Bookish News & Dinosaur Spellings

School started again a couple of weeks ago and that means we’re back in the school-going groove, after a few hiccups in the second week with sick kids… It also means I’m making lunch boxes again (pet hate)… but it’s all okay.

On the writing front, things have been interesting… to say the least!

I finished edits on my novella THE GOODBYE RIDE before school went back. This was another of my self-published books that is now being contracted by Escape Publishing. It will be fun to have Liv and Owen’s story back in the cyber-world and I’m looking forward to seeing & sharing the new cover for it soon. THE GOODBYE RIDE should be back on the cyber shelf in early May.

SO FAR INTO YOU was part of Amazon Australia’s Valentine’s Day sale a few weeks back, which meant for the first time I saw a book of mine get a gorgeous piece of artwork and be part of the front page of Amazon Australia. Very exciting!

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During this, SO FAR INTO YOU was ranked the No.1 book in Westerns on Amazon, which is what Amazon categorises what Aussies call ‘rural romance’… It meant I got one of these – a Bestseller flag. First time for me.

No. 1 Westerns flag

Now months ago, I wrote a story for an anthology called COMING TOGETHER, STRANGE SHIFTERS… it was about two sabre-tooth cats who could turn human and it was pretty “out there” as my stories go… anyway, I saw a review of the book on Amazon.com today and the reviewer said this:

“Perhaps my favorite story (among many that stand out) is Lily Malone’s “Tar Pit Triage”. Two male sabre-tooth tiger shifters compete for a scarce female, and for the lordly title of Khan. Ms. Malone’s primordial universe is new and fascinating, but I was most impressed by the contrasts she creates between the human and animal experience. In cat form, the characters have finely-tuned senses and powerful muscles, but limited intellectual capabilities. Human shape offers the advantages of analysis and agency at the expense of physical weakness.”

I read the review and thought: “Wow. My primordial universe is new and fascinating???” It left me rather chuffed that I’d created such a universe! I had no idea there was so much to think about in my 3000 word contribution about a female sabre-tooth cat stuck in a tar pit 🙂

In books on the drawing board, I finished my current project and sent that to my editor. It has the working title of BUTTERFLY HOUSE BOOK 1, which is a bit boring, but will do for now. It’s a novella set near where I live which involves a murder mystery game and a thief who is stealing the Cowaramup cows.

Last, sharing this bit of cuteness from Mr 6, who got an Honour Certificate at school today:

honour 1

This is what the teacher’s message says: “For putting in a great effort into your writing and sounding out ‘piranha’ and ‘sarcosuchas’. Keep it up!”

The funny thing was, even the school principal had a battle pronouncing ‘sarcosuchas’ (sookus) and he called it a sarcosaurus.

For a second there I was worried Mr 6 was about to correct him!

Have a great week.

xx Lily

Fairway’s Great Escape Story

About a year ago I made a big decision. It was to offer my self-published book, Fairway To Heaven to Escape Publishing to see if they liked it, and FairWayToHeavenFinal-harlequin 200_200x315wanted to re-publish it in the Escape stable.

Escape’s managing editor, Kate Cuthbert, sent me a lovely note saying, “this book was great” and from that point on, deal memos and contracts were signed. I hit the ‘unpublish’ button at Amazon to remove Fairway To Heaven from sale and it took four or five months before the book appeared again for sale, under Escape and Harlequin’s banner, in April 2015.

Fairway to Heaven got a new cover. It went through an edit with lovely Laurie Ormond, but other than a few changes to the ending, it remained the very same book it had always been. I joke with my writing friends about Fairway as “The Dodgy Fanny” book. It is a book that takes risks both with the heroine (Jenn’s) story, and for her love interest, (Brayden). Some readers have found it too explicit but not because of the sex – more for the medical issue that plagues Jenn’s life and that she must resolve, during the book. 

It’s quite something to have a “dodgy fanny book” in your portfolio… 🙂 

In this ever-changing publishing environment, many aspiring and established authors wonder about the merits of self-publishing versus going with a traditional publisher. I thought long and hard about it too. I had one title (my first title – His Brand Of Beautiful) with Escape, and after that I self-published two other works, Fairway To Heaven and The Goodbye Ride.

Now, all my books are contracted to Escape and I no longer have any titles self-published. In the end, I think it comes down to what individual authors are seeking from their writing, and what stage they might be in their careers. For me, the motivation for moving from self-publishing was multi-factored. One was the ease of being with a major publisher – getting one royalty statement at Tax Time rather than trying to track Amazon sales against my bank statements.

The other was to engage the marketing expertise of Harlequin, the largest romance publisher in the world, and have them repackage Fairway (with new cover, new blurb etc).

By far the major factor was sales. I wanted better sales. My reviews and feedback for Fairway were excellent, but the book didn’t sell as a self-pubbed title.

In August, Fairway To Heaven became a Kindle Monthly Deal on Amazon Australia. In that month it hit the Amazon Top 100 which was the first time any book of mine had reached that level, and then it kept going. Top 50, Top 20, and the highest ranking I saw it reach was 12 overall and 5 in Contemporary Romance.

Fairway spent more than 20 days in the Top 100, and sales of my debut book, His Brand Of Beautiful also bounced to levels I hadn’t seen before. In October, His Brand Of Beautiful was a Kindle Daily Deal, reaching No 22 in the charts. During the time when both these books were doing well, my newbie, So Far Into You came up for pre-release, and pre-sales and sales in its early days have been wonderful, brilliant, great! (I’m not comparing to anyone except me!)

The good news didn’t stop there! Fairway To Heaven will be in a print book bind-up with Victoria Purman and Juliet Madison called More Time For The Beach, released in January 2015-16, but possibly on shelves in time for Christmas. Booktopia is selling it already on pre-order.

So from self-pubbed and wallowing, to a Kindle Monthly Deal, the Top 100, and now a print book bind-up. That’s pretty good going. It’s another tick on my writing bucket list. A print book! My first one.

More Time for the Beach

So that’s my Fairway To Heaven story. It’s not every self-published author’s story and it won’t suit every writer, but for me, I’m so very glad I made the decisions I did, and I’m very grateful to Kate Cuthbert and Escape Publishing for the opportunities they’ve given to me. 

RELEASE DAY | So Far Into You

SO FAR INTO YOU - smallerOctober 22 is release day for my new contemporary rural romance
So Far Into You.

I’ve done release day a few times now and it is always special. It’s nice to see the culmination of so many months of writing, revising, submitting, editing, plus all the work that Escape Publishing do to prepare the book for the world.

I’d like to thank the people who helped me get Seth and Remy’s story to the page. They know who they are, but for the record, I’m blessed to have Jennie Jones, Juanita Kees and Kylie Kaden in my corner. Kate Cuthbert, managing editor of Escape Publishing had a lot to do with making this book better, as did its editor Belinda Holmes.

Four books down the track, it gets a bit tricky to think of new people to dedicate one’s book to… so this time, I didn’t choose any people.
I chose these dogs.

Jars & Breeze

Jarman and Breeze… this book is for you.

‘More than enough dog for anyone, and too much for most.’

Finally, to the people who read and enjoy my books: you keep me and so many other authors writing when we’re convinced we should chuck the whole messy industry in … Thank you for your encouragement, your comments, your Facebook ‘likes’ and smiles; your reviews and your wishes. We write for you.

BUY SO FAR INTO YOU on all e-book platforms

Click here to find the e-reader link for you!

Giveaway time at the blog | So Far Into You

Picture 1Look at the authors I get to share a book birthday with! Three of us are West Aussies too – or ex-pats (me, Shona Husk and Nicole Flockton). These are Escape Publishing’s new releases for October, and So Far Into You is one of them 🙂

Thank you to my many friends and readers who have already pre-ordered So Far Into You. You cannot know what a thrill it is to have your support.

If you have a Kindle as your e-reader of preference, then you might like to know that So Far Into You is on pre-order sale at Amazon Australia, currently 99c. If you are in Australia but use Amazon.com for your book purchases, you should be able to snap it up cheap there too. If I hear of other etailers offering specials, I’ll be sure to let you know.

You can find all etailers where So Far Into You is available on the Escape Publishing website here.

If you’d like to win an e-book copy of So Far Into You, tell me what it is about Aussie romance and/or Australian settings that you love. You can email me your comment at lilymalone@mail.com with GIVEAWAY in the subject line, OR – write your comment below. I’ve got more than one copy to win… and I’d love to see what you love about Aussie writers and Aussie writing. If you already have the book on download, you can enter for a friend.

Bye Bye Liv & Owen

My novella, The Goodbye Ride, has come off the cyber shelves for a while.
Today, I signed a Contract with Escape Publishing for the book, and took The Goodbye Ride down from Amazon where it has been self-published since May 2013.
Hopefully it will be back in publication in 2016 with a new cover, and maybe a few edits and tweaks. But, it will always be Liv and Owen’s story set in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills over the June (Queen’s Birthday) long weekend.
I also have big news about Fairway To Heaven. Fairway is a ‘Kindle Monthly Deal’ for August. It’s been discounted to $1.09 (Australia), about 72cents in the US. Today it cracked the Amazon Australia Top 100 – which is virgin territory for me.
I took a screen shot to prove it!

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It has been a wild, wonderful, crazy week – and there is more news to come for Fairway, but the powers-that-be at Escape won’t let me tell anyone yet 🙂

 

Cover Reveal | So Far Into You

I really think this is the very best part of writing – not release day, but getting a brand new book cover!

You saw it here first! This is my cover for my new book, Seth and Remy’s story, So Far Into You, out October 22 with Escape Publishing.

I love it! Thank you to the brilliant cover fairies at Escape. 🙂

SO FAR INTO YOU - smaller

Weekend of Words and Walks

It’s a long weekend in West Australia this weekend for Western Australia day – which apparently got its name changed from Foundation Day when I wasn’t looking 🙂

I’ve had a wonderful weekend. I’ve finished the first round of edits for my next book, So Far Into You, which is due for release in October this year with Escape Publishing. I’m working with Belinda Holmes on edits, and after a bit of a struggle with my own self-doubt late last week, I managed to get in the swing of the book and finish it Saturday afternoon. My additions (there are lots) are now back with Belinda for her input. I’ll probably see them once more before we count this book done.

In Margaret River it has been the annual Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival. Lots of bookish friends have been staying in Margies and visiting the Festival each day. Carol Seeley who blogs at Reading, Writing and Riesling, has written great wrap-ups of each day of the Festival. She told me romance author Fiona Palmer’s talk was particularly inspirational, and I know Carol enjoyed meeting one of her favourite authors, Robert Gott.

Also visiting for the festival were three people who I have only previously cyber-met, but who have become friends, particularly the lovely and talented Louise Allan who had her novel, Ida’s Children, final in the 2014 City of Fremantle TAG Hungerford Award. Louise, Rae Hilhorst, and Swanbourne Bookcaffe manager and aspiring writer, Emily Paul, travelled from Perth together and had weekend passes to the Festival.

On Saturday night, Louise, Rae and Emily came to visit at my place. Hubby lit the firepit at the base of our block (I think this was so he could watch football uninterrupted by four women talking about books), and we sat watching the rising moon and the stars, sharing several glasses of wine, nibbles and a meal around the fire. I don’t think we stopped talking for about 3.5 hours, except to take another sip of wine. It was so cold away from the fire that our white wine didn’t need to be in an ice bucket, and our red wine ended up rather chilled (to say the least).

It was a great evening, and very inspiring, like I find most times I get the chance to talk books and writing with other authors, bloggers and writers, no matter what stage of their writing careers. (#DirtyDraft sessions, I’m thinking about you).

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Looking south from the carpark at Gnoocardup (pardon the spelling). Imagine an Irish woman trying to mangle this pronunciation… it’s said: Newkardup.

Topping off the weekend, things got physical today with a group of five ladies enjoying a walk along a 12.5km stretch of the Cape To Cape walking track. We dropped a car at Sea Gardens cafe in Prevelly this morning then drove back to Ellensbrook Homestead and walked from Ellensbrook to Prevelly, through Gnoocardup (which I shudder when I try to spell), Joey’s Nose, Kilcarnup and eventually to the Margaret River mouth.

Both Saturday and Sunday have been blessed days with the weather. Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of Winter and yet today, at the end of our walk, three of our party ended up jumping in the ocean for a swim? (Not me – I’m way too chicken! That water was cold!)

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The Cape to Cape walk trail, at Cape Mentelle.

So, a wonderful weekend, capped off with a footy win for the West Coast Eagles… and there’s still another day going free tomorrow. Rumour is if the weather holds, it will involve fishing at Augusta. Or at the very least, lunch at the Augusta pub.