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As part of the Noobz series on the If:book centre site, I’ve written about my adventures in ‘indie’ publishing, both with Sixteen Press(digital) and the upcoming Christmas Press(print.) You can find the essay here.
My new adult novel, Black Wings, an epic story set in the French Revolution, is now out as a Kindle e-book, published by AchukaBooks UK. Buy it in any Amazon online store, in the UK, US, France, Germany, etc.
Here’s something about it:
As a fifteen year old, Sophie Masson once wrote a short story called ‘Les Chouans’, which was her first attempt at trying to get to grips with the savagery, fear, courage and mystery of that time of Revolution, and the riven loyalties and terrible choices made by people on both sides of the civil war. Much later, she wrote an article, ‘Remembering the Vendée’, which has had many readers, but it wasn’t until many years later again that she first conceived the project of writing a novel about the tumultuous early years of the Revolution and the wars it unleashed.
Framed by a prologue and epilogue set decades later, the main body of the novel is narrated by a young man facing execution in 1794, who tells his story and that of his friends, all from very different backgrounds. Masson succeeds movingly in giving the reader a feel for the way in which these things were experienced, not as great events, but as part of people’s lives, affecting them in myriad ways, both great and small. She evokes a portrait of a whole community, and of a country, caught in the grip of massive change, of rebellion and counter-rebellion and the havoc of war, whose echoes remain in the Vendée and in France to this day.
“Masson writes like a native of the time Black Wings is set; when her characters speak, we hear the authentic voice of the 18th Century. Detailed, erudite and elegant, its characters lovingly drawn, this absorbing and deeply felt novel brings home to us the curse of living through interesting times. It will not let us forgive the French Revolution for The Terror so easily.”
Cassandra Golds, author of Clair-de-Lune, The Museum of Mary Child and The Three Loves of Persimmon.
“Masson’s tale about the limits of friendship, set against the backdrop of those best and worst of times, captures perfectly the contradictions of revolution – the appeal of the brave new world, the ruthless destruction of old ways, the romance along with the tumult and the terror. Her tale of ordinary folk helplessly caught up in the maelstrom of history, made extraordinary by chance and circumstance, offers a vision of a past that isn’t dusty, archaic and over, but vivid, engaging, alive.”
Wendy James, author of the award-winning Out of the Silence, The Steele Diaries and The Mistake.
“With skilful attention to detail, author Sophie Masson weaves a compelling tale of a nation caught up in a madness fuelled by a reckless and unrealistic idealism, and the four friends who, wittingly or not, were its victims. Set against this chilling account of the collective madness that led to the murderous rampages and bloodthirsty executions of the French Revolution is the story of Jacques’ love for Flora – a love that will test everything he believes and holds dear. A great read for lovers of historical fiction with a dash of romance.”
Felicity Pulman, author of A Ring Through Time.
With two artist friends: illustrator David Allan and designer Fiona McDonald, I’ve embarked on another wonderful publishing adventure, this time in the world of print, with our venture, Christmas Press Picture Books, kicking off its first crowdfunding campaign this week to help fund the printing of our launch title, Two Trickster Tales from Russia.
Read all about it here and be part of this adventure by contributing if you’d like to, and spreading the word!
By the Book: Tips of the Trade for Writers is now available for purchase on Amazon. Interestingly, after I’d uploaded it to the Kindle Direct Publishing site, I got an email from Amazon telling me that some of the works in the book had previously been published online, and asking me if a/I owned the copyright to them, and b/why the works had been published online in the first place. This is what they said:
During a review of your KDP submission(s), we found content that is widely available on the web. You can do an online search for the content inside your book(s) to discover which sites are offering the content for free. Copyright is important to us – we want to make sure that no author or other copyright holder has their work claimed and sold by anyone else.
To confirm you have publishing rights to and control where you distribute the book(s), please provide all of the following information:
1. The URLs for all websites where this content is published
2. An explanation as to why the content is available online
I explained the situation–that I was the copyright holder, and that I’d written the works originally as blog pieces, and then there was no problem. But I thought it was interesting–and gratifying!–that they exercise such vigilance in the protection of copyright.
This piece of mine, expanded from an earlier, shorter one I’d written in the ASA newsletter, has just been posted at the popular Universal Heart Book Club, hosted by Stephanie Dowrick and Water Mason. Comments on that site, as well as this, welcome!
Some exciting news from Hugh McGuire and the folks at PressBooks, the wonderful book publishing platform where I created my own Sixteen Press books.
Just want to beat the drum for them here too–since I was introduced to PressBooks at the ASA e-book making workshop back in July 2012, I’ve been happily using it to create my Sixteen Press books. It’s free (in its basic version, which is what I’ve used so far), easy to use, elegant and now has lots of extra features. Plus the support is fabulous–all my questions on the user forum were answered directly by Hugh, explanations clear and helpful, and problems sorted asap. And because PressBooks not linked to an e-tailer , it gives you more independence and freedom to market the books wherever you want.
Truly fabulous, and highly recommended.
Have just released a new edition of The Great Deep and other Tales of the Uncanny, with two stories added, making it a nice baker’s dozen (ie, thirteen) stories to enjoy. Slightly higher price, but more there!
Will be on Kobo soon.
And now on Amazon.
For Kindle users: By the Book is now available in mobi format:
By the Book is now released and available for purchase at the Authors Unlimited site. It’s the very first title to be available at Authors Unlimited, which is pretty exciting.
Authors Unlimited is an absolutely wonderful new service for members of the Australian Society of Authors, and provides another outlet for authors to promote and market their e-publications. And of course it’s also totally author-friendly, with excellent conditions of contract. Being non-exclusive, it also means you can market your work wherever else you want.