Thank you!

The launch for The Former Chief Executive is finished. It’s been a hectic time but it couldn’t have gone any better!

I’m really grateful to the bloggers and reviewers who reviewed The Former Chief Executive or hosted a guest post (and everyone who shared or commented). Here’s a list in date order:

The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane wordpressEP Clark

Ashrae

Hair Past a Freckle

Pace, amore, libri

Rather Too Fond of Books (guest post)

What Cathy Read Next

Literary Flits

Swirl and Thread (guest post)

Alison Williams Writing

Women Writers (guest post)

I also want to say thanks again to Ilaria Rosselli del Turco who allowed me to use her lovely painting ‘Head of Woman in Green Kimono’ for the cover.

Now I just need to write the next book!

The Former Chief Executive is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle

 

Launching!

The Former Chief Executive is published tomorrow.

This is the first time I’ve had a formal launch plan for a novel. In the past I’ve published first and then run around trying to promote later but I’ve learnt that’s not the best way to do things!

It hasn’t all gone to plan. As I excitedly posted my cover reveal, Twitter went crazy. Not for me though, for Prime Minister Theresa May. She was announcing a General Election to be held on 8 June, the date I had set for publication. So, it’s been an odd time, the personal and political, hopes and fears, running side by side.

I’m really grateful to the bloggers and reviewers who’ve agreed to review The Former Chief Executive or to host a guest post. I will post links here as they come in.

The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane wordpressEP Clark

Ashrae

Hair Past a Freckle

Pace, amore, libri

Rather Too Fond of Books

What Cathy Read Next

Literary Flits

Swirl and Thread

Alison Williams Writing

Women Writers

I’m incredibly lucky that Ilaria Rosselli del Turco allowed me to use her painting ‘Head of Woman in Green Kimono’ for the cover.

I’ve had to cultivate patience over the last few weeks when part of me wanted to just get on with it, but the wait is finally over. So now it is for the people to decide…

The Former Chief Executive is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle

 

Who cares for the widows and orphans? and other thoughts on self-publishing a paperback

Dan_Leno_Dressed_for_the_ParkI have a confession to make. I don’t much care about physical books (cue mass unfollowing). I don’t love the smell of new paper or the cracking of the spine. I like ebooks because they’re instantly available and portable and because I’ve reached the age where I look at a book’s font size before I read the blurb. I have one bookcase and when it’s full I scoop up a handful of the dust-gatherers and take them to the charity shop.

However, I have realised that, as in most areas of life, I am out of step with public opinion. People still love the book as artefact. Readers of literary fiction, in particular, like them to have and to hold, to cherish and even to read. For many, the sensation of holding the book, the cover image, the way you can see it in your mind’s eye and link it to the context in which you read it, all form part of the reading experience.

So, I accepted the inevitable and decided to publish my new novel, The Former Chief Executive, in paperback. And because my life is not stressful enough already, I decided to do a paperback of my last novel, Not the End, at the same time.

Of course I dramatically underestimated the work involved. I’ve formatted my own ebooks, so how complicated could it be to do a paperback? This brings us onto the vexed question of widows and orphans. I’d vaguely heard the term but hadn’t thought too much about what it meant till now. For those who are still in that blissful state of ignorance, briefly orphans are first lines of a paragraph at the end of a page, and widows the last line of a paragraph at the top of a page. (In all the years I’ve been reading books I’ve never stopped to notice these, although I was dimly aware that you don’t see hyphens splitting words over two lines like you used to.)

There is much debate about whether you should even bother to address widows and orphans. Some argue that the remedial steps taken (minutely condensing or expanding the text of the offending paragraph until you can force it into shape) could be just as unsightly. Others say that familiarity with ebooks means that people are used to a more fluid attitude to page layout.

Others argue that the effort of making these changes is unnecessary, because most readers won’t notice. However there will always be one person who will write a scathing review if you get it wrong (this is how I learnt that back matter should start on a right-hand page, thankfully before I committed mine to the left).

Once you decide to take action, you then find there are different standards about what must be changed (even the revered Chicago Manual of Style now says that orphans are acceptable, though widows are not). In the end I followed the advice of this excellent article by Christine Michaels. Widows were dispatched without mercy, while orphans were allowed to plead their case.

tfce and nte covers reducedIt made me wonder how many other traditions are being eroded by changing technology. Many ebook authors (myself included) don’t bother with an ISBN, although the official advice of the Alliance of Independent Authors is that you should have one for each format of your book. And the distinctions between editions and reprints and revised editions are breaking down. With an ebook, or even a print-on-demand paperback, you can easily pop in and change the cover or make a few amendments to the text whereas with a traditionally published book you’re stuck with it till the next print run.

One thing I love about being an independent author is that I’m always learning something new. Even if you don’t do the work yourself (I’ve finally seen the wisdom of getting professionally designed covers) you still need to know enough to ask the right questions (I can now throw around terms like ‘spine width’ and ‘bleed’ and ‘gutter’ with at least a semblance of knowing what I’m talking about).

Now I have my books. I must admit that there is something nice about holding them in your hands. And if I’m ever on TV, I will be able to stand in front of my bookcase looking earnest, with my novels strategically arranged to be in full view. And that is surely the best use for a physical book (just kidding).

The Former Chief Executive is published on 8 June in paperback and Kindle and is available for pre-order. Not the End is on sale now.

*** After I’d finished my books (of course), I learnt that Reedsy has a free formatting tool. I haven’t used it, so can’t vouch for it, but will certainly be taking a look before I publish my next book.***

Cover story – The Former Chief Executive

The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane
Here it is! The cover for my new novel The Former Chief Executive.

The painting is Head of Woman in Green Kimono by Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco. I am very grateful to her for permission to use it.

I chose it because the novel focuses on the character and reflections of a strong female character rather than dramatic plot twists. I wanted a cover that suggested that tone and mood. I also wanted to juxtapose the image of a woman with the (intentional) ambiguity of the title – to reinforce that this former chief executive is a woman.

And here’s the book description:

Without your past, who are you?

Deborah was a respected hospital manager until a tragedy destroyed her reputation. She has lost her career, her husband and even her name.

Luca wants to stay in the moment. For the first time in his life he has hope and a home. But a fresh start is hard on a zero-hours contract, harder if old voices fill your mind.

When a garden share scheme brings them together, Deborah is beguiled by Luca’s youth and grace. He makes her husband’s garden live again. He helps her when she’s at her lowest. But can she trust him? And when the time comes to confront her past, can she find the strength?

This sharply drawn short novel explores the distance between the generations – between health and wealth, owners and workers, guilt and blame.

The Former Chief Executive will be published in paperback and Kindle on 8 June – and is available for preorder on Amazon.

If you are a blogger or reviewer and would like a copy, please email me at k8vane@gmail.com and say whether you would like mobi, epub or pdf. I’m also happy to do guest posts and interviews.