Missing People

Like many others, I enjoy a good mystery. Stories where you need to know what happens next. Tales that pique your curiosity and keep you turning the page to get to the end.

Over the years, I’ve found missing people intriguing. Why did they disappear in the first place? Was it an accident or something more sinister? Is there a happy ending or does it end in tragedy? Also, just as importantly, how does it effect those left behind?

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Before I thought about becoming a published author, many of the stories I’d written over the years involved this mystery.

Did you know there are 300,000 people reported missing each year? That works out at almost 900 a day.

The first high profile case I recall was that of Lord Lucan in 1974. His wife claimed her husband had attacked her, and murdered their nanny. The police investigated, but Lord Lucan was never found and to this day it remains a mystery. You can read the full story here.

Journalist Amelia Hill wrote a fascinating article in the Guardian in 2012 about a girl who became pregnant. Her boyfriend didn’t want to know and her parents told her to get an abortion. She felt she had no option but to run away. She had her baby, but says her life had been a lie ever since.

As part of my research I went onto the missing person’s website. There were many stories about people who had disappeared, and those left behind. One mum showed the bedroom of her son left just as it was in 2006 when he disappeared. The torment she must live with wondering whether he is still alive is hard to imagine.

Another high profile case was that of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared in 1985. An attractive young woman who had penciled in her diary she was meeting a Mr Kipper. She was never seen again, her remains never found, and they didn’t traced Mr Kipper. As a result estate agents changed the way they worked and Suzy’s mother founded a Trust in the name of her daughter dealing with personal safety.

Not all cases are as high profile, and in 2012 an appeal was launched for a missing woman who had not long given birth. She was already suffering from anxiety and depression. It could have gone either way and for a few days, everyone lived in hope until they found her body.

Madeline McCann is one of the most famous and still talked about cases. In 2007, the four-year-old girl was abducted while on holiday with her family. She was a beautiful little thing with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She captured everyone’s hearts. Despite a massive investigation and search. The police had no viable leads and no trace of her was ever found. It’s a tragedy and like many others, we all hope one day the truth will emerge.

There are many more stories with no conclusions offered and it’s frustrating not to have an end. I’ve always wondered what makes people want to disappear in the first place. What are their stories?

 

One day watching a television programme that searches for missing people, it gave me an an idea for a story. What if you were the missing person, and suddenly your face appeared on screen? The secret you had been trying to keep was now out

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Found! tells the story of Amanda, who had problems with her brothers. She takes off to Scotland and creates a new life for herself. When she and her boyfriend are watching television, it is her face that comes up onscreen and Jamie, her boyfriend is shocked by what he hears.

The people left behind don’t always know the reasons their loved ones leave. It affects them in difference ways and many suffer for years. So in this story, I’ve included the bewildered family and how they coped with her disappearance.

As mentioned before, some stories do not have ending and we are not always given that neatly wrapped up conclusion. With Found! I wanted to round it up and conclude it, so get your tissues ready for an sweet ending!

Found! is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

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The Changing World of Books

I’ve been thinking for a long time how times have been changing and this post via ‘Ramblings from a Writer’s Mind‘ came up today. It says a lot about what I’ve been thinking about.

Drastic action by writer’s to giveaway their books in the hope that readers will want to read another from them doesn’t work. I’ve tried it and it always grieved me. All that work, years in some cases, to be given away for nothing, No other trade would dream of doing this, would they?

Authors are stuck in their ways, just as this article suggests, and too many drop and go links land in various Facebook groups, so much so that it has almost become spam. Who reads them anyway?

What people do want, and enjoy is proper content. Something interesting they can read and be entertained by, not hard sell right in their faces.

This is what I’m trying to do now with any posts I make, yes it is taking a lot more time  but I am a writer afterall, as they say, Rome was not built in a day. We have to build up again from scratch and find new ways to do things. Make books valuable again.

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One of the ways I am also doing it, is exactly what is mentioned in this article. A new an innovative marketing brand that is aimed at helping authors and providing readers with something special

It is called Electric Eclectic Books, and I’m proud to have belonged to this since the beginning. It is also good to see how it is changing with the market and always taking on new opportunies.

Writing is a lonely job and hard work on your own. That is changing because being part of a team, part of something global is the best thing that ever happened to me. Read this article and give it careful consideration – but don’t take too long to think about it!

via Good news, for (a few) authors.

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What to do next in Self Publishing

I recently read a blog post called The Decline of Self Publishing. It made me think about myself and my own books. I feel that the self publishing market is saturated. Everyone is writing stories these days and readers have a massive choice. The odds of them choosing mine amongst the thousands on offer is very slim. Promoting my books daily can can bring in one or two sales, but it’s hard work, especially when you have as many as I do.

All my Books

You can spend up to a year writing your and it costs a lot of money to prepare for publication. A decent cover can set you back about a £75-£150, then there is editing and formatting. Even if you do most of it yourself, that doubles the amount of time you spend on one book alone.

Suddenly, your baby, who you have become very attached to, is now ready, and you upload it to Amazon. If you set the price too high, those few people you reach with your promotions, won’t buy it because they can get books for free or 99p. So you set it at £1.99. You sell the book and Amazon takes 65% of the profit. How many books would you have to sell before it becomes profitably? Far too many to make it viable.

Why shouldn’t you collect £1.99 from every sale?

You deserve it – we deserve it – other trades and business make money without someone else taking a big chunk of it, so why can’t we?

I’ve tried selling directly to the reader, but for some reason, they only want to buy from Amazon. I’ve got a Kazz’s Books and Cards page on Facebook where people can purchase a birthday card and an ebook, because don’t they make great gifts? I’ve still to make first book sales.

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So why do we continue flogging a dead horse? Wasting so much money, time and effort to do something that only brings us stress?

I’ll tell you why, because we love it, we are addicted. We can’t stop writing stories.

So how can I turn it around? What can I do that still indulges my love of writing fiction?

Simple – I joined Electric Eclectic Books. My sales have gone up, I’m writing more stories and importantly, I’m not fighting my corner on my own any more. I am part of a collective of authors who support one another.

Writing novels is just not worth the time and the effort any more but I can still write stories, have them as eBooks and sell them. What more could I want?

Here are a few facts:

  • Electric Eclectic Books is not a publisher.
  • It is a book brand of novelettes between 6K and 20K.
  • Founder and author Paul White came up with the idea in 2017.
  • Everybody keeps 100% of their profit.
  • They get a book cover and a light edit and a book template.

Electric Eclectic Books are already taking the self-publishing world by storm. Our books are getting seen everywhere.

And it can only get better as we expand into newsletters and other websites.

I’m now on my seventh novelette under the EE brand. My love of writing as never been as high. I read a lot of the books too, because they encompass almost every genre.  I like finding new authors, because besides being a writer, I’m an avid reader, too. If I enjoy the book. I’ll go on to read their novels.

Another thing an Electric Eclectic book is great for – and that’s enticing readers to read your novels.

  • PARALLELS give authors the prospect of exploring untold events from their books; these Parallels are like a sidebar, allowing incidents not fully investigated in other volumes, now to be discovered by their readers.
  • BACKSTORIES are excellent ways to explore an individual (or several) character’s life (lives) in more depth, even from childhood or birth, delving into their lives to find what experiences moulded their temperament and personality. What traumas or conquests brought them to this point in their lives.
  • A PREQUEL is, of course, telling the tale of what happened before the series started, the worlds, the events, the people, their endeavours and conflicts, the formation and destruction of agreements, syndicates, cartels and collaborations… there is no end of possibility.

So, what does it cost? Not a lot, when you compare it to what you’ve spent on your novels or what you could pay big companies who say they will publish for you.

With Electric Eclectic Boosk there is :

  • A one off registration fee – £5
  • Brand Licence fee per book £4
  • Book cover £8 per book, or provide your own. (Subject to specifications)

There has to be a catch, I hear you say, and there is, isn’t there always?

We can only take six more authors this year.

Admission is open now. So what are you waiting for?

Contact Electric Eclectic here.

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Happy Birthday!

by Karen J Mossman

Today, 23rd April is my birthday. So let’s have a little bit of fun.

Name any one of my books. Comment on this post with – ENTERED, not the answer. Then use the contact form to send me your answer. If it is correct, then you can win this book.

Butterfly

Description:

Six eclectic tales – A rescued dog, a women scorned, a nun paying penance, a brave man, a girl who sees dead people and a family of wine makers.
An Electric Eclectic book introducing you to new authors.

Jody’s Tale by Markie Madden

“Not all dogs live in such a fairy ‘tail’ world. I didn’t, for a while. My name is Jody, and I’m a golden retriever.”

The Cliffs of Rathburn Heights – by C.A. Keith
There were so many things he lied about. Susan wondered how many more secrets he was hiding.

Penance by Michael J. Elliott
Sister Elizabeta closed her eyes tightly as if this would block out the fear that was creeping up on her.
“This Council has carefully considered all options and we feel there can be but one punishment.”

I Am Not Me by Paul White
Stealing yourself for major surgery, or a course of debilitating treatments while holding onto the hope of recovery is not being brave. It is making a choice, an informed decision.

The Embers of Webster Street by Karen J Mossman
When I was a child, I talked to people they couldn’t see. Jessica, who didn’t laugh often, thought it was funny until she realised I was serious.

The Vineyard by Elizabeth Horton-Newton
“It too is a secret. This is what makes us successful. As long as these secrets remain within our bloodline we will prosper. This secret is now yours as well. Treat it with respect.”

Competition closes midnight on the 24th April.

Time to Unpublish

The book market is completely flooded. In the distant past I would go to the library and spend my dinner hour browsing the shelves for a book I would start reading that night. Now with one click, Amazon Kindle, free books, and charity shops selling cheap paperbacks, it’s never been easier.

For writers, self publishing is available at at the press of the button. To do that, we’ve learnt to format, make our own book covers, proofread, and edit. Sometimes, it isn’t possible to do everything, so we pay someone to help. Writing a book can be an expensive affiare, with covers ranging from £50 to £75, paperbacks double that.

Once you’re published, you then have to promote your book whenever and where ever you can. The moment you stop, so do the sales. What makes it all the more difficult is there is a thousand other authors doing the same thing.

I’ve written fourteen books since I first published in back 2014. I didn’t set out to have them in collections, it just thappened out that way

The Decade Series

The Themed Collection

Electric Eclectic books

Just Stories

It’s almost impossible to promote all of them. I’ve even paid to have them promoted. If often ends up costing me more than I make. On average I sell between three and eight eBooks a month. If only that were weekly. The royalty paid is a pittance. I don’t even earn enough to call it pin money.

Take The Themed Collection for example, they were the first books I published and they’ve never sold well. I 2016, I gave them a rewrite, new formating and these beaujtiful covers. It still didn’t help. Maybe I haven’t advertised them enough, I don’t know. That’s the trouble with having too many, some get left behind. I’ve not had a new review on any of them for over two years now. It speaks for itself.

My novels take at least a year to write, and sell for 99p, if I’m lucky. So why do I bother?

I bother because I love to write. Last year I decided to write for myself. I would not chase my tail looking for readers, reviews, and sales, any more. I still see authors stressing about it. Life’s more than just books.

Last year I was involved in Electric Eclectic Books. They are novellas and much easier to write because they can be anything between 6 and 20K. That’s a very manageable word count. I’m part of a group of authors; I belong to something ,and not pursuing this on my own any more.

We promote and support each other’s work. Book covers are provided for as little £8, along with formatting and a light edit. Electric Eclectic Books have had a great first year. 2019, as they expand and grow is where I want to be.

So I have decided to pull all my books except for The Decade Series and The Magic of Stories, which was produced to show my capability as a multi-genre author, and it’s is part of this website.

The cover that pains me most of all is for The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold. I don’t want to give it up, I love it, it’s perfect for my heroine. Unfortunately, it’s not a suitable for EE as all their covers are a certain style. That’s what makes them so unique.

I will be deconstructing The Themed Collection and they will eventually make their way over to EE in one form or another. It’s the only way I‘m going to sell anything, and importantly, manage the book promotions.

My author website will have to redesigned and I’ll be removing them from the various other online stores by the end of February.

Unfortunately, Amazon, who is a law unto itself, will not take down the paperbacks, not that I ever sell them, anyway. I’ll unpublish but they’ll continue to have a presence.

The Themed Collection are 99p/99c and you can get your copy here.

The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold will remain free, and you can get a copy here, or following the link on the menu.

If any authors are interested in joining us at Electric Eclectic, please visit the website for all the details.

Readers, take a look at our website to see what we have on offer, and come over and like our Facebook page.