How to haemorrhage money by writing a book

The latest pierced artery is a block of ten ISBNs. But the comfort is that they cost a bit less than two ISBNs which would have been £89 each. Ouch. And if I had been persuaded to buy the matching Bar Codes, that would have been another £120.

As I have published only one novel and am about to publish the second with no original intention of writing a third, ten ISBNs seems rather excessive. The husband was unhelpful and said I’d just have to keep on tightening the tourniquet.

What with the cover design, three structural edits, line and copy edits and formatting, to name but a few of the deep financial wounds, it is a wonder that any author makes money at all.

I know, I know. All you have to do is sell your book.

A Web of Intrigue

It’s quite alarming how the World Wide Web Works. This interview was recently requested out of the blue, and more eerily was sent to an old email address and domain which hasn’t existed for over a year.  It arrived in my normal inbox. A kind of ouija, message from The Beyond.  The Other Side (of the Atlantic).

Interview With Author Charlotte Milne

No-one believes me

Out of the corner of my eye I see a rapidly moving furry object loping down the lawn (not a lawn, a large area of sphagnum moss). I hurl the laptop over, followed by the file and a spray of loose chapter paper, ungum myself from pillows, sheet, blankets and eiderdown (duvets are another subject) grab the tablet, find Camera, wait for focus.

Pine marten has obviously gone long since.

I shriek for husband, rush to sitting room, and there in the far distance is a dark speck loping up the track, then turning sharp left into the heather to disappear on the moor. Again.

I know that no-one is going to believe that we have our very own pine marten with a regular morning commute across our peat bog unless he is captured on camera. Even the husband looks doubtful.

‘Are you sure it wasn’t a cat?’ he says.  As if there was a cat within twenty miles of remote bothy.

‘I’ve heard pine martens have a habit of coming down chimneys and wreaking havoc inside.’ I say. ‘Are you sure there’s a cowl on the chimney?’

I catch him later standing in the bog in the snow and inspecting the chimney.

The Compleat Works

My lovely book group is full of poets.  As we nestle down in the pub, taking up large amounts of space and taking in large amounts of alcohol, I am aware that writing novels is not conducive to sharing production on a monthly basis, unlike those poets who wrote an entire oeuvre this morning.  And those oeuvres are sad, or hilarious, or clever or just plain dotty, but they are complete.

‘Where was I?’ I say, having lost the post-it note which said ‘Read (past, not present, tense) to book group up to here’. There is then a confused babble of inaccurate memory, and I am truly embarrassed at having to recap my love story to those who were not there last month, and to the ones who weren’t there two months ago.  Anyway, I can only read at most one quarter of a chapter if I am not to hog the time which must be divided between eleven aspiring scribblers.  Yes, poetry is the way forward.

I think I never did blog that my one and only oeuvre was published in December.  I’m supposed to market this thing, so it’s called

DOLPHIN DAYS and it’s by CHARLOTTE MILNE

How many more sales will that bring me?  By the way, friends and family, thank you for buying or downloading. And thank you, thank you for reviewing. And thank you, thank you, thank you for 4 stars not 5.  5 stars for a debut novel? They can only be from faithful kind friends or family.

 

 

Chateau Lynch Bages

It was the evening that the definitive, complete, no more fiddling, final, edited version of Dolphin Days was to be uploaded to Amazon Kindle. We had celebrated with a superb bottle of Chateau Lynch Bages and a shared rib-eye steak (which Sir cooks to bleeding perfection). Oh dear, should have known this was a precursor to disaster. Sir takes the last enormous glass of claret towards the coffee table to watch the 10 o’clock news, waves a congratulatory arm to the fairly sober wife at the laptop, and trips. About a pint (magic glasses) of rich red claret describes a graceful Dolphin shaped arc over the sitting room. This is the moment when you press STOP, then REWIND.

Really, the brain is extraordinary and surely no computer could calculate in a fraction of a second:

a) how many rolls of kitchen towel there are in the flat and where,

b) How much the pair of pale blue and turquoise faux silk curtains cost 5 years ago and what they might cost now.

c) Could we cut the carpet 6 feet in and replace it. Oh no. Matching that particular beige would be impossible. How about a pale turquoise carpet? I’ve always wanted one. And just the sitting room, or the entire flat?

d) Instructions for Sir.  Kitchen towel. Large bowl of warm water, pile of tea towels, all towels that aren’t white. WHITE WINE. Salt. Bicarbonate of Soda.

e) Where did I find the tips for removing red wine stains from carpet the last time this happened?

f) Why is Sir lying flat on his face flapping like a fish out of water and not getting the WHITE WINE to pour on the red wine? Because he has fallen over and is jammed between the coffee table (which is a large and heavy chest packed with games for the grandchildren) and the sofa.

g) Why is there MORE red wine soaking the carpet under his nose? Because his nose is bleeding like a full bottle of claret lying on it’s side with no cork, and OMG, what is his daily Warfarin dose?

h) Instructions for Sir. Keep tea towel firmly gripped to nose.  Do not bleed.

There is a hiatus while I blot, dilute, blot, dilute, blot.  Unjam husband from between chest and sofa and get him vertical. Scream for WHITE WINE. He brings large green box with a tap while holding tea towel to nose. I pour contents liberally over the faux silk curtains and about 2 square metres of carpet before looking at the now empty box and reading PERRY.

Do I know Perry? Did I buy it? Is it white wine? Does it take the stain out? No to all of that, but I do know who DID buy it, thinking it was white wine.

More hiatus while I dilute, blot, dilute, blot. We have now run out of all towels, coloured, white or paper, and the bath is full of damp, pinky/Perryish terry.

By Sunday the book is still not uploaded, we have no curtains on the windows as they are laid out damply on the kitchen floor with claret/water/Perry marks all over them. The carpet underlay has stained in an enormous dark brown ring surrounding blood and red wine and we are due to fly to Scotland early tomorrow for three weeks.

 

 

 

 

Dolphin Days – nearly there

Due to be uploaded this weekend to Amazon Kindle and published on 1st December.  You’ve all been waiting YEARS for me to shut up about this book, and the moment has come.  All proceeds to the charity “An African Dream” – well, all donations,  You can pre-order it (what a thrill) and tell all your friends to go buy…

paypal.me/charlottemilneauthor

Here’s what it’s about…

If she can’t handle failure, will she ever learn to handle success…

Artistic young antique dealer Melissa fails to recover a precious Byzantine manuscript stolen from her in Greece. Instead she finds herself accused of theft by wealthy architect Nicholas.

Struggling with financial disaster, a dangerous attraction to an embittered Nicholas, and guilt over a family tragedy, Melissa sets out on a new career path in design and illustration.

But it seems that Nicholas has not only destroyed her career as an antique dealer, but that his unwanted interventions may wreck her new plans too.

Determined to put the past behind her, Melissa is tempted to trade her talents and career for the security of marriage to kind, devoted David, but as she gets to know Nicholas better, her resolve wavers.

Will she overcome her lack of confidence, build her career and find the love she longs for?