Author-friendly in spades – Kobo’s new WritingLife Rocks

The other day I received notice from KoboBooks that my new Writing Life account was ready.  I’d been excited by the recent news that Kobo would be rolling out a new, writer-friendly interface for authors wishing to publish eBook editions of their books, and eager to take a look.

I went right over to find out what Kobo meant by writer-friendly. Amazon’s interface is writer-friendly, as is Smashwords. Barnes and Noble’s, not so much , but I’m hoping for improvements there now that Microsoft has invested in B&N. If Writing Life made it as convenient to publish eBooks as Smashwords and Amazon, I’d be happy. More would definitely be a bonus.

I got much more!

Signup: The signup process was easy – it took me less than 5 minutes, and that included looking up my banking information.

Distribution: KoboBooks are distributed in over 170 countries!

Payment – Yes! I was hoping for payment through PayPal rather than checks by snail mail  – but I got even better. A bonus for Canadian (and I assume other non-USA) authors and publishers - Kobo pays by direct deposit to my Canadian bank account

Publishing my booksFast, Easy, and Smooth!

This is the easiest process for uploading ebooks files, pricing, choosing sales channels, and entering the book’s meta-data that I’ve ever used. Not only was it fast to get the data up there, with easy to use forms and very little waiting – the books were available for sale almost immediately. It was easy to opt out of DRM (see my blog about digital rights management) so that my readers don’t need to worry about being locked into one format.

Information on sales – Writing Life has a beautiful “Dashboard” that allows writers and publishers to see sales numbers and estimated dollars earned at a glance, and a quick link to the publishing daqta for all books in the account.

Kudos to Kobo for a slick, convenient interface, and a system that makes authors books available in the ePUB format worldwide, on excellent terms (Kobo asks that the contract terms be kept confidential, but I found them very fair).

Kobo Rocks!

Vanessa Grant romance novels newly released on KoboBooks
– DRMfree, samples available at KoboBooks

If You Loved Me (#1 in the Emma and Jamie series)
The Colors of Love (#2 in the Emma and Jamie series)
Storm – the Author’s Cut

STORM – set on Haida Gwaii – free on Amazon stores Jan 30 and 31!

As a special thank you to my readers, I’m giving the Kindle edition of STORM away free today and tomorrow! Also included with this edition, a free excerpt of If You Loved Me.

Storm is my second novel, the story of Luke and Laurie falling in love on the magical islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. Luke and Laurie have always had a special place in my heart, and the storm that drew them together symbolized many coastal adventures I’ve shared with my husband.

When I wrote Storm, I set the story on the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, islands originally named after the wife of the British King George III without regard to the fact that the indigenous First Nations had already named their islands. In 2009 the British Columbia signed a historic reconciliation agreement with the Haida Nation, and the islands were renamed Haida Gwaii. Because the romance in Storm is so much a part of the heritage of Haida Gwaii, for this new edition I wanted to bring the story forward into the 21st Century.

In bringing the islands forward to the present day, I’ve taken artistic license with regard to logging on Lyell Island. A few years after the book was originally published, a national park was established and the Gwaii Trust was given the task of managing the forests. Because logging itself is not central to the story, I’ve taken the artistic license of leaving the logging camp on Lyell Island.

Print and Kindle editions are available. Also available for borrowing on the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library 

STORM is available at these Amazon online stores:

 

A special thank you gift for my readers … STORM is free Dec 30 & 31

Click the picture for your free copy of STORM!

As a special year-end thank you to my readers, on December 30 and 31st, I’ll be giving away one of my favourite novels, my recently released novel STORM.

Storm is the first of three novels I wrote which were set on the Pacific Northwest islands of Haida Gwaii and it’s always been one of my personal favourites. Earlier this year, I decided to release STORM, but in the editing process, I realized that to give the full flavour of the Haida Gwaii islands where the story is set, I needed to bring the story forward into the present (See my December 26th blog, where I talk about my decision to prepare this “Author’s Cut” of Storm.

When I first wrote Storm, I was very new to the business of publishing, and unprepared to learn that my title, “Storm Warning,” had been used by someone else. The idea for the book had grown out of my personal life experiences on the remote north coast of British Columbia. While living on an isolated British Columbia lighthouse, I’d followed a number of life-and-death searches for vessels in trouble, and one lengthy search for a downed Coast Guard helicopter. Many of these emergencies were triggered by the stormy weather, and my search memories are punctuated with marine Storm Warnings issued by Prince Rupert Marine-Air Radio, as it was then called. Later, I sailed the islands of Haida Gwaii with my family, and visited Hot Spring Island (Gandla’kin) one wonderful summer. This island, now part of Gwaii Haanas National Park, has to be the most romantic, isolated coastal treasure I’ve ever visited. Sitting in that hot spring at the top of the world, looking out over the islands of South Moresby – I won’t describe it here, because I’ve already done that in the book :)

Check out Hot Spring Island – the setting for a one of STORM’s pivotal, romantic scenes. Just collecting these 2 links to the Islands makes me yearn to return to that magical place.

But back to titles. After I’d floundered for a while, coming up with half-baked titles, my editor suggested that we simply call the book STORM.

Perfect! And thank you, Elizabeth, for seeing the obvious and perfect title, when I couldn’t :)

I was pleased that the book’s original cover evoked the stormy night I’d envisioned, but a few months ago when I engaged Angie of AngieOCreations to do the cover for this Author’s Cut of the story, I realized I’d stepped into author paradise. After years wishing I had a voice on covers, I was overjoyed to work with an artist eager to share my vision of the book. Yes, this is exactly what I wanted! Thank you, Angie!  You’re a joy to work with.

Enough rambling about the author. Click on  Storm – the Author’s Cut – Free for 2 days: Dec 30 and 31 and get your free copy, compliments of the author.

Other Vanessa Grant books set on the magic islands of Haida Gwaii

  • Jenny’s Turn (Stray Lady, the sequel to Jenny’s Turn, is set partially on remote Green Island Lighthouse, where I once lived)
  • Stranded Heart (set in various Haida Gwaii locations, including Queen Charlotte City – which has approximately 948 residents! The heroine of Stranded Heart is a pilot flying for QC Air, the fictitious charter company owned by the hero of Storm)

I hope you enjoy the Islands, and have a wonderful year in 2012!

Vanessa Grant

“Storm – the Author’s Cut” is now available

I expected to have this new edition of one of my favourite romances up back in September, but when I started editing the manuscript in preparation for the new release, I couldn’t resist making a few small changes – then one thing led to another, and here it is, almost the end of December.

Storm is my second novel, the story of Luke and Laurie falling in love on the magical islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. Luke and Laurie have always had a special place in my heart, and the storm that drew them together symbolized many coastal adventures I’ve shared with my husband.

When I wrote Storm, I set the story on the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, islands originally named after the wife of the British King George III without regard to the fact that the indigenous First Nations had already named their islands. In 2009 the province of British Columbia signed a historic reconciliation agreement with the Haida Nation, and the islands were renamed Haida Gwaii. Because the romance in Storm is so much a part of the heritage of Haida Gwaii, I wanted to bring the story forward into the 21st Century.

In bringing the islands forward to the present day, I’ve taken artistic license with regard to logging on Lyell Island. A few years after the book was originally published, a national park was established and the Gwaii Trust was given the task of managing the forests. Because logging itself is not central to the story, I’ve taken the artistic license of leaving the logging camp on Lyell Island.

Check out Storm – the Author’s Cut at the Amazon Kindle Store – a free sample is available. I’ve decided to enrol this book in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as well, so members can borrow the book.

… and coming soon – a new print edition of Storm – The Author’s Cut

Enjoy, and to everyone, have a wonderful, fulfilling year in 2012!

Vanessa
 Storm – the Author’s Cut