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Dawn Brookes Publishing

Publishing Topics by author Dawn Brookes

Month: November 2017

Christmas Nativity

Christmas Nativity

I found this video recently and as I am about to publish a children’s Christmas Nativity adventure, it seemed rather apt, albeit nothing like my book! I thought it would be fun to share.

An angel came to see Mary. She was doing the laundry and then the angel appeared and she was really scared. So, Gabriel was like, “Mary, you’re gonna have a baby…I, uh…You’re gonna have a baby and you will call him Jesus. And then Mary like, “I’m not gonna have a baby yet, I’m only a teenager and I’m not married.”

Then the angel Gabriel told Joseph that, “Mary was not lying.” She..you..are having a baby. And so they met up. They went to Bethlehem, which was in Joseph’s old town. They ride a donkey. “This donkey’s fast.” They tried to go to a hotel and they asked the inn keeper for a place to stay.

And the keeper said, “We have no rooms…literally, no rooms.” So Mary and Joseph walked away sadly but then he said, “The only place here in Bethlehem that you can stay is a stable” and then he just pointed the way and they followed.

While the shepherds were taking care of the sheep, they saw an angel. The angel said, “A new baby is getting born…who is king of the Jews!” The angels were singing, “Glo…oh…ohoo…ooo oooo…oooo…ooooo…rius.” And then the shepherds said, “I think we should go and meet ’em.” Second, I think said, “I agree with you.” And the other said [Sigh], “Yeah, me too.” They had to walk through a bunch of grass and bushes. Maybe had to camp out a night.

And then the wise men heard about it… and then a star appeared. “We should probably follow that star. It’s pointing down to that barn.” “So, maybe we should follow it.

Maybe..” So, the wise men went to Jesus They gave them gifts… A stuffed animal…like a hippo one. I have at home… some nappies, and some wipes, and some milk. Gold, Frankenstein, and myrrh. And I don’t know how I would survive in that barn… too stinky too crowded. Thank you for coming.

He’s adorable! He’s going to be our best friend. I love you…and…you are the best baby I have ever seen. There, I said it. The new baby is going to change the world….

I thought it would be a bit of fun to share this video and script with you as it made me smile.

As found on Youtube

Ava & Oliver’s Christmas Nativity Adventure

 

Ava & Oliver’s Christmas Nativity Adventure will be the second book in the Ava & Oliver adventure series for kids.

This time the children are preparing for a very special Nativity play with some very unusual castings. They are hoping that all will go well on Christmas Eve when they perform but animals are unpredictable!

The first book, Ava & Oliver’s Bonfire Night Adventure is available on Amazon in kindle and paperback.

Writing: Lessons I Learned from Writing My Memoirs – A Case Study

Writing: Lessons I Learned from Writing My Memoirs – A Case Study

Dawn Brookes, British nurse, shares what she’s learned from writing two memoirs
photo of Dawn Brookes

Thinking of writing and self-publishing a memoir? Get off to a flying start by reading this case study by ALLi author member Dawn Brookes, who shares the benefit of her experience gained from her two self-published memoirs containing stories from her early nursing career.

 

Why I Wrote My Nursing Memoirs

I started the first memoir while working full time as a community matron in Derbyshire. Initially I was writing for myself and for future generations who might want to explore family history. I became determined as I remembered the patients from those early days, I wanted their brave stories to be told, and I was remembering the fun and camaraderie of nursing in the 1970s.

Progress was slow going as I had hardly any spare time.

Set Back by Lost Work

In 2014 my computer crashed, and the hard drive was irreparably damaged. I lost the majority of the memoir. At that point, I gave up. Work was too busy and I began to doubt the value of writing it. I had major things going on in my life, as I was about to semi-retire and work part-time. I forgot about the book.

Broken Bones

As published in Alli blog

Hurry Up Nurse – the first instalment

Fate conspired to remind me about the memoir when, following a fall, I broke my foot in three places and ended up in plaster. I was confined to the house and bored out of my brains – when I remembered!

I was able to concentrate on one thing, in one place and I completed the work in seven weeks.

The most challenging part for me was developing patients’ stories without identifying them due to confidentiality.

I had to change things around a bit and mix up details while remaining true to the facts.

Mistakes Made & Lessons Learned

cover of book 2

And the first sequel (More are in the pipeline)

I made a whole load of mistakes in August 2016.

The biggest mistake was not having the manuscript proofread, although I had read it numerous times and   asked a few friends to read it, we were all too wrapped up in the story and missed the numerous grammatical errors.

The next mistake I made was joining the Amazon Advantage programme. I ordered 200 books. The pricing of memoirs is relatively low at £7.99. I had sensibly had the book cover designed by a graphic designer, and the Kindle book formatted and converted by a professional. I published the book on Kindle.

The orders were coming in from Amazon Advantage, but I was posting books to their warehouses all around the UK, wasting time at the post office.

It was costing more money than I was making!

The next major faux pas was when I read the book and noticed an error on the second page. I was learning a harsh lesson. In spite of this, complete strangers were reviewing the book favourably – even on Goodreads it was getting three stars! This encouraged me that the content was at least readable. I found ALLi’s Debbie Young via a blog post, and she kindly agreed to read the book. Debbie was encouraging about the content and gentle with her advice.

I bit the bullet and hired a proofreader which was the best thing I could have done.

Corrections

I was able to correct the mistakes for the Kindle version, but the print book was more difficult. I had sold about 90 books when I decided it was time to cut my losses and do a reprint.

I realised that the Advantage programme was not right, and I moved the book to Createspace after a few emails to Amazon Advantage.

Change, Change, Change

The beauty of spending decades working in the NHS is that constant change requires flexibility which is vital, and I applied those skills to publishing.

The second memoir flowed better because my writing had improved.

Also,

  • I found it easier to mix up events and personalities to protect confidentiality.
  • The whole publishing process was much simpler.
  • I learned how to format books for kindle and epub and for print too, which saved me money.
  • This money was spent on proofing and editing the second memoir.
  • I saved a fortune by using print on demand.

More Memoirs to Follow

With lessons learned and readers requesting more, there is likely to be another memoir or two in the future. I still have around eighty print copies of my first book if anyone wants one – as long as they don’t mention the grammar!

Newspaper cutting

Celebrated as a success story in Derby local paper.

OVER TO YOU If you’ve learned lessons from writing a memoir, do you have top tips to add to Dawn’s list? We’d love to hear them!

As published on Alliance of Independent Authors blog   26/10/2017

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