The ePublishing Business is BOOMING! for Kat Valentine

Hi Joe,

This is an update on my continuing adventures in epublishing. Last month I told you about my novelette The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic becoming an Amazon Best Seller. It has now been in Amazon’s Top Twenty Best Sellers in both Psychological Thriller and Horror for a month and has been in the Top Ten quite frequently. It has sold over 2500 copies so far.


Since then I’ve published my first ghost story (for Halloween). It is a novelette, too, called Ghosts of a Beach Town in Winter and, though it has only been out for a week, has been an Amazon Top Fifty Seller in Ghost Stories. Feedback and reviews are encouraging.

So, as a thank you to my wonderful e-readers, I’ve created a free sampler book called Romance, Crime, Good Food: The Kathleen Valentine Sampler. It contains 4 complete short stories, 3 full chapters from my novels, 2 essays and 8 recipes from my cookbook/memoir about growing up Pennsylvania Dutch. It is currently free on Smashwords and will be on Kindle and Nook eventually (they take their time.)

Thanks for your encouragement and Happy eReading!

Local Author and Blogger Kat Valentine Is Kicking Steven King’s Ass On Horror Sales of Her Kindle Book

"The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic" by Gloucester writer Kathleen Valentine is a psychological horror novelette available for Kindle. It has been selling well and last night hit a new high:


Novelette (15k words) Psychological horror. – The townhouses on serene, elegant Beacon Hill in Boston are some of the most lavish and expensive in the country. When Stan and Mattie take up residence in the dark and crumbling five-story house that Mattie grew up in, and has just inherited from her grandmother, their plans are to clean it out, fix it up, sell it, and return to their quiet life on Cape Cod. Mattie is overwhelmed by the gowns, furs and jewels in GrammyLou’s bedroom. Stan is amazed by the fifth-floor ballroom which has been locked up since the night of Mattie’s father’s thirtieth birthday party — the party that ended in the car wreck that killed both of her parents. Now, as they set about sifting through GrammyLou’s endless possessions they find mysterious things: a closet full of still-wrapped presents, a marked passage in her grandfather’s Bible, and a secret drawer with disturbing content. Mattie soon learns that her entire life has been built on a foundation of lies… that she was raised in a house of horror, by a monster.

Kat Valentine Tutorial: Selling eBooks Directly from Your Site or Blog

Hi Joe,

Ever since I wrote my series on indie publishing I’ve gotten a lot of requests to explain how to sell e-books directly from one’s own blog or web site. So I wrote a tutorial that your readers might find useful. It is on my blog:

Tutorial: Selling eBooks Directly from Your Site or Blog

Selling books for e-readers through Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc. is easier than ever but, with a little bit of work, you can also sell your eBooks directly from your own web site or blog. You can set your own price and the only cost to you will be what Paypal deducts for their services. I have sold hundreds of books and knitting patterns in PDF format this way. Below I’ll walk you through the steps you’ll need to take to do this. All the images below can be enlarged by clicking on them. What you will need are:

  1. Your manuscript in e-book format – PDF, HTML, TXT, DOC, EPUB or any other.

  2. An online storage site. If you have your own web hosting site that will work. If not you will need an online storage service like Dropbox, LiveDrive, etc. If you do a search for “online file storage” you can find one that will work for you.

  3. A Paypal account that is upgraded to a Merchant Account. If you already have Paypal you can use that by just upgrading the account. It’s free.

  4. A web site or blog where you plan to sell your books.

Continued on Parlez-Moi Blog:

Chickity Check It!- Kat Valentine Digs Up A Great Piece On How To Blog

click on the graphic below to check it out-


Click here for the post-which Ket highlighted at

7 Dos and 7 Don’ts for New Bloggers

Nathan Bransford has spoken. He says it’s never too early for writers to start using social media. Perhaps one day we’ll all be issued Twitter accounts in the womb.

Since Nathan is a Thought Leader in our industry (according to Klout) I have a feeling a lot of writers are scrambling around this weekend, trying to set up blogs.

If you’re a non-geek who doesn’t have a clue where to begin, I wrote a post last December on How to Start a Blog that people have found useful..

Here are some further dos and don’ts for creative writers who are thinking of plunging into the blogosphere.

How To Publish Series Part V With Kat Valentine

Part 5 – Marketing and Promotion

Probably the most challenging part of being an indie author/publisher is the marketing. Unlike trad-pub authors, indie authors are responsible for all their own marketing. At one time this meant slogging boxes of books around to book stores, trade shows, flea markets – wherever you thought you might be able to push a few books. Thanks to the internet, however, all that is unnecessary. Welcome to the world of Social Media and internet marketing.


Continued at:

Thanks a bunch!!!

Kat Valentine’s Local Author Publishing Series

Kat Valentine is putting together a series of talks with authors who offer advice on writing and publishing.  here is the first in the series-

For/From Indie Authors: Daniel Arenson

Daniel Arenson is an author of fantasy fiction, from epic to dark and surreal. Like many writers, he began his career writing short stories. He sold his first story, "Worms Believe in God", in 1998. Since then, dozens of his stories and poems have appeared in various magazines, among them Flesh & Blood, Chizine, and Orson Scott Card’s Strong Verse. Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale, published Daniel’s fantasy novel Firefly Island in 2007. His second novel, the dark fantasy Flaming Dove, was released in 2010. The Gods of Dream, an epic Advice, is Daniel’s third novel.

Continued at: 

For/From Indie Authors: Daniel Arenson


Part 3 What is “Self” Publishing? From Kat Valentine– Before You Go To Press

Here is part 3. It is a little longer but I cannot emphasize the part in yellow enough! Thank so much!!!

Spelling and Grammar Matter

Thanks to the internet more people than ever are writing on a daily basis – they are blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, IMing, emailing, texting, etc. etc. However, all this writing has lead to a decline in basic grammar and spelling. This may be fine for everyday communications but that does not make it fine for books. Spell check will find words which are spelled incorrectly but it will not differentiate between there/their/they’re, point out words that are used incorrectly, correct punctuation, etc. There are also grammatical conventions for constructing things such as dialog that should be followed if you want your published work to look professional.

Authors who are not open to having their manuscripts proofed, edited, and critiqued should really consider whether they are serious about publishing. Professionals in the publishing business tell me that if an author resists editing and making changes they cannot work with them and will terminate the contract. While it is perfectly reasonable to resist significant content changes to a book (one of my agents wanted me to rewrite The Old Mermaid’s Tale for the Young Adult market — I refused), writers have to comply with standard grammar, punctuation, structure, etc. if they want to be taken seriously.


Please remember this: when you publish a badly written, badly proofed,

badly edited book, you don’t just make yourself look bad,

you make all self-published authors look bad.

Readers are becoming increasingly sensitive to self-publishing and have no reticence

to give very bad reviews to badly constructed books.

As a self-publisher commit to the highest standards possible.


Preparing Files: Print Publishing vs. ePublishing

Remember: printed material is made of ink, electronic material is made of light.

Continued at:

Part 2 continued – What is “Self” Publishing? From Kat Valentine

What is INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING & how is it different from subsidy publishing?

Unlike subsidy publishing, independent publishing is entirely controlled by the author. Most of the prominent writers who have self-published have done so independently so that they could publish under their own imprint. What this means is that they take control of the entire process which includes selecting a name for their publishing company (I use Parlez-Moi Press) and purchasing their ISBNs under that imprint so their books are published by their own imprint. Sometimes 3 or 4 authors work together to form a small press, one local example is Back Shore Press which was formed by Peter Anastas, Schuyler Hoffman, and Peter Tuttle to publish and promote their books.


This is how an independent publisher publishes:

  1. Editing and Proofing: No matter how skillful you are and no matter how much effort you put into your work it will need proofing. Mistakes occur even in books by major publishers.

Continued at

Part 2 – What is “Self” Publishing? From Kat Valentine


I keep telling Kat she should write is “How To Publish/Or Not Publish For Dummies”

EVERYBODY has a story to tell.  EVERYBODY thinks they are interesting.  Hardly anyone knows the ins and outs of the industry like Kat does.

Kat Writes-

Subsidy Publishing vs. Independent Publishing

For many people the words “self-published” bear a stigma and the suggestion that self-publishing is the only option the author had to get a book in to print. This is not true. Some authors who have self-published are Mark Twain, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Deepak Chopra, Virginia Woolf, and Margaret Atwood. Among the most famous of self-published books are Huckleberry Finn, the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and that most ubiquitous cookbook, The Joy of Cooking. Authors self publish for a variety of reasons.

Today publishing has been complicated by the addition of e-publishing. In this post I’m going to discuss the different types of print publishing, and include information on how e-books are handled by each. Since we already talked about traditional publishing I won’t delve much further in to that but bear these things in mind as you decide how much time and effort you wish to spend pursuing a contract with a traditional publisher:

Continued at:

How To Publish Your Book (or Not) From Kat Valentine

With the explosion in eBook readers such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad I‘ve been intrigued on how things in the publishing world are changing.  Katy Valentine has a good number of books in print and also available electronically.  Not only that, Kat has helped local authors self publish their own books like Melissa Abbott.  So to say that Kat can speak to the subject would be an understatement. 

So Kat is doing a series on her blog-Parlez-Moi Press about the different ways that people go about bringing their books to the marketplace and she is Guest posting here on GMG.

So here is the first in her series-

How To Publish Your Book (or Not)

Innovations in digital technology mean that publishing today is very different than it was even a few years ago. Also the growth and popularity of ebooks has changed the entire industry. In December 2010 Barnes & Noble announced that their web site sold more ebooks than print books. This trend is just beginning.


Since I have five books currently in paperback and six ebooks (plus 2 in production) I have learned a lot about the publishing industry. In 2010 I sold a little over a thousand books in a combination of paperback and eformat. Along the way I’ve learned a lot about publishing and I am writing this to provide information for other authors who wish to publish. What I write here is purely from my own experience and I will be adding to this as time permits in the hope it will help. So let me begin with a few words about conventional publishing:

Part 1 – Conventional Publishing & How It Works

The ideal for most aspiring authors is to sell their manuscript to a big publisher, get a hefty advance, and have their book edited, designed, printed and distributed. Once the book is in print authors dream of book signing tours set up and paid for by their publisher where they are wined and dined, meet their fans, sell and sign lots of books, and the money starts rolling in. The ultimate ideal is for the book to be optioned by Hollywood, a movie made with top name stars, and merchandising rights for everything from t-shirts to video games. This is a nice dream and it does happen for some lucky people but they are very much in the minority.

The truth is a publisher has to consider a lot of factors before even considering to publish a book, the top ones being a.) how much will they have to invest to produce it, and b.) how much market appeal does it have. Producing a book is very, very costly. The process of editing, working with the author through rewrites, designing, printing, distributing and promoting is expensive and publishers have to make sure their investment will yield a profit to justify their expenses. One of the things they need to consider is how marketable the author is, as well as the book. Like it or not, we live in a personality-driven society. New authors are tough to promote and an author who has a certain measure of “star” power has an advantage. Sad to say, but a lot of readers are more interested in the authors than in their books.

Continued at:

Chickity Check It! Kat Valentine Does a Blog Re-design


Kat Valentine is a sweetheart of a person.  I love our conversations when I get a little time to check in on her.  Anyway she has a blog and now with after hearing about her redesign I figure it’s as good a time as any to remind folks to check it out.

here’s the link-

Parlez Moi Blog

Knit To End Homelessness – November 7

Kat Valentine wants You To Knit To End Homelessness


On November 7 the annual Knit-A-Thon to benefit Pine Street Inn will be held at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. The goal this year is $50,000. Among the prizes awarded during the event are jewelry by Leslie Wind and copies of my two Mermaid books: The Mermaid Shawl & other Beauties: Shawls Cocoons & Wraps, a collection of original knitwear designs, and The Old Mermaid’s Tale: A Romance of the Great Lakes, the perfect novel to read while wrapped in your mermaid shawl.Visit for more information.

Check Out Kat’s blog here-

Parlez-Moi Blog

Kat Valentine Wants You To Celebrate the Flavors of Massachusetts with Tinky Weisblat

Kat asked me to forward this along-

Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusetts with Tinky Weisblat

Our good friend Tinky Weisblat from In Our Grandmother’s Kitchens is planning a celebration of locally grown produce to raise funds for Mass Farmers Markets. See below:

To my fellow bloggers (and would-be bloggers):

You are cordially invited to a pot-luck feast! Please participate in an upcoming farm-fresh blogathon.

Loving Local: Celebrating the Flavors of Massachusettswill take place from Sunday, August 22, through Saturday, August 28—in other words, during Massachusetts Farmers Market Week.

The blogathon will be hosted by In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens, with a little help from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and Mass Farmers Markets.

We hope non-bloggers will participate as well, of course! If you are interested in food (well, who isn’t?), please consider liking our Facebook page. We’ll keep you abreast of upcoming posts in the blogathon so you can read and comment.

And when it begins you’ll have lots of yummy posts to savor!

Funds raised during the blogathon (bloggers who participate will be encouraged to place a donation link in their posts) will go to Mass Farmers Markets, a non-profit charitable organization that helps farmers markets throughout the Commonwealth.

Please think about writing a post that week if you live or work in Massachusetts. Or if you used to live or work in Massachusetts. Or if you once spent a weekend on Cape Cod. Or if you have a particular fondness for New England clam chowder, Hadley asparagus, or Boston baked beans.

Posts should focus to some extent on locally grown food in Massachusetts. You don’t have to be a food writer to participate, however.

Gardeners can write about herb or vegetable growing. Architects can write about the design of barns or farm stands. Watchers of the statehouse or even the federal Capitol can discuss the politics of agriculture and/or local food. And so forth.

Posts can be recipes, critiques, short stories, reminiscences … whatever you feel like writing. Let the flavors of the Bay State inspire you.

Here’s how you can get involved: Sometime during the week of August 22-28, put your post on the internet.

Please make sure your post mentions the blogathon, includes a link to In Our Grandmothers’ Kitchens, and encourages readers to donate to Mass Farmers Markets. The organization’s donation link is

(If you have another local-food cause you’d like to encourage folks to support, that’s fine by us!)

Of course, we’d love to have bloggers show off our gorgeous logo, designed by the talented Leon Peters. You may also display a PDF poster in 8-1/2-by-11-inch format.

Kat Valentine, Cape Ann Brewing Featured In Cape Ann Magazine!

From Kat Valentine the creator of the Parlez Moi Blog and a bajillion books-

Cape Ann Magazine wrote an article about knitting on Cape Ann with some pictures from our Tuesday night Knit Night at Cape Ann Brewing’s Pub. They interviewed me and quote me in the article. I put pictures and a PDF of the article on my blog if you want to read it:
Our group:
And the “expert”, toasting the knitters who helped make her book a success:

Here are some pictures and videos from Coveted Yarn which is located just up the street from the dock here on East Main Street-

GMG Power Rankings #7

What can I say about Kat Valentine but how much I appreciate all of her generous help.

Kat is one of those people who quietly and without asking for recognition does so much for our community as a whole but for the GMG Power Rankings I’ll speak to her specific contributions to Good Morning Gloucester.

Every time we are doing something that could benefit the Art community I bang out a quick email to Kat and BOOM she includes our message in the seARTS newsletter and on her site.  Need a graphic for the Russo Family Fundraiser?  -BOOM, done!  Active in the commenting section?  Hell yeah.  Participate in the GMG Logo Contest? Yep that too.

Every now and again I’ll call to check in on Kat and we always have fantastic spirited conversations about blogging or the local art scene or stupid people, lol.  I really enjoy those conversations BTW Kat.  She’s just a good egg, take it from me.  Lucky #7- Kat Valentine check out her blog here

Kat Valentine
Kat Valentine

Man at The Wheel Petition Can Be Downloaded And Printed Here

People from out of town who want to support the effort to put the Man at The Wheel on the Massachusetts Quarter after it had already been voted by over a 4 to 1 margin on a ballot put forth by the Governor’s office have been emailing as to how they can help.

So Kat Valentine put the petition into PDF form so anyone can click this link and print one out for themselves even if you are not around Gloucester but still want to help the cause-

Man at The Wheel Petition Can Be Downloaded And Printed  Here

Be heard.

click the petition to get your pdf version

Kat Valentine Posts Painter Schedules For Schooner Festival Weekend

From Kat Valentine-

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Schooner Festival This Weekend

The annual Schooner Festival is this weekend and the artists of the North Shore Arts Association will be out painting them. Below are a selection of some of my favorite schooner paintings by area artists and the schedule for the NSAA Schooner Festival Wet Paint Event.

The schedule for painters and where they will be painting is on my blog at:

Feel free to copy it here, Joe.


From Kat Valentine-
I’ve expanded the Virtual Gloucester page:
There are now links to four videos by Jay, Gloucester Till The End, Emile’s documentary (he was so happy to have it on there!), Mark Teiwes’ Faces of the Working Waterfront,  and a very cool site called “Down The Fort”….


click to go to
click to go to

A gift from Kat Valentine with a little help from Jay Albert and I to The City and all those who love it here.

Read more from Kat Valentine-

Rebranding Gloucester

It’s been too long since I updated this blog but life has been busy. Much to my surprise (and delight) the knitting book launched in March has been a big success and I’m very, very happy to say I haven’t blogged because I’ve been busy with that. But it’s time to post about my latest project.

The City of Gloucester, which I love, is going though tough economic times, like many of us. One of the hardest decisions the mayor had to make was to eliminate the position of Director of Tourism. This left the tourism council with a tough problem, how to maintain their web site. They asked for volunteers and I raised my hand.

As I familiarized myself with the web site I saw a lot of problems with it. It is loaded with good information but is not particularly attractive (it suffered from too many cooks…), loads slowly and is not particularly enticing.

Because I love Gloucester and all it has to offer I contacted two of my fellow lovers of Gloucester, Jay Albert, the photographer who maintains Cape Ann Images, and Joe Ciaramitaro, of Good Morning Gloucester. “Let’s make an awesome web site that really promotes our city,” I said. “Count me in,” they said. Thus began the redesign to show the world the Gloucester we love in the hopes it will entice people to come here.

Once we had the site underway, Jay and Joe supplying the images for my design and organization, we approached the Tourism Council. The response was very positive. This is the new home page which features audio and a Flash video you have to visit the site to see.

Many of the pages have been completed but we still have work to do. But the main objectives are to 1.) show the many amenities Gloucester has to offer including activities, culture, dining, shopping, etc. and 2.) to provide as much information as possible that will allow those planning their vacations to consider Gloucester as a desirable destination.

As a further enhancement we are adding a new, sexier URL: Right now it points to the test server but eventually it will be attached to the actual site along with the exisiting URL.

So, we have work to do but progress has been exciting. We have a fantastic product in our beloved city, packaging and marketing it is the challenge. Take a look at the site and let us know how we’re doing:

It should be noted that Kathleen did a vast majority of the work on the site.  She is incredible and gives a ton of her time and energy into promoting the city we love.

You can check out her many sites here-