Aug 232011
 

Eleven Shorts  1 Shireen Jeejeebhoy 600px 20 Aug 2011

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just published a new ebook! But to backtrack a bit…

I wrote short stories and poetry all the way back to elementary school and up until my brain injury. In the 1980s and 90s, I got serious about writing shorts. Poetry not so much. After my brain injury, that flipped. Anyway, back in those days, there was no digital publishing and much of the mainstream press had long since stopped publishing short stories in their pages. A short story writer submitted stories to small literary magazines for the most part and to contests. If you were lucky, an anthology may publish an unknown. Established short story writers also had a chance to be published in the big American magazines or papers like The Atlantic. One of my stories received Honourable Mention in the 1988 Hart House Short Story contest and appeared in WORDSCAPE 3 in 1997. Another was accepted by the editor of a local literary magazine but nixed by the publishers. Not sure who was more upset by that. I developed a system of sending out, recording rejections, sending out again. They were usually rejected for “not the right time” reasons and “please submit again.” Give me a break. And though it’s taboo to say, after having a racist run-in with a publisher (you know how racists look through you) and attending a bookseller’s convention, I started wondering if my “foreign” name was getting in the way of me being published in Canada. That convention was rather like stepping back into 1960s Toronto where I was the darkest person around. (For those who’ve never seen me, I ain’t that dark. My skin tans deeply but is deceptively fair.) It was all rather disheartening. After my brain injury, I stuffed them away.

And then I published Lifeliner on Smashwords. I followed up a year later with She, A Nibble of Chocolate, and The Job Sessions. And I got to thinking: I could package those short stories into an ebook. I could make them available directly to readers. There’s something rather freeing about going around capricious publishers and getting your work into the public realm at last. All I had to do was go find the files (easier said than done as most were still on floppies) and shoot a photo for the book cover.

I trotted down to Sugar Beach, shot hundreds of pictures, looked up into one of the pink umbrellas, and thought, simple is best, and clicked. That became my cover.

I then formatted it for Smashwords and discovered that their Meatgrinder — which converts Microsoft Word docs to ebook formats — now includes an ePub Check, which failed my book. Although I always use their nuclear method, as I know how sneaky Word is in introducing codes that muck up documents, I had made the mistake of copying Author info and other standard text into the document after nuking out all the codes. At least the second time around went quick. And while I was at it, I uploaded it to Kindle publishing too.

Eleven Shorts +1 is now available on Smashwords as a multi-format ebook and Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.de as a Kindle ebook.

I am awaiting approval for distribution to other retailers, and distribution can take a few days to a few months, depending on the retailer. I will be uploading it to Goodreads too in due course and creating a page for it on my website.

These stories are unlike my books. Several are literary, a couple are creepy, some have funny bits, and they’re all a nice-sized bite for a quick read. I have also included a bonus, a romance short story that my grandmother wrote back in 1919. I hope you will check it out!

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