Sunday, January 29, 2012

Annette Bower and Moving On: A Prairie Romance

Annette Bower
Annette Bower
Photo by Jessica Eissfeldt

(jessicaeissfeldt at 
Regina, SK: Auctions have played key roles in the genesis of local writer Annette Bower's new e-book, Moving On: A Prairie Romance.

She got her first e-reader through an auction — and her e-publisher, too.

I e-mailed Annette recently to ask about Prairie Romance and the world of digital publishing.

I'm happy to share that conversation about auctions, publishing — and the mysterious Anna, who has just moved to Regina Beach, Saskatchewan, where she meets Nick....

Shelley Banks: Congrats on your new book, Annette! Where can we find it?

Annette Bower: Thank you for your congratulations on my electronic published novel: Moving On: A Prairie Romance. It is a very exciting for me publishing in this medium with XOXO Publishing™ a division of Ninni Group Inc. Toronto, ON.
At this time, Moving On: A Prairie Romance is available at:,,, ISBN: 978-1-927027-82-0. I know XOXO Publishing is planning to have the book available for Kobo readers and Barnes and Nobel.
Cost: Approximately: $3.49 plus appropriate taxes. You can simply purchase it and download it to either your computer and read it there, or you can transfer the file to your e-reader. Or if your e-reader has internet capability you can purchase directly onto the reader if the book is available through the e- reader’s store or compatible sites. A friend read my book on her smart phone.
SB: Can you give us a taste of the story?
AB: My novel is categorized as contemporary sweet romance. On, they use flames as a heat rating system of the books on their site. I have a one flame book which means, “Stories will either not have consummated love scenes, or if the loves scenes are consummated detail is not given” (FAQ ).
I set the story in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan, because it is a place that is familiar to many readers in Saskatchewan, but is exotic and different to people in other places in the world.

Anna is a mysterious woman who just moved to Regina Beach. The residents of the small town know everyone’s business and they are very interested in discovering Anna’s secrets. 
Nick was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army, on active duty until a horrific accident sent him home to recover. He helps Anna feel safe and comfortable in her new environment, just as he has always done for his men in strange, dangerous places. Meanwhile, he focuses on his future physical endurance test proving he is capable of joining his battalion.
Anna is shocked when she discovers that Nick’s goal is to return to active duty. She won’t love a man who may die on the job again. Intellectually, she understands that all life cycles end, but emotionally, she doesn’t know if she has the strength to support Nick.
SB: Do you enjoy reading books on e-readers?
AB: Yes, sometimes before I fall asleep I search for a book on my e-reader.

Occasionally the act of looking at the book covers in the e-reader store and reading summaries is relaxing and other times a book will entice me and I purchase it, download it and begin reading. This is the immediacy of an e-reader.
Or on a cold, blustery day when you think about walking or starting a car you can enter a new world with a book from anywhere with a few key strokes. Another advantage is electronic published books have a lower purchase price than a paperback or hard cover and they take up less space in your house.

I have gone to the library and had a session on downloading the books from a library.
SB: How did you get into digital publishing, and what do you think are some of its advantages for writers?
AB: I entered into the digital publishing world because I won an opportunity to submit a manuscript to XOXO Publishing™ through Brenda Novak’s On-line Auction for Diabetes Research, *

I did not have to win an auction to submit to XOXO Publishing ™, however, I had not heard this Canadian publisher before. They have submission guidelines on their website. .

I entered the digital reading world because of silent auctions. (You might see a trend here.) I attended a Diva Night, where funds are raised for Transition House in Regina. I was the successful bidder of a basket from the Regina Public Library and in it was a Sony Pocket reader. My electronic reading life began from the first download.

If you have a computer or an e-reader with an internet connection you can purchase a book anywhere in the world and that means that my book is available to anyone in the world.
SB: Thanks, Annette. You've got a great cover, too. Is that an important part of digital marketing?    

Moving On, A Prairie Romance, by Annette Bower
Annette's new novel, available online
AB: I believe that it is very important and relays information to the reader immediately.
The XOXO Publishing ™ cover designer, Kayden McLeod worked with me. I sent her information about the story, Anna, Nick and the setting. She submitted her idea.
Although I think she captured Anna perfectly, the first background she chose appeared to me to be eastern Canada. I sent back suggesting a prairie landscape, and she submitted the background you see. From there, it was simply a matter of tweaking the title placement.

Most readers have commented that the cover attracts them.
SB: Can you tell us more about the publishing auction you won?
AB: Brenda Novak Auction:
This auction has many opportunities for writers and readers. Brenda Novak is a New York best-selling author and agents and publishers and other authors donate their expertise and services to the auction. Please check out the site. The auction runs from May 1, 2012 to May 31, 2012. It is a wonderful opportunity to send your work to experienced agents and publishers. It can be a win/win situation.
SB: What else are you working on now?
AB: I am completing edits on another relationship novel before I format it and submit it to an e-publisher.
I am also considering submitting my published short stories as collection to an electronic publisher. I’m learning the ropes. There are so very many varied books available on line now. It is amazing. I am glad that I bid at auctions for causes. I never know what I will learn next.
SB: Any further thoughts you’d like to add?
AB:  XOXO Publishing ™ has a legal representative and assistance, contracts are signed, provides media support, promotional support, acquisition editor, other editors and proof readers, book designers as well as cover designers to publish the best book possible.
As an author I have to promote my work too because if a book is on a shelf in a book store or on a virtual shelf and no one knows about it, it won’t be read. After all as an author I write stories to share with readers.

I am used to being part of a community of authors who take their books to readings and sell them there or give away hard copies.

I need to think outside this paradigm and find ways to sell my virtual book. If anyone has ideas please go to: and give me your ideas or email me at
Thank you, Shelley for sharing your time with me and thank you for your support over the years as a friend and writer.
SB: Thank you, Annette! I've downloaded Prairie Romance on my Kindle, and started reading it. Great story — congrats!



  1. Annette congrats on the publication, and thanks for all this great info about your epub experience. And Shelley, thank you for bringing this to us!

  2. Thanks, Betty Jane! Yes, it's interesting to learn more about e-publishing. (Thanks, Annette!)

  3. Hello Annette, Congratulations keep it up! Great interview. Gina XOXO Publishing

  4. Thanks so much for dropping by, Gina! I've let Annette know you were here -- and yes, we're hoping for many more books from her!


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