Thanks once again, whoever has downloaded my debut novel The River. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave a review. The River is still available to download for free, but only for one more day. So, go on, have one on me. You know it makes sense!
I experienced a great, and dare I say it, unique feeling when I woke up this morning and opened my laptop to find that some amazing person has purchased my novel The River on Amazon Kindle. I say unique because I think this may well be the first ever organic sale I have ever achieved. Whoever you are, thank so very much for making my day and I hope you enjoy the read.
This week I published my debut novel, The River. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LZPG5TH. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZPG5TH
“Destbury is the latest destination for 18-year-old loner Patrick and his Mother in an endless trail of towns and false starts since their lives were devastated years earlier. Within weeks, Patrick is experiencing disturbing dreams concerning a reclusive and seemingly doomed musician and Patrick’s first love in the form of a girl called Marisa. Together, these propel him on a journey which will change the course of his life.”
It’s free to download from Amazon, but be quick as this offer ends sometime in the wee hours.
Once again I have found myself stuck between two stools in my quest to become a full-time writer. I had previously been torn between the artistic freedom of self-publishing and the time liberating experience of the traditional route. In the end, I saw sense and decided to stick with the former approach given all the videos, podcasts, and literature which provided a persuasive argument for being one’s boss. And the more I think about this, the more it makes sense to be an indie, in fact after observing the e-book revolution, it would now seem to be only a matter of time before musicians, songwriters, and filmmakers follow suit.
So, I am resolved to riding the wave of Kindle, etc. and yet, with this comes the quest for knowledge of how to work the system. The hard part is not the writing of the book but the marketing; getting “eyeballs,” one may as will be the invisible man having to resort to pouring ink on himself to be seen, to take shape.
And so I have entered my email address into more correspondence boxes than I can recall. I open my inbox every morning to find myself snowed under by some blog posts and videos showing the secrets to author success, warning me of the pitfalls and mistakes made by so many other writers who failed to put various marketing strategies into place. Now, I want to be as successful as the next aspiring writer, or at least be able to make a living from it, and while not being naïve enough to think my books are going to sell themselves, it’s only in the last couple of days where it seems I have finally woken up to the realisation I am chasing the crowd. Trying to work the system and, worst of all-something I should know better about-second guessing the market.
I seem to have forgotten my original reason for writing: the love of flow and creativity. It appears I am running off fear; fear of failure, of poverty, not being able to provide for my family. I seem to fear this even more than critical rejection. It’s the marketing world which has, until recently, filled me with some dread. While I like the idea of building a “Team” around me of cover artists, typographers, editors, proofreaders, beta readers and reviewers, I also have found myself doing ridiculous things such as scrolling through examples of successful Facebook ads and newsletters which tend to contradict each other’s advice. I suppose it’s ultimately a process if trial and error by which I will find my route to success, in whatever form it decides to reveal itself to me.
So, yes, there are pros and cons of going down the indie route, and for someone like me who is relatively new to it, the amount of information out there can be overwhelming. One thing which has helped keep my head above the waters of madness is the idea of being my boss, and after 20-odd years of working for other people with very little to show in return, I’ve become very attracted to this idea indie publishing affords. In fact, everything seems to point to the direction of self-publishing, self-sufficiency, the DIY, punk rock school of thought and action which time and time again sprout so much trail-blazing and original ideas. But, of course, being your boss means you have to put in the work yourself, you have to get to know the business, the pitfalls, and goldmines, this is where the e-book gurus come hunting, each one guaranteeing you Hugh Howey-esque success if only you will slavishly follow their rules. Hugh Howey didn’t achieve his success through algorithms and hashtags; he did it through word of mouth and because he loves writing enough to put out something he and millions of others wanted to read. Perhaps the best advice to take is your own
All authors are gods in their own eyes. We think our work is the greatest thing produced under the sun, until someone comes around and points out the many flaws in our “flawless” work.
Hopefully you’re not like me and require multiple people pointing out your flaws until you finally swallow the bitter pill of humility and say, “Yeah, you’re right. My work isn’t nearly as amazing as I thought it was.”
And I’m not just talking about bad grammar or typos, either. I’m talking about the overall structure of your story, and even the story itself. Maybe it’s a good idea, but the execution needs a major revamp. Or maybe the execution is brilliant, it’s just that, what’s the whole point? What’s the story arch? What’s this brilliant piece of work even about?
Because it’s hard to get honest and tough feedback from friends and family members, I’m offering editing services…
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