Discovering Self-Publishing

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

The process of writing is the fun bit of course. The bit that wakes you up with an idea that barely allows a cup of tea. That's why I do this. So many years of not allowing in the light, letting creativity fritter itself away in the instant of a pub joke.

You won't remember it. Then, you sit in front of your magnum opus. It's special. No-one's ever done a story like this before. You go and have a glass or two and you tell at least one person you are a writer. It feels good. It sounds like Rockstar. You are someone who knows stuff and you might just be a little odd, someone who can wear black, live on a mountain and throw eclectic cocktail parties.

So what then? You sit there looking at it, finding your favourite bits and chuckling at how funny you are. You wonder if anyone would find it funny. You remember the hundred or so agents you sent that short story to years ago and the absolute nonsense that came back from the only three responders. That felt like a closed shop, no way in. You don't even qualify to try. Not doing that again.

For the first time in however long, your screen abandons the manuscript and notes, character profiles and timelines.

Amazon, they say. So you look at putting in on Amazon yourself. Ooh, there are templates and categories and stuff not remotely close to what you want to be doing.

You have a cup of tea.

You Googlefumble around and ask the simple question: How do I self-publish and the whole idea soon becomes a very busy scary zoo and the lions are hungry.

This is marketing, design, giveaways, advertising and stuff. I recognise the lingo but I don't want it to apply to creativity. This is the world I left behind in London. I'm an artiste don't ya know. I don't want this. I just want to sit on my bit of the world and write. Maybe I'll try something about an alien abandoning a hermaphroditic lifestyle to seek what us humans have, the sexy stuff. Maybe not.

You have a cup of tea.

If you're lucky, your Googlefumbling brings you to your next week's reading.

After that week you've run out of tea, milk, sugar and rum but you find yourself on another level. It's reality. You can do this. Get your team together. Editing, covers, blurb, marketing and stuff.

Pretty soon, with not much outlay, you have what other people say is a finished product. Holy smoke, that's my name, I wrote that. It's not just me that thinks it's awesome. You prepare to press the button and have the world analyse it and you but still, if editors say it stands up. You get the tingles. You press the button. Maybe you check your passport's still valid for those New York Times bestseller interviews.

And then no-one analyses it, no-one buys it. There is no instant recognition. That's fine though because you team has told you "It's far from instant" and they help you shape your attack. You get to know how Amazon really works and you keep learning.

You've still got stuff to do but its the admin stuff you start the day with. Fine, all for the greater good. It becomes pretty much self-perpetuating. Just follow the plan.

You look forward to writing a bit of copy, maybe a few random blogs. You're still writing. You can still enjoy it.

Then you start getting reviews and, more importantly, you start finding loads of reviewers who will review it for free.

An Unfortunate Dimension was released December 2018 and Machine Sense comes out April 2019. It's gradual but my guidance is showing, I can do this.

And thats the only piece of advice I can give. You can do this. You and your team can do this.

But most importantly, keep writing. The more books you write, the better it gets. You get better and people see more of what you've done.

This is just the prologue.


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