Can You Change Paper Trim Size and Colour on CreateSpace?

Before publishing your first paper book with CreateSpace there are a couple of things to consider. Even though you can update it and change the content, once the book has its ISBN and is live for sale you can’t change its size and the colour of the paper. Also, once it’s linked to its Kindle book on Amazon they keep a certain amount of printed books in stock for their quick delivery system, so if you find any major errors in it and rush to fix them, those in stock books will still have to sell first before the corrected ones become available. You could order them yourself I suppose, but I’m not sure how many are printed for this and I don’t see how you could get them from Amazon’s other country sites.

Most of the CreateSpace books that I have bought are 6” x 9”, mostly printed on white paper, as are two of my own books, but there are actually quite a few size choices. I wanted to change the first book in my series to 5” x 8” with cream paper and only then discovered that it couldn’t be done, so now I have no choice but to use the same for all the books in the series. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s nice to know these things before rather than after publishing.

When you’re ready to publish in paper, take your time making sure you’re totally happy with all of your choices. First grab a handful of books from your bookshelf and see what finished product you prefer. Measure those puppies. Unless you have lots of pages, the 5” x 8” with cream paper looks really good. I will only be using cream paper for my fiction books from now on because I love the way it looks and feels, and you don’t see many fiction books with white paper. CreateSpace actually does a great job quality wise when you compare their finished products to some traditionally printed books. White seems the obvious choice for non-fiction, although that would depend on the look you’re going for.

Once your paper book is live and for sale on Amazon you can’t unpublish it and take it down and then republish it again if you hate the way it looks, because they won’t allow that in case someone who bought it wants to sell their copy. It’s so easy to chop and change or even unpublish eBooks that we’re not happy with, but once the paper books are published and selling, it seems they’re forever.


Book review @FTThum : The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by @JoelDicker

Harry Quebert

Title:               The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
Author:          Joel Dicker (translated to English by Sam Taylor)
Publishers:   MacLehose Press, London (2015)
Format:         Paperback
ISBN-10:        1848663269
ISBN-13:        9781848663268
Twitter:          @JoelDicker
Pages:             624
Genre:            Fiction; Crime Mystery

What’s it about?

And if every writer had to limit his writing to his own experience, literature would be impoverished and would lose all its meaning. We’re allowed to write about anything that affects us. And no one can judge us for that. We’re writers because we do one thing differently, one thing that everyone around knows how to do: write. All the nuances reside there.              Harry Quebert

And so it is that Marcus Goldman seeks to write a particular story about his mentor and inspiration, Harry Quebert.

Marcus Goldman is a high achieving and competitive writer, who has returned to see his mentor Harry Quebert in the quiet seaside town of Somerset, New Hampshire as the deadline for his second book looms. He is experiencing a severe case of writer’s block in the wake of his first highly acclaimed book.

It was while visiting Harry that the body of Nola, a 15 year old girl lost for some 30 years, was uncovered in the backyard of Harry’s house. As things unravel, stories involving Harry, Nola and the many characters in the town came to light as Marcus was compelled to investigate. There are twists to the story at every turn so don’t get comfortable. 🙂

Beyond the murder mystery/thriller (it is indeed difficult to slot this book into a particular genre), this book is also about the relationship between Harry and Marcus, the bonds they forged and the meaning of trust and loyalty. I can’t help being a vicarious mentee to Harry!

Don’t write in order to be read, write in order to be heard.     Harry Quebert

This is also a romance novel, documenting a love story between two unlikely characters, a story of love and sacrifice that is rather unexpected, and makes the reader (moi) question the usual conceptions of love, age and romance.

What she felt for him was something I had never felt before…and it was at that moment that I realized…that I had probably never been in love. That lots of people have never been in love. That they make do with good intentions; that they hide away in the comfort of a crummy existence and shy away from that amazing feeling that is probably the only thing that justifies being alive.                     Robert Quinn

The conclusion was a little disappointing to me in that, after the twists and turns, it wrapped up neatly. Don’t get me wrong, it wrapped up well, the resolutions to a complex plot and multiple timelines are well executed but I was expecting one final twist but alas, no.

Would I recommend it?

This is a compelling book, a page turner expertly told with an engaging voice of Swiss writer Joel Dicker and translated seamlessly into English by Sam Taylor. It is a book which takes you into the life (and thoughts and emotions) of the characters, and you will lose yourself in that world.

There is dry wit and humor in the dialogue, a simplicity to the narrative which makes this book an entertaining easy read.

Highly recommended.

Realistic Characterization:   3.5/5
Made Me Think:                4/5
Overall enjoyment:           4/5
Readability:                        4/5
Recommended:                  4/5
Overall Rating:                   4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 14.74
  Paperback USD 21.49
Booktopia Paperback AUD 16.75
Bookdepository Paperback € 14.58


– FlorenceT






© 2015 LitWorldInterviews

#Bookreview ‘The Man Who Watched Women’ (A Sebastian Bergman Thriller) by Michael Hjorth and Hans Rosenfeldt. Sometimes expectations can be a killer

The Man Who Watched Women
The Man Who Watched Women

Title:   The Man Who Watched Women (A Sebastian Bergman Thriller) 
Author:   Michael HjorthHans Rosenfeldt 
Published:  June 18th 2015
Pages:  528
Genre:  Psychological thriller

Sometimes expectations can be a killer

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC copy of The Man Who Watched Women.

Like most people in the planet (particularly readers) I’m well aware of the phenomenal boom Scandinavian thrillers have experienced in the last few years. I must confess I haven’t read that many of the novels (I have read some Wallander novels and a few others), but I’m a big fan of the TV series. I stumbled upon The Killing, then after watching the BBC version of Wallander I watched the Swedish version (well, there seem to be several), and then The Bridge blew me over, and I recommended it to everybody I met (near enough).

So when I read about this novel and the fact that one of the writers had written The Bridge, I had to get it.

And then, expectations can be a killer.

This is, evidently, the first in a series of novels with Sebastian Bergman, a psychologist expert in serial killers who has experienced a terrible personal loss, as the protagonist. The novel takes on the points of view of most of the characters, including the killers, all the members of the investigative team, and some minor characters (although it is written in the third person). And that was my first issue. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the formatting of the draft copy I received, or it is intentional, but there is no way of distinguishing when there is a change of point of view. Sometimes within the same paragraph there will be two different characters (or rather, it will pass from one to another), creating confusion, especially at the beginning when you don’t know who anybody is or what is happening. So you need to be on your toes, and not only due to the nature of the story.

Then, the characters. The case itself is interesting, although I’m not sure it’s the most interesting novel with a serial killer (or more than one, but I don’t want to spoil the story) that I’ve read. But I did not find any of the characters likeable enough. Most of them were interesting, but I found it difficult to connect with them. Sebastian is a complicated man, with an awful tragedy in his past, but he is a dislikeable human being, and other than intelligence (and he’s not at his sharpest throughout the novel) there are no redeeming qualities I could find. I also thought there were inconsistencies, like his reaction to a woman who comes into his life during the book (and there were many women in his life, and that’s the central issue, although I found it difficult to see why…), his lack of insight, and his proclaimed love for somebody but total inability to reveal a crucial bit of information that would have made everything easier and possibly mark the difference between life and death for the said person. Egotistical, and as personality disordered as the criminals he studies, he lacks the charm that might make understandable the attraction others seem to feel towards him. Yes, he’s at a low moment, but there is no evidence that he’s ever been any different, apart from possibly with his family, and we only have his memories to rely on. The ending might have been intended as some sort of redemption for Sebastian, but I thought it was too little, too late.

The rest of the characters didn’t fare any better for me. Again some were interesting, but either we didn’t get to know enough about them, or they were presented in such a single-minded fashion that it was not easy to make a connection. I thought Billy and Torkel might have some potential, but there was not enough about them to know. I was not sure about the female character who invades Sebastian’s life. She appears disturbed, and considering he’s a psychologist he should notice, even in the circumstances, and the authors add a twist at the end regarding her character that felt a bit tagged on to ensure a second part. Ursula has potential but I wasn’t sure the snippets of information we were given hang together and the surprise at the end… Well, maybe she’ll be developed further. Vanja… other than being a good police woman, and easily irritated, there was nothing else. Hinde, the baddy, is a psychopath, intelligent, with his own traumas, but no particular appealing characteristics.

There were things in the plot that I wasn’t so sure about. The psychologist Sebastian is visiting at the beginning, who was a promising character, disappears suddenly, and he’s never even questioned, despite one of the victims being his patient. When they are trying to track several people throughout the book, they never try to find them through their mobiles, even when they get phone messages sent to them from the said individuals. Although they know about one of Hinde’s associates, and they know he’s somehow involved, he disappears and it’s not clear what efforts, if any, are being made to track him down. And they should have paid attention.

All in all, maybe somebody who comes to the book without my expectations will find it more satisfying. I suspect I was expecting far too much. It is an interesting book, for sure, but I won’t be coming back for the second part. (And if the commercial edition is better formatted and a paragraph given to each character, that would definitely help).

Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 2/5
Recommended: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Buy it at: 
Format & Pricing:
Hardback: $19.00
Kindle: $10.91

Olga Núñez Miret


Should You Give Up Writing?

I’ve always found the different ways that we scribblers describe our experiences with writer’s block very interesting. Also the different ways the seasoned writers suggest getting over it. Some suggestions are to work around your block, or force yourself to write through it, even if what you write is rubbish. Other advice is to write something completely different. We won’t mention those rather hurtful cries of, “Stop being such a wussy. Adorn yourself in adult underwear! Plumbers don’t get plumbers block!” All of these things can work with a bit of effort and confidence, but one bit of advice that you seldom see is to take a break from writing completely. As if a week away from writing anything will totally strip you of the ability to write at all. It is true that if you don’t do something for a good long while, you could get a little rusty, but you should never think that just because you haven’t written for a while that you can’t do it anymore. Talent is a real thing. It grows and blossoms with use, but I don’t believe for a second that it is something that can be lost.

No life is smooth sailing all the way, and sometimes you have no choice but to put a writing project aside. Then time goes by, and as it does, your confidence gets chipped away, and the thought of dusting off that manuscript and starting again can seem daunting, so we fearfully side-step it, and do something else. The task seems like one we’ll fail at, because we never finished it in the first place. Apart from our inner carers trying to stop us from writing at all to save us from the ridicule and laughter if we get it wrong by trying to distract us all the time with desperate urges to polish the silver or watch the entire Hobbit trilogy in a single sitting with popcorn and ice-cream, we sometimes have family and friends who aren’t overly supportive, and occasionally downright unkind with suggestions of quitting the lounging around on our bums at home all the time, and why don’t you get a proper job, kind of thing. In addition to all of these challenges life continues, with all of its challenges, hurts, and stumbles, so sometimes even sitting down to confront that silent blank screen seems impossibly hard.

This is where we come to the stories of those who did this very thing in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, that most of us will never have to face. Those inspirational scribbler guys who fought their demons within and without, and beat down that blank screen of emptiness. If you’re called to write, then do it. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you for doing it. Nothing that ever happens to you can ever take away your talent, and neither can time. Do what you have to do. Your talent and callings aren’t given to everyone. Don’t ever let it fall away untried. Maybe a bit of soul searching, or focusing on your present. Write a crazy bit of flash fiction only for you – way too crazy to share with the world, to get those scribbler muscles oiled. Or better yet, take a deep breath and haul out that manuscript that you’ve left lying for whatever reason, with the names of the characters that you’ve forgotten. Gently blow the dust off, and settle down to read your words without any expectation, and pretty soon I’ll bet you’ll be banging away at that keyboard again, forgetting to take off your ‘jammies and mindlessly munching nuts. Never give up scribblers. Write the books inside you, because you really can if you want to, and your words will live forever in the hearts they were intended for.

Pink Daisy

#BookReview ‘Life or Death’ by Michael Robotham. A escape from prison and conspiracy novel rolled in one. And a main character you won’t forget

Title:   Life or Death
Author:  Michael Robotham
ISBN13: 978-0316252034
Published:  July 2014
Pages:  449
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller

Life of Death by Michael Robotham
Life of Death by Michael Robotham


Thanks to the publishers for providing me a free copy through Net Galley.

This novel’s tagline is The Shawshank Redemption meets No Country for Old Men and it is fairly accurate.

Audey Palmer escapes prison the day before he was due to be released, and everybody, including the inmates of the prison, wonder, why? This question propels the novel where Robottam makes a skilful use of third person point of view that alternates between a large cast of characters, but they are all so distinct that the reader never loses track.

From Audey, whose memories are slowly uncovered, to a diminutive but feisty FBI female agent, Moss, the prisoner of the next cell and a deeper character than at first appears, a sheriff hell bent on revenge, we get to see things from their perspective, whilst at the same time we’re not shown the whole story until the very end. The pieces fall into place eventually, and although we might have our suspicions, everything fits in beautifully. Considering the times and the stories in the news, unfortunately the truth behind the case does not feel like a huge stretch of the imagination.

Audey is a survivor against all odds but at the same time has an uncanny talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When asked about it, he comments that he must have broken a mirror and found a horseshoe in the same day. There are many coincidences throughout the plot, but then life is full of them and there is an internal logic to the characters and the story that pulls it all together. Audey has something of the tragic hero as fate seems heavily stacked against him but he never gives up. And those on his side seem to grow in stature by coming into contact with him.

The style of the novel is easy to read, well-paced and at the same time beautifully written, with some gems of insight and style. I also loved the dry sense of humour and the pathos. The plot and the story keep us engaged, but the level of writing and the skill lift it above the humdrum standard thriller. This novel will work equally for people who enjoy complex characters and those who prefer an action filled adventure. A great book.

Life or Death in audiobook format
Life or Death in audiobook format

Here I leave you the description and some editorial reviews:

Why would a man serving a long prison sentence escape the day before he’s due to be released?

Audie Palmer has spent ten years in a Texas prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where’s the money?

On the day before Audie is due to be released, he suddenly vanishes. Now everybody is searching for him – the police, FBI, gangsters and other powerful figures – but Audie isn’t running to save his own life. Instead, he’s trying to save someone else’s.

Michael Robotham has created the ultimate underdog hero, an honorable criminal shrouded in mystery and ready to lead readers on a remarkable chase.

Editorial Reviews


“Life or Death is a nerve-shredding thriller with the heart and soul so often missing from lesser crime and suspense novels. I couldn’t stop reading, yet I didn’t want Audie’s story to end. Robotham is an absolute master.”―Stephen King

“A pitch perfect plot with a stunning twist that involves a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Talk about topsy turvy — but it works — big time.”―Steve Berry, author of The Lincoln Myth and The Jefferson Key

“Robotham has a talent for creating fascinating and complex characters, and Audie Palmer may be his best yet.”―Booklist (starred review)

[A] prison-break tale with a twist . . . The writing is top-notch . . . Plenty of edge-of-the-seat excitement, forcing readers to frantically turn the pages to find out how all these different strands intersect. Robotham’s skill as a writer remains undeniable: He offers memorable characters caught up in an irresistible story.”―Kirkus Reviews

“Michael Robotham is the real deal.”―David Baldacci

“Robotham is a first-class storyteller.”―Associated Press

About the Author

Michael Robotham is author of Watching You, Say You’re Sorry, Bleed for Me, Shatter, and other novels of suspense. A former investigative journalist who has worked in Britain, Australia and the US, Robotham is one of the world’s most acclaimed authors of thriller fiction. He lives in Sydney with his wife and three daughters.

Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Buy it at: 
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $15.99 (
Kindle: $17.15 (

Audiobook: $22.08 (

Thanks so much for reading and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret



#Book Review by @RonovanWrites of Sex & Samosas by Author @JasmineAziz



  • Title: Sex and SamosasSex and Samosas book cover by Author Jasmine Aziz
  • Author: Jasmine Aziz
  • File Size: 541 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0987735705
  • Publisher: Shubblie Publications (March 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0085TJWQ6
  • ISBN-10: 0987735705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987735706
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy (Some might say Erotica but the way Ms. Aziz handles the subject, you just don’t get that from it.)


How did I happen to end up reading this book?

I’m not certain what I was expecting when I began reading Sex and Samosas by Jasmine Aziz. I didn’t read any other reviews or even a book description beforehand nor have I since. I had no preconceived ideas about what it was about, except it had the word sex in it and I was cautious. Having read an article about the author, I only knew I felt I could trust Jasmine Aziz to provide a good story. Me and a book with the title Sex in it would not normally be a match, but trust was given and thus here we are.

I learned of Ms. Aziz after having read about her through Dan McNeil, another great author I have interviewed and thought there was a great opportunity for a review and interview. (The interview is just waiting for me to format it. Look for it any day now.)

In the beginning.

“You never forget your first orgasm…”

Those are the first words you are going to read once past the opening credits. Yes, you will read this as if watching a movie, because it feels like a movie and will make a great movie with the right director, if only Nora Ephron were still with us.


Not letting the books opening words give you too much pause, if you are of the more timid kind, (Waves hand. Okay, maybe not timid but a closet fiend.) you will read about the how and why of the orgasm in women. In truth men will learn just as much as women. Trust me men, and women, there is nothing wrong with learning things from books. They save a lot of time and unsuccessful moments.

This book takes the awkwardness out of unsatisfying sex and wanting to remedy that problem. Men, don’t be arrogant and think you know, because if you finally do really know how to make her happy, you will be the happiest you’ve ever been. Call it a mindgasm if you will; my word as far as I know. Aziz explains how things work, north and south of the pleasure equator.

Sex isn’t the only thing this book is about. You will find Sex is only perhaps a metaphor for what really happens in the book. The sexual awareness that occurs is a parallel path of something else.

The Who

We meet Leena, a South Asian woman married to Manny, also South Asian, who lives in North America but has a very traditional mother from the old country, India. They have been married for five years or so and have already settled down into the marriage routine. That revealing part from Leena had me laughing and for a while and I still laugh when I think about it.

But we also meet Mahjong, Mae Wong really but the mispronunciation from younger days stuck and it fits in more ways than one. Mahjong takes Leena to a Sex Party, a party that is not exactly what the name implies but does teach a lot. (Men, when you read this, take notes.)

You will learn a lot about some of the customs and even culture confusion of being South Asian and being in North America around a traditional South Asian community culture. You will also find Leena’s mother’s thoughts on religion interesting. I did.

What you get.

Family and community play an interesting role in the book and in ways I would not have expected. Yes, you will get surprises. The subject is handled well, with taste and humor. Some may be pleased the amount of profanity was at a minimum, which keeps the mind more on the story than taking away from it and leading one down that path of a pure sex book. And when any words are used they tend to fit the situation and the person speaking. They aren’t just thrown in there for shock value.

Again, this is not a sex book, but it is a book that includes the topic of sex, and in very descriptive ways.

Ms. Aziz handles the writing of the subject so well that you don’t feel uncomfortable reading certain subjects and think of it more like a classroom or documentary of sorts with a lot of humor along the way. And she makes it human. You will swear she is reading your mind at times.

Nothing is perfect. Sex isn’t perfect like a scripted movie. Things happen, and man, I am still dying over the what I call ‘on fire’ part of the book.

The book is almost just about as much about men as it is about women; at least you discover things about men that you may not realize. And Aziz nails it. (Pun intended after the fact.) Her honesty in sharing these thoughts and parts of her reality, you’ll know what I mean once you read about Ms. Aziz, took more courage, I believe, than the actual being involved in anything that occurs in the book itself. And for that, I thank Jasmine Aziz. I honestly think writing about sex in this manner is one of the most brave things you can do in this day and age. The final frontier if you will.


I say anyone that might ever have sex should read this book once at the appropriate age. For a child of mine that might be 40. Okay, maybe 18 or as a senior in High School.

There are descriptions of sexual acts, tastefully so, and humorously at times, but be aware of that when purchasing the book for yourself or as a gift. You eventually don’t even notice it.

As readers here on LWI know, my reviewing is a bit tougher than some might be out in book review land. I like for my reviews to count for something. When I say I give an honest review, I mean it. If I am asked for a review and it doesn’t appear here then that usually means I couldn’t even finish the book and thus don’t want to do harm to a book’s sales because of an OPINION, which is all a book review is, even by a professor at Harvard or Yale.

Thus, follows my rating.

Character Believability: 5Jasmine Aziz Author of Sex and Samosas
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4.8

Just so everyone knows, I don’t normally give Ratings this High.

About Jasmine Aziz:

I’m a retired vibrator seller.

I’ve been writing poetry and short stories for years. Following a bad breakup and shortly after doing a “Bollywood Bachelorette” party during my days selling adult novelty toys, I was inspired to write my first full length novel. I’m currently working on my second book “Bring Your Own Batteries” – my memoirs chronicling the four years when I sold sex toys. I’ve seen a lot, I’ve lived through a lot, I’ve got much still left to say.

I reside in the town where I was born: Ottawa, Canada.

To watch a trailer for the book or even readings by Jasmine Aziz of sections of Sex & Samosas on her site, click the link below.

Make certain to connect with Jasmine through her Twitter

And Facebook at Sex & Samosas.

Book Review by: @RonovanWrites of

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In the Beginning

Title:  In the Beginning, (Mars Origin I – Series Book 1)

Author:  Abby L. Vandiver

Blog: Abby L.



ISBN: 0989546306

ISBN13: 9780989546300


Published:  December 16, 2013

Pages:  332

Genre:  Science Fiction, Religious and Inspirational Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

A Biblical Archaeologist named Justin Dickerson decides that she needs a change to her dull academic lifestyle. She accepts an invitation to attend the 50th Jubilee of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and participates in the last of the translation process regarding the ancient writings. While working on the interpretations of these writings, she stumbles upon a journal that one of the original translators compiled. This amazing artifact propels her to search for humankind’s true beginnings in our world.

The original translator, Dr. Amos Sabir was assigned to translate four manuscripts found in Cave #4 at Qumran in the Judean Desert in 1949. A total of seven scrolls were unearthed and translated. What this group of original translators discover, is evidence so earth-shattering that they hide the findings from the world; burying the secret in plain sight hoping it will not be detected. Until 1997, when Justin finds the notebooks and realizes the hidden translations clarify the true beginnings of our species and our existence on earth.

I love science fiction, history, and mystery novels, so when I stumbled upon this book as a “free” Kindle download I was excited. After the first few pages I knew I had scored an excellent read. I did a bit of my own research and found a great site called which helped to fill in some of the questions I had about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the location of the caves, and the actual condition of the authentic manuscripts. The more I read, the more excited I got. I felt like a researcher too!

However, be prepared. This is not a Dan Brown novel that introduces you to religious conspiracy theories. Instead, Abby Vandriver takes a more realistic course. She tells the tale through the eyes of a woman who has deep religious convictions rooted in the traditions of her tight knit family. The whole concept of the hidden translation is thought provoking and will leave you thinking about the origins of man for a long time to come.

Abby L. Vandiver


Author, Abby L. Vandiver

The writing was so well done, that I had a hard time separating fact from fiction. This story was so believable that many times I had to remind myself that this was creative writing at its best, and it was not true. Although, I still cannot help wondering if it could it be true…

If you love books that deal with history, biblical history, The Gnostic Texts, aliens, and the unknown, you will love this rendition on the theme of man’s origins. There are two additional books available in the trilogy: “Irrefutable Proof – Book II” and “Incarnate – Book III.” You can bet that I have both of them on my summer must read list!

Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5.0


Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: $12.95 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

Colleen 10.21.14









Indie Rage and Public Relations

The Indie author does much more than write. There are all the learning curves, fiddly bits, and marketing. We are our own publicists. Hugely successful authors like Ann Rice can have as many wobblies as they want to online, but they’ll still be selling lots and lots of books. She’s also traditionally published anyway, so what she does doesn’t besmirch Indie world. I’ve seen enough shame inducing, call your mom a donkey dramas lately from some Indie authors online to wonder what the spectators who just read for pleasure must be thinking.

If you’re online as much as we must be, and on so many various sites, sooner or later you’re going to stumble across a comment or an article that will insert itself firmly up your nostril, and it’s possible that you will then dive right in there and firmly express your opinion. Before doing that though, try and dial up your inner public relations department, and see what that lot have to say first. If it really is something close to your heart, and commenting would be of some benefit, go for it. I’ve been known to get into scraps when it comes to animal cruelty, and that isn’t likely to change, because it’s hugely important to me. Otherwise, take a little breather first, and ask yourself if your getting loudly or publicly involved is worth it.

These past few weeks have been quite tumultuous in Indie world, with authors taking sides about Amazon’s reviewing policy, that whacky Twitter thing that E L James did, and the KU payout barney. A large group of authors is signing a civilised petition about the reviews to formally submit to Amazon, I’m sure E L James doesn’t give a hoot, and the KU payout is done and dusted. Unfortunately, many authors are using their platforms to really make some noise. This is fair enough – we can all say exactly what we want to on our own sites, and we can always delete posts later if we change our minds.

Not so much though. I’m pretty sure that Amazon is very well aware of some of the really strong things being said about them, and by who too. I noticed that the authors shouting the loudest about Amazon being criminal, thieving, swine still have their books with Amazon for sale. It’s never a good thing to try and bite the hand that feeds you. Rather get your views across in the calmest, most civilised way you can. Also, even when you delete a ranty post, you’re not guaranteed that it’s gone forever. The review that Ann Rice wrote on her own book’s Amazon page has been long deleted, but it’s still very easy to find on line if you want to read it.

So before you go in all guns blazing, ask yourself if this would be something you’ll fondly remember when you finally whack out that bestseller, and all your adoring fans want to know every little thing about you. The internet is for keeps, and dignity and respect are kind of nice to have in our Indie world.

Angry Writer

Book review @FTThum : Perv – The Sexual Deviant in All of Us

Well, it has an interesting title, don’t you think? Provocative, really.


Title:                Perv – The Sexual Deviant in All of Us
Author:          Jesse Bering
Publishers:   Penguin Random House, UK(2015)
Format:         Paperback
ISBN-10:        0374230897
ISBN-13:        978-0374230890
Twitter:          @JesseBering
Pages:             333
Genre:            Non-fiction; Psychology

What’s it about?

Jesse Bering is a former director at the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University Belfast and also a former professor of psychology at University of Arkansas.

The book begins with the characterization of sexual deviance, and the label ‘perv’. Bering provides the evolution of the term ‘perverse’. It would seem the moniker of ‘perverse’ is attributed to one who is turning away from what is right according to the Judeo-Christian religion, namely an atheist. It was only in the late 19th century that ‘perv’ is common usage in reference to sexual deviance.

Sexual deviance is only deviant as compared to a persisting standard or norm. It was not that long ago that masturbation was considered a sexual deviance and a psychological illness. Further Bering claims, as the title indicates, we are all sexual deviants in varying degrees. We have all thought sexual thoughts which we would not divulge to others in general conversations. Consider, rape fantasies or voyeuristic or exhibitionist fantasies… There is a social standard or norm which few of us would casually flout.

Which brings us to the notion that what goes on in our minds is no one else’s business unless and until we act it out, and perhaps not even then.

Bering states that the present debate on sexual deviance rests on the dichotomy of ‘what is natural’ against ‘what is unnatural’. He suggests perhaps a better test may be ‘what is harmful’. His argument is rather convincing, at least to me.

Treating an individual as a pervert in essence, and hence with a purposefully immoral mind, because his or her brain conjures up atypical erotic ideas or respond sexually to stimuli that other have deemed inappropriate objects of desire, is medieval in both its stupidity and its cruelty.

The gendered conception of sexual deviance between the sexes can be seen from the psychological explanation and treatment approach to nymphomania and satyriasis (this being the male counterpart to nymphomania) – for example, satyrs are men who do sick things, while nymphos are women who are sick as women cannot possibly have sexual desires.

Bering then went on to explain and describe the many different sexual inclinations and with case studies to match, including ornithophilia (an intense desire for birds), necrophilia, foot fetish, podophilia (toes being the object of desires), etc. They are mind-boggling to say the least. His take on paedophilia and the age of consent is courageous indeed given the prevailing sentiment surrounding it. I will leave you to read it for yourself. He does make a sensible point.

Of course, a book on sexual deviance would be incomplete without addressing the issue of sexual orientation – homosexuality, transsexuality etc. Bering states that a person’s sexuality is determined by a lottery at birth – our sexuality is determined through a combination of 4 factors

  • Sexual orientation – homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual or asexual;
  • Erotic target – person, animal, inanimate or none;
  • Erotic behaviour – normal intercourse, courtship paraphilia, other paraphilia or masturbation; and
  • Erotic age orientation – pedophilia (prepubescent), hebephilia (pubescent), ephebophilia (older adolescent), teleiophilia (mature adult), gerontophilia (elderly), or none.

Fortunate for me living under present societal standard and norm (‘social jackpot’ in Bering’s term), I am heterosexual, person, normal intercourse and teleiophilia. Care to identify your combination? Remember, it need not be acted upon, thoughts count too 🙂

This book is made all the more interesting by Bering’s irreverence, dry wit and humor, with his deft handling of the ‘intense’ topics. His humane liberal approach is endearing.  There were many laugh-out-loud moments, which earned me quizzical looks on the train commute especially when I was holding up a book titled ‘Perv’.

Perhaps it is time to look at issues of sexuality from the lens of ‘harm’ instead of ‘nature’ or ‘religion’, and to differentiate the harm value between thought and action. Just because we think it, does not mean we will do it. And if we do do it, are we harming others? And if not, is it a matter for public or private governance? And why the condemnation and/or persecution? As a psychotherapist, my question is this – what benefits can shame, stigma, ostracism and separateness create?

And a word of caution from Bering – when we identify a person by his or her sexuality,

“…we’ve lost the trees for the forest. … our knowledge of a person’s hidden sexual desires overshadows everything else we know about him or her…

Who would I recommend this book to?              

This is a book of ideas, visions and possibilities on sexuality. It is intended to challenge prevailing views, standards and norms rather than a book for scientific study. The 13-page bibliographic notes is indicative of a well-researched book.

I recommend this book for the curious minds, as well as those open and willing to explore, at the least intellectually ;-), different paradigms of human sexuality.


Realistic Characterization:   NA
Made Me Think:                   4/5
Overall enjoyment:                3.5/5
Readability:                           4/5
Recommended:                      3.5/5
Overall Rating:                  4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Audible Audio USD 23.61
  Kindle USD 9.64
  Paperback USD 12.97
Booktopia Paperback AUD 20.95
Bookdepository Paperback €11.01


– FlorenceT



#Bookreview ‘Havana Jazz Club’ by LolaMariné (@bcnlola) Love doesn’t conquer everything but art is a great consolation. And an opportunity

Hi all:

I have quite a few reviews that I have accumulated and I plan on sharing some in the coming weeks, but I saw an opportunity for other people who love to review books, and also a chance to help a Spanish author whose books I enjoy.

Lola Mariné (here her Amazon page) is from Barcelona too, and although I haven’t met her personally, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with her on a variety of occasions, mostly in Facebook. Yesterday, through Twitter, she sent me a message to let me know that one of her novels ‘Havana Jazz Club’ that I read a while back and thoroughly enjoyed (although when you read the review you’ll see that enjoy is not perhaps the best word to use, as the book really pulls at one’s heartstrings) had been translated to English (it was chosen by Amazon and they’ve managed the translation) and was now available to reviewers in Net Galley, FREE. I am signed to Net Galley and it’s a great way to get a flavour for new books (both from independent authors and publishing companies, big and small) and yes, it gives one access to books before they are published. Not all the books (some have copyright restrictions and it might depend on where you live if you have access to it or not).

As the book is not going to be officially published until late in August, I thought I’d take the chance to leave you my review for the Spanish version (translated, don’t worry), and would see if any of you who might be signed onto Net Galley could be interested in reviewing it too. I didn’t see any restrictions on the page that is this one:

First I leave you some information about the book and the author.

Havana Jazz Club by Lola Mariné
Havana Jazz Club by Lola Mariné


Translated from Spanish by Rosemary Peele

Like Lady Day, Billie is young when she falls in love for the first time. Lured by her new playboy husband, the beautiful, trusting woman leaves her close-knit and caring family in Cuba to follow him to Spain. Once there, he reveals his true—and violent—nature, and Billie chooses the dangers of the street over the abuses of the man she once loved. Soon she finds herself with trouble to spare and nowhere to turn, but when her voice lands her a spot at the Havana Jazz Club, she discovers a new, unconventional family in a city far from the one she left behind. And with every high note and heartbreak, Billie skirts destiny to write her own song.

A Note From the Publisher

Lola Mariné is a writer, licensed psychologist, and actress. Born in Barcelona, she worked in show business in Madrid for twenty years before returning to her hometown. There, she earned a degree in psychology while teaching theater workshops to children. She has contributed to four anthologies, Tiempo de recreo (Playtime), Dejad que os cuente algo (Let Me Tell You Something), Atmósferas (Atmospheres), and Tardes del laberinto (Evening of the Labyrinth), and wrote Gatos por los tejados (Cats on the Roofs), a collection of short stories. Her first novel, Nunca fuimos a Katmandú (We Never Went to Kathmandu), was published in 2010.
And here, my review (a word of warning. As explained this is a review of the original Spanish book, although considering Amazon has handled the translation I assume it will be good, but I’ve downloaded the book and will try and check as soon as  I can).

Havana Jazz Club by Lola Mariné. Love doesn’t conquer everything but art is a great consolation

The novel Habana Jazz Club by Lola Mariné narrates the adventures of Billie, a Cuban girl, daughter of a woman who adores jazz and decides to call her Billie as an homage to Billie Holiday, despite everybody telling her that ‘it’s a boy’s name’. Billie inherits her mother’s love for music, particularly jazz music, and luckily for her, that love never disappoints her. Unfortunately, the rest…

I’ve never been to Cuba and I only know about it what I’ve read in books or watched in movies. I wouldn’t dare to comment on how realistic or not the description of Billie’s life before leaving Cuba is, but her home life is endearing and loving and shows us a close and happy family. Although we all know mothers’ are always right, unfortunately Billie ignores her mother’s advice and her mistrust, and marries a boy, who isn’t only handsome but also knows it, Orlando. Billie leaves Cuba and a big chunk of her heart there, and follows her husband, and things don’t work well for them. Billie’s story once they arrive in Spain becomes one of domestic violence and exploitation. And things only go from bad to worse, to the point when she ends up living in the streets of Barcelona, where she is rescued by her guardian angel, Armando. And when things start to look up, the men in her life continue making her miserable. And I won’t tell you anything else because you must read the novel.

Lola Mariné has written a masterful melodrama. There are irredeemable baddies, goodies as sweet as sugar, terrible suffering, and talent and music, plenty of music. There were moments when I couldn’t help reading ahead convinced of what would happen, and that it would be bad, but the same as when we’re dragged by a fast current, I couldn’t do anything else but let myself go and see if I came up, unscathed, at the other side. And despite her trials and tribulations, and the disasters that pepper her journey, or perhaps because of them, the protagonist makes her dreams come true (in a small-scale but…), and creates a family made up of people who love her because she is who she is, and not because she’s been born here or there, or because it is their duty.

The part I enjoyed the most (and I loved it all) was when towards the end, the author, first through Gerardo and later through Billie herself, reflects upon the nature of creativity, about what the really important things in life are, and the tranquillity of feeling happy and comfortable in one’s own skin, without pretending or having to worry about appearances. I hope we can all reach such a state at some point in our lives.

If you enjoy novels with a heart, with unforgettable protagonists, and the stories about self-improvement and personal achievement, I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.

Here is the link to the novel in Amazon, but as I said, it’s not published  yet. Although you can pre-order it.

Sorry for not following the usual format but it’s a bit of a novelty. And once the book is out and the author has had a chance to recover, I’ll try to bring her here for an interview. She’s a fascinating woman.

Thanks so much for reading, and you know, if you’re interested, like, share, comment, and CLIC! And if you do, don’t forget to leave a review!


Olga Núñez Miret



A Love Story for a Nation

Title:  A Love Story for a Nation

Author:  Mark W. Sasse


ISBN 10:  1514131978

ISBN 13:  978-1514131978

Pages: 232 pages

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction

** This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. **

Slip into the pages of history as you step into another place and time where order exists by the totalitarian rule of a dictator. It is a struggle to live with such a meager existence until Gerald Sanpatri, an ex-writer meets Rosia, the love of his life. It is Rosia’s devotion and love that enables him to begin writing again. Gerald pours all of his pain and heartache into his tales, writing stories of a brave child who was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in to save the people of his land from the terrible despot that ruled over them.

After the last regime change, Gerald Sanpatri stopped writing because the dictator forbade it. Instead, he performed the duties required of him while sinking into oblivion, burying his past behind him. Little by little, as his past begins to resurface, Gerald is thrust to the forefront of a stealthy movement to overthrow the dictator of which he is not even aware.


Author: Mark W. Sasse

In my mind’s eye, I kept searching for a country to place these horrific events into. Several came to mind and I questioned why the author did not specify a country in the writing of this novel. Finally, I realized that the place was not the main concern. It was the message that events like these occur all over our world today that finally resonated deep within me. It wasn’t the place, it wasn’t the dictator. It was Gerald’s peaceful response that motivated a country to change.

Lovers of historical literature and fiction will lose themselves in the events that Mark Sasse has woven around these characters. I finished reading this novel on the Fourth of July while, outside my window, fireworks were exploding celebrating the freedoms of all Americans. It was a poignant moment.

Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5

Buy it at Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: $11.99 US
Kindle: $3.99 US












Useful Free Tool for Writers

I downloaded the trial version of Scrivener a couple of years ago, but at that point it all went completely over my head. So many people seem to love it so much that I downloaded it again recently, and after completing the tutorial realised that it isn’t all that complicated and quite a brilliant tool. I don’t think I’m going to keep it though, because it seems limited when it comes to inserting images for eBooks, and I quite like using Microsoft Word. When the new 2010 version arrives at the end of this month there will be a whole lot of useful new functions for us scribblers to use too, including having multiple browsers viewable on your desktop simultaneously. My favourite things on Scrivener are the corkboard and the ability to open two different documents at the same time. I already can, and do, open and work on two documents at the same time with Word though – very handy, and I use a simple but also very useful software called AllMyNotes. It’s a free download, so just click on the name if you want it. Go to the download page and select the free version.

It’s not specifically created for writers, but it serves me as my “corkboard” when I’m writing. All you do is create a folder for each project, and also for the private things on your computer that you want to be able to access quickly. Then you create separate notes within each folder for all the things you need. For instance, you could create one for links to any research material for your book elsewhere on your computer. You can insert tables, add pictures, or just type in the text that you want. Say you create a note for characters, another for timeline or locations and scenes, one for ideas, and another for your launch preparations, when that folder is open you get a corkboard effect and you can find what you’re looking for in seconds, rather than having to trawl around looking for and opening another document. (I’ve temporarily deleted my notes for the screenshot because this isn’t published yet, and I don’t want to be clouted for lobbing spoilers around) Click on images to enlarge for a better view.


If you’d like to see if this will benefit your writing life, then install it and play around, and then just uninstall if you don’t like it. When you set up your first folders and notes, right click on each one to choose an icon for it, like the light bulb for ideas, or the book for the folder itself. You get to play around with the colours and backgrounds, and you can move them around by clicking and dragging. Drag the corresponding note into the folder. Sometimes I drop them in the wrong place, but that’s alright, just click and take them back to where they should be.

You can set up the amount of columns and rows in the tables, and also drag to adjust the width, so for your characters note you could have things like hair colour or species all in one spot side by side. I find this a fabulous help for my sci-fi/fantasy series, and list things like a particular alien’s looks, name, home planet, particular abilities and other things that are easy to forget, especially in a series. I have three separate outline notes for my full length books, one for the beginning, and others for the middle and end.

All My Notes

If you’re writing non-fiction, or even fiction that you have a lot of research notes for on your computer, make another note for that, and using the link feature it takes a second to hyperlink, and when you click on it, it opens the document straight away, without you chancing getting distracted while looking for it yourself. This is not something you’re going to have to invest lots of time learning how to use – you’ll get the basics immediately, and find more uses for it as you go along.

Obviously this is no replacement for a great writer specific programme like Scrivener, but not everyone fancies paying the forty odd dollars it costs, and in my case, I prefer total control, using Word for eBook creation, and All My Notes for my corkboard and everything else. It’s really easy to use, so if you sometimes find yourself wishing you could have all you need for writing your book right there at the click of a button, give it a try.

LitWorldInterviews #Book #Review of The Nibelung Gold by Koos Verkaik.


I received this book for an honest review from the author. A very nice man who I have exchanged several emails. How nice? He wasn’t upset that a recent illness that messed with my short term memory problems, which I suffer from due to a concussion, had made me lose track of his review. Fortunately he emailed me and it clicked. I found my notes.

Being a historian and lover of myth and legend, when this book was made notice to me as available for review I jumped at it. I don’t often do that. Less and less these days.

The story is about a man with an obsession. At first Willem Wolf wants to know if the paranormal is real. He and his partner Jacob spend their time exposing false spiritualists as the frauds they are, that is until they meet Wera Keller. Keller makes a believer, of sorts, out of Wolf.

With his meeting with Keller coming to an unexpected end, Wolf finds himself on a hunt for answers that turns into more and then even more than he ever thought he was getting in to. Included in that is a group involved in the occult and of course a major villain.

The Nibelung Gold is a well researched, detailed book that engrosses the reader but you do need to give it your attention. There is a lot of information to glean from the reading and you at times might think you are reading a man’s research, which in a way you might say you are. I think that is part of the charm of the book. It’s not simply a story but it IS research as Wolf is trying to make discoveries. This is a mystery.

Take your time with the book and don’t expect a quick read, unless you are just that sort of reader. This is one you want to take in slowly so you can absorb it all. It’s nice having books like that sometimes. Or it is for me.

The author, Koos Verkaik gives us a view of late 19th century spiritualism in Amsterdam, which is something unusual to read about.

You will discover if Wolf finds out if the paranormal is real and there is of course the Nibelung Treasure itself.


I would recommend this to anyone interested in historical pieces with myths and paranormal elements, and history period. It’s a brain piece, as I call them, but an enjoyable one that is not over the top for an average reader, you get the sense of a great imagination behind the book along with a great deal of research. all of which I believe comes from the vast writing experience of the author.


I give it a 4 out of 5.

Why not 5?

There are some slow moments that take away and you might get lost along the way with some changes in direction, but you will still enjoy it. This is a book translated to English but that doesn’t take away all that much, and then perhaps not at all once you are engrossed in the story itself.

I would read more by this author.

About the Author: (Click image for author site.)

Koos-kleinKoos Verkaik started to write at the age of 7, published his firt work (comics, 3 pages each week in a magazine) at the age of 16, his first novel was published at the age of 18.
Over 50 different titles are published now, both in The Netherlands, Canada and the USA.
Koos is a master of magic, adventure and mystery, writes many urban fantasy books en children’s books.
His new series for children, ALEX AND THE WOLPERTINGER, is published internationally and there will be at least 30 different titles.





Koos also has other books just released and for different ages.

Click images for Amazon book page for more details.

Voos Verkaik Saldin the Wonder HorseVoos Verkaik


Voos Verkaik Heavenly Vision




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Do you need help with Twitter? Try #TweetJukebox. And come and share some Tweets!

Hi all:

Today I’m sharing a post that I published in my own blog last week. Sorry to those of you who might have read it already, but people seemed quite interested, so I thought I’d share it with you too.
I know we’ve all been told we should use social media to promote ourselves, our businesses, blogs, books, painting, whatever we do. And I know we all have our preferences, or sites that we understand better, or we find more useful, or that don’t give us a headache.

I must confess I quite liked Twitter to begin with, when I joined a few months before I published my first book. I would follow people I found interesting, read their Tweets, and be excited if somebody decided to follow me. I read about the subject, I tweeted quotations, ideas, suggestions, retweeted interesting things…

I’ve met many interesting people through Twitter, especially many authors, and we tend to share content and RT. Then I had problems with hackers, suspensions and got tired of it.

I’ve tried a variety of things to manage Twitter. I still use Hootsuite, as it allows me to see several streams at the same time, but although I tried the paid version that allows to upload big lists of Tweets, I didn’t find it flexible or varied enough, and it still required me to upload a new list every day, and that is not always possible.

I’ve tried automated follows, but that risks following porn sites, some of those fake sites that only promote sales of followers, and eggs (some eggs might be genuine people who don’t know or care about having a picture, but some, many, are fake accounts). Although when the followers start rolling in (when you have a certain number of followers it seems to work by inertia and people follow you no matter what) it’s difficult to keep up and I suspect I’ll have to go back to one of the automated systems soon.

Following people who follow you takes time (if you check who they are and share some of their content). And then there’s the social aspect of it. Interacting with people, etc., that’s the interesting bit, but some days we might not be able to dedicate it as long as we’d like. Yes, it all takes time.

Unfollow the unfollowers… I usually do a run with Tweepi every so often (you’re not limited in the numbers you can unfollow).

But then, what about advertising and sharing interesting content that will make other people follow and spread your message?

That’s where Tweet Jukebox might be of interest to you.

Tweet Jukebox
Tweet Jukebox

I discovered it through one of the author groups (actually, a Twitter group where we share our Tweets). Thanks Regina Puckett!

This is Tim Fargo‘s baby. The idea is that you can have several boxes, that send Tweets you have pre-programmed before, and they send them out randomly. You can adjust the days of the week and the intervals for each one of these boxes. But once they are on (you can use CVS or txt only document to upload tweets, although I haven’t been very lucky with that, or you can insert individual Tweets, and pictures too), if you turn that box on, they keep going day in and day out. So you can try, there are a couple of boxes pre-set, one with quotations and one with pictures, that allow you to see how it works.

You can sign in just using Twitter,and if you have any problems, you can contact them and they kindly reply very quickly.

Ah, yes, it is FREE. It’s still in beta stage and the likelihood is that there will be a paid version, but he’s very insistent that it will not affect the free settings.

There are also a number of videos sharing the process and how it works. I share a few here, but if you decide to give it a go, you can watch them all:
What is Tweet Jukebox

Why use Tweet Jukebox?

Best Practices for Tweet Jukebox by Tim Fargo

And now, I have a few boxes going (oh, there is a limit to the number although I hadn’t realised, but when I queried that I was granted more boxes so…), including one where I’m sharing other people’s contents, books, blogposts, whatever I find interesting. So, I’m happy to add more Tweets to this box. Who knows? It might help! So, if you have any favourite Tweets you’d like me to add to my repertoire, please, do add them here in the comments or send them to me. And if other people want to share them too, why not? Let’s share!

Thanks to Regina for pointing it out, to Tim Fargo for the creation, and thanks to all of you for reading. And you know, like, share, watch, CLICK and leave your Tweets!


Olga Núñez Miret



How to Create a NCX Table of Contents for Amazon Upload Using Calibre

I have to say that as well as proofreading, creating a NCX table of contents is something I would be more than happy to outsource to a professional and pay for. I’d recommend that if you can afford it. Considering my mission to learn all the aspects of self-publishing myself though, as well as the fact that not all Indies have the couple of hundred bucks in their budgets for this, I decided to figure it out myself. I must admit that I wasn’t keen to load any file on to Amazon that wasn’t a nice clean HTML conversion, so I updated my already published books using Calibre with some trepidation. They all worked out very nicely, and now that I understand the logic behind this method I’m all for it. The table of contents we did before works very well for getting a nice clickable table in the front or back of your book, depending where you want to put it, but it doesn’t generate a table of contents in the Go To menus of kindle devices, so this new process should be the one we use because a Logical NCX is mandatory for Amazon.

First of all forget all the heading styles. We’re going to stick to Normal Style for chapter headings for this. Obviously centre them if you like, but keep all your formatting plain as you can.

Choose a page for your book’s table of contents. I used the page directly after the copyright page.

Type out your heading titles or simply Chapter One and so on.

Now you must bookmark each chapter heading in the book individually. Go to each one and highlight it, then go to the Insert ribbon and click on Bookmark. Type your bookmark name without using spaces, for instance, chap1, then click Add. Carry on till you’re done, and then go back to your typed out table of contents, highlight the words Table of Contents and insert a bookmark called toc.

TOC Add Bookmarks

Go through your typed table of contents by highlighting each item, then right click and choose Hyperlink. Select “Place in this document” from the menu in the box. Pick the associated bookmark and click OK. Do this till you’ve done them all.
Next, using the Ctrl Click function from your table of contents, go to each chapter heading and use Highlight > Insert > Hyperlink to link them all back to the bookmark labelled toc.

TOC Link

Remove all hidden bookmarks by clicking on Insert > Bookmarks to open the box. Click the “Hidden Bookmarks” box and find any bookmarks that you haven’t added yourself and get rid of all of those by clicking on them and pushing the Delete button in the box.

TOC Hidden Bookmarks

Now save your manuscript and make a copy – just in case, and then use the Save As – Webpage, filtered to get your HTML copy. Don’t worry about the warning that pops up. Save it anyway.

Open Calibre and select Add Book from the top left. Download it for free if you haven’t yet. Find and click on your HTML file. Then click on Convert Book, also in the top ribbon. Fill in the title and your name at the top – this makes it easier to find later. Load up the book’s cover. Don’t load your cover as in the screenshot. You don’t need to for this ePub, and you will upload it on it’s own on Amazon..


UPDATE:  Amazon will no longer be accepting MOBI files that have not been created using their own software.  I will leave the screenshots as they are below, but the procedure will be slightly different.  This is how to do this now. Select ePub output in Calibre.  Select Force Table of Contents.  Click OK.  Open your Kindle Previewer.  Click Add Book.  Browse for the ePub by going to your Calibre Library situated in the My Documents folder, and select the ePub book you will find there.  The previewer will tell you that it has created the file using KindleGen.  You will find this MOBI file in the same folder that Calibre created with the ePub in it.  Use this MOBI file to load directly on to Amazon.

Go and have a look in each of the boxes down the left of your screen, mainly to familiarise yourself with all options. There’s no reason to be wary of playing around – just delete and start again. Select ePub as OUTPUT in the top right of the page.  Go to the Table of Contents and select Force Table of Contents.  Push OK and wait for the conversion to finish.

Calibre force

When Click to Open appears under the cover picture, click on that, and it will take you to the ePub copy in your Calibre library. When you create a MOBI file for your own purposes, clicking on it and it will open in your Kindle for PC.

Calibre TOC in Kindle PC

Open the Amazon Previewer.

Calibre Previewer

Have a look how it will appear on the three devices there, and check that both your table of contents and also your NCX table of contents are there from the buttons at the top. Then go to the MOBI file that the previewer has created situated in the folder in your Calibre library and that will be what you load up to Amazon when you start the publishing process. Do a double check by downloading the preview MOBI from Amazon after that, as well as using their online previewer to be a hundred percent sure that all the formatting and breaks in your book are looking good, as well as your NCX table of contents.

Calibre Previewer tocCalibre Previewer ncx view

Last but not least. Typing in the correct code and splitting a book up to generate a NCX table of contents is obviously the correct way to go, but not for people who don’t understand HTML much better than most intrepid Indies. You can happily load the Calibre and Previewer MOBI up this way, because you are following their guidelines properly. The way I understand the NCX TOC is that it’s some sort of hidden “spine” in the metadata of a book. Calibre does all that magical stuff for us. and the previewer does the rest without us having to learn computer coding at all..