A Bunch Of Us Are Starting A New Literary Tradition. Are You In?

This isn't just any Easter. This year, we are celebrating a ROYAL WEDDING in England, so I wanted to come up with a new tradition to pull my chums from around the globe into the merriment. Now... it just so happens that my debut novel - out this week - is called PALACES AND CALLUSES. It has Palaces in the title! How perfect is my timing?? Anyhow. It seemed to me that a book launched in the month of a royal wedding needed to be the catalyst for a slightly more elegant tradition at Easter. Intrigued? Read on, and I'll tell all!

Here's What I've Got
  1. A brand new novel. 
  2. A quest.
  3. A brand new tradition. 
Here's How it Can Make You a Better Person

If you buy this book, the following things will happen:

1/ A brand new novel  - you will change my life. 

I went through a coma, and taught myself to read and write - without medical assistance - from scratch, so I could bring you this book. If you buy it, you validate that this was a good move on my part. If other kids going through what I went through see that, it will help them keep going with the struggle. It's a LONG and HARD STRUGGLE. It helps if you can see people who've succeeded.

2/ A quest - you will change the lives of others.

I'm on a quest, and I want you to be part of it. I'll write about this after the event (I have a column in a national magazine, and I blog for Groupon) and you'll have bragging rights, if you help. According to this month's Writers' Forum, the average book (traditionally published or otherwise) only sells between 400 and 500 copies. I have to beat that. I'm independently published, not because agents and publishers don't want me, THEY DO. I sent very nice rejection letters, and we're all still chums. In fact, they're cheering me on. I am doing this myself to show it can be done, and to help other writers do the same, because writers (of fiction particularly) have become the least important part of the writing industry, and I need to shift the balance.

3/ A brand new tradition - You will change culture.

When you buy e-books from Amazon, you only ever rent them. Many people don't know that. I love Amazon, and will rent out my books there eventually, but first I wanted people to OWN the books they buy from me, so I've put no DRM on them, and set up a shopping cart that's independent from Amazon. It all works smoothly. The point is, though, that you will own my book, and you can buy them as gifts for as many others as you like. This brings me to the new tradition. Easter is coming. Plenty of people dread the approach of this holiday. Not for religious reasons, but for chocolate-related ones.

  • I'm a BIG fan of chocolate, but I don't want to be a HUGE fan of chocolate. I fall a little out of love with it after every Easter, when none of my clothes fit. Do you feel the same?
  • Easter is becoming a celebration of sugar. What if we raised its status a little? Just to be clear, I'm not talking about its religious significance. The church has that covered. I'm talking about what we do with the holiday culturally. Seems to me that it gets short-changed. Christmas has: presents, tree, songs, outfits, pantos, Santa, elves... etc, etc, etc. There are SO many cultural traditions included with Christmas. Easter just gets eggs, bunnies, the hunt for eggs and bunnies... Simnel cake... um... flowers? I feel Easter needs at least one more, so here's what I propose: give e-books as well. #EbookEaster - a new tradition that respects: anyone on a diet, diabetics, people with lactose intolerance, and people who are just a little bit classier than the cheap-choc munchers, who'll regret their lardy-arsed choices the next day. :) 


  1. A decent sized Cadbury egg will cost you £6. 
  2. My e-book will cost you £2.99 (price goes up to £4.99 after 20th April, but it's still cheaper than chocolate) so celebrating The Arts will cost you less than filling your/their guts with sugar.
  3. Not being able to eat chocolate over Easter SUCKS as there's no celebratory alternative. Let's make the consumption of cultural treats a tradition for Easter too.
Will you help? I think this could be such fun if we do it together, and bring in a new tradition that a/respects writers b/respects non-chocolate tolerant people and c/introduces novels to people who only ever read non-fiction.

The reason I added the last point is because I've been astounded at the number of people in that category who've bought my book and raved about it - and it's only been out for a day. I love that!

The 'fictive trance' is something that doesn't happen with non-fiction. It takes a particular kind of brain activity to induce, and it means that people who read fiction typically have a higher IQ than people who don't. Why? Because the writer only ever writes half of the book. The reader brings his or her own experience to it, and mentally writes the other half. That builds IQ. Literature happens between the writer, the book, and the reader. We're all part of that process. Once you buy my book, it's your book as much as it is mine. You can take IQ to the bank if you then go back to your non-fiction, and take a bit of action. Meanwhile, you're having a bit of fun, travelling into another world, which in the case of my book is England.  :)

Will you buy a copy of my book, so I can eclipse that figure of 400-500? I'd like to get it up to 2000 before I announce the numbers to the industry, but 400 is the absolute minimum I must sell to make this point. You can give them as gifts. Start an #ebookEaster tradition and be just a little more elegant because of it. The history books will show YOU as the one who started this tradtion in your family/village/city.
  1. Print off the receipt email for the ebook.Add an elegant note.
  2. Put it into an egg-shaped/bunny shaped box - they're everywhere right now.
  3. Put it in the cuckoo's nest you made for the Easter egg hunt, or hand it out when other eggs/bunnies are handed out. Make that person feel SPECIAL not just differentIf I got a chocolate bunny or egg - just like always - and someone else was chuckling with their e-reader, reading an e-book, hours after I'd downed the last sugary morsel... I'd be jealous!

Here's What You Need To Do Now
  1. Go to http://www.rebeccawoodhead.com/p/palaces-and-calluses.html (the short url - if you'd like to tweet it - is http://bit.ly/palaces ).
  2. Click the button for Kindle, iPad, Sony Reader, Nook, or PDF.
  3. Think of a number. Put it in the box.Who can you think of who'd smile a little wider if you bought them a book that transports them to The Cotswolds (the place that inspired Shakespeare, Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Jilly Cooper... etc) in England over Easter? Think how classy it would be to be the one who introduced that bit of culture to the celebrations. Type how many you'd like to buy, in the box.
  4. Decide whether to pay using your paypal account, or a card. Follow the steps on the screen.
  5. An email will be sent to you, with your book. 
  6. TELL PEOPLE. Trend #ebookEaster on Twitter, and get people reading. Share this on Facebook. Spread the word. Being someone who continues a tradition is lovely. Being someone who STARTS one is PRICELESS. For a tradition to start, it takes more than just one awesome person. It takes lots of awesome people. I think you're awesome, and I think we can do this. Let's do this!! *Does Excited Word Nerd Dance*.
Here's the link: http://bit.ly/palaces



Sandra Leigh said...

I suspect that my younger sister would love to read your book -- so if I don't win your contest, I'll buy a copy for her. Come to think of it, her daughter would like to have a copy, as well. Great idea, Rebecca.

patti bright said...

To every one out there that hasn't bought the book yet, this is one reason why you must. Writers, especially unpublished writers, need people like Rebecca. Rebecca is changing things for us. Showing us we can achieve our goals and we don't necessarily need an agent to do it. In this money-driven world where most of us will be over looked as publishers and agents chase a fast buck, it is refreshing to see someone who is prepared to stand out from the crowd and carve her own path. If writers stick together and support each other, we can all achieve our goals. Support Rebecca and buy her book because she would be the first person to support you.

And to you, Rebecca. The book is absolutely brill. Well done! And yes, why not adopt a new tradition and have an ebookEaster. A chocolate Easter egg is, after all,just a shell. Soon gobbled down and forgotten. But an e-book is a delicious mixture of word and thought, to be dipped into and savoured for ever.

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Sandra, You're such a kind and supportive person. I remember you staying up to vote! Thank you for embracing this idea. *Hugs*

Patti, Every time I read one of your comments, I get choked up. You are SUCH a great writer if you can do that just with comments. I'm definitely going to buy your books when they come out. :)

Paul Carroll said...

Hi Rebecca,

Can you explain how it works giving the book as a present? I'm still a bit confused about that part of it.

Love the idea of #EbookEaster, though! Hopefully I'll have the money to help with starting the tradition! :)

Best wishes,

Rebecca Woodhead said...

Hi Paul,

When you click the button to buy an ebook, it gives you the option of buying 1, or you can change the number to 2, 300000, etc. :). Just put in the number you'd like to buy in that format. You can click the button to keep shopping and buy in multiple formats. When you've finished, click the checkout button on my site, or from within the shopping basket.

You pay with either paypal or a card. With card payments, it asks for the address your card is registered to - I think that's just to verify it, and prevent fraud. I don't get that info as far as I can make out. I wouldn't use it even if I did. If you have a paypal account, it might then say 'are you sure you don't want to use paypal' or similar. Just click the button to say you want to pay by card.

Your e-book links appear on the screen. You can either try to download them from there (fiddly if you have more than one, IMHO), or just check your email. They'll all be sent there.

To give one as a gift, download and save it to your computer, then email it. If you want to give it as a gift in the 'real' world, print off the receipt with the link to the download, or make a little gift card and put it in an egg shaped box or tin. #EbookEaster time! :)

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