#1 AMAZON BESTSELLLER, Alan Camrose
Two new releases on AMAZON
DIVAN INSPIRATION: Travels on the Road to Dreamland. Part One: The Good, the Bed and the Snuggly - Bedtime at the movies
A non-fiction bedtime story
BUILDING MEMORIES: Bricks and Murder
A darkly humorous coming-of-age magical realism PI love story thriller
Also: HEMINGWAY'S PUZZLE:Short But Perfectly Formed, an anthology of six-word stories
LOST IN PLAIN SIGHT, a magical adventure for grown-ups and cat-lovers
MAKING OUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT: A Merry Journey - a festive, funny journey back to the origins of our Christmas traditions
Alan Camrose lives in the South-East of England with his family and writes fiction and non-fiction while trying not to mix them up too much...
He loves noodles, Blues music, Terry Pratchett's books, curry, football, a negroni or two, Miles Davis, gnocchi, craft beers, Adam West as Batman, a firepit on a cold night, board games, hammocks, and General Wolfe.BUY ONE OF ALAN'S BOOKS NOW
Self-publishing is a necessary evil that I grudgingly enjoy.
The easiest thing in the self-publication process in many ways is writing a book. Getting it out there in front of a critical audience is way harder. Is there a market, does my book fit into its most likely market, is it good enough? How to make it appealing, tempting, attractive when there is no publishing behemoth backing it?
There are numerous steps in the process:
Finishing the product. Having chosen what are hopefully the right words falling in the right order, the Formatting is next on the list. Trying to keep all the words tied down in a reasonable format that allows it to be read without a microscope and is not reminiscent of the equivalent of writing with a quill pen and treacle. Times New Roman, font 11? That’ll normally do nicely.
That is a mere bagatelle when put alongside the Sacred Search For Typos. Having produced letters, emails, opinions and agreements as a lawyer, I am well aware of the need to keep them to an absolute minimum. But THERE IS ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE. In any document of 250-400 pages, there will be glitches. It is impossible to avoid, but still mortifying when one raises its ugly head. The quest for the perfect document…continues.
I have stopped worrying about it so intensely now – OCD-level concentration suffices for me these days, with the accompanying hope that it has been successful enough to be forgiven. Incidentally, I have found this paragraph the most stressful for a while in terms of typos, for obvious reasons… 🙂 I am always delighted to come upon rubbish continuity, anachronisms and typos in professionally edited and published books, and they are surprisingly numerous….
When I was purely on the reading side, I didn’t give much credence to the importance of a cover. It’s the words that matter right? No. It’s the need to stand out, make a first impression in a monsoon of new material.
See what I mean? An intriguing two-faced character. It wowed me when I saw it (thanks, Ellie!)
And thanks, Rose, for the divine divan!
Then, there’s the title.
And the sub-title.
I like them to be multi-layered but, hopefully, not confusing.
Building Memories: a young PI working up through the ranks, creating memories, coupled with places that have their own imprint and echoes.
The subtitle, Bricks and Murder, is of course wordplay on the importance of bricks and mortar and a hint at the path that the book will take.
Divan Inspiration is a more straightforward daft pun. I can’t resist them…
The cover and the title/sub-title preferably match each other.
Raise awareness on social media and everywhere else – that is in itself a mammoth task. How much is too much? But too little is an even bigger problem. Coming up with tag lines and stupid puns and trails of breadcrumbs leading to the new epic: that’s a fun part. And allowing the process to grow and not feel too frantic or rushed? Still working on all that.
Advertising? Don’t think I’ve got the hang of this yet. I’ve followed all the stuff about keyword searches and keyed them into my books, but it doesn’t help…Maybe I’ll give it one more go, but we’ll see. It looks to me more of a way for Amazon and their mates to increase their income stream from independent authors.
Fun, fun, fun.
So this time I decided to do two at once…
The DIVAN INSPIRATION Series: Travels on the Road to Dreamland. Part One: The Good, the Bed and the Snuggly. A non-fiction bedtime story about beds at the movies.
BUILDING MEMORIES: Bricks and Murder. A magical realism, procedural, PI, tormentedlove story-thriller.
On AMAZON – softback and eBook
Join me on the Road to Dreamland as we build memories…
I am going somewhere steeped in mystery for our Summer hols this year, exotic, broooding and epic.
After the Lockdowns, that could of course mean a trip to the local cinema, but no: this is the real deal, and it’s not the Old Rectory in Aylesbury, fun as that was for a couple of years as our main holiday. We have to spread our wings (without flying for a while longer).
I have had limited exposure to Scotland, including having gone to Glasgow in the late ’90s as part of a delegation from Hong Kong impressing the participants about the promised 50-years-unchanged-until-at-least-2047 Rule for Hong Kong and the stability that it would have after the Handover. How young I must have been to believe any of that, but that’s another story, right? My other visit to Scottishland was to Edinburgh with the Aged Ps, again a long time ago. All I can remember of that visit was me taking them to see Riverdance. I think the trauma for me has wiped my memory, all that line dancing, cavorting and chirpiness, and from the wrong country.
On with the proper Scottishness.
Fog settling in the glen, tartan, and Mel Gibson in heavy make-up. And of course whisky distilleries.
We are planning to take the sleeper up to Glasgow from London – giddy excitement and probably no sleep. But at least a safer bet than the Trans-Siberian, where a few years ago I was warned that, if I traveled on that journey, I should wedge damp towels in the cracks in the sleeper cabin door to head off any tear gas that might be used in an effort to flush us out and rob us. I’m not expecting the same treatment heading for Scotland, despite my being resolutely English.
A day excursion out of Glasgow, from Fort William – Lower Left of Scotland – to Mallaig. Further left.
On another train. A steam train! How exciting is that?!
Over the viaduct that leads to Hogwarts, doubling as the Hogwarts Express, past where they shot Highlander and Local Hero. Sadly, not past Balamory, so we won’t find out the story even though we would like to know; nor past where one of my favourite Wombles – Tobermory – lives, he’s on a different line. To arrive in the shadow of Ben Nevis. Epic.
Then a scoot back to Glasgow. After a proper mooch around, Edinburgh beckons.
In particular, the Scottish National Gallery. I want to see The Skating Minister, a bizarre creation attributed to Henry Raeburn in 1784 that is as mad as anything Dali would have produced using a clergyman on an iced-up lake as subject matter. The Reverend Robert Walker was the man captured skating on Duddingston Loch.
What was the Reverend thinking at the time and more puzzlingly how did he hold that pose for Raeburn long enough to paint him? A remarkable balancing feat. Dancing on Ice? Pah! The Rev is all 10s…
We have also booked The Witchery restaurant in Edinburgh, in the shadow of the Castle. “Opulent eccentricity”, according to The Observer. All red leather seats and oak panelling, like Game of Thrones, with better food, I hope. We must see if the Macbeths are available to join us for a cauldron roast.
Very much looking forward to our Summer hols.
We’ve had the joy of planning the trip, whatever happens…
That’s the sub-title of my incoming magical realism thriller, BUILDING MEMORIES.
Coming soon: 2.2.22
It’s a twisted, humorous, action-packed, barking mad PI, procedural, weird, macabre love story. Set in South London (mainly) but steeped in frustrated passion dating back to the time of the trenches in the First World War. It’s a coming of age novel for the main character, PI Becky Slade. She is – literally – shown a whole new world by the events surrounding her new case, one that will have her questioning who and what she is.
That’s a lot to cram into a cover.
My vision was to have a picture of Becky on the cover, showing her usual side and a mysterious ‘other self’ which is explained as the book develops.
Here was where I started. Becky is the central character. I wanted her image to be right.
I played with the image and came up with this dark mock-up of a shadowy PI:
From all of this came the duality in the character – hard-boiled PI and mystery figure:
Ellie very kindly took the design to the next level and came up with this blueprint, which I rather love in and of itself…
Here’s Ellie’s finished artwork, which I think is stunning and creates the mysterious mood that I had wanted from the beginning. Check out the background street lamps and gloomy streets:
This is the final version of the cover, with the text included, ready to go…
I want to share some of the thoughts behind the covers for my 2 new books which will go live on 2.2.22.
The old adage about Don’t judge a book by the cover is all very well when they are not several million books on the Internet fighting for a place in online shopping baskets…
Something needs to be done to try to make a new book stand out from the crowd. I am not a celebrity chef or a multi-million selling author, so I have gone Old School and tried to create an interesting cover about each new book, with the hope that how it looks and a sneak peek at what I have written will strike a sufficient chord in potential readers…
I have looked at DIVAN INSPIRATION: The Good, the Bed and the Snuggly first. My next post will deal with BUILDING MEMORIES.
A Non-fiction Bedtime Story
I have decided to publish Divan Inspiration as a series of mini-books.
It is mainly aimed at the following proposition: sleeping takes up around one-third of our lives and is reflected in our culture. Often assumed, often hidden, but always there.
How does it peek out from under the duvet into our lives?
Beds at the Movies is Part One of my mini-series that explores this.
When Gary Cooper is waiting for the bad guys to arrive in town for their High Noon showdown, he doesn’t slip away for a quick kip until their train is in sight, when Travis Bickle is out Taxi Driving, we don’t see hours of him cat-napping in his cab before his next call-out, when the Parasite gave us suspense, horror, comedy and thrills, there wasn’t much time for reflecting on the weave of the bed linen.
But even characters in a movie need to sleep, and every now and again that inescapable fact breaks through into the rest of the cinematic universe in one startling way or another…
I wanted a clear link between the movies and beds/sleeping.
I tried cartoony:
Didn’t like that: too difficult to fit a meaningful movie-related image into the circular lozenge on the top right. It did plant the seed for my wanting an image that can be adapted to different parts of the series…
I alighted on an image of a cowboy at the movies, to chime with The Good, the Bed and the Snuggly.
I needed some travel on the way to Dreamland, and here it was:
Possibly just a teensy bit obscure, but it offered the possibility of a base image again, tweaked to fit the subject matter of each new part of the series. Weird and not quite there…
Then came the popcorn.
As the backdrop.
With something sleep-related on it. Promising.
Then my daughter Rose came up with what I think was the best answer to an admittedly odd question. Inversion. Keep with the core concept of bed-related subjects, go back to the Counting Sheep early stages – above – and insert an image that chimes with, in this case, beds at the movies. Yes, bringing in the spot-on movie tag of popcorn.
And here you have it, the composite final version of the cover, in all its glory. I hope you enjoy it.