African Hearts E-Book

African hearts e-book

African hearts e-book

I've been on a big learning curve. This is good. I'm someone who likes to learn something new every day, and if I don't, I feel I've wasted my day.

During the past few weeks, I've been preparing African Hearts for Amazon and Smashwords, including an e-book cover. I hope you like this version. As I explained in a previous blog, I have changed and re-edited this work to make the work similar but stronger. Preparing the manuscript for uploading to the internet was the hardest part and it took longer than I'd planned, but the uploading was easy. Both e-publishers have easy to follow instructions. If you're a logical thinker, it's easy. Just follow the directions.

Let me tell you about the process. I used a word .docx file which was the orginal document I wrote for this work. As I revised the work and made the necessary changes, I turned on the paragraph markings and other formatting symbols so that I could see where the extra spaces and other formatting problems were. I changed the formatting issues as I revised and ended up with a document to be uploaded that cleared Amazon and Smashwords formatting guidelines the first time. I was thrilled the uploading was so quick, but realised it was the quality of the formatting that got me through fast. I recommend when preparing your manuscript for the e-book publishers make sure you take the time to check the correct formatting.

I outsourced the cover to a cover designer. I have no skills in this area. The cover designer was very patient with me, in fact she was an angel. We worked together to-ing and fro-ing many times as we tweaked it to get exactly what I wanted. I hope you like the ebook cover here.

Now, I'm waiting to see how the sales go and from there I will decide whether I want to continue with ebook publishing or continue with traditional publishing. These are exciting times for writers. Never have there been so many options available. The most important point to remember though, is that our books have to be of a high quality with no obvious errors, otherwise our readers will be disappointed.

If you have any questions about e-publishing, leave a comment. I'd be happy to help.


The Tyranny of Belonging

African hearts

African hearts

I'm preparing my first novel, African Hearts, for uploading to Amazon. As I prepared the text, I was drawn to the conversation where Kam and Gina are on Monkey Rock taking some time out to look at the elephants washing in the creek down in the valley. To this time Gina has been challenged by village life in more ways than one. She questions Kam about belonging and what it means to belong. She also challenged me when I re-read this scene. I've just returned to the Gold Coast, so I began to think about the word 'belong', and a question came into my head: Does anyone belong anywhere?

I don't know about you, but I use this word lightly in conversation, especially where the meaning of life comes up. I looked up the dictionary and realised I've used this word incorrectly for most of my life.To belong is to be possessed, as in an item to be owned by someone. No wonder I became confused whenever I thought about where I belonged.

So what words should I be using instead of 'belong'. After much thought and free writing on this subject, I've come to the conclusion that belong is not a good word when we're meaning we want to 'fit in'. We don't want to be anyone's possession, we want to be a contributing part of a group, helping others and ourselves fit in, and sharing ideas with each other.

Kam thought he wanted to work as a surgeon in that big hospital in Kampala and Gina has been confused for some time about where she fits in; back in Australia or in Gumboli? So I've come to the conclusion they're talking about their life's purpose.

Nobody can own another person, however, they can live together contributing to and sharing a lifestyle and encouraging each other on their life journey. Is this the issue that Kam and Gina were dancing around while they were up at Monkey Rock? I've changed this scene and all the other belonging issues in the e-version of African Hearts. Watch this space for the new cover and when it will be available on Amazon for download to your Kindle.

So, I'm left to ponder further: belong is a strange word, I wonder where it belongs? I'm eager to hear your thoughts.