Clare: Google Earth will only take us so far! Anyone who knows me off-line, knows how geographically-challenged I am. And frankly, as an author, I have other aspects of my story to worry about.

Chrissy: The trouble is, nothing stays static. I lived in San Antonio for many years, but it was also many years ago. As in, Pre-Alamodome, Rivercenter Mall, and expanded Riverwalk. While I would love to use the city as background for a story, would a reader be unhappy if I wrote the city I remember so fondly? Is my old apartment complex still there? What about other landmarks? Should I feel compelled to research the city as it now stands?

Clare: I hear you - London changes on a daily basis. I drew up a map for some visitors to use last week, and by the time I'd sent it out, the name on the local pub had changed :). My vote is definitely for fresh research. I would come along, of course, as your margarita tester.

Chrissy: *rolls eyes* Of course.

Clare: How about historical fiction? Difficult enough to fit your story into a realistic timeline, what about meshing locations as well?

Chrissy: LOL. Some Regency Romance readers might think that England only had two cities, London, and Bath. Each surrounded by a never-ending supply of vast country estates. Research is definitely a must for any historical work, and while choices may be limited, some variety would be nice, too.

Clare: World building brings along its own set of woes. How involved do we make it? Should we draw out maps and building layouts of the entire town? How much time do we invest?

Chrissy: Do you think that's probably best decided by the scope and genre of the story? A small, Midwestern town might require less thought than an entire new planetary system.

Clare: Remember those paperback romances, the ones that would have a map in the front with a fake city starred on it?

Chrissy: Those used to baffle me. Now that I'm creating my own fiction I have a much better understanding of them. And what about the stories where our characters never leave their initial location? The characters who are in effect kept in a literary box?

Clare: *cough* you mean the claustrophobia of stories (like some of mine) that never move out of the same two rooms? And one of *them* is usually the bedroom?

Chrissy: *smiles fondly* I mean, that type of story forces the need for a more tightly written, character driven style.

Clare: Thanks, love. So many choices. It's amazing we ever get the story written at all.

Clare: and Chrissy: Tell us what you think! Readers, do you prefer the undefined location that lets you mentally flesh out the story to your liking? Or do would you rather read a story grounded firmly in reality? Authors, is Google Earth your friend? Everyone who comments on this post will be entered in our monthly random drawing for some sparkly Clare and Chrissy Swag. Winner to be announced at our next, monthly blog post.


October Winner: alex_beecroft- Congratulations! Please email your mailing address to Clare at clarelondon11@yahoo.co,uk for your festive Clare and Chrissy Swag.


Don't forget to check out Clare's latest literary travels in her Petit Morts releases, London Eye, and Media Naranja.

Jingle our balls bells to sneak a peek at our upcoming anthology release!



Missed any of our posts? Follow the 'sticky' post for these rambles of ours HERE.



Here's Chrissy! website // blog.



Here's Clare! website // blog.