Compassion

Compassion
Compassion

Welcome to my Warrior Mums, a collection of family journeys from parents of children/adults with special needs. Some of our mums are advocates or established campaigners, one is a midwife, then we have two nurses, three teachers, two solicitors and a GP....
Their stories are not only a means of support but also a learning curve for parents and professionals alike.

We've had to adapt to so many government cuts and policies in the last few years and it's taken its toll on families. This blog has given parents the opportunity to share their individual experience of their unplanned life with a disabled child. Some have had great support with wonderful professional guidance whilst others sadly, have been lied about and deceived, blamed for their child's 'problems' by some who have no understanding of the disability. Facts about their family life have been distorted and manipulated into many untruths, making parents only too aware that their reputation precedes them in every meeting they attend. They feel judged, disrespected and ganged up on. Telling their story in Warrior Mums puts THEIR truth 'out there' for all to see.

A major concern that has come to light for me is that when a young person reaches the age of 18, regardless of whether they have autism, or a severe learning disability, legally, they are classed as an adult. As a parent, you can no longer make decisions on their behalf. If your loved one is in the care of the state and you upset the care staff or social workers then the chances are they will stop you from visiting or having any contact or information regarding medication or any other health issues about your loved one's welfare, all under the guise of your loved one's 'best interest', pulling out the Court of Protection/Mental Capacity Act gagging cards. The cruel message to parents is clear - - tow the line, stop asking questions and taking too much interest or lose contact with your child.

I would suggest reading warrior mum Finlola Moss and also Leo Andrade's journey to see the dreadful way parents have their rights taken away and in Leo's case, often denied visitation with her autistic son.

The misuse of the Mental Capacity Act has brought a huge increase in applications for Deprivation of Liberty safeguards through the courts. It's hard to believe that in 2017 this government are advocating locking up people with special needs and depriving them of family contact, people who would have had more freedom in the 70s living in large 'institutions' than they do in community care and independent 'of family' living' today...

We have to do something to stop this illegal abuse of power. We have to do something now....

Michelle

30 January 2013

PUBLISHING WITH CREATESPACE

Can't decide what to do with your book now that it's finished? 




Writing can be such a solitary journey and deciding how to go about publishing your book when it's finished can be mind-bending. Most writers will have heard of CreateSpace, but for those that haven't I wanted to share my experience with you.

My first book, Marie's Voice, was mainstream published 20 years ago, and when I finished writing my second book I wanted to have complete control over my work and (foolishly) published with Authorhouse. After throwing pot after pot of money at them I got wise and broke off my association with the company. 

I was on my own.

In the last year or so I heard so many authors speak favourably of publishing with CreateSpace that when my book With a Little Help From my Friends was finished I made my own enquiries and expected to fork out all kinds of money just like I had for Authorhouse. So imagine my surprise (and delight) when I learnt that CreateSpace publish books for FREE!! I couldn't believe it!

CreateSpace is a POD publishing company owned by Amazon. All advertising and promotion would be my responsibility and the printing, theirs. Unlike mainstream publishers, I would not be under contract and would retain the rights to my book. I won't waste time going into all the benefits as their website will explain far better than I can. CreateSpace 

My heart soon dropped when I checked out the CreateSpace site. Uploading a book in the correct format was far too complicated for my non-tech mind. I knew it had to be done properly. I don't know about you, but I find it so irritating when writers upload onto Kindle or other apps without taking the time to do correct conversion leaving broken sentences and chapters starting at the bottom of the page. It puts me right off. Where is the pride in their work?

Then a facebook friend gave me the details of a lady that formatted his book for CreateSpace, so I contacted MaryChris@TheBookTeam.com based in New Jersey, USA. After a few emails back and too, I sent MaryChris my word document and she converted my book for Kindle and also CreateSpace. Not only did she provide that service but she also uploaded the files for me, and at a very reasonable fee. 

What happened after file was uploaded? CreateSpace checked file for errors and then contacted me (within 24 hours) to either order a paperback proof copy of my book or have it sent through a PDF file. When I was satisfied with proof I went to my account and clicked on 'Approve' and my book was for sale on Amazon almost immediately.

My experience with CreateSpace has been very positive. The system is simple to navigate and book deliveries are reliable. When I found 6 six books (in a box of 40) with damaged spines, I informed CreateSpace and they immediately replaced the damaged goods, which I had not expected them to do.

I find a word-of-mouth recommendation far more helpful than having to browse the internet looking for - I don't know what? I've met some fab authors on Twitter @michelledalyliv and Facebook, which is why I wanted to share with you what friends have shared with me.

So go on, if you have an ebook and can't decide whether or not to publish a paperback, you could have it done while you're thinking about it. 

UPDATE


Delighted to announce I also published my books in hardback with Lulu (CreateSpace do not offer this service - yet!) I used my usual book formatter and all went without a hitch. The only snag was hardback failed to show up on Amazon, so after a month or two I contacted Lulu to ask why. Apparently, although publishing with Lulu is free, a Global Distribution package (£47 per book) has to be purchased in order for them to distribute book details to retailers. Once the Global Distribution package is purchased book details take about five weeks to reach Amazon and other outlets.

  My books are now available in paperback, Kindle and hardback. 




8 comments:

  1. Very useful Michelle. I used Feed A Read and they were also very good and the formatting was fairly straightforward too.

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    1. Hi Ruth, I've not heard of Feed A Read but I'll look them up. There's so much available to indie authors these days the gatekeepers will soon be out of business. Oh, but I forgot, the gatekeepers are now selling publishing packages to indie authors. :)

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  2. Hi Michelle,

    I published in CreateSpace and KDP too. Great experience! ...and the reviews have been amazingly gratifying, everything I could have hoped for.

    I popped in here when I ran across you (followed you) on Twitter. I see you are a special needs mum. I have a few friends in similar situations and I have tremendous respect for what they go through, so I always like to reach out with a supportive word to all special needs parents. I hope all is well!

    All the best,
    Andrew

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    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for stopping by. It seems CreateSpace do indeed have a lot of happy authors. Maybe their next stage will be hardback books? I've just gone with Lulu for that service but would prefer to be under the one printing umbrella.

      I do appreciate your comments on special needs parents - we need all the support we can get.

      Good luck with your writing and continued success with your books. :)

      Michelle

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  3. I published on KDP all by myself but I'm worried about trying Createspace by myself. I can't decide whether to go on my own or hire someone. I'm afraid of what it would cost.

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    1. Susan, why not get in touch with MaryChris@TheBookTeam.com? You'll kick yourself when you see not only how reasonable her fees are but also how great she is to work with. Let's know how you get on. Good luck! :)

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  4. Thanks for the endorsement Michelle!

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    1. And thank you too for the wonderful service you provide; for sticking to the deadlines, for being so adaptable and for consulting me every step of the way. :)

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