Category Archives: self-publishing

Help me choose my cover design (please)!

I’m back at my writing desk in the mornings before work (not easy for a non-morning person!) slowly making my way through the first edit of ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’. I’m excited to say that progress is being made and I am even thinking about giving myself a publication deadline.

To make things a little fun and to keep a momentum around the project, I thought I’d conduct a small poll on some of the cover art I created a while ago. If you have a minute to spare, I would love if you could help me choose the best cover design.

Here is a selection of covers based around two different Shutterstock images I have chosen. You will see the watermarks are still on the images because I’m only using the sample (watermarked) pictures until the final version is selected. Naturally, the end product will be watermark free!

If there is one you like best I’d be thrilled if you let me know  via a comment below, Facebook, Twitter or even an email. Tell me which option rings your bell but if none of them works for you, please choose ‘Option 6’ 😉

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Can’t wait to see what you think :)

Thanks so much!

Shosha

 

 

 

 

One book published – more to come soon…

My first collection of short stories, I Will Watch You, was published in the last week of January, but that just means the work is now really about to start…

It was wonderful  to have the short stories finally published. The process took time, largely because I was learning my way around what’s involved in producing good-quality (which I hope it is!) self-published work.

With much of that learning curve behind me, my focus is returning to Tamar, the central character in my novella, the first draft of which is already completed. Tamar is divorced, a woman in her mid thirties who is looking for love and bursting with her own welling sexuality. How she manages to navigate the former while exploring the latter is the subject of the story. I look forward to it taking life.

In the meantime, expect a new piece of frum erotica to be published soon on Jewrotica. This one’s raunchy, so brace yourselves!

Finally, a special request: it makes a big difference to the Shosha Pearl project if you read, buy and REVIEW my stories. If you like them and have ten minutes spare, please drop a rating at your local Amazon or at Goodreads (the book will be listed from tomorrow). If you want to read them but don’t want to pay, you can always sign up to my mailing list.

Happy reading!

Preparing for launch day

Shosha Pearl www.shoshapearl.comShosha Pearl has a face. It’s taken a year and a half of being an online reality, but at last she has a face and I think it’s pretty cute! Don’t you?

Recently, I read a fantastic book on self-publishing, Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success), the first part of an amazing self-publishing box set. Apart from learning much from the authors, the book has given me a kick-start back to work after my illness. It reminded me that the only way I am going to be a self-published author is if I AM a self-published author. In other words, if I do the work.

The other great lesson I absorbed was that you are really only as good as your next work: write your book, get it out into the universe, but don’t stop there. If you want to quit your day job and spend your life doing what you love, you have to treat it with the same commitment you would any salaried position. You need to Write. Publish. Repeat.

So, I have been back at my keyboard, going on journeys I didn’t expect, with destinations as yet undetermined. A short story I wrote last week has morphed into something unidentifiable; another is waiting to be submitted for publication after the release of my story collection, ‘I Will Watch You’. Of course progress is slow when jobs, families, homes and life take priority over creativity. These little steps forward can only happen if I manage to get out of bed an hour or so earlier (not easy for a night person) and type away without reserve. But I am doing it…

I Will Watch You cover image small Shosha PearlAt the same time, I am also finalising the ‘I Will Watch You’ collection and making it publication ready – this has been a long time coming considering the modesty of the work. The cover is now done. As you can see, it’s very pink, but we wanted to make it eye-catching so as to avoid burial amongst the crowds at Amazon. (You like?) I have a few short textual elements to insert, but the biggest task ahead is the formatting of the book for Kindle as well as for other platforms. This is the challenge that is making me nervous.

(Note: as you may have already noticed, the final version of the cover eventually changed.)

But once all that is done, the book should at last be delivered by the end of January 2015 (please G-d!). In anticipation of this, I have spent time over the past few days reworking the website. I have taken on board the experience of people who have visited the site and adjusted things accordingly – which is why the short stories are more visible on the front page. And I am trying to keep the conversation going on my blog which will (hopefully) soon evolve into a conversation with subscribers, hence the new sign-up widget on the site (please sign up, it really will be worthwhile!).

The little time that I do have for this creative endeavour is producing more – and better – outcomes than I could possibly have hoped. Shosha Pearl is a vehicle of creation who feels like she has found her moment. And now, Baruch Hashem, she has a face too!

Frankly, it’s all so very exciting. Please stay with me on the journey.

The decision to publish is like eating the last of your favourite chocolates

Really! It means you can’t hold on to the anticipation any longer: you don’t have that moment to look forward to – and there is a chance that everything could be downhill from here.

Although we live in hope.

I made the decision to publish my short story collection about four months ago. Once I realised this was an option, I became very (very!) excited – and not just because it offered a legitimate distraction from my novella, which had been causing me – and continues to cause me – confusion. It also provided an opportunity to do something with  stories that I was proud of, but which, until then, I had not really known what I should do with.

A woman with a mission, I edited and re-edited and then sent my edited stories to be beta-read by friends, family and colleagues. All this was completed within two months (about seven weeks ago). But then, inexplicably, the momentum stopped and my manuscript sat waiting. And it waited.

I chose my cover art two months ago. Time after time I  revisited the image bank to check that I liked the picture, to see if it still worked – I did and it did. But still, I did not buy it.

Then yom tov happened. So nothing else happened.

One of the amazing things about Tishrei is that after all the yammin tovim, I invariably feel like I need to make up for lost time. And no doubt I do. So, this week I finally began to appreciate that my short story collection was never going to exist in the world if I didn’t get it out there. I heard my own call to action.

Two nights ago I bought the cover art. I was exited (you like?).

Beautiful pic, no?
Beautiful pic, no?

Last night I emailed the image and instructions to a friend who is arranging for a designer to put together a cover (thank you!). It was a difficult email to write, but I am grateful for the enthusiastic response my friend sent me. My shoulders loosened and the thrill came back. Excitement.

Today, in an unexpectedly brave move, I sent my manuscript to an editor. Now it is real.

I am that person who hoards their favourite chocolates for so long that they turn grey (or worse, green!) – and then has to throw them out. I am that person who puts aside a gift voucher for a special occasion, but leaves it so long that I wind-up wasting it on something I don’t particularly like because it is about to expire (or worse, it has already expired!).

Delayed gratification is delicious. But delay too long and it gets moldy.

So this week Shosha Pearl, the writer of halachic Jewish erotica, started taking her project seriously again. I’ve popped the last chockie in my mouth and it is oozing delight all over.