My Book Has A Face!

Up until this week, my novel was a manuscript bound by little more than hope and a dream.¬† But now, The Story Collector has been enveloped by a design that I have to say, I love!¬† So without further ado, here it is…

The_Story_Collector_7.indd

I am not exaggerating when I say my publisher (Urbane Publications) was AMAZING during this process.  Sooo open trying new ideas and making sure everyone was happy with the design.  This was beyond what I had expected and I just knew when I saw this cover, it was the one.  It was love at first sight!

But more importantly, it is the perfect introduction to the story.¬† It has a dreamlike quality that sets the tone for what is to follow.¬† In fact, that has been the overwhelming feedback I’ve received so far – that it draws you in, which is exactly what a cover should do.¬† So, what am I drawing you in TO?¬† Well you may ask!¬† Set in Ireland and wrapped in folklore, this book is very dear to my heart… but don’t take my word for it, read the blurb.

A beautiful and mysterious historical romance from the author of The Heirloom and The Mysterious Bakery on Rue de Paris.

Thornwood Village, 1910. Anna, a young farm girl, volunteers to help an intriguing American visitor, Harold Griffin-Krauss, translate ‘fairy stories’ from Irish to English.

But all is not as it seems and Anna soon finds herself at the heart of a mystery that threatens the future of her community and her very way of life…..

Captivated by the land of myth, folklore and superstition, Sarah Harper finds herself walking in the footsteps of Harold and Anna one hundred years later, unearthing dark secrets that both enchant and unnerve.

The Story Collector treads the intriguing line between the everyday and the otherworldly, the seen and the unseen. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, Evie Gaughan’s latest novel is full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell. Perfect for fans of Jess Kidd and Eowyn Ivey.

So there you have it folks, after months (nigh, years!) of banging on about this book, I can finally say that publication is imminent!  14th June to be precise, but for the impatient ones of the bunch, here is a link to pre-order a paperback version right this very minute on Amazon.

I have been so lucky to meet some fantastic and supportive writers and readers since my last publication and I just want to say thanks for all the shares and for helping me to spread the word.¬† I hope I’ve played my part in this process too, writing reviews, sharing links or just being a cheerleader when someone’s having a wobble.¬† It takes a village to make a book, so I guess that makes you the village people ūüėÄ

Cover Story

A recent trend of wrapping books in unassuming brown paper and jotting down the merest of hints as to what lies underneath is sweeping the nation’s bookshops and book-clubs. ¬†I love this idea, because covers can often be misleading, distracting or ill-fitting. ¬†The old adage of judging books by their covers exists precisely because this is what we do. ¬†How much simpler it would be if all books could be wrapped in plain paper, but then we would miss out on the one opportunity to create a visual representation of what lies between the covers.

Being a self-publisher, one has the blessing/curse of choosing one’s own cover (not sure why I’ve slipped into the third person, but there we are). ¬†It can actually be a really exciting, creative process, but when budget is a concern, there are limitations. ¬†This usually means hiring a graphic designer who will give your cover the professional edge, but being on the poor man’s plan means doing a lot of the work yourself. ¬†Nothing new there then. ¬†So for my debut novel, I had eleventy-thousand ideas for the cover and bombarded my designer with images, patterns, frames, fonts… the list was endless. ¬†In a bid to give me what I wanted instead of what I needed, she tried to incorporate as many of my ideas as possible and did a great job of blending them. ¬†However, in hindsight, I realise that she should have said STOP! ¬†In capitals! ¬†Book covers are meant to be clear – telling the reader, at a glance, what to expect. ¬†While I do like my cover, after a few years in this industry, I can see that I made some newbie mistakes.

So it’s time for change and a re-branding of my first novel, The Cross Of Santiago. ¬†Similar to Outlander, this novel has two timelines with characters’ lives intertwining throughout. ¬†And like Diana Gabaldon, I also struggle to come up with a condensed description of what this book is about. ¬†As she herself said: “I’m¬†still trying to figure out what the heck you call books that nobody can describe.” ¬†It covers so many genres from historical fiction, to romance, fantasy, mystery and general fiction. ¬†So instead I’m going to leave it up to one of my readers, The Bearded Bookworm, to describe it!

The Cross of Santiago is a historical fiction / romance novel set mainly in Galway, Ireland. It follows the stories of several characters from 2010 as well as slipping back further in time to the 16th century.
In 2010 we follow the stories of Amanda, a young women who was orphaned as a child and longs to know more about her biological family and Xavier, a Spanish man who has by chance become involved in an around the world yacht race which will finish in Galway.
After having no contact with her biological family following her parents deaths at a young age Amanda out of the blue receives contact from a law firm informing her that her aunt has died and left her a medal in her will. After experiencing flashbacks during a hypnotherapy session it becomes clear that this medal may be even more important than simply being the only remaining connection to her biological family.
Why does she keep having dreams of drowning? What exactly is the medal and how did her aunt come to have it in her possession? Are her visions representative of her inner emotions or are they memories of a previous life? And more importantly, what does the mysterious Spaniard Xavier have to do with it all?

Again, with time and experience, I have come to realise that the title, ‘The Cross Of Santiago’ doesn’t really mean very much to people. ¬†I imagine most people have heard of the Camino de Santiago – a pilgrimage across northern Spain – and perhaps that association is a bit misleading. ¬†I had thought of changing it before, but I assumed that once you published a book, you couldn’t change it. ¬†Currently I am of the mind that you can do whatever the hell you want! ¬†And what I want is for my novel to reach the audience it was meant for, and it’s my job to make sure that happens. ¬†Besides, most novels have entirely different covers for different markets and various editions and I think that after three years, my novel deserves a new jacket too. ¬†So after much thought and consultation, I am giving my novel a new title, THE HEIRLOOM. ¬†It’s evocative, intriguing and after all, the entire plot revolves around the mysterious heirloom itself.

The changes haven’t been finalised yet, but having all the patience of a gnat, I just had to share it with you! ¬†It all began with this beautiful shot – as soon as I saw it I knew that it was my new cover.

new heirloom1+1

Ta-dah! ¬†Do let me know what you think ūüôā ¬†As I said, the kerning has to be finished and a few other bits and bobs, but hopefully this new cover and title will be live very soon. ¬†I was chatting about this with fellow Indie Author Heather Wardell¬†and she pointed out that the only concern would be readers buying the same book twice! ¬†However, the clever people at Amazon have already thought of this and there is an option to publish my new cover as a second edition, which I think sounds rather fancy. ¬†So it’s a win-win ūüôā

You can now buy The Heirloom in paperback or eBook 

new heirloom1+1 Amazon (Paperback) ~ Kindle ~ Kobo ~ Nook ~ Scribd 

 

The Time Is Drawing Near….

I am very excited to say that my book cover is almost complete and will very shortly be revealed on this here blog, so stay tuned for that! ¬†I’ve been working closely with Tugboat Designs¬†and we’ve created an alluring image that encapsulates the story beautifully. ¬†

So now everything is happening quite quickly – I’ve formatted my book for uploading (best formatting advice to be found here¬†– thank you Catherine Ryan Howard!) and I’m now checking out Virtual Book Tours to help launch and promote The Cross of Santiago. ¬†I’ve just signed up to http://worldliterarycafe.com who offer lots of promotion options, some free and some paid. ¬†Exposure is vital as a debut author, but as I’ve said ad nauseum, reviews are the best publicity. ¬†As long as they’re positive! ¬†But how can you avoid beating your followers over the head with relentless book promotion? ¬†How do you deal with negative reviews? ¬†Here’s some good advice from AbsoluteWrite.com

 

¬†Here’s how to engage in effective promotion:

First: Participate in the conversation. That means it’s not about you and your book. It’s about books, and readers. That means you talk about other people’s books you love and why, and you engage with people who write books you’ve read and loved, and with other readers.

You comment on their blogs. You don’t constantly bring up your own book, but you make genuine, thoughtful, engaged comments. Your comments use the name you write under as your ID, and in the URL field you link to your Web site.¬†

You post honest, engaging, and genuine reviews of books you like on Amazon, and GoodReads and Library Thing. You don’t slam other people’s books, but you don’t always create 5 star reviews. You are not mean-spirited, but you are always honest. Your profiles connect to your author Website.¬†

Second: You do not engage in¬†the Author’s Big Mistake.¬†

  • You Never Ever Comment On a Review of your Own Books at ALL Ever in public.
  • You Never Ever Review Your Own Books Ever At All Under ANY Name or Account Or Sock Puppet. Ever.
  • You Do Not Engage With Reviewers of Your Books or Trolls
  • You DO offer book giveaways on your blog, on the blogs of those who review similar books, and you do politely email reviewers and offer them a free copy if they’d be interested in reviewing.