Lizzie’s Learning Curve.

I had a steep learning curve lately to do with self-publishing when I had a technical glitch on one of my books. I’ve  decided to write about the things I have discovered on my writing journey and the tips I have been given by other authors in a section of my blog, which I’m calling Lizzie’s Learning Curve.

I had a couple of recent reviews on my latest book which said they enjoyed the story, but the grammar wasn’t great. I looked over the book and to my horror, found that not only had the book got a glitch, the wrong copy of the manuscript had been uploaded.

How did this happen?

For the first time since I have begun writing, I removed a sentence from one of my books, then felt I should have left it in after publication as it was integral to a chapter in the story. I added the sentence back and the book went live again. Having uploaded the updated book, I misread the document name and added the wrong version. I quickly checked for errors after doing this, but I had meticuosly checked the previous version which had been on sale for a while and thought I was sending the same proofed and edited manuscript. The old one did have  grammatical errors as it was in an unfinished state of revision and hadn’t been for another round of proofing and editing.

To top everything off, the new book conversion developed technical glitches. It does say in the small print of some online retailers that this can happen occasionally with files, but I had never seen it before, so didn’t look for it. In this instance, the glitch separated full stops from the end of a sentence and moved letters away from the rest of the words. Disaster!

What to do?

I spoke with several authors who advised me to numerically number manuscripts, so that I would always know which one was the latest version. Unfortunately I had taken a completely different route, which was to label them, ‘book name latest’ and ‘book name latest version’ etc! Not a great way to store my work.

I spoke to the online retailer who told me how to sort out the glitches and upload the correct file in HTML code, which I had checked by a technical designer and it uploaded perfectly without a glitch. Once corrected the retailer very kindly sent out an email to all of the customers who had bought the book and told them there had been a glitch and there was a new version to update.

Obviously, this is a solution, but I really wish I hadn’t meddled with my original file and will never call my manuscripts, latest, newest, updated, or any other current name that I can think of! They are safely numbered and the highest is the book I am working on. All previous versions are now moved to a completely different file, so that the only file in my folder is the number I am working on.

It’s a learning curve!

4 reasons to take self-published authors more seriously than ever

Great article about self-publishing by Timothy Pike.

What Inspires Your Writing?

Nowadays, it’s quickly becoming the norm: before their stories are even finished, writers are already considering their self-publishing options. And who can blame them? From speed-to-market to more creative control to no rejection letters, it’s an enticing prospect.

But some are quick to thumb their noses at these writers, believing them to be going rogue, bucking the system in the name of vanity.

News flash: the 90’s called. They want their stereotype back.

In fact, self-publishers of today are to be taken very seriously indeed. Why is this?

1. They’re raking in the dough. Self-publishers tend to be financially smart, understanding that in a traditional author-publisher relationship, the money flows mostly one way: to the publisher. So they’re being proactive, and reversing the equation. Now, they’re collecting up to 85% of retail price in royalties, instead of giving up about that same amount?for life!

2. Their books look fantastic.

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90 sites to advertise your book

Great list of sites to promote free book days, via James Galbraith.

James Calbraith


As far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her!🙂 she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of updating this on April 17th 2016, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

Don’t forget you can also promote your tweets and Facebook posts on Twitter and Facebook, though that is known to be not very effective unless you know…

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Meet Natalie Ducey!

This week I am supporting author Natalie Ducey for RRBC’s Pay It Forward week. During the week authors and readers support and showcase the work of others with promotion and networking. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to an author with a BA in Psychology who has worked in the field of Counselling for the past 15 years.

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About author Natalie Ducey

Through her work and personal journey, she has witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Natalie strongly believes that we are connected by similar and relatable experiences, and through her poetry she captures the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.

In her own words she explains, “Through poetry I try to capture the essence of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts – the brilliant beauty of life’s journey. I believe we are connected by similar and relatable experiences. We all love/loved deeply and most likely have been on both sides of goodbye; we know the immobilizing force of grief; we experienced hardships that have brought tears, revelations, and self-discoveries of strength unknown. These trials could easily dishearten us, but instead we choose to be more loving, compassionate, and kind. That is worth celebrating!”

Natalie was born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada, with her two brothers and twin sister. She now resides in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a Soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, and their little dog, Bella. She enjoys kayaking and the freedom and serenity of being one with water. She is an avid reader, passionate writer, and seeker of tranquility along life’s mystifying journey.

In February 2015, Natalie published her first book of poetry – The Heart’s Journey Home, a collection of 23 poems celebrating the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.

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The Heart’s Journey home:

Poetry for the soul. The Heart’s Journey Home is a collection of 23 poems that capture the essence of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts – the brilliant beauty of life’s journey. We all love/loved deeply and most likely have been on both sides of goodbye. We know the immobilizing force of grief; we experienced hardships that have brought tears, revelations, and self-discoveries of strength unknown. These trials could easily dishearten us, but instead we choose to be more loving, compassionate, and kind. That is worth celebrating.

The Heart’s Journey Home is a celebration of our heart’s journey through life’s majestic beauty. The collection includes 23 poems titled: Reckless Words, Borrowed Angel, Nobody’s Fool, Silence of the Heart, Love’s Illusion, Fallen Angel, Let’s Dance, Where Does the Love Go, Young Love, Small Town Girl, Winter’s Gift, Destined to Fly, Eternal Love, The War Within, To my Sister on our 40th Birthday, Goodbye without Warning, Old Oak Tree, Names in the Sand, Can’t Let Go, Memories Linger, Caged Bird Sings, Surrender, and Heart’s Journey Home.

Reviews for Natalie’s work:

* The Heart’s Journey Home is a collection of 23 poems about love, loss, grief, hope, and the human journey. The poet does a wonderful job of evoking many differing emotions, often within one poem. Each and every piece of poetry resonated with me, and taken as a whole, this is a gem of a book. I look forward to more poetic offerings from this writer.

*  This is a lovely, heartfelt collection of poems – and very commendable being from a first-time author! Wisely, Ducey does not set out to change the world or write Homer’s Odyssey, but to speak from the heart about the topics that seem to matter most to her – her family and relationships, love and friendship, life’s big picture.

My favorite lines are:
“In time we will make peace with the keeper of the stars…” (from the poem, ‘Nobody’s fool’)


“To have you as my sister is the gift that never ends…” (From the poem “For my sister on our 40th birthday”)

Down to earth and relatible in both language and subject matter, “The Heart’s Journey Home,” is a peaceful and earnest read. Enjoy.

Contact Natalie: 

Book link on Amazon: 

Twitter:  @natalieducey 

Meet author Jeffrey Von Glahn

This week I’m supporting two authors for my book club’s Pay It Forward week. The idea is to support and showcase the work of others during a week of promotion and networking. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to an author I am meeting for the first time too. His name is Jeffrey Von Grahn and his work sounds fascinating!
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About the Author

Jeffrey Von Glahn, Ph.D., has been a psychotherapist for 45 years, and counting. That experience has been, and continues to be, more exciting and fulfilling than he had ever imagined. Whether it’s the first session with a new client or the hundredth one with the same client, this intimate way of engaging with another person continues to have the same mesmeric appeal for him it has always had. On occasion, he has been known to suddenly exclaim, “If I believed in reincarnation – which I don’t – but if I did my fondest wish would be to come back as a therapist.”

What has been especially rewarding for Jeffrey – as he prefers to be called – is when he’s been able to help someone reconnect with a “lost” part of their basic humanness. That’s when he feels he’s helped to give birth to a new human being. He doesn’t mean that literally, of course, but there’s no other way of explaining how he feels when he’s sitting face-to-face with someone and he sees such a dramatic change.

And even after all these years, each client presents another opportunity for him to learn more about psychotherapy, and to learn more about how to help someone regain contact with a part of his or her basic humanness that fortuitous events from earlier in life had secreted away for safe-keeping. What makes it all an especially significant experience for Jeffrey is that he gets to use all of his intellectual skills and all of his basic caring instincts at the same time.

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Book description:

For Dr. Von Glahn, Jessica’s therapy was the most challenging, the most profound, and ultimately the most personally satisfying experience he has encountered in forty-five years of practice. If someone had explained to him ahead of time the actual nature of Jessica’s problem, he would not have believed that it was possible for a human being to have such a psychological condition.

Jessica had always been terrified that the unthinkable had happened when she had been “made up.” There was no other reason she could think of for what she experienced when the words “I need” and “I want” escaped from her mouth. For her, it was as if an alien presence was moving her mouth and speaking for her. At the same time, thoughts raced around in her head so fast her mind felt like it was about to dissolve into chaos and she felt like she was floating in space miles above the earth. When all of this happened, a plastic calmness immediately settled over her face, as it always did when she felt upset, and particularly so when she felt very upset.

Jessica was shocked that no one had ever noticed and asked if she was OK. Nonetheless, she lived with the fear that one day someone would discover who – or what – she really was. She decided that the best way to prevent that was to act as if she really was a needing, wanting person. Without hesitating a second in any situation, Jessica did whatever was expected of her, and in a way that wouldn’t upset anyone and keep her as inconspicuous as possible.

Jessica was certain what would happen if her secret ever leaked out. Strangers would suddenly surround her and, with arms raised and fingers pointed directly at her, shout “Imposter! Imposter! Here’s the imposter!” Before she knew it, she’d find herself in court and quickly found guilty of impersonating a real human being. The next day’s headlines would surely read: SCIENTISTS GATHER TO EXAMINE ALIEN IMPOSTER.

Until Jessica entered therapy as an adult, she had no way of knowing how she had become such a mystery to herself. After a slow start to her therapy, she asked for multiple-hour sessions several days a week in hopes of a breakthrough. Her intuition proved correct. She started to remember experiences from the first weeks of her infancy. During that time, when every minute should have been filled with exciting discoveries about herself and her world, she rarely saw a smiling face, or experienced a soft caress, or heard a tender voice, or felt her body being handled in a gentle way.

In many of the events that Jessica remembered from her infancy, her mother’s inattentive, hurried behavior made her feel that the needing, wanting part of her was “dangerous” and that for her own survival she “had to stay away from it.” In these longer sessions, as Jessica remembered more and more early experiences she also felt more and more like a needing, wanting person.

Today, Jessica is an articulate spokesperson for the emotional well-being of infants.

Book reviews:

* Having just joined, RRBC, I chose to read and review “Jessica,” one of their featured books for December. I loved it. Dr. Van Glahn takes the reader on his self-described rollercoaster ride with his patient, Jessica as they reach back through a “privileged window into an unexplored dimension of human life.” Together they search for Jessica’s “me” that was destroyed early in her life as she was soundly rejected by the world in utero, at birth and afterwards. What is so compelling is the evidence here that babies are indeed “human” contrary to popular beliefs in the 1950s. They feel and hear in the womb and can be wounded, but also later helped to heal those wounds as seen in the therapy sessions. Well-written, the book alternates between narrative descriptions of Jessica’s life and the months of marathon therapy using catharsis and touch methods. As Jessica says, “If the hurt went in…there must be a way for it to come out.” For all of those who have suffered from parental abuse or even disinterest, this book just might help in recovering a “rock-solid psychological foundation.”

* This book is profoundly insightful. It paints for us a crystal clear picture of the fundamental patterns of fear and defensiveness that can be laid down through the traumas of early childhood and even birth and before.

The story is told in a very human way so that we can relate to both Jessica and the author/therapist. Most importantly this is a story about the possibility of thorough healing through a process that we can only attribute to life itself, aided by the patience of the therapist and the passion of the patient to become whole.

Contact info:

10 Proofreading Tools For Writers: Guest Post by Mary Walton

Great blog post by Mary Walton via Nicholas Rossis.

Nicholas C. Rossis

If you’re anything like me, you have already installed Grammarly on your computer and use it to make sure those pesky commas and prepositions are all correct. However, editor Mary Walton recently alerted me to not one, but ten alternative tools that you can use to make sure your writing is as flawless as possible! I hope you find her post as useful as I did.

10 Proofreading Tools For Writers

You may well be rushing to get that text out on time, but you should always stop to proofread first. Many writers have fallen foul of a spelling or grammatical error that is glaringly obvious in their copy. Before you hit ‘publish’, use these ten tools to make sure your writing is flawless.

  1. Respelt: Online, you only have fractions of a second to make a good impression. If you have misspellings on your site, it can be disastrous…

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A novel win!

Love's Child New Apple Award

I’m thrilled to have found out that my second novel, Love’s Child has won a New Apple Book Award! Love’s Child won the ‘solo’ award in the Mystery ebook category. How exciting!

This is the first book I have sent into a competition and I am so happy that it has won. Love’s Child is a contemporary romance novel about friendship, loyalty and deadly secrets. As the story unfolds we find out what will a wife do to save her marriage and a mother to protect her child. The book is about what family life could be like in the future, if one person had control over who could and who couldn’t have a child.


Here is the book blurb:

Jemima Trent is desperate to have a designer baby to keep up with her socialite friends, reconnect with her work-obsessed husband, Lucas, and regain some respect from her domineering father.

Something curious is happening and the number of women able to conceive each year is in decline, but no one seems to know why. Dr Cole believes that the answer can be found in a warehouse full of delinquent teenagers, where David Love and his pregnant girlfriend, Tilly, have been hitting the headlines for turning youngsters’ lives around. Dr Cole’s violent and callous employer will stop at nothing to discover the reason behind their success and why girls at the warehouse are able to fall pregnant.

Jemima finally tries to step out of her father’s shadow, but discovers they are more alike than she could ever imagine. David and Tilly vow to keep their secret, but have the lessons of the past been learned and is the world ready for the truth?

Lies, deceit and betrayal, all in the name of love!

Grab your copy here:

USA book link.

UK book link.

Book trailer link.

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Rave Reviews Book club 2016 Block Party #RRBC

Check out the last day of RRBC’s book and blog party tour!

Entertaining Stories

Welcome to the party, but I hope this isn’t your first stop. There have been prizes and fun posts all month long. There is a prize today too, and anyone can win. It isn’t limited to club members. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. This is an E-card so it will be delivered via email. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. I thrive on comments anyway, so leave as many as you like.

There are several Grand Prizes to award after the tour ends, so leave those comments and get in the running for those too.

I volunteered to close this party out, but there is a method to my madness. I know some of you are packing bright shiny new gift cards of your own. I’m going to try talking you out of 99¢. There could be alcohol involved. You see, today…

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