My new Author’s Page

I’ve been busily working on my children’s chapter book. I engaged a local editor who has completed a substantive edit which gave me some new ideas to work with, such as adding a brief back story for Pa Wombat.:) – Then of-course, as is usual for any writer, new ideas popped up as I wrote.:)

Please find below, a link to my Facebook Author Page. My new publishing business name, is Itria Publishing.

Please drop by and if you like a post, or the page itself, please let me know by pressing ‘like’. Your support is much appreciated so please spread the word. I expect that my darling little characters, Wiggly and Wobbly Wombat(c) will reach young readers within¬†the next four months. At least, that’s the target, keeping in mind the work schedules for the rest of the team of editors, illustrator and cover designer.

So, here’s a big thank you from me and a bigger thank you from them! ūüôā



Time to get cracking

With news of a really great result from the last leg of my Masters degree, the hard, grueling slog of the last two and a half years has been every bit worth it! I can’t begin to say how much I learned along the way and it’s only now that I feel the least bit confident as a writer. I suppose it’s no different from any other creative force within, where an artist constantly strives to do his or her best ever creation. Of-course, never quite doing so.

A large part of me needed to have that final confirmation from my lecturer,¬†Dr Anthony Eaton PhD¬† whose lectures, expertise and helpful feedback, gave me the tools I needed. I also want to¬†thank my nieces and a few close friends who took the time to read my writing¬†pieces and gave me such encouraging feedback. Anyway,¬†now I can¬†get on with final edits (who am I kidding,¬†they never end!)¬† – btw Tony, I¬†know what you mean about the semester from hell !! ¬†ūüôā

Isn’t it funny how often this kind of thing happens?¬†Just when you need something, there it is! And so here I am with an armory of tools handed to me personally (well, by cyber!) by way of an advance copy of the most comprehensive book around for authors wanting to self publish, APE:¬†Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book¬† /¬†by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. You can buy the e-book on Amazon¬†.¬†Remember, you don’t need a kindle to read it. Simply download the free kindle App from Amazon and you can read it on your PC or laptop. It works a treat!

Click to visit the original post

Again, a big thank you to Guy and Shawn! I’m now starting to feel excited about the possibility of publishing especially because my characters are becoming impatient. They each want to tell their story – and they will, bossy things that they are! ūüôā

Please keep an eye out as I will post some of my work here and would very much appreciate your comments. Be as harsh as you like. All is welcome!……It will more than likely be from my children’s chapter books which I recently completed, though I have one individual chapter that is part of a pending chapter book for the younger independent reader. Oh, how I wish I could do my own illustrations. As tempting as it is, I must leave it to the experts! It’s only my impatience showing. I can’t help being curious, however, about creating my own covers using the tools at CreateSpace.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing with my travel narrative ¬†and will most likely post the outline of that, too one of these days.:) ¬† Your feedback will spur me on. ūüôā


My Review of APE the Book on Amazon

Here is also my review of APE as it appears on Amazon.I would love hear from you,especially if you find this review helpful.

Click to visit the original post

Please refer to¬†the book’s official website¬†¬†for a full list of Reviews -my previous, more detailed review also¬†appears there ¬†–¬†The “APE” of Publishing

As a result of reading APE, I’ve been motivated to continue and complete my travel narrative. I’m really excited to know that I now have so much control over the publishing process. I think the days of there being a stigma around self-publishing will soon disappear – after all, the proof in the pudding has always been and always will be, how well your book sells. Mind you, fantastic marketing and getting your book ‘out there’ is a key ingredient in your book’s success! APE shows you what you need to do, even while you’re still writing your book, such as how to maximise your use of social media.

I am also working on final edits of a couple of children’s books.

Do yourself a huge favor and for the cost of a focaccia, go grab yourself a copy of APE! 

High fives to Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch!!……Mena

Note: I have no interest of any kind¬†in the above book other than to recommend it because it’s¬†just a fabulous ‘How – to’ text for the /author/publisher/entrepreneur . Oh… there are also many tips on how social media can help you in all aspects of the process!

The ‘APE’ of Publishing

Here is my review of the book¬†APE:¬†Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur–How to Publish a Book¬†(ISBN 978-0-9885231-1-1)¬†by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch.APE: How to Publish a Book

I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this new book and can say that it             does deliver in bucket loads.  It truly does cover the big 3’s of being Author, Publisher and         Entrepreneur, if not in mind boggling detail. If ever I thought that self-publishing was      possible and even fleetingly within reach, I now have it confirmed that it certainly is.

The Reading Audience

  1. The new writer, yet to be published and wondering which way to go ‚Ästtraditional ¬† ¬†¬†publishing or self-publishing.
  2. The already published author, either through a bricks and mortar publisher or self-published.
  3. The self-published author who wants to improve the book’s marketability.
  4. To anyone who has a bricks and mortar publishing service – to know that the times, they are a-changing!

What I particularly like about APE

I savoured (UK English!) every word and was hooked from the start. I really enjoyed the use of quotes at the beginning of each chapter, such as ‚ÄúThe best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it‚ÄĚ – Benjamin Disraeli. After reading the book cover to cover, I will now treasure it as a reference text for my current as well as future writing and publishing projects. This is indeed what Guy suggests, likening it to using¬†The Chicago Manual of Style.

The Contents section provides a detailed outline of the book, with lots of practical information ‚Äď most chapters start with ‚ÄėHow to‚Ķ.‚Äô. The POV is unmistakably Guy‚Äôs. It leads me to assume that Shawn Welch‚Äôs authorship relates predominantly to the technical side of the enterprise, such as setting up the e-book files, albeit a most critical phase of producing an e-book!

APE is a book I would like to have with me whenever I travel, especially on longer overseas trips. Given that 300 pages of an e-book equal zero weight ( the only excess baggage will be my own! ) The perfect argument to having the e-book. The other great thing about APE’s e-book version is that it allows immediate access to over 400 hyperlinks on the go (I trust the authors to count!). If you have the print version, however, the authors provide a link that gives you access to them. (Please refer to the end of this article).

Love the humour (UK English)! This often saw me laugh out loud right from early on, together with the matter of fact and conversational style of writing, all of which helped me plough through the more complex, technical sections. A bit heavy going (unavoidably) in parts so I skimmed through these sections, knowing that the details are there as a reference for when I need it.

Make no mistake –¬†APE¬†is not for the half-hearted (or even faint hearted!) author/publisher. The reason is that it really does embody the essence of what it means to be an artisan – to love and be passionate about your craft: Quoting the authors,¬†‚ÄúPublishing¬†is a parallel, not serial, process that requires simultaneous progress along multiple fronts‚ÄĚ. Put simply, there is tons of work ahead!

The hard slog aside, APE leaves me with a sense of optimism, though definitely not a blind one. With time, effort, much patience and unleashing a bit (OK, a lot!) of the APE in you, your e-book and/or printed book, can certainly become a reality. Best of all, the e-book and print on demand methods make self-publishing more of an affordable option today.

Be cautioned: Apparently, the formatting for both the e-book as well as printed version of a fiction work such as novel, is fairly straight forward as compared to say, a non-fiction book filled with indenting and bullet points (which is why the Shawns of this world become extra precious!) Unless you write a book of your memoirs meant only for family and close friends, chances are you want the world to know about and buy, your book.  APE provides countless strategies and tools to help you in all facets of writing right through to the marketing phase.

Minor suggestions for revisions

(Very minor but my eyes demand that I point this out) – The small font within the quadrants on pg 108 of the pdf copy, which relate to¬†the ‘Distribution Channel decision matrix’,¬†appears way too small for my ailing eyesight when viewed on my netbook, while the rest of the text was well enlarged.

While there is mention of juvenile fiction within the statistics quoted for e-books, it would be useful for an author of children’s books to have some strategies and tools specific to this genre.¬†A great link to include is the Bologna Children‚Äôs Book Fair that I stumbled upon earlier this¬†year:¬†(As a recent convert to writing for young people, I would love to be able to attend).¬†An exciting new children‚Äôs book publishing tool will be unveiled at their next¬†Fair in March 2013. (I digress)…I was sent the test beta version but darn it, I need a Mac to¬†download it! (I know, I know, Guy ‚Äď you do suggest (strongly!) that we buy a¬†Macbook Air!)

A big thank you to Guy and Shawn for your enormously hard work that has short circuited this process for other authors. Also, for being so generous in sharing so much information. A book that will serve as a practical and key reference text for years to come. I have already put a few suggestions into place.

Well, now it’s off to garner a global internet following to rival Messiah status, especially on Google+ (then of-course, I will be catapulted into the New York Times best seller list Рok, I can dream!) then finally, to find myself a Shawn Welch clone!

Additional Information    

APE’s Ship date: 12/10/12

Price: $9.99 for the Kindle ebook

Bios, picture, and cover:

The APE Website:


SPIT (Self-Publishing Intelligence test):

Downloads: (various files including a test for screening copyeditors,  Word template, InDesign template, and contract for hiring consultants)

Note: To read a Kindle e-book, you don’t need to have a Kindle itself, you just need a Kindle App, free from Amazon  so you can download it straight onto your PC. I tried it with my netbook Рit works a charm. You even receive a few free e-books.

( All rights reserved. This material is copyrighted).



A new week – a new buzz

Good news. I heard back from the good folk at create space and I simply need to add what constitutes my Aussie TFN on the royalties registration form. That level of form-filling complexity, I think I can manage.

My dog woke me in the middle of the night with some of her more panic-riddled barking. She is one loud border collie. Out I get. Out she goes. What to do? Something I rarely succumb to and that is, hop on to social media sites. Nearly two hours later, after reading great articles from various posters, and great posts embedded in various articles, back to bed I go.

A couple of major reports await being written, something I will start as soon as I finish something more pressing.¬†This. I joined a few writers groups and I am blown away at the talent as well as the opportunity to network and share ideas with such wonderfully energised writing communities. Well, for me I’m soaking it all in. I will contribute where I can but as a newbie writer of fiction, I can only humbly share what experienced writers know only too well. Still, my energy is being rekindled with every new post or article.

My children’s stories await and I find myself wishing I could just write without the business of doing much of anything else by way of work. What writer doesn’t share that dream? It’s not that I don’t like wearing my other hats, but if given the choice, I think I might let all else go. At least for a good year or so. I’m sending it ‘out there’. Every day I receive a “Note from the Universe’ through¬†. They just make my day and remind me of the power within me, within us all.

Having lots of fun reading some great articles and posts shared on Ian Macgregger’s site – very inspiring for any writer¬†


Passwords, Apps… passwords and more Apps….


When did life on the internet become so cumbersome?? I’ve lost count of all the different sites and new passwords for each. At least I’ve now learned to store them all. I just spoke with a friend of mine who said she just found out that all the passwords she had stored on some cyber site, I think they’re called ‘clouds’ these days (there goes another dictionary update!) had disappeared. I was in disbelief that anyone would want to do that. Software means that someone owns it and monitors it. Having said this, I have become only too aware that these days, nothing, but nothing is safe or secure on the internet.
One can only make it harder for some hackers.¬†Other than that, if people can get into NASA and other government departments, even banks, I won’t delude myself to believe that anything I have on my computer is ever really safe. Let’s not forget all the ‘Apps’, short for applications, that we end up storing on our computers that follow our every move as we surf the ever expanding net. Each time we accept a gift an App¬†on FB¬†(I don’t, I’m such a social media bore),¬†or¬†start a blog, an App – here an app, there an app, everywhere an app, app….the other day, I was working on a new web page when I discovered there was facility to create, then add a blog. How neat, I thought. Well, not really. I was cross, because only after I had clicked on the blog button, did a small window appear to inform me that this was an App from blah site. Great. I felt tricked. Now I have to find time to go back and remove said blog because it wasn’t what it was cracked up to be anyway, with the double whammy of having it follow me around everywhere I go.
Some great news amid all my complaining, and I don’t think I care if this software is an App or not, because it provides a lot of great stuff for the self-publisher!. Well, it seems to be that way. Smart cookies at that Amazing place, they have their own company,¬†CreateSpace¬†¬†that allows you and I to get into self-publishing of trad books on a per order basis. In creating an account, I also ended up logging into my normal account with the parent company, where I found three books sitting in my cart still waiting for payment. Nothing untoward had I just ordered the books, left the site and not gone to the check out. Except that I had…..gone to the checkout. About ten months ago! I have even made very good use of these books. So, after searching for about 10 minutes on how to contact these amazing folk, I was finally able to email customer service. I look forward to their explanation, as well as to find my cart empty!
Back to CreateSpace, it’s really cool how you can even create your own cover. So I got the ball rolling (pushy beggars, they don’t like to see you pause for too long) and gave my book a name (hopefully I can change it because I don’t like that one now) ‘Wiggly and Wobbly…’ about two clever but very bored wombats that go off exploring Grandpa’s disused burrow and all that follows. Great. By now I felt really productive. Until I got to the part where I had to input all my details on a form to set up how I want to receive all the royalties that will soon pour in from the far corners of the globe (gotta be positive!).¬†I wasn’t a U.S, citizen so I ended up in the land where everyone else goes.¬†Limbo Land. I didn’t find the¬†instructions ¬†particularly user friendly, but that could be just me and forms and following prompts and pressing buttons dotted about a web page.¬†As a non-U.S. citizen, I understand that I still need to supply some tax ID but that is where they lost me.¬†Another message to yet another customer service body. Hopefully it might turn out to be a really simple step so for now, all I can do is wait.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I also visited amazon’s brain child e-book publishing software for kindle. It looks like another fantastic tool. Once I can open up the download, that is. I must have downloaded about 10 different copies in case I was doing something wrong. – both in basic and advanced (I felt clever!) formats. ¬†When I tried to use it by uploading a children’s book using their draft facility, I got a message that it wasn’t in the right format. What format was that??? More clicking….apparently in the e-pub or¬†similar format. By this time it was nearly 1.00 am and my head was able to drop onto the keyboard!

To be revisited….