I guess the answer is - "YES - AND SO WHAT?"
And for that, I have to thank the teenage communist recalcitrant who still occupies a large proportion of my forty-two year old mind. He has always been helpful to me - even got me thrown out of economics at school after calling the teacher a Thatcherite Bastard after said teacher had begun ridiculing the miners during the strike of 1984/5. So no more pleading with faceless agents and publishers boy - just get it out there and let it fall where it may!
I guess the most time consuming part was choosing the cover. Rebecca (my wife) painted several options but we ended up taking a photo of a painting she had done a year or so ago of the salt-marshes, which are about ten minutes away from where we live. I stretched the photo a little, gave it a sepia tinge put it through the G.I.M.P software (I know, I chuckle every time I see it on my desktop) - and there it was, all ready to send.
In one sense, publishing this way is straightforward - in another, the work never stops as all the responsibility is yours in terms of the pricing, the promotion and the networking. Here are my experiences, over the first three weeks of each of those elements:
1. Pricing - basically, using the Amazon self-publish option you can set the price, between certain parameters, and change it as and when you want. You get 70% royalties if you charge £1.49 or more and 35% royalties if you charge £0.75 to £1.48. The royalty received is about £1.00 per sale at £1.49 and £0.26 a sale at £0.75. I have, as some may have noticed, tinkered quite a bit with the price - and I apologise for that. I have come to the conclusion, after three weeks, that (as I fully expected - thanks to my teenage recalcitrant communist me again!) the more people that read Tollesbury Time Forever, the more fulfilled I would be. As any of you have read it will know, there are some thoughts in the book that I hope will resonate - and that can only be a good thing. So, for a while at least, the price will be set at its lowest. It looks like the wire strung across the bedroom wall full of coathangers will have to serve as a wardrobe for a little while longer!
2. Promotion and Networking - now initially I thought this would be the hardest thing but the people I have met have made it feel like the simplest thing. I have to thank the lovely people who I have come to know on Facebook, Goodreads Kindle Forum and the UK Kindle Forum for their wonderfulness and their support. It seems Tollesbury Time Forever is indeed 'falling where it may' and, fortunately for me, that is at the feet of fine people.
So what of the next few weeks? Well, the following things are in the pipeline:
- My friend, Luisa (who is lovely!) has offered to do a Press Release for me. I'm still not entirely sure what this means but it sounds positive. We are going to work on it over the weekend so will keep you all posted.
- Sarah at Saint FM (local Essex Station) has contacted me asking if I would go on her show in the next couple of weeks. Again I will keep you posted.
- Tollesbury Time Forever has been nominated by the UK Kindle User Forum as one of ten books to be voted for as the Bookclub Book to Read for February. Obviously this will be a huge boost, and ineed achievement. I'll let you know how it goes.
- In terms of writing, I have given notice to the publishers of my first novel, A Cleansing of Souls, so in thirty days time I will have sole rights to it. I am in the process (along with a lovely Goodreads person!) of revising it and will be releasing it as an Amazon ebook in March, with a new cover painted by Rebecca. So I guess if you're thinking of getting A Cleansing of Souls now, don't worry really - wait until March! Once I've finished the revisions I will then be free to get going again on The Bird That Nobody Sees which I hope to have completed and released by the end of August this year. And following that I will be working on four short stories for young teenagers about a girl called Tremble - the first one is called Tremble, Peanut and the Boy and may well be released under Rebecca's name as it was her idea and she is contributing the storylines.