Moo + Photofunia = how a deadline-crazed historical novelist can wile/while away a few hours

Moo + Photofunia = how a deadline-crazed historical novelist can wile/while away a few hours

One of the tasks associated with having a new book coming out is updating the contact cards one gives out to readers. (A book begins and ends with stationery.)

This time I decided to go with Moo cards. What’s special about Moo is that you can have a different image on the back of every card.

Here you see one card and a few of the images on the back, plus the Moo mini-cards (which I adore).


Amazing! It’s very reasonable and the quality is high.

I created the faux images using THE SHADOW QUEEN and other books covers and the free Photofunia app. Below are three of the seventeen images I used. (I posted all of them to Flickr—should you wish to see what Photofunia can do.)

Needless to say, I got carried away. Photofunia is so much … well: fun.



And, on a final note, I had to go to to see if I should wile away a few hours, or while them away. What’s your guess?

It turns out that “while” is historically correct, but that “wile,” although technically incorrect, is the more common usage now and has been accepted. See the explanation here.

(Don’t you love how you can ask the Net anything?)

The cost of promotion

Yesterday I dipped a toe into the pond of despond on agreeing to have bookplates and bookmarks printed for what seemed an exorbitant price.

Each bookplate, for example, cost me just under 40 cents—this for a book from which I likely won’t earn more than 50 cents. Add in the price of the art, the design time, the postage, the envelope, and I’m running at a loss. Any business-minded person would disapprove. But when did books ever have anything to do with business?

Later that night I read about the promotion Guy Kawasaki did for his now best-selling book, Enchantment: The Arts of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.  It made me feel like an amateur. Here’s the article: HOW TO: Launch Any Product Using Social Media by Guy Kawasaki.

Now I’m amazed to have spent so little.

Plus, here they are—and they are so pretty.

I’m pleased. Please let me know if you want a set. It will be a thrill to send them off.

I think the first reader to get them will the woman in Austria who sent me a lovely poem by Emily Dickinson in her request.

The value of this profession can’t be put on a spreadsheet.

Even so, I’m going to continue to try to figure out a way to make bookplates more reasonably. If you know where I could buy individual self-adhesive labels (about 3×4″), do let me know. The label companies now only seem to sell labels in big sheets, which doesn’t work when sending a single label to a reader.

My day: a day

This is a quick note just to report that The Task Master loved the revision of the last bit. He does not use the word love often!

I’m now making final revisions to this draft, which I promised my agent on April 1, but which I might—just might—get to her sooner. (Yay!) At the same time, the draft will go back to The Task Master for a final edit. I will also send it to The All-Knowing One (John Golder, my invaluable 17th century theatre consultant).

Come the middle of April and May, with all this feedback in hand, I will get to work on the next draft, which will go to my publisher May 31st.

So right now I feel I have just a bit of a breather. I’ve been going though my file of Novel notes—throwing many of the scraps out, and keeping some too.

I also had a chance this morning to (finally!) answer emails about two festivals I will be speaking at this summer…

The Banff Book Discussion Weekend, May 27 – 29, Banff, Alberta. There I will be giving two readings, plus a banquet speech. (Yes, I’ll have to brush up my speaking skills!) (And think about outfits.)

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, August 4-7, Sechelt, British Columbia. Some very good writer friends—Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady—will be there as well, so I’m really looking forward to it.

And then, out of the blue, my agent forwarded me an invitation to write a short “easy-to-read” novel aimed at adult non-readers (or adults who are learning to read English) for Good Reads. In the glow of glimpsing the light at the end of this particular tunnel, I expressed serious interest in this offer. The due date is far into the future, the authors participating are admirable, and the project itself (literacy!) is one dear to my heart.

And so, with all that, to lunch. Next up: the title debate.