November 16, 2018
I find writing crime fiction easy but the editing process is hard as I am slightly dyslexic. I am also lazy which is why my stories take a long time to write. I began my newly released novel, Magic Bullets, a ridiculously long time ago in the 1970s.
My first draft is always bad and contains all kinds of spelling, grammar and continuity errors because I am a story teller and not a literary writer. I write ideas down as they come into my head while I sit at a computer. I do think about the story as I go about my daily life, planning plot lines and sometimes endings. But the story really evolves into something I feel worthwhile publishing during the editing. The advantage of this style is that I do not recall getting writer’s block. I subscribe to the Raymond Chandler view, “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand”. I don’t take this literary but I do like to throw in something to put my protagonist reader, and occasionally even myself off guard.
I self publish and therefore have to be extra vigilant with my editing. Online and offline spelling and grammar checkers are invaluable. Oh, if only I had these when I grew up in the years BC (Before Computers) when dyslexia was unheard of. But even these tools are not good enough. I get computer text-to-voice software to read my writing back to me and at least three people, whose views I respect, to read through what I consider to be my final draft. In reality it never is. Even after all these checks a few mistakes creep through. But the beauty of self-publishing and publishing-on-demand means that I do not produce more than ten or twenty copies at a time. This means that by the time my work gets to the reader the mistakes are gone and, who knows, some of the early error filled copies may eventually be worth a lot of money as collectors’ items.
June 23, 2018
I was invited to download a review pdf copy of this guide by the author and I was most certainly glad I did. The book cover is usually the first feature to draw a potential reader’s attention. It is therefore essential to make it as appealing as possible to the eye while at the same time capturing the essence of what the book is about. It is one of the hardest ingredients of the book to get right.
Mainstream writers will probably employ a professional designer but for the self publisher this investment will mostly prove too expensive. Some are lucky in that they may know of a student going through Art College who will produce an acceptable cover at a low fee, or even for free, for a chance to include it in their CV. Others might know of a family member or friend who is willing to do this for them cheaply or again for free. There are also cut price offers online from sites such as Fiverr. But often the cover they produce will not be of good quality. The alternative is to attempt to do it yourself which invariably leads to a mess. But this book guides the do-it-your-self publisher through the process while pointing out the pitfalls of such an approach along the way.
I was fortunate to acquire the guide when I was about to launch my forthcoming novel, “Magic Bullets”. I am most glad I did but only time and the comments I expect to receive from those who follow my work will allow me to reflect accurately whether I made the right choice. However, I do know that the final cover choice was down to me and not the fault of this guide or its author. I thoroughly recommend it for any writer even those who employ professional help as it will prove invaluable in choosing between the various designs such a professional might come up with.
Available on Amazon’s Kindle Store.
April 30, 2018
During the past few weeks myself and fellow authors of The Watford Writers group have been engaging with other writers and readers as part of Watford’s Big Word Fest. On the Friday evening of 20th April some of us read at an “Open Mike” event at Watford Museum and on Saturday 28th April a few of us exhibited some of our books and took part in a self publishing workshop at Watford Central Library. Thanks to the staff at both venues and to those who took part, I had an amazing time. I recommend that anyone visiting Watford should visit both venues which are open most days and are outstanding examples of their type.
Watford Central Library
Self Publishing Workshop
More photographs can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/watfordwriters
April 3, 2013
Treating your writing as a business is a must for anyone taking first steps in self publishing.
New technologies in printing have made it possible to produce books in small quantities at low cost. Authors can be their own boss, have editorial freedom, be responsible for pricing and advertising and keep all the profits. The disadvantage of this means that as they have no track record in the publishing industry they become a small fish in a big pond and their publications thought of as “vanity publishing” and inferior. They can make basic editing errors and are responsible for all losses.
February 26, 2013
The Real Cost of Self-Publishing. http://tinyurl.com/arnkyjn
February 14, 2013
Another self published author finds success. http://tinyurl.com/bmjnko4
November 29, 2012
Self publishing is no longer frowned upon. Readers do not mind who the publisher is. All they care about is having a good read. The most successful way to promote books is by word of mouth starting with the authors themselves and spreading via their friends and family to a wider public.
Advertising is expensive particularly in this austere age. A large publishing company will always plump for a book written by a celebrity rather than a newcomer because they know it will sell. However, the quality of writing is often poor and the reading public are being let down.
Writers become good writers because they have been plugging away for years honing their art without success because mainstream publishers are unwilling to take a risk on an unknown talent. There are legions of stories of authors who receive rejection after rejection before getting that big break through. There must be many great novels out there which never see the light of day.
Self publishing means that there is now no need for this to happen. It is marvellous that a big publisher has at last realised this. Simon and Schuster are leading the way.
July 3, 2012
A book with its cover, contents and the advertising campaign that surrounds it is a complete artistic experience. The author that produces it can have complete control when self publishing. The downside is that the self publisher will have to bear the mistakes and the costs. However, the pleasure at producing a work of art can more than compensate.
Books can be viewed in the same way as music albums. The cover, the texture and the notes on the jacket can bring pleasure in themselves. Vinyl records of 60s, 70s and 80s added visual and textural appeal to the music inside. The smaller CD and the digital download have greatly lessened the effect. It is still there but the influence of the complete package has decreased.
Digital ebooks have suffered the same. However, the short-run paperback version can bring back the glamour previously shown by pulp fiction. Shelves of nicely jacketed books can enhance its décor and bring interest to a room.
In the same way the video can promote interest, the book trailer can have the same effect and a well produced book trailer video can be a piece of art in itself. Thus the book, its jacket and video trailer becomes an artistic composition of which the self publishing author can be proud.
Click here to view trailer Click here to view trailer