Self Publishing: The story so far

“You should totally write a book.”

The call from many a fan after reading my adventures about searching for coffee in a new country.

“Should I though?” was my usual answer.

It’s fine attempting to be humorous on the pages and posts of a reasonably well attended blog, but a work of fiction is a whole other bag of clams.

Nonetheless, I did, and I am really happy with the result and hope to be as happy with the further instalments of the Erasure series.

Intellectually I knew that it was going to be a hard thing. The decision to become an independent author is one that is easily made, but not as easily achieved.

To clarify: Hitting publish on a website and releasing my work into the wild technically makes me a self-published author, BUT being a writer generally means than ones words need to be read to justify the claim.

It’s the first month, and the book is launched – in both electronic and paperback versions, and while not unheard of I am pretty certain that a book, indeed  any artistic work, isn’t going to buy me a yacht and a team of gold plated porpoises to pull it. Okay the gold plated porpoises are unheard of – I only wrangled them in to illustrate a point.

What I find interesting is the dynamic involving how people respond to a new work. Some will shout its praise from the rooftop (figuratively) while others stand mute. I suspect they are waiting to see what happens. To see how worthy the work is, so that they can ensure they won’t be seen picking a loser and so tarnish their record and negatively affect their self imposed title of hyper-cool-finger-on-the-pulse-of-all-that-is-happening. I find the latter situation hilarious – To wait to follow a trend while truly feeling that one is at the forefront of trend. Hilarious.

I’m fine with it either way – my job in all of this is to tell a story that people might like, not to tell people to like it. Folk will either get on board or they will not, these things are beyond my control…

What I can offer an opinion on is this: The best thing about the state of self publishing is that anyone can write and publish a book. The worst thing? That anyone can write and publish a book.

Not that I am overly enthusiastic about traditional publishing, but we (writers and readers alike) find ourselves in a situation where the good bits of traditional publishing aren’t able to be utilised with any real strength, while the bad stay the same or get worse.

The good bits? That of acting as a filter and marketer, systematically sifting through the detritus of partial manuscripts and formulaic dross in order to release something approximating value for money for the reader’s hard earned bucks.

The bad bits? Subjecting authors to be nothing more than the beggars at the gate of the empire, left to feel grateful for the scraps sent down from the central keep to keep them alive, just enough, so that they might continue to squeeze out more creations to fuel the fires.

BUT – people far more experienced in this trade and far more talented than me have written shedloads for, and against, the above. Some are helpful, some are not, some are a mixture of both with a side order of ranting loud enough to sound like an authority while garnering a ton of comments stating how wise the original post-author is.

Still – fine. What ever rubs ones Buddha.

All I really have to say about the current state of play is this:

If you are going to give an indie author a chance, and you like what they produce, tell people.
Recommend it, become the author’s champion if only for a week.

Remember: The best and worst thing is that anyone can write a book. Publishers are unable to keep up, and indie authors suffer because their work is often lost amongst the pile of poorly thought out schlock.

Send up a flare for books you like. You are the difference between a book gaining traction or languishing in the realm of electronic vanity press publishing.

If you’ve already championed Erasure, thanks I am truly grateful. If you are in the “waiting to see how it goes” camp, and one day find yourself bellied up to a bar next to me, I’ll still buy you a drink if you’ve got something interesting to say.

I’m that kind of guy.

4 thoughts on “Self Publishing: The story so far

  1. when I first saw Nicolas fb post about your new book I thought Wow! Nicola knows that guy out of Erasure (we used to call him Mr Potatohead) (no offence) and he's written a book about himself ;)then I remembered he's called Vince something, so then I read the article, and your blog, and now I'm going to read your book, cos I like the way your write, and I want to be a writer (ha!) and I believe in synchronisity and not coincidence. I will post again, post reading Carole :)(incidently, I have NO idea what the profile selections actually mean, just picked one because I couldn't post this otherwise!)


  2. Thanks Carol!No I am indeed NOT the guy from Erasure – so, well spotted.Hope you enjoy the book.Re: profile selections. If you have a website, you can leave a comment using Name/Url (name is you, website is the url)Otherwise Anonymous is perfectly fine!Thanks for the comment.


  3. and I can download you to my kindle? today 🙂 I love being old enough to afford new technology!Carole


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