Unseen Unsung – eBook out now

Unseen ebook coverF

Luca, a brilliant and self-absorbed young opera singer, is buried in the rubble of a collapsed building. A girl crawls through the debris to comfort him and then vanishes. perhaps she died in the ruins or maybe she just a figment of his imagination. When he discovers the strange truth, he is unwilling to accept it.

This is a story of love between two people who would never have met and never have found common ground without one of the catastrophes of modern life.

Unseen Unsung celebrates the power of music and the force of human survival in a complex world.

The concept for Unseen Unsung started life way back in 1999 when I imagined people stuck under the rubble after an earthquake in Turkey. I was enjoying myself plotting, writing and character-building when 9/11 jolted the world. I found the axis had shifted; the story felt too light in the changed world and I set the project aside for over a year.

This is a book, not about disasters, but about life and music, about ordinary people coping with what life throws at them, big and small. In it I have allowed my passion for music, in particular opera, (fairly) free rein, but, as one reviewer wrote, “please don’t think you have to be an opera lover to read this book”.

Although Unseen Unsung was published as a print version in 2008, I went to talk to a reading group last year, who had obtained second-hand copies through the Internet, so I am hoping people will still find it enjoyable. I decided to turn it into an ebook in order to learn the ropes for the publication of my new novel Border Line, which will be coming out in December.

The ebook of Unseen Unsung is available at http://www.amazon.com/Unseen-Unsung-Hilary-Custance-Green-ebook/dp/B00LSRI2PO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405942187&sr=8-1&keywords=Unseen+Unsung and https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/unseen-unsung/id899213653?ls=1&mt=11

I hope some of you will try it and enjoy it. Correction. That’s supposed to read – Please buy my book!

 

 

Getting an eBook out there – a fast process?

The idea that you can upload an ebook and be on sale in 24 hours is a bit of a myth. I decided to learn about the process using my last novel Unseen Unsung (published as print book by Threadgold Press in 2008).

Step 1. The original printers, Antony Rowe, converted the novel into the two forms of ebook (.epub and .mobi files) for the ibook and Kindle platforms respectively. This entailed writing a new imprint page as a pdf and a remastered cover as a JPG (I wanted to keep the original cover by Anthony Furness, but sharpen up the graphics so they would be visible in thumbnail pics). This took 2-3 weeks. So far so good. Unseen ebook coverFStep 2. I could now see and read my ebook on my iPad and I could email it to anyone, but to sell it I needed to upload it to iTunes and Amazon KDP. Both of these are US-based and pay taxes in the US (see http://kareninglis.wordpress.com/paying-uk-income-tax-on-book-royalties-uk-authors/). If you live elsewhere you must have either an ITIN number (as a foreign individual), or an EIN number (as a foreign publisher). The first requires a complicated and lengthy process involving posting your passport to the US, the second can be done on the phone to the US. See http://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/02/24/non-us-self-publisher-tax-issues-dont-need-to-be-taxing/ though this is a shifting process, so read the post and the later comments.

In my role as Threadgold Press I opted for the latter, but it took up to a week of getting my head round the forms (SS-4 and W-8BEN), the process and choosing the right time and day to phone. Once I had got to this point, it went as planned and I obtained the magic EIN number for my SS-4, in order to fill in the W-8BEN, so I will not be liable to tax in the US.

Step 3. Try to upload to iTunes. This should have been straightforward, but for reasons still unclear, I am not receiving a verification email from them. I am in touch with their helpline and have had a call and several emails from the iTunes Support, who are on the case and will I am sure sort this out. This has lasted a week.

Step 4. Try and upload to Amazon KDP. I have spent a couple of hours filling in details and, rather importantly, reading their Terms, which are frankly alarming. I have now ‘agreed’ and waived my right to almost everything you can think of. I have filled in their online W-8BEN with my magic EIN number and now have to wait for approval of this. I have no idea how long this will take – but I understand it may be weeks.

This is the simplified version of events so far, it doesn’t include things like the revised W-8BEN having no box for an EIN number… I hope the next post will show the end of the process.

Threadgold Press, bees and a hornet

Threadgold Press logo

Threadgold Press logo

M-R, you asked what Threadgold Press is. Well, in 2002 I had my first novel published by a stupendously chaotic one-man independent publisher (he had a colleague, but she resigned). So with my second novel, after I had  tallied up a few rejection slips, I became a (fairly chaotic) publisher myself. Threadgold Press is a small thing, but mine own. You can be a publisher by giving yourself a name, and applying for ISBN’s, jumping through a whole load of hoops and publishing a book. I published Unseen Unsung (Hilary Custance Green) in 2008, I’ve sold around 400 copies, and reckon I have broken even. Amazon.co.uk currently offers 7 copies (used) for .01p and 1 (new) for £999. Uh? (I won’t see a penny from these either way).

On a different (more important) subject, I am deeply worried that I cannot go into the garden without stumbling over a dead bee. These are usually smaller bumble bees and I see one or two most days. Is anyone else finding these? We don’t use pesticides.

One the upside, a few days ago, my husband called from the glass area near the back door. He had heard what he described as a four-engine job. An enormous fat golden stripey hornet was bombing around in there. It looked magnificent and sort of new-born, metallic shiny; it also sounded very fed up. Sadly, I do not have a picture. I love bees, wasps, spiders etc but I’m an all-out wuss when it comes to hornets. I gazed in admiration from a distance as my husband wielded the butterfly nets we keep for such events. I am now steeling myself to look into the loft (not my husband’s territory). I saw a big ‘something’ flying around near the eaves and then popping in.