Why aren't Pippa's books in KindleUnlimited?
Some are in KU and many are launched in KU before later being released on iBooks, B&N etc Likewise, an old series might be removed from "wide" and spend a short time in KU to reach new readers.
Here's why some books are in and some out of KindleUnlimited:
Amazon requires a title be exclusive to Amazon if it's in KindleUnlimited, this means readers from other stores aren't able to buy it.
I try to make sure all my work is available to as many readers as possible.
Can I see Pippa at signings?
Pippa will be attending WorldCon in Dublin in 2019 but only as a fan! However, if you'd like to meet, please email her or use the contact page.
Is Pippa self published or traditionally published?
Both. I've worked with the lovely folks at Bloomsbury, London & New York, but I also self-publish as a business. You can expect to find a high-quality reading experience whether you're reading my traditionally published titles or my self-published titles. All are put through a rigorous editing process.
Will there be more London Fae?
Currently, Bloomsbury has no plans to publish a third book in the London Fae series. However, with the paperback of City of Fae due out in Spring 2019 (to be published in Germany by Random House), I am hoping this sparks more interest which could result in revisiting Reign and Alina at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, please leave reviews and show your support for the series by buying the ebooks where they are available! Thank you.
How long does it take to write a book and what's entailed?
I’m often asked about my process when it comes to writing books, and many readers assume it’s a case of just writing a book from beginning to end and publishing it, but that’s definitely not how I work.
Let’s assume I’m writing an 80k novel. I start with a very rough bullet point outline. This usually contains the main character’s plot, subplots, and any key events that must happen. It’s vague, and changes a lot during the first draft stage, but it’s just enough to get my butt in the chair and begin writing.
My first drafts are just me and the story throwing ideas onto the page. The manuscript is messy, characters sometimes change name halfway through, a village might become a floating city later on, or entire plots can change. My first drafts are pretty chaotic. They’re an idea dump. But, I don’t edit at this stage. I just write like a demon. I can usually write an 80k novel in 6 weeks, working every day (not weekends) from 9am-2pm (I have kids and a family to look after in the afternoons). But once that first draft is done, the real work begins.
Editing for me happens in many different passes. Right after the first draft is finished, I start again on page 1, go back in and tidy up the plot, tying up any loose ends or ditching ideas altogether. I might change scenes around, change the location a conversation happens, add more details, take excess details away. I also tidy up the sentence structure, which means going through the entire draft and the sentence level, removing repetitions, adding more details. And generally turning the writing into a book you’d like to read instead of a terrible word-mess.
The second pass focuses on the characters. What are they wearing, what are they feeling, are their motivations correct. Should one person be more emotional here? Are they in character? What can they smell, taste, touch, hear in this scene?
The third pass looks at world-building. These are the little details that often go unnoticed but help build the world around the characters. The seasons, the weather, the food, the currency, dialogue quirks, slang, wider-world issues, clothing, character ticks and nuances. These are not huge info-dumps, they’re tiny details threaded all the way through.
Okay, so I now have a manuscript, but it’s not finished. I hire freelance editors for all my work. I never publish books that aren’t ready. An editor looks at my book with a fresh pair of eyes and sees things I cannot. So, the draft goes to the editor for a line-edit (when I first started, I also hired developmental editors and learned a great deal from them). The editor usually has the manuscript for around two weeks. (Am I resting? Hell no, I’m writing the next book, of course!).
When that manuscript comes back it’s a sea of red corrections and comments. It’s daunting. But I love this stage, because my editors are usually the first person to see the manuscript, and now I get some real, valuable feedback. I go through every single page again, every comment, every correction. 95% of the time, I agree with everything my editors have suggested (my editors are awesome and I respect their skills).
I’ve now gotten to the point where I’ve read the book half a dozen times. I can no longer see it objectively. Usually, I hate it. It the worst thing I’ve ever written. Readers will hate it, they’ll be riots, angry emails etc etc but remember, I’ve just spent weeks finding every single error in 80,000 words. If I didn’t hate it, then I wouldn’t be doing my job properly.
And what do I do? I skim that sucker again. Every fresh pair of eyes introduces more errors. So, yet again, I’m looking for faults, for places I can tighten up the writing.
Now, it goes to the proofreader. The proofreader checks for spelling errors, some repetitive phrases, missing letters, double spaces. It comes back to me. I check it again, usually formatting it so I can read it on my kindle. Sometimes it goes to a second proofreader. And you know what, despite all these eyes on the manuscript, errors always slip through.
And now, finally, it’s ready for publication.
Let’s look back at all that for a moment. My time alone equates to hundreds of hours per book. I try to work between 9am and 2pm, but in reality, I’m working as soon as I wake up at 7am (5am in the school holidays) and still checking emails right before I go to bed. When you add in organising cover designers, editors, proofreaders, booking ads, updating websites, answering emails, social media, and all the extra bits, the work that goes into a single book is never ending.
I strive to make my books the best they can be to ensure readers enjoy my work. Some readers ask me why it takes three months to write a book. As you can see from the above, just writing the book is a small fraction of the complete process. As I’m also traditionally published, I know this process is exactly the same for traditionally published books. The only difference being, I have 100% control over cover design and editors. Just because my works are labelled “self-published” doesn’t mean they’re inferior. In fact, they’re often better because I have control, and if something isn’t right, I can change it, whereas large publishing houses don’t often give their authors much control outside of the manuscript (unless you happen to be Stephen King, but even he famously said some of his books weren’t edited).
So, there it is. My process, from a single idea to a finished book. I hope this helps to answer some questions. If you do want to know more, please do email me pippa @ pippadacosta . com or message me on social media. I’m on Facebook and Twitter every day.
Finding the book free on an illegal download site doesn't hurt anyone, does it?
Books can be expensive. I understand that. My family was poor, living off benefits and we couldn't afford books. I had to save any money and buy discount books or get them from a second-hand store. But, if you've read the above answer to how long it takes to write a book and what's entailed... you can see why I need my books to be legitimately bought, not downloaded for free. If you can't afford a book, it doesn't mean you're entitled to get it for free. Would you steal a necklace or a watch because you really wanted it, but couldn't afford it?
Piracy hurts authors. It threatens the future of a book series. Piracy risks me going out of business and your favorite stories never being finished.
If you love books, please pay for them and don't upload them to pirate sites or social media, believing you're doing everyone a favor by freely distributing the file, doing so is a crime.
And if you really can't afford the next Veil book or Messenger book, ask at your local library or contact me. I sometimes give out reader copies in exchange for reviews.