UPDATED: Summer/Winter Sale on Smashwords

This is a site-wide promotion for Smashwords, so as much as I want you all to spend all your money on our titles, actually it’s a real bonanza for readers, if one can discern from a preview what is a good read or is willing to invest time to find out.

Here is the code:

GU39T

And here is the link:

P’kaboo on Smashwords. Includes Split Decision, Arcana and Mercury Silver.

NEW: Includes “The Blue Between” by Annemarie Luck.

To see a lovely preview, click here.

There are two nuggets in there that have been set to an exceptionally low price – see if you can find them.  🙂  The rest of the books are on a deeply discounted, standardized price of less than a cuppa Joe.

In other news:  Systems are changing.

While Smashwords and Amazon are still good sales channels for us, we are currently filing away on getting books actually print-ready.

There should be launches, some time soon.

We have found suitable printers in Ireland and the UK.  The quality bowled me over, not being used to it.  This is a new game!

We are also working on internal structures and systems. And we have a number of new authors on board.

Website:

It is interesting to see how the GDPR law impacts on websites and on sticky advertising (you know, that annoying kind that sticks to you like gum on a shoe).  P’kaboo doesn’t do that. Our source code is simple, innocent.  Our business systems still rely pretty much on person-to-person.  You can shop from our shop (though you’ll still have a bit of a wait at this point), but you can’t have an “Account” with us, with 2000-step verification and the name of your favourite pet.  No.  We operate with Paypal; when I started with Paypal, it was a convenient way to communicate with the world outside South Africa, but I have come to respect them immensely for the added facilities and security measures they have in place.

So the smoothest, easiest way to interact with us is via our website.  If you are in the civilized world, we’ll mail you your books.  If you order ebooks, we’ll deliver them by email attachment. You can order a number of our books and ebooks from Amazon, of course, and some ebooks from Smashwords; the numbers are growing.  I am looking at more platforms, but by now,
www.pkaboo.net is a pretty nice site.

I am trawling for a nice platform to use for forums for our readers, reviewers and authors to interact, but so far, the Facebook group
The P’kaboo Book Club” is the simplest.  We used to hold games in there on Monday nights (Tuesday nights?) in 2015, when things were still awesome.

On that note, go check out the smorgasboard of links I’ve served up for you :).  See what you like.  See if you can find the hidden nuggets, and report back if you did.

Signing off…  kalinka

Midsummer Night Special

I’m still not used to the sun setting here at 10h in midsummer, and at 11h the sky not being properly dark yet.  It leaves stories like Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night” looking rather likely.

Still a disturbing feeling that I don’t recognize the northern stars yet.  (I think I spotted the “Big Dipper” yesterday.  Could have been mistaken.)

So while the solstice was yesterday, I’ve decided to put on a spontaneous special on Smashwords, on all our titles that are loaded there (because it is easy to do this on Smashwords, kudos to the site being so user-friendly) :

Each title we have on there comes at $1.  That’s it.

I find that we buy tons of things for more than $1 without thinking.  But these are good reads; if you have a tablet or larger smartphone, these ebooks are very readable for those long, relaxed summer nights.  And South Africans: For those cosy, cuddled-up-in-a-blanket winter nights in the southern hemisphere.

Here is the code:

QP87F

And here is the link:

P’kaboo on Smashwords. Includes Split Decision, Arcana and Mercury Silver.

Enjoy!

Finally! Updated Webshop

Hi Peeps.

It’s taken long enough.  I’ve finally uploaded the updated version of the P’kaboo Bookshop.

It looks like this:

(Buy this: WP would not allow me to take a screenshot of my own site and upload it to the blog!  This took me reformatting and renaming the screengrab, and uploading it without its “handles”.)

webshop2019.png

Anyway it’s now set out so you can click on the genre you’re looking for.

Also check out the links menu on the left.  It takes you to most of the books (we’re still beta-testing the links, and now you can help us with that! 😀 )

Obviously the page does not stop where this image cuts off.

The nice thing is that it now doesn’t break on tablets and phones.  It has been improved for small-screen accessibility.

I have not yet updated all the book- and author pages, nor am I totally sure that I will.

Oh, yes, and the box for “Fantasy and Science Fiction” looks shorter.  It is.  It’s deliberate.  I’m still not a conformist.  It shouldn’t look perfect.  It should look unique.

In other news, we’re looking for:  Freelancers to help edit, illustrate, create covers and direct-sell.  If you can stick to a nasty deadline and don’t cost a tooth per word, then please feel free to contact (message me on the blog or do some detective work and contact me on LinkedIn, Facebook or – guess what – even via the P’kaboo contact page).  It’s a tall order, I know.  You guys are as scarce as a chicken’s tooth.  (Ok, that was a terrible non-Anglicism.)

By the way, if you buy an author coffee, I will enforce that he or she drinks it.  😀  Jus’ saying.

Also, we have a number of numbers in the machine, as is the habit…  but, shhh, not a word.  Trying a new approach.

So, happy?

(… gipsika sneaking away.)

GDPR and the blogger habit of pseudonyms

And there I’ve basically covered the topic in one single statement.  Makes sense, right?

But I can’t help wondering, what will happen now to the social media sites, places like Facebook, LinkedIn (which are ceaselessly being prowled by every self-respecting company head-hunting people) and so on?  After all, it’s personal details up there, and a lot of them.  Where we worked, where we are now (more or less, sometimes quite precisely), who we associate with…

Anyway, just stopping in to say hi, we’re working on stuff at P’kaboo, and feedback will be up once we have something imminent to announce!

Updating the website…

This has taken long, but it is in its last throes.  I’m refreshing the P’kaboo Bookshop page so that it is mobile compatible.

A sneak peek behind the scenes:  I’ve broken the page into 5 genres (to be divided further as they grow).  One of our pet peeves has always been a too-slow-loading page.  I know that the connectivity isn’t always that great here; we often wait for a page to load, but it’s a point of pride trying to avoid this on our own website.  (Inevitably, what slows down the loading are the social media buttons, and occasionally the Paypal buttons.  There isn’t much we can do about that.)

The whole idea is to get the shop mobile-friendly without it losing its appeal on the PC.

What is already updated, mobile-compatible and active:

The home page (www.pkaboo.net); the “about” page; Submissions; Contact Us, and Review a Book page.  Furthermore the Young Writers’ Contest (a temporary page); and a few other less important ones.

The Bookshop:

The big project was the Bookshop page (the actual web shop).  It was (in its current upload) based on a tables layout.  This was the best and most visually logical layout for a decade, until some trendy web teccies decided for no conceivable reason that it’s not “cool” to use tables as a basis for web pages.  They changed the way browsers read things, and now tables “break” on smaller screens, i.e. they end up with a load of nonsense stuffed into them sideways by default by the browser.  I discovered this, as Murphy’s Law will have it, in the conceivably most embarrassing moment of trying to show off my page to an important mentor.  I still don’t know what he was doing with an inferior-sized screen, but just as well, as I would not have discovered this otherwise.

A table was the logical layout of the shop, it made things easy to find.  Never mind, check out the nifty accordeon with the links, on the left.  All the books are linked into that table.  They are still easy to find.

Conceptualizing this and trying out three other (non-successful) options for layout was what took so long with the web shop.

kiddiesgenrepage

The 5 genres are:  Children’s books (including picture books, readers and children’s novels);  Science Fiction & Fantasy (a lot of books here!);  Poetry and shortstories (lumped together for now, soon to be joined by esoterica); “general” (meaning “other”) and then the music shop (which includes both original music CDs and music books).  I am still brainstorming on how to include the imprint of Honeymead into the web shop, and what to call our music imprint.

The music shop is a tough issue, as it contains both “A Tensional Guitarist” and “Krag en Ander Stories”.  It doesn’t, and will now never contain the comprehensive guitar method Iain wanted to write.  It doesn’t yet, but will in time contain his other originals, an early album he called “No Imagami”, and whichever of his originals he made recordings of, bundled together in a tribute album.  This is a project I have not yet started and it may take a long time as it is very emotional.  But except for me, there is nobody to do it.  And he would definitely want his songs out there.  He was such an extrovert.

Iainauthorpage

This page was one of the first that went up on P’kaboo. I think it dates back to 2011. I have not had the heart to remove it; I don’t think I will, but I’ll put an updated page in between linking to this one. R.I.P. Mello Muso.

Book and Author Pages:

These will be the last things I’ll update, and I’ll be selective.  Unique and quirky is currently fashionable, as is “retro”.  Different authors have different pages, even from different eras of the website; I don’t want them to lose their unique touch; only update them to work on mobiles.  But they are right in the back of the queue, as I’m updating the functional pages first.

The new bookshop is of course not yet live, and I’ll have to fix up all the Paypal buttons to reflect the correct pricing and only sell available products.  For books that are available in paperback in South Africa, I’ll have to add something into the buttons.

New Books:

Not so much to do with the website but yes, there are a number of them!  Even across a number of genres.  But I’m also in the deep of setting up processes here in Ireland.  If I don’t, I’ll never find my way out of the forest of admin and what-needs-to-happen-next.

Affiliate Program:

Thinking of offering one of those.  Keep your eyes peeled for the options.

… and that’s the news with me and the website.  Keep your ears peeled and your eyes…  er…

🙂  … signing of

gipsika

 

 

 

 

 

Got to love Mother’s Day.

We’re getting 2 Mother’s Days this year:  The Irish one (31 March) and the South African one (second Sunday in May).

So as a beautiful gift, why not get your mom an ebook for her Kindle.

Nobody told P’kaboo there’s an upper limit on promotions, so the promo code for deep discounts over at Smashwords is:

SY34F

It’s valid until 31 March (end of), giving you a week to plan your surprise.

The discounts are deep (40% on ALL our Smashwords books).  There’s a nice variety too.

book-863418_640.jpg

(Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay)

So here are the links:

Enjoy!

Still out there…

Hey, just wanted to let everyone know… the St Paddy’s Day promo is still on at Smashwords, it will hold until the end of today (18th).  So if you missed your discounted book, here’s the code again (but it actually shows up on each of the books when you check out, anyway):

GQ68E.

 

 

Have fun.

Let the Leprechauns dance!

st-patricks-day-2130023_640

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

From tonight until the end of St Patrick’s Day, we’re running a promotion on Smashwords, of all our ebooks available on that platform.

The coupon code is GQ68E.  Simply apply this code at the checkout to get at least 50% off the price of ALL of our titles.

Here are a few links to various parts of the promotion.  Have fun!

 

Other updates:

We are right now reading all the submissions we received for the Young Writers’ Contest.  Well done, kids!  But I have to emphasize that next time we will not accept hand-written submissions when it is specified in the competition that they have to be in a text document, at least a .txt file.  It is very time-consuming to key them all into the word processor.  Let’s get real:  Who of you kids does not own a smartphone?  Every smartphone has a facility of notes, and of emailing.

Working on our website, have a look here:

http://www.pkaboo.net/

(Why?  Because, mobile phones.)

We have not yet formatted the bookshop page for mobile phone or tablet.  Do not attempt to view it on a too-small device – it will break, because in the “upgrade” from html4 to html5 that every browser forcibly made, tables were “depreciated”, meaning that the code now is messed up where it worked perfectly in the previous version of html.  This is simply because some fancy-pants trend-setters decided without holding a general vote on it that html-tables are “not cool” to use for websites.  (It wasn’t broken.  They didn’t need to “fix” it.)  Tables were a brilliant tool for layout, but… oh well, they are gone.  There’s no changing the world-wide web from the position of one lone hard-coding webbie.

4 new authors and 2 old ones, in the cooker.

The mix includes 3 beautiful, fully-illustrated children’s books, a sequel to a previous YA book, a Science Fiction, and a Dark Fantasy with magecraft and all sorts of devilry going on.

They will be ready at different times.  Build the excitement so long!  🙂

 

… gipsika …

Groundhog Day

… or, St Bridget’s Day. Depending where you are.

A peep inside P’kaboo Publishers at this moment:

I’m in the woes of fixing up the website to work on mobile.  Needed a few puzzle pieces, have them now.  The Index page is done (in any case I like keeping that fresh if possible), the Young Writers’ Contest page is done and so is the Contact page. The page that will take the longest, is the bookshop, because though I have the method down pat now, it’s a lot of books that need to have their info and everything changed to the new format.  The current shop may look tidy but it fails on certain screen widths, where the perfectly correct HTML4 table has been depreciated in HTLM5 to some form of abomination.  Some clever developer changed the way browsers read tables and added extra fields in that are absolutely invisible in the source code.  To support the new religion that tables are “no good” for creating websites.  It’s just a fashion statement, but now it’s a tyrannical one.

Also working on a few books by a few authors.

If you like, you can go over and look at the work-in-progress the site is at this point.  Mobile, PC or tablet, feel free…

www.pkaboo.net

We did collect some entries for the Young Writers’ Contest, which I’ll be reviewing.

The next project I’d like to put out there is something for the summer, I’ll have the details to you all really soon.  It will be for adults, not children writers; ebook only for now, a collection of short stories similar to Mercury Silver, but this time with a theme.  The theme would be a quirky, offbeat romance for a light summer read.  Feel free to use the emails on P’kaboo to contact me and ask for more details, or ask here in the comments if you like.

Got to run now.  “Keep rocking”, like Iain used to say.