“7 days in Morocco” out now!

“7 days in Morocco” out now!

Finally, we’re here.

After a lot of time spent writing, editing, throwing it all away and starting again, plus plenty of dealing with insecurities about going through with it, I finally did it. I self-published my first book!

As a preview and short description, it is based on my real experience – a trip I took a while ago with 3 friends through Morocco – and it’s definitely not a travel guide. Rather than that, it’s a sort of travel journal meets memoir meets fiction.

I started writing it while there (without knowing it’ll turn into a book), taking notes on my phone as a travel journal for future record, and then felt really inspired when arriving home so started spending nights after work filling up pages with my memories just for the fun of it. When I decided, encouraged by a handful of close friends, to make a novel out of it, the process became much more difficult (from cutting out scenes dear to me just because they didn’t add up to the story, to adding salt and pepper here and there to make it more interesting).

But now it’s here! “7 days in Morocco” is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon at this link.

It’s intended as a light novel, easy to read, hopefully also fun and, why not, it might also inspire you to book a flight and head to mesmerizing Morocco and create your own memories there!

Hope you enjoy it and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Also, you can find me on instagram and twitter as well: @kaaramendes.

Or on my facebook page for fresh updates (here’s where I post more often).

“7 days in Morocco” coming out May 17th

I won’t get into details and bother you with excuses of my absence around here (which imply bad internet connection, dieing laptop and a lot of time spent into preparing the book for Amazon), I’ll just get straight to the announcement:

The day has finally come and “7 days in Morocco” is going to be officially launched on May 17th!

I cannot tell you how nervous I am about it!

See you on May 17th ♥

launch image

Designing the book cover

Designing the book cover

So, I’m at the point I need to design my book cover. Needless to say I have no idea how to do it, no graphic design background, no friend willing to do it for free. No, hiring a professional to do it is way over my budget for this book experiment.

Then what do I do?

Simple. Waste countless hours researching the web. The problem with the glorious internet is that there is just too much information out there and I easily get lost in the sea of popping book covers, blog articles giving tips on “how to design your own book cover” or free online apps that offer pre-made layouts to be easily further edited.

I know the utmost importance of the book cover (despite the popular saying to not judge a book by its cover, we can’t deny that a great cover will help sell the book) but considering my position at the moment, any good cover will do, doesn’t have to be perfect.

The book tells the story of my trip to Morocco with a bunch of friends a while ago. I wrote here a short info about it, but to sum it all up, it’s going to be a short novel featuring my traveling experience through Morocco from my own point of view. It’s light, fast-reading and hopefully a bit funny too.

So how do I translate this into the cover design? No idea, really. I knew from the beginning I wanted something with the desert – as it was one of the highlights of my trip, but then there were so many other specific places and details that I managed to capture in photos that I could have used anything in the end.

Long story short, after getting lost in a sea of images and fonts, making around 10 similar options and then erasing everything,  I think I have THE cover. Well, two options, I mean.

Finding the best font is so freakin’ hard! Both images give me the idea of a more serious novel, but I want to give a hint of its “easiness”, so after countless trials, I picked a playful, “oriental”, font for the title.

Which gets me to my next point: please let me know your thoughts on how these look and which one is better. Or, rather, which one makes you want to pick up the book and read it?

7 days in Morocco #excerpt (4)

7 days in Morocco #excerpt (4)

“I wake up at the sound of a ball repeatedly hitting the walls and echoing all around the room. A man is shouting something in Italian. I open my eyes only to notice that two of our Italian companions are using the huge waiting room as a football field, whereas Esteban is impatiently walking up and down the room. Miguel seems to be sleeping and Julie is chilling out outside at the entrance. I look at my phone, which is squeezed in my sweating palms, and it’s showing me that it’s half past 9. I try to fall asleep a little more, but the heat and the hard bench are killing me.”

How to write a book in 5 easy steps

How to write a book in 5 easy steps

I’m currently reading my book-in-the-making for the thousand time, correcting typos, cutting out paragraphs and adding up others, looking for various errors in the story. Never have I thought when I embarked on this journey that this was going to be such a tiring thing to achieve.

But now that I’m almost done and getting closer to the launch moment, I put up a list of 5 easy steps to help you in your journey of writing a book for the first time.

Just start writing

Stop dreaming or wishing or postponing. Start now even if you just put a few ideas down on a napkin at lunch.

Temporarily give up

Realize your glorious idea is not that glorious after all and your imagination seemed to stop working before offering you enough writing juice to keep on going with the story.

Resume writing

Start writing again on a whim. Random ideas keep on flowing in no cohesive manner and feel like this time it’s the real thing: everything will fall in place in time and you’re going to make it!

Cry in despair

Nothing makes sense anymore in your story and everything seems just too disparate and poorly written. Your story is not just uninteresting, it plainly sucks. Give up.

Keep on writing.

The final round. Open that file and start typing again. This time it’s for good: you’re finishing this book. You might not become the next amazing best-selling author, but your story will hopefully make someone happy. And if it doesn’t work out at all, at least you’ll be the proud creator of a whole book

You can do it!

*I wrote this post in an attempt to lighten up my spirits. I’m still thinking I should give up for all the random reasons (my writing is not good enough, I have no background in literature, my story is not interesting enough, there’s too much description, there’s too little description, there are too few pages, or too many pages for this story blah blah blah…). But I want to finish it. I want to see it published. I want to see if people like it or not. It’s like an experiment. And I want to see its results.

Writers: Do you go through these steps when writing a book?