Romantic Novels from Africa – The Zanzibar Affair

April 27, 2012 in Books, Fiction, Romantic Novels

Contemporary Romance NovelsThe Zanzibar Affair is a novel about high society love stories set against the spectacular backdrop of Safari Africa, New York and France. This is the very essence of this remarkable debut novel. Love, death, betrayal and passion are woven intricately throughout this novel with exquisite skill. A book to read and relish. Samantha Ford is destined to become a contemporary romance bestseller on this form.

Contemporary RomanceDrawing from her experiences as an international traveller and observer of high society, Samantha has crafted a first class début novel that communicates the feelings and passions of her characters in an irresistible manner.

What’s This Story of Love at First Sight All About?

A letter found in an old chest on the island of Zanzibar finally reveals the secret of Kate Hope’s glamorous but anguished past, and the reason for her sudden and unexplained disappearance. Ten years previously Kate’s lover and business partner, Adam Hamilton, tormented by a terrifying secret he is willing to risk everything for, brutally ends his relationship with Kate.

A woman is found murdered in a remote part of Kenya, bringing Tom Fletcher back to East Africa to unravel the web of mystery and intrigue surrounding Kate, the woman he still loves. His was one of those stories of love at first sight but one where destiny dictated that the lovers, Tom and Kate, could never be together. Eighteen years later, Tom’s next and unwelcome involvement in Kate’s life is to investigate her mysterious disappearance.  He meets Kate’s daughter Molly in Zanzibar and with her help he pieces together the last years of her mother’s life and his extraordinary connection to it.

Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase this romantic novel and  be reading it in minutes if you chose the Kindle version. Use the links below:

If you prefer your books on a Nook or alternative eReading devices you can also purchase it from Smashwords

Apple iStore Listings

The book is also available as a paperback The Zanzibar Affair   on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Book Reviews

“. . . here is a gifted author who can brilliantly describe human feelings. Samantha Ford will take you to the great heights of love and passion as only a woman can. She lets you participate in the happiest and best that life has to offer. You can feel she must have lived herself through such situations and been to those places described by her, and, of course, she loves Africa. The book is a must read.” By Claude Beck on Amazon

“I loved this book and found myself sneaking off to read a few more pages through the day. A good plot, evocative descriptions of Africa. Here is an author who can create a story to get lost in. I look forward to the next book by Samantha Ford” By Nicola Anderson on Amazon

To see more reviews of this book click Here

You can see the author’s profile using this link Samantha Ford – Romantic Novelist or you can have a look at her latest novel out of Africa – The House Called Mbabati.

Reference Information for Zanzibar

Southern Africa Travel
http://southernafricatravel.com/destination/tanzania/zanzibar_and_surrounds/
Zanzibar Travel
http://www.zanzibartravel.co.uk

A Book Review – Do Book Reviews Help Authors?

April 26, 2012 in Articles, Book Marketing

A book review is an essential aspect of book marketing and promotion, this is a true statement with respect to any author but could never be more true than for a new or emerging book author. The reason why book reviews help new authors is because potential purchasers of a book tend to rely heavily on the views and recommendations of others, even complete strangers. And especially when there is no track record to refer to.

Clearly then a negative book review is going to have a negative affect and will put off a potential buyer. Is that strictly true though or is there perhaps another way to view a negative book review? It is at least an emotion that someone has expressed and they were at least driven to make a comment. So can anything be gained from a negative view?

Book ReviewI read a book recently by the founder of Smashwords (Mark Coker) where he said even negative reviews can sometimes help with book sales. I thought that was a strange thing to say, but the explanation was essentially – one man’s meat is another man’s poison. In other words someone writing a negative comment and awarding a poor rating to a book, because of certain aspects identified within the book, could identify a feature that is exactly what another person is looking for.

I go along with that to a certain extent but I would then consider, personally, that if all reviews are negative that there is perhaps a lesson to be learned and that the book reviews might be an indication that an author has missed the mark on their chosen genre or failed to deliver on their promise to the reader. A mix of both positive and negative reviews however and you can see how Mark’s appraisal would indeed be considered valid, although I am sure he wouldn’t disagree that all negative comments are not the ideal.

So what is the best type of review a book can receive? In truth it is an honest one based on a real appraisal of what was delivered versus what was promised.

If there are bad parts say so, but likewise if there are good parts say that as well. A review is after all your opportunity to share your point of view and let someone else assess whether they are likely to enjoy a book or not. A false expectation as a result of a glowing review, that is clearly not accurate, is likely to result in a stronger negative response to the book than might otherwise have been the case; and may invoke an equally negative or worse review as a result.

Authors do place themselves in the public eye and yes they will, as most people do, crave positive reviews of their work. Who doesn’t, everyone likes a pat on the back. But no reader can be forced to write a review, it is after all their choice whether they go to the trouble and effort required. So getting a review should not be considered a given it has to be earned and hopefully will fall in the positive part of the equation. That said it doesn’t hurt to ask, and any author writing a book can add in a request at the end of their book suggesting that the reader does a review if they enjoyed the book.

A positive review delivered honestly is not only likely to promote further positive reviews but also further book sales. Which at the end of the day is the objective when authors have spent months sometimes even years crafting their art. Also, if you are a reviewer, think about what you are writing, if an author says he is providing you with the basic information you need to grow tomatoes, don’t berate him or her because they didn’t go into the atomic structure of tomato seeds, that is not what they promised.

If you have bought and read a book then remember you can help out. Reward the writer of the books you have read with an honest review that will provide him/her with essential feedback. Plus, of course, you will also be helping other potential customers make a buying decision which can be based on real information.

The best place to review a book is where you bought it, so that could be on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble etc. Alternatively if you have found a book on a site like this one then you can leave a comment. Nothing could be easier than that.

At the Robot Zoo – Harris Tobias and Billy Barden

April 10, 2012 in Books, Childrens Illustrated Books, Fiction, Pets and Animals

Children's Illustrated Book“The Little Robot is curious to see what goes on at the zoo when no one is around. He is happy to learn that the animals are just like him. Children will love the lively illustrations and humorous rhymes that make this book a delight to read.”

The illustrations in this book are lovely and typical of the illustrator. They bring through a sense of wonderment whilst they entertain and amuse at the same time. The illustrator is no stranger to comic humour, which he has demonstrated in other work he has done, he has a natural gift for drawing and artwork.

Purchase this Book

Available now from Amazon, you can purchase the book and be reading it in a matter of minutes. Use the links below:

If you prefer your books on a Nook you can also purchase it from Barnes and Noble here – At the Robot Zoo

Book Reviews

This is a most creative and pleasing book. A zoo of rhyme and interesting art work that my grandson went gaga over. – S.Hoham on Amazon

I loved reading At the Robot Zoo. I struggled a bit with the beginning, but it picked up quickly. Rhyming words described the scenes at the zoo. The colorful illustrations showed me what the robot animals do. It was a delightful story that I think you will enjoy too. – Rekaya Gibson on Amazon

To see more reviews of this book click Here

You can see the illustrator’s profile using this link Billy Barden Artist and Illustrator

Understanding What an eBook Is!

April 4, 2012 in Articles, Formatting eBooks

If you are a writer of books,  or a publisher of information in a printed format, you need to understand exactly what an eBook is, otherwise you could be missing out on a massive market for your products through the simple conversion of your printed, hardcopy medium into a digital one. This is especially true with the whole world seemingly heading towards the convenience of mobile technology and adopting applications that allow them to carry many different books on hand-held devices ranging from mobile phones to dedicated eReaders.

This is a straightforward definition of an eBook:

“an eBook is a replica of a printed book delivered in a digital format that can be diplayed and read on an eReader”

What is an eBook?

The problem authors come up against when they want to convert their printed books into digital versions is understanding that there is not one single standard digital format that e-readers use. Many people will cry – just use a ‘pdf’, Adobe’s contribution to the digital world. But unfortunately a ‘pdf’ is not the complete solution. Yes there is no doubt that Adobe’s ‘pdf’ format has its place in the digital world and  is good for viewing and printing a book from a PC, laptop or iPad. It’s acronym does after all convert to the meaning ‘portable document file’, which is exactly what it is.

Download it to a Kindle and again yes it will work, but you will lose much of the functionality a Kindle has to offer; for example, the automatic starting of a page from a main heading or the simple resizing of text. The same applies to many of the other eReading devices now available through the digital marketplace. They require the files that were designed for them in order to provide the optimum level of functionality.

How complex this all becomes, depends to an extent on the requirements of the author. There are in fact three fairly solid formats that exist which can take care of most eReader requirements in terms of functionality.

  1. The ‘PDF’ format already discussed is best for your home PC or laptop and is also good for printing if the security settings allow it.
  2. The ‘EPUB’ format is your best choice for Nook, Sony Reader, KOBO and most reading apps, including Stanza, Aldiko and Adobe Digital Editions.
  3. The ‘MOBI’ format is best for Kindle and Kindle apps, remembering that Amazon have their own proprietary file format, the ‘AZW’, which is almost entirely based on ‘MOBI’ and only differs slightly with respect to how it handles the digital rights management (DRM) aspect of the file formatting. So the Kindle will read and display properly formatted ‘MOBI’ files without any problem.

There is another usurper creeping into the fray and that is the KF8 or Kindle Format 8 which is specifically for use on a Kindle Fire eReader. Obviously with Amazon being the major player in the eBook marketplace it would be silly to dismiss this late entrant. You can find out all you need to know about the Kindle Fire using this link. But basically this new format introduces a massively extended range of functionality that encompasses, amongst other things, HTML5 and CSS3 support.

Of course there are other formats that exist for eBook readers but the ones detailed above are the current main players. Formatting existing word documents so that they can be converted into the three main formats range from a fairly easy exercise to definitely quite tricky. PDF conversion is certainly the easiest and ePubs that will pass the required ePub check is typically the most difficult.

Useful Free Resources

To read ‘PDF’ files, as books, on desktops and laptops, you will need Adobe Reader.

To read ePub books on desktops and laptops we recommend the free Adobe Digital Editions software app, which incidentally will also support ‘PDF’ files if you want a single solution.

To read any Kindle books on your desktop or laptop you can download the Kindle Previewer software from Amazon.

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