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Amazon Independent Publishing - some thoughts

Thanks to Amazon, independent publishing (or "self publishing") has never been easier. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) allows you to publish and sell your work through the Amazon marketplace. The hard part is creating the material, designing the book cover, and marketing the finished product. 

I found the website to be very intuitive and packed full of very useful information, informative videos and a forum. Amazon KDP does offer templates - for designing your book cover (or you have a choice of Amazon design selections), for your manuscript for print versions, and an easy platform called "Kindle Create" to create your Kindle version. 

I am really cheap. I didn't want to spend any money on vanity publishers, nor did I want to spend any money on professional designers to design the book cover. My cover and illustrations do look cheesy. I am not a professional designer and illustrator, and I guess it shows. But it least all the content is mine. 


Amazon's Author Central

So this is awkward. I published my first book in the Adventures of Caitlin and Rio series, The Lost Colors. Amazon automatically searches for authors of the same name, and assumes that if you have the same name, you must be the same person. It turns out there is another Sally Alexander out there. It is not immediately intuitive but I was able to contact Amazon's Author Central, identify the book by the other Sally Alexander, and request that the book not be associated under my bibliography. I do hope that Amazon can fix this. I feel awkward and uncomfortable having other people's work attributed to me. 

Fingers crossed. 

The writing project - The Adventures of Caitlin & Rio

I am so excited. I have published book 1 of the Adventures of Caitlin & Rio. It's called "The Lost Colors." It is now available on Amazon for $7.99 (print edition only.) 

The story is about a girl, called Caitlin and her cat, Rio. It's about 20,000 words. The intended audience is ages 8 - 12. I was inspired to write the story when our 10 month old kitten, Rio was diagnosed with Feline Infectious Peritonitis, or FIP. We were devastated to say goodbye to such an amazing cat. Like the Rio in the story, my Rio had beautiful blue eyes, a panda face and a black tail.  Unlike my Rio, the Rio in the series is a very special cat - he can talk just like a human, and he has two superpowers - the power of telekinesis, and mind control. 

In "The Lost Colors" Caitlin and Rio have to save the world. Something, or someone has stolen all the colors. Together with Caitlin's best friends, Trudie and Molly, they hunt for clues in search of the lost colors. They find out that an international terrorist and criminal mastermind, MacDougal has stolen the colors. It was in fact Professor Pinch's invention that sucked up all the color from the world. Professor Pinch thought he would be able to convert the colors into clean energy. Instead, MacDougal had duped Professor Pinch. The Professor, Caitlin, Rio, Trudie and Molly find out what MacDougal is really planning to do. Can they stop him in time? Will they be able to restore the colors back to the world? 

I am currently working on book 2, "The Missing Cats", and book 3, "The Wild Turkeys."

Book 2, "The Missing Cats" picks up where "The Lost Colors" ended. In "The Missing Cats" something very odd is going on. Blue-eyed cats are disappearing. This is very distressing to their owners. Why are the cats missing? Where are they? Together Caitlin, Rio and their friends hunt for clues and solve the mystery. (The Missing Cats is not yet published. 

In Book 3 we see how MacDougal's mis-use of Professor Pinch's invention has further disrupted the natural world. (The Wild Turkeys is not yet published.)