OK, so the original plan was to release 'Demon's Daughter' as an ebook in September 2011, see how it did and perhaps release 'Demon's Revenge' (book 2) in early 2012. Obviously I was delighted to sell 1 book, thrilled to sell 2 and delirious when the figure crept above 10 - my mum wouldn't have bought ALL of those! And yes, Emily and Co weren't exactly setting the sales-universe alight but I was happy that someone somewhere was reading about my characters and enjoying their antics as much as I did. And then I had a request for a paperback. And another. Swiftly followed by a few more. I was invited to do a reading at a local school - fantastic experience - and the demand for a physical copy of DD grew a little more.
And, let's be honest, the idea of actually holding a copy of my own book is a strong pull - it might make the fact that DD is published and out in the world feel a little more real.
Yes, I absolutely admit to being naive about what Indie publishing entailed - I can't market myself or my books well at all and the whole decision-making process has given me a load of sleepless nights but I realised that an opportunity like this comes along once in a lifetime - do I want to give it my best shot? Or spend my time worrying that someone might think I wasn't worthy? So...I paced a bit, registered with Nielsen, bit a few nails, bought a batch of 10 ISBNs, panicked a little, found a designer to give the cover and innards a revamp that would make it more 'commercial', applied to become a Publisher at Lightning Source, worried that a wee woman from Northern Ireland shouldn't be attempting to push her luck any further than she already had and now I'm 2 months away from launching a paperback.
My local branch of Waterstone's wants me to come in and do a signing once the book is released, another local school has asked if I'll come in and do a series of readings/creative writing workshops, the pace of life is picking up and I don't know whether to be terrified, retreat back to my cave or go with the flow and enjoy the ride...for now I'm going with the flow!
This all means, however, that book 2 in the series will have to wait for a bit before it gets released from its computer prison. *sigh*
How does August 2012 sound?
Okay, so the main thing that I've found out about the whole self-publishing thing so far is that nothing else matters if you can't tell a good story, and present it in a professional manner.
Seems fairly straightforward and impossible to overlook, right? Maybe so but it's worth repeating - possibly as a kind of mantra as you learn how to market, blog, network etc. etc etc The changes in the world of publishing are an amazing opportunity for authors like me who would otherwise still be doing the rounds of agents and publishers BUT that opportunity counts for nothing if the work produced isn't up to scratch. I can be honest and say that I've read a few ebooks recently which had a great premise, decent characters and good pace but were totally ruined by endless spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. In the end I lose interest in the story because I'm so busy looking out for the next mistake.
There's a lot of advice on 'how-to' blogs about getting yourself a professional editor and obviously that's the smart thing to do but most of us don't have the money to put into it so we're left to go through our work line by line, word by word, full stop by question mark...or ask some helpful friends in my case since I find it really hard to correct my own work!
Now that I'm getting ready to have my first book printed in paperback, I'm being extra careful with it - I suppose this is what's known as 'polishing your work' - and I think I'll be better equipped to deal with book 2 when I get it ready for sending to Amazon and Smashwords. Of course, if you read it and find a mistake then let me know - I'm learning how to develop a thicker skin too!
I was on my way here from Facebook via Twitter and Goodreads when it suddenly struck me how bloody lucky I am. I mean I'm sitting here in a house in a wee town in Northern Ireland and within seconds of firing up my ancient, growling beastie of a computer I have the world at my fingertips. I can connect with friends I see every day, with family overseas and with new friends that I'll never meet anywhere other than cyberspace.
The Internet, world-wide web, whatever you want to call it has a lot of 'issues' and dangers but that gift of being able to make a connection with someone on the other side of the planet is a treasure. If someone had told me back when we first started painstakingly entering code into the ridiculous hulking monstrosities that passed for computers when I was at school, that someday I would be 'meeting' people every morning via a virtual world, chatting via web-cam or exchanging gifts through a screen, I'd have laughed my thick black school tights off!
But here I am, making connections, finding new friends, resurrecting old friendships, exploring parts of the world I'd never otherwise see (publishing books for goodness sake!) and enjoying every minute of it.
Today's all about getting organised.
Hubby's gone to work, kids are heading out with Granny & Grandad so I've got a few hours to make sure all the last Christmas bits are sorted. Wrapping of presents, buying of food, cleaning of house etc. etc. etc. So I'm making lists - what do I need to wrap? What do I need to buy? Where do I need to clean (And where can wait!) ? Feeling a tad Santa-like with the whole making of lists and checking them twice!
Have to say this is the first time this season that I've felt the buzz. You know the one - the pre-Christmas tingle of excitement that you get from wrapping the presents, writing the cards, planning the meal and imagining the smiles on Christmas morning. The school carol services made me feel festive but nothing beats this planning stage for that special high that's exclusive to Christmas.
So, time to make a start...now where's that list of what to make a start on first? - wishing you a Merry Christmas wherever you are xx
The whole KDP Select furore seems to have died down a bit - I suppose most people are waiting to see how the first month goes. I decided not to participate - I don't have anything against it so good luck to anyone who decided to go for it - it just doesn't make a lot of sense for me to put all my eggs in the one basket. I mean, the point of getting the book out there was so people could read it if it tickled their fancy and surely I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I removed it from the other retailers on the off chance that someone will want to borrow it? I would reckon that, given the choice, most people will borrow a popular book or a popular author before taking a chance on a newbie. Especially since they only get 1 borrow per month. I know I would.
Of course, now that the paperback is coming out and Amazon seem to be messing with distribution of titles from Lightning Source (where my book is being printed), I'm going to have to think about publishing on Create Space as well if I want Amazon to stock it. Hmmm. Problem is, of course, that Create Space is based in the USA and I'm in Northern Ireland so getting a proof would be tough, never mind getting books delivered to customers here (I'll sell a few locally - at least if everyone who's asked about it buys). Interesting.
Well, that's a decision for another day - or probably another year since my kids get off school today for Christmas. Yippee!
Okay. I've been signed up here trying to figure out what to write about since June and, even 'though I'm not entirely clear what exactly I'm bringing to the party, I reackon it's time to get started!
So...what am I going to 'blog' about?
Well, I don't really enjoy politics, not much for social commentary, can't really give any insider info on anything excting or important...besides there are plenty of people out there doing that at the minute - and doing it rather well too.
There are also about a billion and one 'How to' sites dedicated to the practice and art of writing and/or publishing; about the same again reviewing books and sharing news about what's new, what's good and what to avoid like the plague; and a whole universe of new writers trying to get their books read and their voices heard.
Huh. We're in a bit of a quandry here, my friend.
Okay...let's just take this as it happens and see what we end up with?
Whaddayasay? Meet you back here tomorrow?