Saturday, November 29, 2014

Workshop: Ebook formatting and publishing on January 31, 2015

Update: 3 slots left as of November 29.

Ebook formatting and publishing
Venue: O2 Space Solutions, Milelong Bldg, Amorsolo St. Makati
Time: 8:30 to 11:30 am
Fee: P3,500 (includes snacks and coffee)

What we're going to do is format and publish your book during the session. That means your book will be available for purchase THAT DAY. Consider January 31 your book's release day.

I would also prefer a small group, so please go over these requirements before you reserve a slot. You must have, by January 31:

1. A final manuscript, ideally all text/prose (or if with image inserts, then only a few), in Microsoft Word .doc format
2. An ebook cover (front cover only) in JPG, 1000 pixels on the longest side
3. A book description
4. The ability to make and accept Paypal payments
5. Laptop you can bring to workshop (can edit .doc and JPG)

We can schedule a new workshop day if slots fill up quickly, or if you don't have complete requirements by January 31. Will announce new dates.

If you're ready for more: On February 28, 2015 we'll teach you how to set up your print edition (through worldwide print on demand, and affordable printing options). Update: 3 slots left for this as of November 29.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Recent Events: PILF, ReaderCon, Miriam College High School, Uno Morato

I had a busy few weeks. (Inside voice: You think?)

The Philippine International Literary Festival and Book Industry Summit (organized by the National Book Development Board) was on November 12 and 13, and I was there both days to both moderate a discussion and be part of a panel. As always, it's an honor to be asked to share how I've published my books. This time I tried to make it more "newbie friendly" and stepped back to explain everything, from the beginning. You would know it though if you already read this blog, so I just gave them the highlights.

November 14, the third day of PILF-BIS, was also the Filipino ReaderCon. I recently joined the ReaderCon board and was there all day to do a variety of things: moderate a discussion featuring readers who've transitioned to writers, watch the panels on diversity and fan fiction, and co-host the Filipino Readers' Choice Awards. I was fine and chipper all day, until right after this picture was taken and as I made a phone call to my husband to tell him I was on my way to meet him, my feet started aching like crazy. I may have been running on bookish adrenaline all day.

On November 20, I was part of a panel on writing and publishing at Miriam College High School, with authors (and comedians) Dean Francis Alfar, Edgar Samar, and Bebang Siy. It was fun. I can't possibly recap what made it funny, but it was. I do hope we were coherent. And check out the tchotchkes Bebang brought along! She makes herself feel at home everywhere.

On November 22, I was with Bebang again at Uno Morato in Quezon City for a discussion on writing, publishing, and everything else, moderated by Anna Sanchez. I chose this pic because it shows me seriously reading Bebang's erotica novel. (It's steamy!)

My next talk is at UP Diliman on December 1. I've said yes to a few invitations for 2015 already. Thank you so much for being interested in what I do. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Volcano" research: The Harder We Fall and its rugby connection

The first book in my Spotlight New Adult series, The Harder We Fall, features a character who's a rugby player. I'm sure anyone who knows me even a little went What? What do you know about sports? And they would be right.

I like putting little challenges for myself in every book I write though, and psyched myself up for this: write about sports. I wrote this book for flirtsteamyreads and we had agreed to all write a sports-centric romance, so I pretty much got an entire group to leave my comfort zone along with me. I think we enjoyed it though? I hope so!

So, why rugby? Basketball is the big deal here, but that was precisely why I decided not to use it. As we were writing, the World Cup was on, and football was on everyone's minds. Also why I steered clear from it. A few months ago, my friends Kat and Kesh guested on the 5x5podcast and talked about rugby. It's a sport that hasn't gotten as much of a following in this country, and anyone who chooses to play it does so knowing that they're taking on a set of struggles and opportunities.

I took off from that and wrote the book. Along the way, I consulted actual rugby players Jon Morales and Evans Atandi, and the inside info has been just awesome.

Thanks also to my friend Chef Sharwin Tee for letting me tag along when his TV show Curiosity Got the Chef filmed at the training camp of the Philippine Volcanoes, the country's national rugby team. I saw the teams train, got to talk to female players and coaches, checked out what they ate, heard all the yelling. Lots of yelling. And got more help from Lady Volcano Cassie Umali, and the captain of the Volcanoes himself, Jake Letts.

A photo posted by Mina V. Esguerra (@minavesguerra) on

A photo posted by Mina V. Esguerra (@minavesguerra) on

So what did I learn from this? Research is fun. It's worth it to write more about what you don't know, because spending the time knowing it opens up all these possibilities.

It's also a balancing act of sorts, to keep the book focused on what it's supposed to be (a romance) and resist the urge to info dump everything I learned about rugby. Even just the stories they've shared about going on tournaments and training for them, and the lives they have to live in between, those could fill books. I can't write them though. I may have been sworn to secrecy about some things.

But I am writing a second rugby book, because I felt that another character in The Harder We Fall could have his own story. And he will!

The Harder We Fall is out now worldwide, and will be in Philippine bookstores in 2015.

Buy links: Amazon  Smashwords  iTunes  Kobo  buqo

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Release day! The Harder We Fall and Never Just Friends

If you're watching out for these (yay if you are!), they'll be out on November 18! Please read or buy or share the info. Thank you!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Perfect Boyfriends: My Imaginary Ex, No Strings Attached, That Kind of Guy

I clicked "publish" this weekend on something. Don't panic -- I don't suddenly have a new book you've never heard of! But I did compile three of my earlier books, those that might be a bit difficult to find outside of the Philippines, and now they're available in print and ebook editions worldwide, from online stores you like.

I've opted this into CreateSpace Expanded Distribution which means bookstores and libraries that order from CreateSpace can sell and stock this book. (If you represent a library or bookstore, check this out if you want more Filipino authors/Asian setting romance on your shelves! Thanks!)

I will not be making a print on demand edition of this for the Philippines, nor will this be in Philippine bookstores. But it'll be available for purchase from sites that ship to the Philippines.

Three books by bestselling romance author Mina V. Esguerra, together in one edition for the first time. Fall in love three different ways... 

Jasmine once pretended to be Zack's ex girlfriend, to help him score with another girl. They've been good friends since then, so good that his two real exes rope Jasmine into their plan to stop him from marrying someone they think is totally wrong for him. (MY IMAGINARY EX)

Carla's 29 and won't settle down and marry just any guy, no matter what her friends say. She thinks Dante is a safe bet for a non-relationship, because he's 24 and couldn't possibly want something long-term. (NO STRINGS ATTACHED)

Anton has dated a lot of women and is everyone's "delicious distraction." But he seems to have fallen hard for good girl Julie -- if only she believed him. (THAT KIND OF GUY, winner of the 2013 Filipino Readers' Choice Award for Chick Lit.)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Guest post by Sola Musica cover designer Martina Bautista

By Martina Bautista

For someone who loves the feeling of sand in between her toes and the sound of waves crashing on the shore, I’m rarely at the beach. I spend way too much time behind my computer screen pinning my life away, and day dreaming about far off places and possible adventures. Prompted by the occasional burst of “I need to get out of here” thoughts, I spend a good chunk of my mornings on budget airline websites contemplating fictional vacations and itineraries that never come to life.

So when it came to planning out the cover for Sola Musica, there was no shortage of ideas or inspiration, all I needed to do was stop my daydreams long enough to get the design down on paper. I suppose that due to my will to buckle down and get creative, I let myself get carried away because when it came time to submit the cover, I ended up producing 4 completely different variations, each with a different photo of a beach or an adventure long gone.

The process of creating the cover involved going on 4 mini adventures with an overall leap into graphic design, a field I’ve only dabbled in. The process for each cover design was the same, mentally mapping out where it would fit and what the part of the festival it would represent then deciding the colors that would suit the mood. I read through each other the stories while brainstorming, and unknowingly, I let myself get lost in the words and next thing I knew, all 4 covers were done.

Normally, I would have to go through the daunting task of going through every font in my laptop, and eventually land right back where I started: font-less and overwhelmed. Nothing seemed to fit the theme or the feel that I wanted to show, until the authors decided to get Macy to do the calligraphy. I’m happy with how easily it fit with the overall vibe I was looking for.  

I don’t know exactly how the authors processed my email with 4 options, but in the end, the vote was unanimous, resulting in the whimsical handwritten love from Macy and the sunset photo with pastel tones from me.

I can’t wait to get myself to the beach and away from the hustle and bustle of the city, armed with Sola Musica and a really chill beach playlist.