Living My Best Life – (Going behind the filters and revealing what it’s really like to have a book published: Part 4) by Claire Frost
Part 4 – Becoming a digital diva
A couple of years ago, my fiancé and I were packing for our summer holiday at a gorgeous little house in France, complete with pool and a ready supply of wine and cheese (damn, I am drooling at the very thought of a wedge of Brie and a glass of sweet Pineau des Charente…). Having filled my own suitcase, I added a few things to his (boys definitely need less room, right?) and left him to zip them up ready for our absurdly early flight the next morning. However, as I was happily painting my nails downstairs, I heard a grunt, followed by a shout of annoyance followed by eight loud thunks on the ceiling. Racing upstairs worried my fiancé had somehow done himself an injury and therefore ruined the holiday before it had even started, I found two open suitcases and a pile of books on the floor.
It took me a good half an hour to convince him that, of course, I needed so much reading material on our week-long holiday – I even agreed to leave one book at home and take just the seven (compromise is the secret to a happy relationship, after all). It didn’t stop him worrying all the way to the airport that our suitcases were going to break the scales and we’d be forced to pay excess baggage charges. Of course that didn’t happen (I snuck a couple of my books into his hand luggage just in case), but it did mean that when he handed me a Kindle-shaped present on my birthday a few months later, he said: ‘I think this will come in useful for our next holiday,’ and rubbed his sore back gingerly.
Until then, I’d been a bit ebook agnostic. I’d embraced technology in all other aspects of my life, from social media and podcasts to apps that control my heating and tell me how many steps I’ve walked, but when it came to books, I was a physical-paper-or-nothing kinda girl. And then I started downloading ebooks. The only thing more satisfying than one-clicking a book and watching it appear on your digital to-read pile seconds later is being able to see exactly how far through a book you are and how long it will take you to finish. Although that’s forgetting the total joy of being able to read at the same time as gripping on to a small pole for dear life as the tube rumbles its way through miles of tunnels. Or the joy of paying £2.99 or even 99p for an actual 90,000-word book. Or the zen feeling of knowing that, although you are just two chapters from the end of one book, you have another 245 books to choose from at the touch of a button. Suddenly I understood what all my Netgalley-loving blogger chums had been going on about for years.
But I also had a bit of a problem. Before my Kindle enlightenment, my TBR pile next to my desk was a scary, teetering tower made from book-shaped bricks that occasionally collapsed and caused minor injuries. After my Kindle enlightenment, this scary, teetering tower was still next to my desk – but it had now been joined by a virtual scary tower on my ebook reader – eek! So I made the decision that I’d separate my to-read piles into ‘work’ and ‘play’ and keep reading all of the lovely physical proofs publishers sent me, and save my Kindle for all the other books I wanted to read, but didn’t have time or space to review. Win-win!
As a new digital convert, when I signed my book deal with Simon & Schuster UK, I was ridiculously excited that my debut novel Living my Best Li(f)e was going to appear on ebook readers’ devices before paperback readers got even a sniff of it. And Books and the City’s #DigitalOriginals programme is the best in the biz, having launched the careers of amazing authors such as Heidi Swain, Penny Parkes and Juliet Aston – and now me (I still can’t quite believe I’m an actual bonafide published author!).
So if you’re excited by ebooks, crazy about Kindle, like to take a bite out of an Apple Book and are an all-round digital diva, then I’d love you to download Living My Best Li(f)e right now and tell me what you think!
And if you’re wondering what books I took with me on this year’s holiday, well, of course I loaded my Kindle with approximately 452 new books I wanted to read, but I also managed to sneak a few hardbacks into my fiancé’s suitcase for old time’s sake, natch… Living My best Li(f)e by Claire Frost is published in eBook on July 23 and paperback on September 5.