Disintegration & Other Stories – Shameless Self Promotion

Well launch day is creeping up and I have of course made a few errors along the way (you will hear about those on Wednesday stay tuned). Overall I am feeling more excited than scared today but it is still early and that could change.

If you have been living under a rock this last couple of weeks you might wonder what I am waffling about well it is this…

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This book thing I wrote.  Well adapted, most of the pieces started life as 500 word flash fictions and have been reworked, reworded and renovated to bring you a collection of short stories that you can read on the bus, in you lunch break, in fact if you are a quick reader you might even get through the whole book in your lunch hour if you skip the lunch part. And I promise you, you can actually read it on the bus there are no embarrassing bits, well there is one nipple but that is all, and also there are no bits that are going to make you cry, though I cannot promise you might not giggle.

So why should you buy this book when there are so many out there I hear you say? Well firstly one can never have too many books and any hidden on a Kindle really don’t count anyway. Secondly because if you are hear and enjoying reading this there is a really good chance you will enjoy my writing, therefore it a bonus for both of us. And thirdly, it is cheap, well compared to a Roll Royce or a ticket to New York and that means it is worth taking a chance you will enjoy it.

If you have been convinced by now to take a chance on a lunatic very nervous first time self publishing author then these as the link things…

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

And if you get it and read it then please let me know what you think, you can find me lurking just about everywhere on Social Media, if you love it leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads is always nice thing to do for an author, if you didn’t like it and have constructive criticism I will hear that as well, though I may stick my fingers in my ears and go LALALALALa at the same time :D

 

Vlog Time #35 – Disintegration is Coming!

It has been an eventful week and for me today is a painful one as it would have been my grandma’s birthday, it is the first since her passing which makes it all the harder, but I know that she would want me to focus on the positive not dwell on the upset so…

Click for the giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Available for pre-order – Disintegration & Other Stories.
Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Disintegration-Other-Stories-Paula-Acton-ebook
Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Disintegration-Other-Stories-Paula-Acton-ebook

And just incase you want to find me anywhere else…

Places to find me

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/PaulaActon

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Paula_Acton
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Paula.Acton….
Website – http://paulaacton.co.uk
Instagram – http://instagram.com/paulaacton
Blog – http://paulaacton.com
Snapchat – paulaacton71
I also have accounts on Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+

If you want to read my work you can find the Charity Anthology I am featured in #LupusAnimus here
Amazon.co.uk – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lupus-Animus-…
Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Lupus-Animus-An…

WIP Wednesday – That sick feeling!

Well it is done, shorter than I would have like as at the last minute I pulled a couple of stories I was not happy with but I decided it was more important to actually take the plunge with the publishing process than to create a doorstep of a book.  The kindle version is listed as 59 pages while the print version will run at just under a hundred, I am hoping that the stories will endear themselves to people and they will like my style and want to read more but that is where the sickness comes in.

What if no one likes it? What if the intertrolls decide to give it their special treatment? I have seen so many horrible comments on friends reviews pages, comments they do not deserve, that I cannot help but wonder how I will handle them.  I know there will be some, I don’t think anyone ever really escapes unscathed these days but I know the minute I sent that final draft and could no longer go back that I found myself almost in tears with nerves.

I like to think of myself as a fairly strong person, but my absence the last few days has been basically because I realised my procrastination at finishing a project comes down to fear.  It was not a pleasant realisation to make, at one point I even tried to change the release day but if I had I would have lost my pre-order privileges (though I would point out I wanted to change the day from the Saturday to the Monday because I am actually at work when my book goes on sales, I picked the date randomly without looking what day it was, lesson learned).

The actually process was not too hard, mainly thanks to a wonderful article I found on Lit World Interiews you can find by clicking on their name.  I know how to format a document in the old fashioned sense of indents titles etc, but like many I should imagine of my age who learnt typing on first manual and the electronic typewriters, I never really use many of the other format features of word and had certainly no idea about doing a Table of Contents from the document, the article was a blessing for me especially as it seems it is a feature Kindle require more frequently these days and was certainly a positive leaning process to take forward to Voices.

The Create Space experience was a little more difficult and require a few adjustments to get it all set up properly, the addition of blank pages, a little alteration to the cover to get it to fit though it seems that had I done it the other way round that might not have been an issue.  I have however been convinced of the need to think about covers for both formats before next time and that is something I need to look into.  I have just submitted the files after the last adjustments so hopefully I will soon be looking at a proof and it should be ready to go on sale at the same time as the Kindle version.  I am going to be using the hashtag #PaulaDisintegration for this book as I looked on twitter and it was the only way to do it that would not end up taking you somewhere else lol

6ebf4df5-9567-48fe-b9ee-770e2e6ca67dSo it is done, no turning back, I feel scared, exhilarated and incredibly nervous but now I have taken the plunge surely it gets easier with the next one?

WIP

I got scammed!

Sometimes if something seems to good to be true it probably is.

At the end of last year I decided I wanted to make my website look more professional and have my own domain name on it, so I went in and took a look at the plan offers. I chose one that required I pay for the year upfront, I would have gone for a slightly cheaper one but I liked the look of the advertising package it offered with it, Twitter Ads, FB Ads and Google ads so I decided to go for it.

First disappointment was the twitter ads, I didn’t activate it in time my mistake with that one, google ads clearly states you have to spend cash first but I was not too bothered it was the FB ads that I believed were the really important ones,

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I followed instructions and went to set my ad up realising time was running out however turns out that it was not that simple.  I had at one point clicked on a link on my FB page and looked at setting up an ad and the costs it seems because I had done this it rendered the voucher invalid, I only learned this after several stroppy messages to FB including a plethora of screen-shots and then finally realising why my voucher had not worked and referring my to some hidden terms and conditions in the Wix side of things, as you can imagine a stroppy message has now been sent to them.  I was lucky and because I was on top of it only ended up a tenner out of pocket in total others were not so lucky judging from forum posts and set their ads for higher daily values and have been charged more.

So I guess the other thing to address is FB ads themselves and whether they are worth it…

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I set it to just spend two pounds per day, and as I have cancelled it this morning after finally getting to the bottom of this I spent £8.45, I gained 8 likers as a result of the campaign at the cost of £1.06 per like and my ad was shown to 621 people.

I have to be honest it is not something I would bother doing again in terms of page likes, it is easier and far more interesting to get those by visiting other pages and interacting with people, the only benefit is you reach people you do not personally know so it does broaden your demographics but only within the targeted market.  I might consider it at a later date using it to promote a book with a link for sales but for just gaining likes it is too expensive unless you have more money to spare in order to reach a wider audience.

My mistake was not too costly and in the long run can be seen as a learning experience but I will be certain to double check all the terms and conditions before I go for anything offering me perks again.

Television Tuesday – More Tennis!

Ha fooled you, of course I did watch the tennis and was gutted at Federer’s defeat not because I do not think Djokavic in not a worthy winner but I wanted Federer to get the record number of wins, I think his contribution to the game and the way he conducts himself both on and off the court make him worthy of the accolade of greatest ever Wimbledon Champion, it would be nice if the record books said the same.

So obviously I still have not watched much real TV or films but I have watched a couple of things on Youtube I decided to share one very short one on the long side but hilarious.

First up another video from Devlinsupertramp, I get so jealous watching some of these videos as they are places I  long to go and I fear I will never be able to afford to visit them all unless I win the lottery.

Next up is one that if you live outside the UK you might not get completely but hopefully you can get the gist of enough to enjoy it.  It is a parody of a much loved ghost hunting programme here in the UK but even if you do not know that specific show I am sure you will have seen one of these programmes and still get the humour.

We shall return to our normal programming schedule next week…

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Book Review – 17 Deadly Women Through The Ages (Bus Stop Reads) By Stephanie Glover

This is another free ebook I have no idea how I came across it, possibly in the top 100 but I cannot be sure…

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It does not feature on Goodreads but here is what the blurb on Amazon says about it…

TRUE CRIME: WOMEN SERIAL KILLERS
Our society can barely account for evil in males, let alone imagine it in females. The female nests, creates, and nurtures doesn’t she or is it that we just want to believe in the intrinsic non-threatening nature of women?
Yet, history is full of instrumentally violent women: women who have fought wars and battles throughout the world, with no less ferociousness than men, women such as Dynamis of Bosphorous, who starved her husband to death and took control of his kingdom, or Artemisia, the queen of Halicarnassus in the 5th century, who conducted a brilliant but brutal military campaign against the Greeks. Mary Tudor, Queen Mary 1 of England, in 1553 became known as “Bloody Mary,” for her extreme cruelty and willingness to execute people.
In this short book meet 17 less known but equally murderous cold blooded women. After reading it you may find your perception of the gentler sex changed irrevocably. Enjoy.

I am going to do this review in two parts first what I thought of the book but secondly some issues I had with it.

First up it does deliver what is says on the front, short stories which you could indeed read at a bus stop or as I prefer either on the bus or in the bath.  I really like the fact the author does not take the easy option and stick to the same few cases which so many books on female crime do, the stories she share span hundreds of years and every continent, she gives enough facts for you to feel like you have the story in the majority of cases though there may be the occasional one where you wish you knew more but I suspect in those cases she has been limited by available source material. So you might wonder from all of that what I found wrong with this book well…

The book is not so much a book as an extensive advert for a number of other books! The book is divided into sections of two or three stories for each historical period, however the stories are ‘extracted’ from books on that time period which is then advertised at the end of that section.  My issue with this is, fair enough this book is free but then she is wanting people to go buy a book which they have already read 20-25% of, if she had added different stories and then advertised if you enjoyed these find more like them here that would not have annoyed me as much but to ask people to buy a book they have already read a proportion of the stories for is wrong.

I have to be honest my annoyance at the way the book tries to sell you the same stories again has coloured my review, had they been original stories and tales of murder then I would have given this 4 out of 5 but because of the fact it is simply a selection of pre-existing work I cannot give it more than 3 out of five stars which I know seems harsh given this was a freebie but it is just something that bothered me.

3 stars

Love-Hate Challenge!

Today something a little different, SJ over at Delirious Anecdotes has nominated me for the Love-Hate Challenge which consists of the nominee posting three lists: ten things they love; ten things they hate; ten people they nominate for the challenge. You can check out SJ’s lists here Love-Hate.

So list number one ten things I love…

 1)  Really obvious the first one, my kids, not really much to say on that but I have been blessed with two incredible kids I know my daughter does not get mentioned as much on here as the monster but she refuses to co-operate with videos and photos lol.

 2) My friends, as well as great kids I have also been so lucky as to meet and get to know some incredible people over the years, some have been in my life for a long time some I have only known a short time, some I have never met in person but our cyber interactions have meant that they have become very special to me and my family and it is only a matter of time until we meet in the flesh. This is a picture of me and my best friend taken at her wedding anniversary on last Saturday, we have been friends for around 19 years and pretty much been to hell and back together in that time.

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3) The Furries – obviously the dogs frequently make appearances in the vlogs but there are also the two guinea pigs, I am a huge believer that all children should be brought up with pets, it teaches them love, compassion and responsibility, I feel sadly too many people in this world lack those attributes they are brought up in houses that are not homes but showrooms designed to show off material possessions rather than to be a place that teaches the values that would make this world a better place.

4) Walking in woods – I grew up in the countryside and there is nothing as exhilarating as walking through woods and letting the minds create a million stories for every little noise, this is the monster sat at the beck at the beginning of a walk heading to the woods I spent lots of time in as a child and if anyone wants to write a story about this picture link it back to me please.

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5) Books, it will not surprise anyone I love a good book but even the bad ones serve a purpose, after all how do you know what is good and what is bad if you do not experience both, TV and films may provide entertainment in a more immediate form but they will never stimulate the brain as a book can, a book makes you think for yourself, create visual images of the characters, locations and envision the action it makes you debate if they have taken the right path, should they trust that character or believe a different one.  You can read a good book a hundred times and still find something new to take from it as our understand alters over the years.

 6) Music – First let me state I do not have a musical bone in my body in terms of actual playing music but I love listening to it. I love classical music that stirs the emotions, pop music that has me twirling around my room dancing and singing (though only when the music is so loud it means I cannot be heard) or even the musical scores of films that allow you to close our eyes and re-imagine your favourite scenes. Here is one to give you an idea of what I mean…

 7)  Doctor Who – No surprise for you all there, but what I love about this as much as the show itself is that it is a love and passion I get to share with both my kids and in November we are going to the Excel centre in London for the Doctor Who Festival, and hopefully spending the weekend down there exploring.

 8)  The sea – I grew up going on day trips to the seaside every weekend more or less, then when I was about ten my grandparents moved to the Isle of Wight and my love of the sea continued to grow, I love going out on boats and big waves no problem, the only time I ever felt sea sick was coming back from France stuck out side the harbour because of bad weather and that was because I was stuck below, unable to see the sea itself.

 9) Taking photographs – this will not surprise most of you who have followed my blog for any length of time, in fact for quite a while I was posting on a separate blog sharing my photos which I really should consider staring up again.  One of the perks of my newsletter is the promise of at least one photo that is unpublished anywhere else, last month was a butterfly and though I will not post that picture here I will post one from the same shoot which is almost as good as the newsletter one.

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Ten things I hate.

 1) Hate – yes I hate hate lol I guess really it should read intolerance because there are times where real hate is understandable, if someone has killed your loved one but to hate en masse because of colour, religion or sexuality is wrong, wrong and ignorant.  Society is becoming more accepting when it comes to colour but let’s face it that has taken a long time and is still not quite there. Religion well again if truth be told most have more in common than different and if all the religions of the world stuff to the actual words spoken by their Gods rather than the interpretations given by men telling them what God meant or what they say God told them then the world would be a better place and a lot more peaceful, but it is also up to the majority of followers of all religions to stand up and refuse to allow their religions to be hijacked by the extremists on all sides, listen to ISIS and to the Westboro Baptist Churches you will find the only difference is the way they spread their messages, the messages themselves are not very different.  The issues with sexuality are usually fuelled by religion but again it really is very very simple, if you don’t agree with a homosexual lifestyle, don’t have one! If you don’t agree with gay marriage don’t have one! Leave the judgement to which ever higher power you believe in and get on with worrying about your own life and making that the best it can be, this is my best friend and her wife at their wedding anniversary last week, they believe in marriage, I don’t but guess what I still support their choice to do it even if I don’t want to but then again maybe I should demand all marriage be banned because I don’t agree with it?

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 2) Waiting in for parcels – why is it if you are waiting for a parcel but also need to go somewhere it will not arrive until late afternoon but if you are planning a day at home anyway it will arrive first thing in the morning?

 3) Cancer – if there were one thing I could wave a magic wand and change it this world it would be to remove this disease, I know there would still be others but the money we donate to research could be given to wipe out other illnesses but this evil seems to continue to take so many lives and it’s cruelty at letting people get better before striking them down again makes it particularly malicious.

4) Snow – now don’t get me wrong, as a kid I loved building snow men and sledging but what I hate about snow as an adult here in the UK is that everything stops with the first flurry.  Schools shut, buses stop but bosses still expect you to sort out child care and get to work.  It usually has been predicted yet the councils fail to get the roads gritted in advance and it gets very annoying and frustrating

5)  Clothes shopping – When I was thinner I loved clothes shopping I could walk into any shop and find something I like but once you are a certain size your options reduce considerably, much of the time you are reduced to one or two shops or shopping online and most of the time you will be paying more for decent clothes, yes I know there is more material involved but not as much as they charge you for.

 6) Fleas – I have two dogs as you know and the battle against these evil critters is an epic one, first it costs a fortune over the year roughly £200 just on the Frontline I apply on the dogs but because we have foxes that live where we do and other mite carrying wild life there are also the sprays etc to ensure they do not carry the odd one back into the house after walks, and secondly the fact that just thinking about them has you scratching for hours even when you know there are none there. Why can they not work out a why to rid us of these creatures for once and for all, I cannot see anyone getting upset at there extinction or mounting a save the flea campaign.  Maybe if we could persuade hunters that the true symbol of their skills is a mounted flea of a board?????

 7) Pets getting old – Boris is now 16 and I know his days with us are numbered and I hate it, I hate that the chances are I will be faced with the choice to make between breaking my own heart and ending his pain and it sucks.

 8) Rain when you have to go to work – I love the rain when I can sit and watch it from inside or even spin round in it in my garden but I hate it when you are heading to work then have to sit their in damp clothes and wet shoes for hours.

 9) When your computer decides to shut down and for some reason autosave decides to take a break and go on holiday – I know I don’t need to explain that any further to you guys.

10) When WordPress and other social media sites decide they want to change things and don’t give you the option they just change things for you and usually make things harder to use!

Ten Nominees – I cheated and used the next ten blogs I read while writing this lol

 1) Lindaghill

 2) Mari Wells

 3) Willowdot21

 4) Josh Mosey

 5) Lucy Williams

 6) Valentine Logar

 7) David Stewart

 8) Lord David Prosser

 9) C.B. Wentworth

10) M S Fowle