How Do You Track Your Word Count? (And Other Things)

Do not adjust your sets. This really is a new blog post. Yes, new material has appeared on this blog. Be gone, tumbleweeds!

I have been MIA because the last six weeks or so have been crazy. I had three university assignments due on the same day, followed by, oh, you know, 100,000 words or so of a book, followed by an exam that I basically had 24 hours to cram for. (Fun fact: my exam was on the history of the book so I was able to throw in loads of stuff about e-books, and I wrote about Celebration, Florida, for one of my assignments.)

Credit: Kathryn English, Blackstone Publishing

In the midst of all that I also wrote a piece about a real life cruise ship murder for the Irish Times, won an award and, needless to say, watched all of 13 Reasons Why because my motto is No Netflix Left Behind even when you don’t have time to sleep and even if the show is utterly rage-inducing on multiple levels. Side note: roll on Master of None this coming Friday. (I think MON is one of the great televisual shows ever made.)

What else have I been up to, I pretend to hear you ask?

Happy Birthday, Distress Signals

Distress Signals, my serial-killer-on-a-cruise-ship-thriller (nautical noir, we’re calling it) was first published a year ago yesterday, which means it’s been a year since the actual craziest week of my life. You and I can relive all the excitement here.

Credit: Hazel Gaynor

The twelve months since have been tough, trying to write a second novel while also doing a full-time degree and being constantly distracted by the shiny stuff of publication (and, ahem, Netflix), but they have also had so many exciting and happy moments. My launch, getting shortlisted for Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, finding that one of my favourite bookstores in the world, the Barnes and Noble at Dr Philips in Orlando – where I wiled away many a blissfully happy hour – had DS in stock. (This was seriously, like, the BEST.)

I must say a big THANK YOU to everyone who read, reviewed and recommended Distress Signals to their friends and followers. You are all lovely and deserve to drink only good coffee, never instant. To celebrate, my lovely American publishers have slashed the price of Distress Signals‘ digital edition to just $0.99 – its RRP is $9.99 – but only for a limited time. So if you haven’t read it yet, you live in the States and you’d read an e-book, quick, go! Or if you know someone else who fits that criteria who you think might be interested, tell them! More exclamation marks!

While I was typing this, something ah-maze-ZING happened: Distress Signals slipped into the No. 1 spot on Barnes and Nobles’ NOOK bookstore. In other words, it became the top selling NOOK book. Whaaa…? I may have to frame this.

Distress Signals can be purchased for sofa-change from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and Kobo USA, among others.

Events

For some reason May is like peak events over here. I have three coming up: I’m doing a Marketing and Publicity Workshop with Peter O’Connell for Publishing Ireland next week, May 11 (suitable for both publishing professionals and writers), then I’ll be on the Twists and Turns panel at Crimefest, Bristol, on May 18, and finally I’ll be taking part in the How To Get Published Day at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, as part of the International Literature Festival: Dublin on May 20. For more information on any or all of these, go to my Events page and click on the relevant image.

I’m also going to London next week to hit a few stationery shops, Foyles and Hotel Chocolat, but that’s really just an event on my personal calendar…

Book 2

You guys, as a Youtuber might say, we are almost there. In a couple of weeks, Book 2 will be done*. (Can I just give you some unsolicited advice? If you are an aspiring writer who dreams of getting a book deal, here’s what you need to do the second you type THE END on the submission draft of the book you hope will get you published: open a new document, type CHAPTER ONE and start the book after that. Don’t wait, because if your dreams come true, there’ll be lots of shiny exciting fun stuff that will distract you and your deadlines will crumble to dust.) I can’t wait to tell you about it, share the title, show you the cover, etc. but I can’t do any of that just yet. What I can say is:

  • It’s another standalone thriller
  • It’s due for publication early next year
  • It’s set on dry land and that dry land is Dublin, but water does feature.

*Ready for copyediting.

Book 3 (and How Do YOU Track Your Word Count?)

Book three?! I know, right? How did we even get here? Well, that’s what I’ll be doing this summer: writing the first draft of my third thriller. I have an idea that I’m really, really excited about, as my writing friends will testify to because I’ve been blabbing about it— I mean, um, testing it out on them for months now.

One thing I really want to do is obsessively track my word count. I want to be able to say exactly how long it took me to write this novel. So, tell me: how do you track your word count? I was hoping to use Prolifiko after I read this fascinating article in The Guardian about how long – exactly – it took Wyl Menmuir to write his Booker-longlisted novel, but when I went to look at the app it wasn’t what I was expecting. (And you have to do a five day writing ‘challenge’ to unlock access. Um, no.) Have you used it? Are there alternatives? Any good apps? Or do you rely on spreadsheets, etc?

Let me know in the comments below because I really want something good I can use going forward. Any one who leaves a suggestion/comment on this topic will be entered into a draw for a prize that will probably consist of (a) a signed book, (b) something caffeinated, probably and (c) stationery so I have an excuse to buy some fancy stuff in London. (If you don’t track your word count at all it’s okay to leave a comment saying that. That counts as an entry.)

So, to recap:

  • Sherlock lives— I mean, this blog does
  • Distress Signals is discounted to $0.99 for a limited time – tell your friends!
  • Tell me how you track your word count/novel progress. You might win something…

I just sent out a newsletter. Have you signed up to receive my sporadic musings, eh? You should, if I do say so myself. 

Operation Full Distribution

One of my goals for 2013 is to fully distribute all of my self-published e-books.

As it stands, Backpacked is handcuffed to KDP Select, Mousetrapped is on Smashwords but I never re-submitted it to their Premium Catalogue (read: third party retailers) after my last update and although you can purchase a gorgeous ePub or Mobi edition of Self-Printed directly from me (thanks to the lovely people at eBookPartnership.com), the only other place you can get it from is the Amazon Kindle store, although we did have a brief flirtation with Kobo Writing Life a while back.

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Why is this? Well, there’s a few reasons:

  • It’s easy to make a good-looking Kindle book. I still format my e-books the way I’ve done it from the beginning, three years ago: by re-formatting the text in a MS Word document until it adheres to a strict set of rules. I’m really good at it now, and sometimes I almost find the process relaxing. (Sometimes…) Ever since I discovered, via a tip in the Smashwords Style Guide, that Kindle conversion automatically indents all your paragraphs and the only way to make it stop is to set the indent to 0.01 inches on the lines you don’t want to appear indented, I’ve found prepping your book for Kindle conversion practically easy. And I like easy.
  • It’s simple to keep track of sales and profits. KDP must have the best-looking user interface of any self-publishing platform. It’s so easy to use: two pages and your book is published. Log in at any time and see at a glance what you’ve sold so far this month, what you sold in total last month and how the past six weeks were for you and your books. Prior months royalties can be scrutinized in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet, and cheques arrive promptly every single month. (In three years, only one KDP cheque has failed to arrive, and it was a lost-in-the-mail situation. They quickly cancelled it and sent another.) My euro sales even go straight into my bank account now. Trying to figure out how many copies I’ve sold via Smashwords on other retailers is like trying to do my taxes with an abacus, and everytime you add another site—be it Kobo, or iTunes Connect, or whoever—you complicate things further.
  • The majority of my sales come from Kindle anyway, so the rest of them don’t seem worth the trouble. Now, I know what you’re going to say: if my books are only available on Kindle, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yes, it is now. But all throughout 2010 and for a good half of 2011, I was on Kindle and everyone Smashwords could hook me up with, and my Kindle sales were something like 95% of all e-book sales. And this wasn’t because I did such a good job of marketing my Kindle book, because I was never active on dedicated Kindle forums, nor did I advertise with Kindle Nation or anything like that. Kindle just sold my books more, for whatever reason. When KDP Select came along—and the first time I used it, it gave me something like a 150% boost on sales the month after my free promotion—I drained my glass of Kool-Aid. I was all in.

And so, over time, I became less and less enthusiastic about non-Kindle e-book sites. When I updated Mousetrapped, I didn’t bother putting myself through the horror that would be formatting it for Smashwords’ Premium Catalogue. I couldn’t upload the shiny ePub of Self-Printed 2.0 there, so I didn’t bother uploading anything. And I pulled Backpacked—waiting over a month for Kobo to let go—so I could chuck it in KDP Select and promote it as free.

Eggs, one basket, all in.

Up until recently, I wasn’t at all bothered. My Smashwords sales had never lit the world on fire, and who had the time to be checking what people were saying about you—I mean, about your book—on more than the three main English-speaking Amazon sites? But then the tectonic plates beneath the self-publishing world began to move and shift, and so did my thinking.

I’m iniating Operation Full Distribution, and here’s why.

Sales of dedicated e-readers are in decline. This means that nowadays, someone is more likely to buy an iPad than a Kindle, i.e. a device on which they can read e-books but on which they can do loads of other stuff as well. Kindle may be the dominant player now, but will they always be? Yes, you can download the Kindle app for iPad, but iBooks/iTunes’ slice of the e-book pie grows ever bigger. Isn’t it better to hedge your bets and be ready for the day when Kindle books might not dominate?

If one was to be cynical and say that Amazon being nice to us—KDP Select, huge KOLL compensation funds, letting us self-publish on there in the first place—was all just a ploy to get us to fill the Kindle store with titles, many of them exclusive, and to teach their customers that e-books should be cheap so that traditional publishing would, eventually, start to lower their e-book prices too, then one could also say that that job is done. There’s well over a million titles in the Amazon.com Kindle store, and the Top 10 e-book charts on Amazon.co.uk boasted seven traditionally published books for sale at 20p when I checked it on New Year’s Day. They’ve even got agents skipping publishers altogether to publish directly to the Kindle store, and have started publishing books themselves. It’s becoming harder and harder for self-published e-book authors to achieve success, and the odds are decreasing all the time. (Charging sofa change for your e-book so readers will take a chance of you no longer works, for example, because readers can get a book that has been vetted by an agent, editors and maybe even The Sunday Times book reviewer now for less than the cost of your 99c book.) How much longer are Amazon going to need us? And when they don’t need us anymore, what will happen? I feel the tugs on the rug Amazon has laid beneath our self-published feet; it might only be a matter of time before they pull it. Since we don’t know what that world could look like, it might be better to start spreading the risk now.

As Smashwords founder Mark Coker is forever reiterating on the Smashwords blog, sales ranks are very important for discoverability. The higher or better your sales rank, the higher chance there is of you being discovered by a new reader, generally and simplistically-speaking. I’ve been on Amazon now for almost three years with Mousetrapped, and my other books have been on there since they were published. I’ve never “interruppted” their Amazon ranking, and as sales rank history is partly responsible for where the sales rank is at today, that’s a good thing. But how many times have I published/unpublished on Smashwords? Well, um, a few. And each time I republished, I was basically starting from scratch on, say, Barnes and Noble’s Nook store, or iBooks, or wherever. So I wasn’t giving my Smashwords retailers a chance to do as well as my Kindle books. As has been pointed out in many blog posts on the subject of Kindle dominance, self-published authors also have a tendancy to direct potential readers to their Kindle listings more than anything else, and I was as guilty of that as anyone. So now, let’s see what happens when I give it a proper chance.

There’s a but coming though, and it’s in the shape of a dollar sign. I ran Backpacked through KDP Select back in November, and it was downloaded for free something like 20,000 times in the five days. Since then its sales have really picked up, especially on Amazon.com, and borrows are way up too. And when you consider the “bonus” KDP Select fund, it means than whenever a copy of Backpacked is borrowed, I stand a good chance of making as much or even more than I would were it purchased — and my new reader pays nothing outside of their Prime membership fee. This improved sales effect has lasted about six weeks, at this stage, so I’m going to ride it out. That means no Smashwords for Backpacked, for now. Not yet. I make a large part of my income from my e-book sales, and so I can’t be completely experimental with my approach to it. So we’ll see. I’ll keep you updated.

My new book, Travelled, will be released in three e-book only parts this year before the full book is released in e-book and paperback just in time for Christmas, and I think KDP Select could benefit that, if it’s still going by the time it comes out. With three parts making up a whole book, I think it’d be a good idea to run the first part through a free promotion the week the second part comes out, to help snare new readers. So I don’t plan on abandoning KDP Select completely; I’ll still use sparingly as long as it works for me.

But my ultimate goal is, by this time next year, to have every book of mine available everywhere e-books can feasibly be sold. Let’s just give the other guys a chance—a proper chance—and see what happens.

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What do you think? Do you have your e-books only on Kindle, or elsewhere as well? Any good reports from the land of full distribution? Or is KDP Select results keeping you sweet? Let me know in the comments… 

5 Things I’m Always Having to Tell Self-Publishers

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Once upon a time I was part of a panel talking to a room of writers about e-books when, after a good fifteen minutes of us throwing around terms like Smashwords, Amazon KDP, formatting, XML, DRM and the like, someone in the audience put up their hand and said, ‘I’m sorry, but what’s a Kindle?’

Ah. We saw instantly what we’d done. We were all so used to talking and discussing and explaining and debating and hypothesizing about e-books that we’d skipped over explaining the most basic points, presuming that everyone knew what a Kindle was. Oops.

That sometimes happens in blogging and writing about self-publishing too. I bet the number of “How To Format Your E-book” articles and blog posts greatly outnumber those that just explain, on a basic level, what e-books actually are, what they look like and how they work. This leads to many self-publishers wondering about things that I personally think are hovering somewhere between common sense and a logical conclusion, but then of course I’d think that because I know a lot—way, way more than I ever thought I would—about e-books.

So let’s address these issues today. Here are 5 things I’m always having to tell new self-publishers

1. You don’t need an e-reader to read e-books

‘My mother/sister/neighbor’s third cousin twice removed says she can’t read my book,’ self-publishers say, ‘because she doesn’t have a Kindle/Nook/other e-reader.’ Um, yes she can, actually. You can read e-books on an ever-increasing number of devices, and chances are you already own one or more of them. Downloading the free Kindle reading application from Amazon means you can read Kindle books on Macs, PCs, iPhones, Blackberries, Androids and iPads. If you download Adobe’s Digital Editions program (also free) you can read ePub format e-books on your PC or Mac.

And all that’s just for starters.

Tangent: This is also why I fly into a rage when a well-known bestselling author—say, Michael Connelly or Karin Slaughter—releases a short story or short story collection in e-book form only, and people go nuts. Like, really nuts. The author’s Facebook page fills up with comments drenched in rabid contempt (“Well I don’t *have* an e-reader so just *how* am I supposed to read this?!??!? Thanks a LOT, Michael!, etc. etc.) as fans feel personally insulted that a book isn’t coming out on paper. Now I don’t like reading e-books, but I don’t thrown my toys out of the playpen in a tantrum if an e-book is my only option. Especially since most of the time, these e-book only editions are too short to be paper books; if they had to be produced in paperback they wouldn’t be, because the cost of manufacturing, moving and selling them would just be too high. So next time just keep your toys and download a free e-book reading program, okay?

Of course, it’s possible that your mother/sister/neighbor’s third cousin twice removed just doesn’t want to read your book, which is a different problem entirely. But at least now you can bust her first excuse.

2. You can make your book 99c on Amazon—just change your royalty rate

‘Amazon won’t let me charge less than $2.99 for my e-book,’ is another common newbie self-publisher refrain. This took me a while to figure out, because I knew you could charge 99c or $1.99 if you wanted to, and I was always setting my price at $2.99. But then one day I went to Amazon KDP to lower the price of Mousetrapped from $2.99 to $1.99, and I realized where this was coming from.

You can absolutely make your book 99c or $1.99—but not if you’ve selected a 70% royalty rate. To qualify for a 70% royalty rate, your book has to be priced between $2.99 and $9.99. That’s why if the 70% box is ticked, Amazon won’t let you make your book 99c or $1.99—or $14.99 or $19.99, for that matter. Check the 35% royalty rate box instead, and then make your price 99c or $1.99. Simples!

3. You don’t need to add DRM to your book (or, Piracy? You should be so lucky!)

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and if you add it to your book—which you can only do on Amazon KDP; Smashwords is DRM-free—it means that if I buy your book for my Kindle, I can’t send it to my friend who also has a Kindle or worse yet, upload the file to one of those illegal torrent sites that let would-be digital pirates download books for free. (Theoretically anyway; DRM can be skirted around too.) It’s supposed to prevent piracy. But guess what? DRM annoys e-book buyers, and you don’t need it. You really, really, REALLY don’t.

First of all, chances are that no one is going to be interested in stealing your book. It’s hard enough to get people to buy it, let alone convince them that it’s worth breaking the law to get a free read of. And in all likelihood, your book is cheap. An unknown author plus a cheap e-book does not a big demand for pirated copies make. The only authors who really have to worry about this are best-selling ones, the household names, whose publishers charge $9.99 or more for their e-books. You’re not one of these authors, so don’t worry about. And don’t add DRM, which also takes a little nibble out of your profit, by the way.

Also: thousands of people downloading your book for free? You should be so lucky! I can’t remember his name and Googling didn’t help, but you might have heard recently about a self-published Amazon KDP author suing Amazon for making his book free when it shouldn’t have been. A preview of his book was free on Barnes and Noble, and Amazon will match the lowest price offered anywhere, so they mistakenly thought the two titles were the same and made his Kindle book free. As I said I can’t find the details so I’m pulling this out of my memory here, but he sold something like 5,000 free books before the mistake was rectified, he’s mad about it and now he’s suing Amazon for loss of income.

You know what I’d be doing right now if that had happened to me? Sending Amazon a box of cupcakes and a Thank You card. I’d thank them for the 5,000 new readers I have that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for their mistake, and for the ongoing publicity, all over the internet, that I continue to enjoy because of it. And loss of income? Of course we can never know for sure, but I’d hazard a guess that the income the author is going to generate out of this publicity plus his new readers paying for future books will be more than what he would’ve made if this had never happened and he’d sold x amount as normal. And we know x isn’t 5,000, right? That’s why my eyes were rolling dangerously far back in my head every time I read an angry blog post about this situation, because it’s not like he would’ve sold that amount if he were charging for those books. It’s not like Amazon did him out of his royalty rate multiplied by 5,000 copies, because that would be a big problem and worth a lawsuit. So, we’ve wondered off the point slightly (when has that ever happened on here?! Um…) but don’t DRM. You don’t need to.

4. You can order your paperbacks at cost price and download your e-books for free

A while back I discovered that a self-publisher I know had ordered stock for her book launch from Amazon.com. Let’s all take a moment here to appreciate the loss of potential revenue that occurred in that one, swift blow. I wondered if perhaps she was an evil genius taking a hit in order to bump up her sales ranks, but no—she had done it because she didn’t know she could order her own books at cost (manufacturing) price direct from CreateSpace. I know some of you are probably giggling at this, but when you think about it (and all the other similar mistakes newbie self-publishers make) you can totally see how this happens. Most self-publishers are entering a world they know nothing about and there’s some much information to take in some of it just whizzes on by.

Just so we’re all clear: you can order your own books at cost price from CreateSpace. You can order as many as you like, but there’s no volume discount. That’s the price you pay for POD. You do this by visiting your dashboard and clicking “Order Copies” next to your title of choice.

Amazon KDP, unfortunately and a bit strangely, does not let you download a copy of your own Kindle book for free. You get to check an approximation of it during the upload process but if you want to see exactly what the full book looks like on a Kindle or Kindle reading app, you’ll have to fork out for a copy. (You can download the sample for free, of course, but that’s only the first few pages.) Smashwords, however, will let you download your own e-book for free, in any of the formats you’ve chosen to convert it to. They’re great for sending to reviewers or friends with e-readers; just attach a file in their preferred format to an e-mail and hit Send.

NB: Nothing you purchase directly from CreateSpace or download for free from Smashwords while logged in will count towards your sales figures.

5. Amazon Kindle samples are determined automatically—and kindly put up and shut up, thank you

All e-book retailers allow potential buyers to download a free sample of the book they’re considering buying. This is exactly the same as being able to walk into a bookstore, pick up a book and flick through the first few pages. (Or even, if you have the cheek and your bookstore has an in-store cafe and a comfy chair, the whole thing.) Smashwords lets you specify what percentage of the book you’d like included in the sample (20-25% at least; the more a person reads, the more they “get into” the book, thus the more likely they are to pay to read the rest), but Amazon does it automatically. And for the love of fudge self-publishers, let them to it.

Me after reading entries in KDP’s community forums

I try to stay away from KDP’s community forums—it’s really not good for my blood pressure—but I had to pop in their recently for some ITIN/tax refund research, and I happened upon something that read like this:

“Does anyone know how I can get my sample changed? Amazon are giving away the first two and a half chapters and there is WAY TOO MUCH valuable information in there for it to be available for free. I’ve e-mailed them but they haven’t responded. What can I do? I’m going to have to pull this book…’

Dear Crazy Kindle Author Person,

You can’t get the sample changed, for much the same reasons you can’t insist that your paperback only appear on physical bookstore shelves plastic-wrapped and security sealed, and that all readers sign a non-disclosure agreement that forbids them from sharing the information in the book with anyone else. The sample system is in fact a superb way to sell more copies of your book, and you should be thankful it exists. You should be praying Amazon ups it to the first five or even ten chapters, making it harder for a reader to discard the book after reading so far, and sending them straight to the “Add to Cart” button on your Amazon listing instead. On a personal note, if you fear that there is no reason to buy your book after reading the first two and a half chapters, I fear there’s no point in reading it at all. 

Love and bubbles,

Me.

The Bonus Round: Get Your Paws on an E-Reader

How many self-published e-book authors, do you think, have actually read a book on a e-reading device? And I don’t mean a computer screen or their phone, but an actual e-reader, the place where how they format and lay out their e-book matters the most, because it’s the most different? Or here’s the converse, which is a much, much scarier thought: how many self-published e-book authors, do you think, have self-published e-books without ever seeing what an e-book actually looks like on a Kindle or a Nook screen? And isn’t that like trying to make a movie without ever having watched one?

There is a huge difference between the bright, book-like virtual pages of iBooks on a shiny, glossy iPad, and the dull, clinical words squeezed in shades of grey onto the screen of a Generation 2 Kindle. Finding a specific chapter on Digital Editions involves moving your cursor to the active list of chapter headings to the left of your screen, but finding a specific chapter on a Kindle feels like wading through fudge by comparison. Yet e-book authors can make it easier by laying out their book properly and inserting active navigational links. Anyone who has searched for books in the Kindle store through an actual Kindle will never again look at their own listing and product description the same way; you’ll instantly understand how much work you have to do to stand out, and how being found and downloaded makes you the luckiest hay-colored needle in the giant haystack.

You can read every blog post, subscribe to every newsletter and attend every seminar, but they won’t give you as good a grasp of this whole e-book thing as five minutes playing time with an e-reader. Buy one, borrow one from a friend who has one or drop into a store and pretend you’re thinking of buying one and try it out.

I think this might be my longest post ever (can’t you tell someone doesn’t feel like doing her 2,000 novel words today…? This post is 2,349!) so I’m going to stop now. But is there any other basic self-publishing questions you’ve been looking for the answers to? If there are, post them below. For today only*, there are no stupid questions.

*FOR TODAY ONLY. Like, times a million.

My Big E-Book Lesson: A Good News Update

You may recall how a few weeks ago I discovered I’d made a rookie e-book error out of sheer laziness and cost myself some sales.

If not, here’s a summary. After I published my e-book edition of Mousetrapped on Smashwords, I downloaded the PDF version and had a quick flick through the pages to make sure everything was okay. After I uploaded to Amazon’s DTP, I did the same thing but on my mother’s Kindle. That too looked okay, and so I decided to ignore Smashwords’ recommendation to download Adobe’s free Digital Editions and the EPUB (standard) version of my book, and then use the first to check the second.

Cut to five months later, when a comment on my blog alerts me to the fact that the EPUB version of Mousetrapped, which is for sale on Barnes and Noble and through Apple’s iBooks, has 1,300+ pages, or a page break after every paragraph. Trouble is, I’ve already sold more than 30 of them. Bigger trouble is, I won’t sell any more, because one of the victims has taken the time to leave a review complaining about the formatting problem. I fix the problem and upload the book, but the damage has already been done. You can read about the full saga in all its glory here.

This past weekend I was checking up on some Smashwords sales when I thought to visit my Barnes and Noble e-store listing and see if anyone had posted any more icky reviews.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only had the original icky review disappeared, but in its place was this loveliness:

“[It] is a light interesting travelogue about a young woman traveling from overseas and experiencing the unique world of Orlando Fl and working for Disney. It has been an enjoyable and interesting read. I had a little problem with the e-book formatting on my nook but the author herself saw my review and sent a free voucher to get another download – that’s pretty nice! I am now finished with the book and was nicely pleased with it. I share some of the same fascinations with the culture of the area where the story takes place; Disney, NASA etc. We all have some adventures from our youth, (I like to refer to them as times of Ramen noodles and tuna) at the time it seems like that was the hardest of circumstances ever. But as we grow and learn, looking back we appreciate the past struggles more and more and would not trade them for anything. That is what I got from this book. Keep going and keep writing Catherine.”

How nice is that?

Answer: VERY.

Thank you, anonymous Barnes and Noble reader!

Click here to read all my e-book related posts.

Click here to read more about Mousetrapped.