My guest today probably lives what most of us think of as an exciting writing life. Terry Callister is British, but he and his wife Sandra live in sunny Spain. Both Terry and Sandra are indie authors. They also run Books and Novels To Read, a website that features indie authors.
I apologize in advance, Terry, for editing your British spellings for my mostly American audience. Now, please join Terry, in Spain, and me, in Texas, over a glass of sangria rather than coffee as Terry tells us what it's like...
Writing In The Sun
Hello, bloggerholics! The first thing I want to say is a big thank you to Joan for featuring me on her blog, and what a great blog it is--informative, fresh and sometimes funny. SlingWords is updated every day so you've got to look at it on a regular basis to keep abreast of the very latest news.
Let me introduce myself. I'm Terry Callister, an ex-pat Brit living in Spain. I have been here for the last ten years. Although I speak more Spanish than a lot of Brits living here, I'm still shamefully, far from bilingual.
Why do I live in Spain? I moved here from the Isle of Man, a 30 x 10 mile dot in the middle of the Irish Sea. The last winter there drove me mad, going and returning to work in the dark, cold wet--and windy all the time. The sun and warmth of Southern Spain was too much of an attraction. Mind you, living in the mountains 30 miles north of Málaga, we do have a winter although a couple of Yule Tides have been spent in tee shirt and shorts.
Before the Isle of Man, I always lived in and around London. Despite all Spain's economic and employment woes I love living here. I'm passionate about politics and hold the view that most so-called democracies are, in fact, 4 or 5 year dictatorships. I could go on about this all day but I'm here to talk about books and promoting and selling indie books.
I've penned two novels. First was a thriller set in the world of high finance. The Catalytic Programme is available in (print for UK, print for US) and ebook.
My second novel was a departure. A Lucky Break is a time-traveling romantic comedy that asks how a 21st century man can love a woman from 1647, the time of Oliver Cromwell, and a dark year in British history.
I did the usual round of literary agents and publishers all too familiar to all you other budding authors. Very few writers get the opportunity to be traditionally published simply because we are not a "sure thing," an established author or celebrity.
So I went the self-published route with Createspace, part of Amazon, and what a wonderful bunch of people they are! Thanks, Amazon, you've opened up the world to all us "pen smiths." I then created a website for my books, but I quickly realized that my little site would do nothing for my books' sales because nobody would find it. So I started Books and Novels to Read.com (BNR), a website dedicated to the marketing and sale of self-published books. That was back in April of this year, and what a monster I gave birth to!
The website now has over 2,500 book entries plus reviews, interviews and, of course, my books and those of my wife Sandra, who with encouragement from me, put her ideas down on paper and has now finished a trilogy of romantic ghost stories. I never realized what a talent Sandra had.
BNR Wants To Help You
In order to spread the word about BNR, I started a blog, at Joan's suggestion, I might add, to help with promotion of the website. Through blogs, author groups, social networking and book websites, BNR has become very popular with authors, and what a lovely and diverse bunch of people they are. However, authors don't seem to buy many books.
I can help you, and you can help me. I need to attract the book-buying public, and I am doing everything in my power to increase public awareness of the BNR website. Hint! Hint! Hint! Please pass the word on to all your contacts that BNR is another website where writers can list their books for free and gain more exposure and make more sales. The more places you can be seen; the better your chances to make sales.
Big Plans For The Future
As I mentioned earlier, I write a lot of book reviews. Although some of the books I read are not in my comfort zone, I've got to say the books I have read so far have been excellent. New ideas and plots with believable characters--everything you would expect from a good book.
The more I read traditionally published books, particularly by authors with long lists of published novels, I find their writing has become stale, clichéd, and, in some cases, even boring, not what you want when you've spent your money to be entertained.
Having recognized the talent that's out there, I decided to compile the BNR Compendium of Short Stories By Self-Published Authors. I'm accepting submissions. The closing date for submission is December 31, 2011. If you would like to submit an entry, a maximum of 7,500 words or thereabouts, any genre you fancy, just email me. My email address is on the website.
Thanks again Joan. Keep up the good work.
Every writer has a story. Every story is different. Two elements link all writers: the love of reading and the love of writing.