Friday, December 14, 2012

Getting Ready for Self-Publishing



I’d be lying if I told you how well I planned the way to get published on Amazon’s Author Central

Despite reading several accounts by others of their experiences, backed up by intricate instructions, as well as a community education course on How To Publish an eBook, presented by Russel Lean, I had to work through my usual impulsive false starts, and ditherings wondering where to get started, how to get started, what to do first, last, in between, etc etc.

While dithering, I explored my options for the production of a book cover and wrote promotional blurbs without giving too much of the story away. I started thinking about the photo to go into my bio.

And I thought about my bio. A lot of writers have a lengthy list of interesting jobs they’ve done, with which to explain the passing years. From memory, it seems I have spent years in the dole queue listening to a whole lot of amazing stories. Grist for the writing mill, as the saying goes. Plus, with my as-yet lack of published material, my bio threatened to be pretty boring. I started a bit of jazzing.
So, the whole dithering exercise was not a complete waste of time.

I think now that the me-dithering part at the beginning of a Real Life (RL) project can be equated to getting the first draft of a story (Alternate Reality = AR) down. I’ve become fairly proficient using Scrivener. Getting the story down in my usual all over the place way, writing now here, now there – is what Scrivener is excellent for – but a Real Life project continues to get worked out in my scrapbook/journal.

In between, I dallied, browsing probably the better word, on the Internet for inspirations. The Book Designer for combinations of fonts. The Book Designer for book covers. The Book Designer for more book covers. 

I came across Kobo’s Writing Life’s submission process. Now I can’t make up my mind whether to do it first, to cut my teeth on the process, or do it after my foray onto Amazon, as a relief.
After a couple of days of confusion I was finally ready to Make a List.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Usual December Situation

By December it is all but impossible to get involved in a long anything - story planning, 100 000 word draft, or a 40 000 word structural edit. I'm back with a short story that I began early this year, though I'm finding that at 32 pages even that is not short enough not to suffer from interruptions.

However, one of my resolutions for this year was to get/have something published. And this story,
The Harrowing, will be it. Self published at that. Accompanying it will be the story of how I negotiate the self publishing process made possible by Amazon.com, the biggest market in the world.

The Harrowing is a science fantasy, one of those mash-up categories. Not elves and wizards therefore not fantasy. Not entirely in the world of possible, therefore not entirely in the realm of science fiction. The world is a fictional water planet where the viewpoint characters are attempting to resist an alien takeover.

The clash-of-civilisations theme has turned out be the one I return to again and again both in my reading and writing. I'm sure that says a lot about who I am - with my migrant background. I can well remember us (my mother and siblings) mystified at the instruction to 'bring a plate.' And bringing an empty plate. Oh, the embarrassment. We learnt of course that it's a way to share the load of party cooking, and that you bring a plate filled with food to share.

One of the greatest books on the clash-of-civilisations theme that I ever read, is The Inheritors by William Golding. That's all I'll say about it. Because it is worth getting hold of, be it for 50 cents in a secondhand hole-in-the-wall stall or free from a private library.