Wednesday, 30 October 2019

For The Love Of Paperbacks - By Karen J Mossman

Recently I gave a talk to a group of ladies. It was initially about the beauty of book covers and how an attractive cover can help sales. I also explained the difference between Indie and traditional publishers, and how, as well as writing the story, we are responsible for formatting the book, the cover, editing and proof-reading.

My own entry into this world was back in early 2014. I was on Twitter and an author called Stewart Bint (check him out here - invited me to join a book fest held on Facebook. I joined a group called The #Awthors and was introduced to other writers who were further along their career than I was. In fact, what I discovered is a writing community.

These days it is huge, with hundreds of groups on Facebook. From there I learned more about my craft and importantly, my biggest competitor was also my biggest ally. We all learn from each other and over the years I’ve made many friends.

Every day on Facebook, I spend time interacting with other authors and trying to find imaginative ways to promote my books. It’s a bit like treading water and trying to keep your head higher than all the others.

Coming back to my talk again, I asked the question, ‘Do you know what an Indie author is?’ Only one or two people put their hands up. That really surprised and told me how wrapped up in the online world I was. Outside of that readers don’t know the difference between traditional and Indie and they are also the ones most likely to buy paperbacks. Digital books are sold more easily online and those readers seem disinterested in physical books.

I hit on the idea of doing a ‘Blind Date with a Book.’ You may have come across this already, but basically it is a book wrapped in brown paper with only a few descriptive words, or the book description written on it. Readers would have to make up their mind without seeing the cover or knowing what kind of book it was.

The first time I did it, I literally wrapped up some books I had, or got from a charity shop, scribbling a few words on the front. I took them to a craft fair, and although one or two were taken, I quickly realised this was not the right place for them. I also had another idea. What if these books were from Indie authors? How about them containing a letter from the author telling the reader about themselves, what they write and where to find them.

I put this out to the Pict Publishing authors suggesting each book contain a newsletter introducing themselves and their books. Perhaps a little about where they live and maybe a free gift, like a bookmark. I received four paperbacks in return. All were wrapped up and written on. I added a couple of my own and some from the charity shop.

A week before the event, I came across another post about blind dates with books, and this time, instead of brown paper, they were wrapped up as gifts with bows and ribbons. They looked beautiful! I quickly realised I’d missed a trick as they looked far nicer than mine. I decided to keep the brown paper and added silver ribbon and bows, and rewrote the descriptions in small and neat handwriting.

I also realised, a little too late for these, that it would be nice for authors to identify a reader from one of my events. Maybe by offering them a free download. I’m still working on the best way to do that and would welcome any ideas.

Whilst unwrapping the books to jazz them up, I found something remarkable I hadn’t expected – just how beautiful they were – far nicer than a traditionally published book.

Pict author J. M. Ralley sent me two and they were dazzling. It reminded me of my pre-kindle days when I used to shop for books at the supermarket. I was drawn in by their covers and the feel of them in my hand as I turned them over to read the description.

Covers are such an important part of the book. It’s the first thing the readers see and if it draws them, they will then look at the rest.

As I held it in my hand it, was substantial in size. You can tell that by the photograph and it was just as thick. What you can’t tell from the picture is the vibrancy of the yellow and dark red of the mask. It literally shone. It’s was truly a beautiful thing. Then I turned it over and read the back. I was sold! (sigh)

Falling for a Duke (Romancing in Scotland, Book 1)
Bella longs for the fairy-tale...

After the death of her father, Bella's forced to serve her sinister mother and brother. Not knowing love since her father's death, she craves something more.

On the other side of the social spectrum, Ramsey, the Duke of Starthberg, is willing to risk his duchy for true love, despite being told it doesn't exist. But at the masked ball, Ramsey meets a beautiful, charming young woman. Alas, at midnight, the woman vanishes without a trace...leaving nothing but her mask.

As the fairy-tale unfolds, Bella's mother will stop at nothing to destroy her daughter's happiness. Will Ramsey be her true prince and save her from a life of wicked servitude.


If you’re sold too, you can see it here if you are in the UK

The next book was Falling for Katie, and again, you can’t see the vibrancy of the colours or feel its substance in your hands. It was magnificent. Then I turned it around for the description.

A romantic suspense set in modern-day Scotland.

After a car accident, Katie Gowen wakes up in a house with a man she doesn’t recognize. Unable to remember anything about her past, Angus persuades her they are married. Held against her will, Katie struggles to come to terms with her predicament, but as they are snowed in, she can see no way out.

Returning to Gretna wasn’t on Finlay Gallach’s itinerary. Memories of an unhappy childhood still haunt him. However, the moment he opens the email from Katie’s father, he knows he’s in trouble. As a photo of Katie stares back at him, his heart breaks for the missing woman, and he vows to do anything to bring her home.

It becomes a race against time for Finlay to save her. But can Katie recover from her ordeal and allow the love to blossom between them?

If you are interested, you can find it here:
UK –

This next book, I didn’t unwrap as it was neat enough. I just put on the ribbons and the bows. However, I have read this one, and if you love hot sizzling stories based in the world of racing cars, you will love this one too. You can read my review here -

24Hrs To Love - Book 1 - Need For Speed racing romance series

Lola - I had almost given up hope of getting my career off the ground. Then thanks to my friend Chris I had the chance to be in the thick of the action as a pit board girl at the next Le Mans endurance race. All I needed to do was stay focussed and make a good impression. What I didn't need was 6 feet of leather clad hot driver distraction. Jax took my breath away but he was a player and I should keep my distance....well tell that to my raging lust and love-starved heart. This was definitely going to be a 24Hr challenge all round.

Jax - I was sick of being portrayed as some heartless womaniser and sick of having to put up with man-eating barbie doll girlfriends. Petra was pushing me too hard and she had to go. I needed to clear the decks and concentrate on the race. At least that was the plan until a fiery bundle of red-headed chaos walked through the door. Lola.....I wanted her like nothing else. It was against the rules but hey....I'm a race driver....breaking rules is part of the game. So the game was on. I just didn't see what was ahead of us or realise that there would be more to play for than just two hearts.

Amazon UK -
Amazon US -
The final book from the Pict authors is The Mess of Me by Chantelle Atkins. Once more the picture does not show the magnificent colours and there is no way you can know how it feels in your hands. It’s a larger than the average book, but not quiet a giant one as it looks in this picture! The smell of the paper and pages and visually seeing all the words in front of you is just wonderful! And this one also shows its author, the great Chantelle Atkins, who has a muse that just writes, and writes!


I remember my Nana once saying everyone should have at least one good summer in their lives, one summer that they never forget. I think  this is not a bad way to start my sixteenth year. This is not a bad way to start our summer. And I give Joe a slow smile.’

Sixteen year old Lou wants to be thinner. Joe is her best friend and last night they found something they shouldn’t have in his older brothers’ wardrobe. Leon and Travis are shady figures, living shadier lives, and one summer, Lou and Joe find themselves mixed up in the drama, the confusion and the violence. Will Lou’s weight loss obsession spiral out of control? Is Marianne, her self-harming friend, really her friend, or an enemy in disguise? And will Lou and Joe ever be more than just best friends?

Reluctant drug running, extreme dieting, kissing the wrong boys, family drama and first love. Lou Carling is about to have one messy summer.

Amazon UK -

All of us started out as paperback readers and its about time we enjoyed more than just the words of a Kindle again. So if reading is your passion, as it is mine, seek out these, and other Pict author paperbacks. You will be as thrilled as I was, and have some exciting new books to open that first page to devour the words inside!

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