Time For Change

I am thrilled to announce my short story ‘Time for Change’ has been published today on the Extinction Rebellion Creative Hub!

Please have a read and let me know what you think.

Many thanks due to Patsy Collins for broadcasting this opportunity on her Words about writing and writing about words blog.

Extinction Rebellion Creative Hub

... a short story for children of all ages ...

by Jenny Worstall, UK

‘Open the door! Let me out!’

Pulling at the handle, I glance out of the window. The spaceship’s taken off with me on board! I only stayed behind for a few extra minutes – how was I to know my teacher and the rest of the class would leave without me?

‘Weren’t you in that school party who were looking round?’

‘You shouldn’t be here.’

‘What the…’

‘Come and see the captain with us – immediately.’

Argh! Was I in a whole heap of trouble or what?

Long story short, they couldn’t turn back; they just had to get over themselves and make the most of having a seven year old on board for the first manned flight to Mars.

It’s so exciting I can hardly believe it – I’m hurtling through deep dark space, on…

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UPDATED Check your Author Page! A warning to Amazon Authors.

Amazon changed the price of ALL my books to free yesterday (1st May), for reasons best known to themselves.

I only found out about this by chance when I was scrolling through Amazon in an idle moment (yes, a lot of those at the moment). My eye was drawn to the cover of one of my novels with £0.00 written underneath, which led me to check my author page and find to my amazement everything was completely free (not just for Kindle Unlimited as usual, but everything). I didn’t mind about the short stories as I often put those on free download as part of a KDP promotion, hoping to draw readers to my novels (there are some short titles intentionally free at the moment), but I was somewhat agitated to see there had been multiple free downloads of my Sing with the Choir novels. Previously, they had only been free on a very few occasions, for example, Three Hundred Bridesmaids was free for a few days at the start of lock-down because I wanted to do something positive and cheery.

I am always happy, of course, to be discovered by new readers (and there’s the slight chance I might get a few reviews from Amazon’s mistake), but the feeling of powerlessness as I watched the books slipping away yesterday evening was tricky to deal with.

One of the problems with KDP is that you can only contact Amazon by email. They still haven’t replied (beyond an automated reply saying my email will receive a response in 1 to 2 days) but the books have now been priced correctly. Whether this is because I emailed in, or possibly some mighty bot picked up on the error, I don’t know (yet). Hopefully there will be some light shed on the subject later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, if you feel moved to check out my Amazon Author Page (after hearing my tale of woe!), please be my guest.

Jenny Worstall Amazon Author Page

UPDATE: Sunday 3rd May

I’ve had not just one, but two emails from Amazon! One opened with Greetings from Amazon Senior Support (hoping this isn’t some sort of comment on my age or general decrepitude), and both emails expressed regret that all my books had been offered free, said their tech teams were aware of the problem and were working hard…thank you for your patience…etc. etc., you get the picture. Noticing the sign off warmest regards, my mind flooded immediately with visions of boiling pits of hell…again, you get the picture, but I digress.

In the meantime, my Facebook post about the subject has attracted a host of comments and I have learnt I am not alone (to misquote Matt Hancock). Many authors have sympathised; they too have watched helplessly as their books were downloaded with no payment. One author actually managed to get through to Amazon support on the phone. Well done you!

It’s worth pointing out that no one is blaming the down-loaders, as the books were advertised for free. Worth pointing out too that it’s obviously much worse for the more successful authors who have probably had non-paid-for downloads in the thousands. But even us less successful authors who get by with a few paid downloads here and there (and I am happy to admit I am in this category) have lost out, not least with the anxiety of the situation. At one point I was so desperate I considered unpublishing all my books (yes, all my babies, steadily growing on Amazon since 2012…). Only the bigger fear of trying to publish them again afterwards held me back; it would be bound to be horrendously complex and tricky and, knowing my luck, go spectacularly wrong. Besides, I had rather lost my trust in Amazon KDP at that point.

It has become apparent, although interestingly not confirmed (admitted?) by Amazon, that the whole kerfuffle has been caused by a computer glitch, triggered by the massive amount of price changing going on, itself a result of the abolition of VAT on ereading on Friday 1st May in UK.

Three cheers for the abolition of VAT on ebooks, but a miserable silence for the unintended adverse consequences for Amazon authors…

Will Amazon be compensating authors for lack of earnings? The jury’s still out on that, but I’m not holding my breath.

PS Reflect on this: the reading public now have kindles bulging with unintended freebies, and won’t be needing any new books for a long, long time.

PPS If you did, by any chance, download one of my books during the viral Amazon free-for-all, and, even bigger chance, you enjoy reading it, I have a very simple message:

REVIEWS ALWAYS WELCOME!

Jenny Worstall Facebook

Jenny Worstall Author Facebook Page

FURTHER UPDATE: Tuesday 5th May

Computer says no! Just heard from Amazon and they say this:

I hope this email finds you well and my apologies again that some of your books were falsely offered for free.

I understand your concern with the missed royalties due to the books offered for free, and I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused. However, I hope you’ll understand that we are unable to offer compensation in relation to this matter.

That’s it then, although I have replied and will update if I hear anything interesting.

FINAL UPDATE: Friday 8th May

It’s VE day and I have good news! This arrived from Amazon:

On May 1, a technical issue caused your book(s) to be incorrectly set to free. We’ve since fixed the issue and will be creating a royalty adjustment in your KDP account to compensate for free units purchased. This adjustment will be added to your July royalty payment…We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

After a week, a result! Shows it’s worth (politely) asking again if the first answer is ‘no’. I sincerely hope all the other authors who have suffered in the same way will be getting a similar email very soon

Doesn’t he know there’s a war on?! Reblogged from Clare Cooper’s ‘Hampton Caught’ Blog

This daily dose of sanity in a mad world is highly recommended!

Hampton Caught

Update from my friend in the Midlands supermarket: things are relatively calm, there, for now, but apparently their stocks of air fresheners and scented candles are flying off the shelves as soon as they arrive, along with toilet cleaners and unblockers. (My apologies if you are reading this while eating. Bon appetit!) I think we can all do the maths for that one.  I wonder what the next big thing will be…

In fact, I think I already know the answer (waves hand in air). Earplugs. The days are warmer and one’s delightful neighbours are using their outside space a lot more.  (Ours are outside with their children for most of every day now. I pray for rain so that I can get out there and enjoy our garden in peace… oh, wait.)

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’m trying out new earplugs.  I already use small foam ones that…

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Spring Clean!

It’s spring and it’s time to keep busy!

My books all have brand new covers and I can’t wait to show them off.

The first to be changed was the recently published novel, Three Hundred Bridesmaids. It now has a picture of Shaston School where Rosie Peach and David Hart work. They first meet on the drive, when David offers Rosie a lift…

Three Hundred Bridesmaids Cover 2

My first two novels, Make a Joyful Noise and The Funny Business of Life now have covers that highlight their musical settings. They are available as paperbacks and ebooks.

Make a Joyful Noise ebook cover

The Funny Business of Life ebook cover

My three novels make up the Sing with the Choir collection. They aren’t a series in the way Harry Potter is (the second and third books aren’t sequels to the first), but they are grouped together because they all feature choral music and choirs. Oh, and I do believe there is a certain Tristan Proudfoot, a conductor, who pops up in all three books to a varying degree and at different ages.

Make a Joyful Noise (Sing with the Choir Book 1)

The Funny Business of Life (Sing with the Choir Book 2)

Three Hundred Bridesmaids (Sing with the Choir Book 3)

My shorter works have also been treated to a spring clean and you can see all the covers on my Amazon Author site here, or perhaps here if you live on the other side of the pond.

What to do next with your Pocket Novel?

I am a guest today on Patsy Collins’ wonderful Womag Blog, talking about what you can do with your Pocket Novel after it has been published. Please see here for the guest post.

It is an absolute pleasure to appear on Patsy’s blog; she works selflessly to provide an up-to-date resource for writers of fiction for the women’s magazine market and her work is much appreciated and often commented on. See here for her appearance as Writer of the Week on The People’s Friend website.

Patsy has her own site too showcasing her published romantic novels and short story collections along with many other interesting articles and features. It’s well worth a visit! Please take a look here.

#Throwback Thursday #BookReview Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall @JennyWorstall

3 Sixty Five Blog

For several years I wrote a book blog and accumulated comments on a wealth of really good reads.

I saw on Twitter that Renee at It’s Book Talk started using the #ThrowbackThursday meme as a way to share books that are old favourites or have been waiting to be read for a long time.

I decided to visit my old book reviews and re-post my favourites here on 3sixtyfiveblog for #ThrowbackThursday.

So far I’ve included

An Englishwoman’s Guide to the Cowboy by June Kearns

Kings and Queens by TerryTyler

and

Blood-Tied by Wendy Percival

This week it’s Make a Joyful Noise by Jenny Worstall, a romantic comedy with some unusual twists.

From the Amazon book description:

‘Make a Joyful Noise’ (Sing with the Choir Book 1), is the sparkling tale of a choir preparing for a very special Christmas performance of “Belshazzar’s Feast”.

We meet a host of characters who…

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Arabella Sheen’s Blog and Chit-Chat

I am absolutely thrilled to be interviewed today on fellow RNA member Arabella Sheen’s  blog. See here for the full interview and chit-chat.

If you haven’t discovered her books yet, take a look at Arabella’s impressive Amazon page.

Three Hundred Bridesmaids, Love And Lies, and the Joan Hessayon Award 2019

It’s here! Three Hundred Bridesmaids can now be downloaded from all Amazon sites, for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

The novel was previously published by D C Thomson in an edited form as ‘Love And Lies’: People’s Friend Pocket Novel Number 883. I am absolutely thrilled (and totally amazed!) to be able to announce that ‘Love And Lies’ is a contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award 2019. Best of luck to all!

Link to Three Hundred Bridesmaids Amazon UK:

Link to Three Hundred Bridesmaids USA:

300 bridesmades animated gif

 

Three Hundred Bridesmaids

Yes, it’s the wedding season and ‘Three Hundred Bridesmaids’ is arriving soon!

Three Hundred Bridesmaids is a short novel I originally wrote for The People’s Friend and which they were kind enough to publish as a Pocket novel, ‘Love and Lies’ earlier this year. Thank you People’s Friend! Truly a good friend to writers.

The time has come for me to self-publish the novel and Three Hundred Bridesmaids is available to pre-order on Amazon now, so please take a look!

This is from the book description on Amazon:

The opening scene of ‘Three Hundred Bridesmaids’ takes place on a remote Dorset hilltop in the middle of the blazing hot heatwave of 1976.
We travel back to 1975 and follow Rosie Peach as she starts her first job as a music teacher at Shaston Convent School. It is not long before she falls for the dashing David Hart, but he is haunted by his dark and troubled past and is unable to give her the love she craves.
Rosie’s friend and colleague, Grace Browning, cautions Rosie against David as a suitable partner, but what exactly are her motives and who is she intent on pursuing?
The situation is complicated by the arrival of Tristan Proudfoot, a conductor, who has romantic designs of his own.

A madcap trio of sixth form girls keep us entertained with their ludicrous antics while the drama unfolds and a cast of irrepressible nuns join forces with the redoubtable Miss Spiker to do their utmost to ensure the path of true love runs smoothly.
The final scene before we return to tender and touching events on the remote Dorset hilltop involves a plate of chocolate eclairs and iced buns, a fight on the Nuns’ Lawn and a denouement quite possibly even more complicated and far fetched than the silliest opera plot.

The conductor Tristan Proudfoot from my ‘Sing with the Choir’ novels pops up in Three Hundred Bridesmaids, but as a younger (and slightly better behaved) man.

The main setting of the story, a convent boarding school in Dorset in 1975/76, is entirely imaginary, and the fact that I attended a convent boarding school in Dorset in the 70s is, of course, pure coincidence.

Kindle Cover V1

 

From Me To You – Love Sunday

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My short story From Me To You has been published today in Love Sunday magazine (comes with The Sunday People) and I am overjoyed!

It is set in the present day, and in the sixties, and has a musical theme (no surprise there). The theme is GRATITUDE which is very suitable for Mother’s Day.

The story began life as just the sixties section but after a couple of rejections and useful feedback, I decided to add the section in the present day, to give the story more purpose.

Hope you enjoy!

No blog on my website is complete without a plug for my novels, so here goes:

Make a Joyful Noise A musical romantic comedy

The Funny Business of Life  Mozart, Messiah and Murder

Oh, and there’s a Pocket Novel out now, The People’s Friend number 883, full of romance, humour, mystery and music…just in case you’re interested!