Janet's Jargon

Fun lifestyles, charitable acts, great fiction, author support, Patrick and Grace Mysteries, Keith clan trilogy,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ciao! Roma is on the menu today

I am please to host Jo Lindsell on her blog tour today. Please come on in and see what's happening in her part of the world.

Jo Lindsell Interview

Welcome to my blog, Jo. It’s a delight to have you here today. After your long hiatus, first, may I congratulate you on the birth of your little guy. I have seen pictures of him and he’s adorable.

OK, now, let’s get down to business. I hope you don’t mind if I get “up close and personal” for a bit to start things off. It is, at least to me, incredibly romantic to be living in Italy. My youngest son visited there several years ago, near Venice, and he loved it. How did you decide to move from England to Italy?

I opened a map of the world, closed my eyes and my finger landed on Italy. As Rome is the Capital I decided to go there first. Crazy but true. I’d originally decided to stay a few days and then travel to other places in Europe but I fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It was actually a lot easier to do than you’d think.

You do a lot of networking, and your Writers and Authors activities are such a big boost to all of us authors whom you have hosted for one thing or another. Did your move to Italy influence your networking? It has to be much faster (and cheaper) than using snail mail to reach people in both the US and the UK.

I started writing fulltime after moving to Italy but I’m sure I would have done a lot of networking even living in the UK. Networking through the internet is a great marketing tool and means that writers can promote their books and communicate worldwide for free. It’s much faster and cheaper…even for reaching people in Italy.

You have what you call “The Italian Home Studies.” Can you tell us a bit about what all they involve?

The Italian Home Study Series is a collection of reference and practice ebooks for self-study. In the case of home schooling, parents may find it useful as additional course material.
The ebooks are designed for beginners, although they can also serve as a basis for revision and practice.
Each unit deals with a different topic area and is organized into sections; introduction—including a pronunciation guide and explanation of the Italian alphabet, information lists and examples, questions and answer key.
As this is the first series and designed for beginners it deals with the basics in both subject and grammar and introduces vocabulary.
I plan to do series for intermediate and advanced in the future.

I plan to write a time travel—one day—that takes place primarily in Italy. It involves around the opera scenario. Can you give us some tips on the best way to do research on Italian sites, etc.?

Obviously the best way to do it is to visit the sites in person, especially if you want to describe them in a book as in this case it’s not just what you see but also what you hear and smell that will create the clear picture for your readers. However, if this isn’t possible I suggest searching the internet for good sites with photos. Visiting the following sites may be helpful http://www.italiantourism.com/ for general information, the website for each city e.g. www.comune.roma.it. Another option is to interview people who have been there in person or to check out blogs about Italy e.g. http://astheromansdo.blogspot.com

In keeping with the last question, you have a book out on the Italian language. Does it contain just single words, or do you also have common phrases, etc. included? I am assuming that this would help any author that is using snippets of Italian in their books?

“Italian for Tourists” is exactly what the title indicates. It contains all the words and phrases a tourist is likely to need when visiting Italy. It also explains the Italian alphabet and has a pronunciation guide which may come in handy for authors writing dialogue for Italian characters.

Who publishes your books, and where are they available for purchase?

My books are published using lulu.com and are available for purchase from http://www.lulu.com/jolinsdell

How are your books distributed, and do you find any particular challenges in their sales, since you live in Europe and many of the authors with whom you network are in the US?

My books are currently only available through lulu.com. This means they are available for global distribution; however, my sales are limited as they can only be purchased directly through the lulu site. This will be changing in the near future however, as I plan to get them into bookshops and on major sites like Amazon in the new year.

Just prior to your pregnancy, you moved to a different apartment, if I remember right. What is a typical house or apartment like in the part of Italy where you live. I’m sure not everybody lives in one of those beautiful villas or castles. Do you see yourself ever living in one of them?

I see myself living in them all the time…in my dreams  Whenever we go to the beach (which is only about an hour away) we pass the most beautiful villas with swimming pools in the gardens and say “when we win the lottery we’ll have one like that.”
I live in Rome and as is the way with most capital cities, most people live in apartments. If you move further away from the centre you can find villas though.
My apartment is pretty typical really; large lounge and kitchen, bathroom (I’m lucky as I have both a bath and shower. A lot of apartments only have a shower. The bath was one of the things I was most happy about when we moved). We also have a large bedroom and a small room which has now become the nursery. We live on the 7th floor of an apartment block (this is the average height of apartment blocks although you can find ones that have up to 15 floors). We have quite a big balcony, which is great as the weather is good for most of the year and means we can eat outside too. It’s like having an extra room.

Will you tell us, briefly, what all you are trying to do with the authors’ services you are offering?

My main goal is to learn as much as I can about the writing industry and while doing so I figured I could help others do the same. I’m always looking for ways to promote myself and my work especially in ways that don’t cost a fortune. Through all my networking I’ve discovered that this is what most writers are trying to do and so thought I’d offer a way we can all help support each other. Writers and Authors, http://writersandauthors.blogspot.com is a great marketing tool for my writing projects too.

How do you reach authors to try to connect with them, and how is the best way for them to get in touch with you?

The best way to get in touch with me is by emailing writersandauthors@yahoo.it
As for me contacting others, I am a member of several yahoo groups for writers, the book marketing network and myspace, all of which give me the chance to contact large numbers of authors. I also love visiting other author’s websites and if I see one I like I email them directly.

Are you also trying to reach readers? After all, readers are authors’ favorite people! What do you offer to readers?

Writers and Authors was created with people in the writing industry in mind; however, that being said, most of us are avid readers too. Anyone with an interest in books will find something on the site. I post a weekly book review and the interviews on site give a chance to get to know the authors and in some cases read samples of their books.

You have some special Christmas activities coming up. Can we get a sneak peek at what lies ahead for this? When will the “games” begin?

I’m planning a “Christmas Wish List” feature for December where I will be posting short samples (max 2000 words) from books, along with their buying details. The idea is to give inspiration for presents for Christmas. I’m looking for a good mix of genres so there will be something for everyone’s tastes. As the site is open to the general public and therefore all age groups I will not be posting any adult, erotica etc…
Anyone interested in participating should send me their sample and purchasing details to writersandauthors@yahoo.it with “Christmas Wish List” in the subject line before 1st December 2008.

Will you please share with us any special tips you have learned along the way about how to be successful, especially on the Internet, with how to market our books?

You must make yourself known. You can do this by networking, writing articles for websites, your own website, blogs etc…The important thing is to get your name out there.
I have an ebook coming out 1st December called “Free Book Promotion” which covers numerous ways to market your book using the internet. Visit www.lulu.com/jolinsdell to purchase it.

Do you have any last words of wisdom or challenges?

This one’s not mine but I think it sums it up nicely, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Again, congratulations on your baby. They say our books are like our “babies,” but I have a sneaking suspicion that you are most proud of the flesh-and-blood baby at this point. And welcome back. It’s nice to have you taking an active role in things again.