Monday, 31 December 2012

Celebrating a year of small successes

I have spent most of 2012 working on my first novel 'Red Kite' and getting it ready to publish as an ebook on Kindle but during the year I have also tried to explore other markets and branch out into different things.

I was thrilled to finally get my article published in Dogs Monthly, discovered the exciting world of letter writing and fillers for magazines which I had never previously enjoyed any success for. I also had a small article published in my own parish magazine which although I was not paid for, I felt that people appreciated what I had written and that is sometimes reward enough.

I had a letter from Hodder and Stoughton in late November and was asked if I wanted  my book 'One Hundred Ways For A Chicken To Train Its Human' to be re-released as an ebook.  That was a lovely surprise and one that I didn't even plan for. So far that little book about chickens has sold 36,293 copies which is amazing to me.  I love the fact that many people love chickens ( or of course it may be that the chickens are buying it!)

My successes are small compared to some writers but I feel very pleased that I have done something related to writing every month including the crazy Nanowrimo which I entered for the first time this November and managed to get the first draft of a possible sequel to Red Kite.

I hope that in 2013 I can at least double my successes.  I plan to market the paper back version of Red Kite, work on a non-fiction children's book and write more articles.

I also have a very odd self imposed challenge which I will blog about on New Years Day 2013.

Thanks to all of you that have read and commented on this blog during 2012.  It gives me such motivation and confidence to carry on and believing that I can call myself a writer.

Happy New Year to you all and hope you have a great 2013. 

Monday, 3 December 2012

Third time lucky - not quite!

Never let it be said that taking the self publishing route is an easy one.  After years of trying to get  my book 'Red Kite' published with a proper book publisher and getting so many rejections, I decided to go down this route instead with Lulu Self Publishing

The trouble is, unless you are confident with all the technical side of self publishing, it can be very daunting, as it has been for me.  I am not too hot on the I.T side of things and despite help from many wonderful writing friends, I am still alone when I come to actually doing it.  I have to click on all the right things to get my book looking like it's worth reading.

I found  that  producing it as an ebook was not so difficult for some reason but when I started to get the hard copy published, I was met with so many problems and that was only because I didn't read  ALL the instructions given. I have learned this after receiving my third copy which is nearly there - but still not good enough.

The first copy was a crazy attempt as I just pressed every button due to the shear excitement of publishing something on the same day as I released my ebook. I loved having an actual copy of it but it was dreadful and as you can see by the photo on the left it had double titles, looked very odd, the font was tiny and it had no page numbers.

The second copy was slightly better as I managed to sort out the front and back cover. It was at this point that I found out that if you don't choose the correct size for your book it will still keep coming out with a reduced font so you get tiny words throughout your book resulting in a very thin spine. If I had bothered to read  all this information from the start, maybe I would have my paperback right now to sell but I didn't.

Today I received the third copy and it's much better.  The page numbers are there, the font is ok but I still need to so some tweeking with the margins.

So, maybe number four copy which is on it's way to me right now to view before releasing it maybe the one that finally gets out there for sale.

We are all different, some people are just able to read instructions first before plunging in. I admit I got caught up with the excitement of publishing my book after such a long time. I would definatley reccomend to anyone who is embarking on a future project similar to mine, if you are not that hot on I.T, read as much as you can, ask whoever you can, be patient and make sure that everything is right before you press the publish button and eventually you will get that book out there.