Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Terms & Conditions Apply is Go!

Cover Art by Danielle Fine
This week my third title (and second self-published work) went live on Smashwords, Amazon US and Amazon UK. Woo hoo! *fist pump* I'm so excited! I've spent the last couple of months polishing this up with my editor Dani (who is also responsible for the stellar cover), and I've really been looking forward to releasing it. So how does it look? Looking pretty shiny to me. :D

I'm still working on the Kobo site - for some reason even though it allows you to upload .doc and .docx, there are some funny symbols coming out in the text on the preview I downloaded, so my editor has attempted a reformat with Calibre and I'm hoping to get that sorted before the end of the week. I could let Smashwords upload it to Kobo, but I'm trying to retain as much control over my title as possible. Being in the UK, uploading direct to B&N is not an option, so Kobo it is. However, when Smashwords eventually gets around to it, Terms & Conditions Apply will be available for the Nook. Just...maybe not until after Christmas though... :(

In the meantime, here's the blurb -

“Welcome to Venus Ascendant, a Public Grade space station in the Andromedan Galaxy. With our open-to-all policy, any being in the universe can find their perfect R & R, romantic getaway or dangerous liaison at our purpose built resort. The on-board empathic AI Ganesa ensures that anyone coming to Venus Ascendant will find their heart’s desire, with suites that transform from luxurious boudoirs to sunset-lit beaches to dark BDSM dungeons. So come to Venus Ascendant and find exactly what you’re looking for!”

It was meant to be a romantic getaway for Marie and the love of her life Jaisen; a chance for him to get to know her better after months of her denying him more than a few stolen kisses. Instead, Marie finds herself dumped and alone on Venus Ascendant with no credit for a transmat and the next starship home not due for another hour.

But the all-seeing AI isn’t going to leave anyone aboard the space station with their dreams unfulfilled. Marie's boyfriend might not have made it to the station, but there are others willing and able to take on the role - even if they aren’t entirely human.

WARNING - not suitable for under 18's due to adult content

And the first review is already in on Goodreads and Smashwords - 

5 of 5 stars false
Read on November 19, 2012

"A space station, a woman who's been dumped, and an avatar... ingredients for a romantic cocktail delicately crafted by Pippa Jay. There were several surprises along the way, and some fabulous characters one can really sympathise with.

Having read Pippa Jay's previous works, and thoroughly enjoyed them both, it wasn't much of a surprise that Pippa has once again created a setting that my imagination is immediately at home in. The writing is vivid, and drew me into the story with ease. This is a quick, easy read, and a fabulous scifi romance."

Self- publishing is a different experience to being contracted to a publisher, whether that's small press or traditional. The onus really is on you to make sure that everything is right, that you get it formatted, uploaded, priced, tagged, described and catalogued correctly. I'm all in favour of retaining creative control and really owning the book you produce, but like anything there are pluses and minuses to it. I've been lucky to have the continuing support of my editor Dani, and friends knowledgeable in the self-publishing process - even though I self-pubbed The Bones of the Sea back in 2011 before I had the contract for Keir, I'm certainly no expert. Even uploading to Smashwords where I published Bones required a refresher on the process, and a couple of tweeted questions. Publishing through Amazon was a new experience for me, and I have to say the wait for it to come out of review compared to the almost instantaneous publication on Smashwords had me burning with frustration. No, I'm not very patient. :-P

But I do like Smashwords for the fact you can have your book converted to all digital formats, and distribution to outlets such as Sony and Apple, and B&N in my case. Plus they'll assign you a free ISBN. Amazon - well, as much as a monster as it is, I can't deny that Amazon is the place to really get yourself noticed as an author. Despite my annoyance with them over removing author reviews from books (because authors can't possible be grown-up and unbiased, or not be moved by some kind of personal gain when reviewing, according to Amazon, tsk) and their heavy-handed attitude in general, at the end of the day I need to sell books to justify staying at home to write, and it's the best place to do so. Watch my conscience squirm!

When using Smashwords, I highly recommend you download and use Mark Coker's Style Guide. Seriously, it'll save you a lot of time and frustration if you work through it, at least for your first attempt. Without it you're likely to come up with all kinds of formatting errors and be refused admission to Smashwords Premium Catalog - which gets you onto the other sites such as Kobo. As for Amazon - well, I used the same .doc that had been formatted for Smashwords (I will admit that Dani went over this for me as well - an extra pair of eyes is always useful!) and it looked perfect when I downloaded the preview. As with all things - and the guide states it too - check, check, and check again!


This week I'm taking part in the one day Black Friday Hop organized by Carrie Ann Ryan, with my wishlist for Christmas here. Next Monday is the monthly Amazon Tag party for the SFR Brigade. Just an FYI - the December tagging party will take place earlier in the month to avoid conflicting with Christmas week, although with the holiday so close I'm not expecting a huge entry that month. The January tag party will return to the normal last-full-week-of-the-month schedule. I'll be doing a small tour for Terms & Conditions Apply with a giveaway - I'll be visiting Misa Buckley here tomorrow, Monday I'll be guesting here with Chantal Halpin (one of my invaluable beta readers on this story) and at Backward Momentum with Jessica Subject on the 6th December.
I'm also planning to take part in #pitchwars. Yes, I'm agent hunting. I really didn't think I would be, and I'm not even sure the novel I've got is long enough - in fact, at 45K I'm not sure it's even technically a novel. But it seemed to good an opportunity to pass up. Pitch Wars is an "event where agented authors, industry interns, and editors team up with aspiring writers to shine up their manuscripts and pitches to present to some awesome agents." It opens "November 26: The coaches (listed on the linky below) will post on their blogs what genre/category they want to coach. They'll be very specific genres. Aspiring writers will hop around and decide which coaches best fit their manuscripts." You can find out more details here. I posted my three line draft pitches here for feedback, and I'd still appreciate any comments on those if you have time. *flutters eyelashes*


io9 published an article this week on Google's new star map called 100,000 Stars, which allows you to travel the galaxy from the comfort of your home. This is an awesome piece of space porn for anyone interested in astronomy, science or scifi. Want to map out the latest journey of your intrepid space travellers? Plan it out here.

On a purely personal note, I spotted a tweet on Tuesday that said '6 Must Read Sci-fi Romances'. I clicked on it, interested to see what someone had rated as their top six while desperately wishing I could feature on something like this. So it was quite a shock when I did see the list...and Keir was right there at the top! I had my hubs home sick that day, and I think my hysterical fit of cackling probably made him wish he was back at work. :-P With thanks to Anna Hackett for making my day with this list - and you should also check out her other recommendations on it here.

Ping Pong

Sharon - I've seen Ghost Planet popping up here, there and everywhere! Looks like things are going well.

Donna - here's to some decent scifi titles in the summer of 2013. In the meantime I hope people will be reading SFR if they can't watch it. :-P

Laurie - thanks for your pitch on my pitch. Printer failure has meant I haven't got around to working on a single master pitch with all the feedback I had, but soon!


  1. VERY shiny! Congratulations!!! And also HUGE congrats on the must-read sci-fi list!

  2. Many congrats on the new release, Pippa. It sounds absolutely riveting. Can't wait to read it!

    Also congrats on making the Must Read list with Keir. You are definitely an author to watch!

  3. Congrats on the release! I downloaded my copy.


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