Update

The good news is, I have finished my latest book.

The bad news? It’s re-write time. Just when you think you can’t think about a subject any longer, it is time to go back to the beginning and start again.

Its not so bad i guess, but it feels like the incredible journey. So the best thing to do is get some distance from it first. I will do this by beginning the follow up to The End.

I’m really looking forward to doing that now, so when i get back from Holiday, i will be starting. As I said in an earlier post, setting your working pattern is the difficult bit to start with. Once you’ve done that, it’s much easier. I know that If I write a thousand words a day, it will take me somewhere between 6 and 9 months to complete, depending on how long the book is, obviously.

But the one i have just finished is a book for teens. I really like the concept, and I’ve fleshed out the rest of the series (this one will be 4 or 5 books long). Currently, it’s with my editor, and then i will give it a couple of months before beginning the re-write.

I have another series in mind, for kids, which i would love to get started on. But currently, i am writing two different series at the same time. In the next few weeks, i will be putting some additional content around The End and its characters on the site. So if you’re interested, keep checking.

Its looks like book 2 of The Auslander Series is going to be out in around May or June. So the sooner i get it finished the better.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing

So, here’s the thing.

There are many who despise Amazon for its strangle hold on the world of books. I read an article last week, which i found really interesting and very accurate in terms of the benefits and pitfalls of putting all of your eggs in the one basket. But, and it is a big but, you have to be realistic about any outlet that gives you the ability to shift your book.

I said previously, that even if you give your first book away, for quite some time, it should pay you a dividend in the future. Giving it away gets your book in front of people, and getting your book in front of people gives you the chance of getting in front of more people. And that’s the difficult thing about all of this process, getting your work out there and having people know that it is out there.

Its the nature of books and writing I guess, that its incredibly difficult to get it out there. If your books sells 20 copies, it will not appear in any list anywhere, when people are searching for thrillers, or crime, or historical fiction for example. So for me, I knew that unless you were looking for me, or for a book titled The End, you would never find my work. Or you could trawl through hundreds and hundreds of pages of thrillers and you might, eventually stumble across it. And at the moment, that it is the situation, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people all vying for the readers attention, and with no formulaic way of doing so.

And that’s where KDP select comes in. As the article above states, it isn’t perfect, but it is improving all the time. And its not just the ability to self publish either, its the free promotions that make it so much better than its rivals for me. I recently did a free promotion on Smashwords, during which a reasonable amount of people (quite a few dozen) downloaded my book for free. And that’s great. But that was over the course of a month

I’ve just run a 2 day promotion with KDP, and shifted 10 times that amount. Ten times. And that was without it featuring on any websites tagging it in the promo.

Now i know what i have to do next time, i can’t wait to run the next promo. Its not about the money, its about the fact that now, a few thousand people have my book on their reading devices. And hopefully, they’re reading it and enjoying it. Thats really the best you can hope for. It was amazing watching my title climb the charts on Friday last week, at one point it was #17 in the free suspense book chart, and number #32 in the free thrillers chart. All this was down to the free promotion through KDP select.

Any mechanism that allows you to reach thousands of readers without spending any more money, in the book world, is pretty much priceless. The rest, is up to you and how good your product is.

Bye for now, Dave.

Introduction

Well, where else to start but at the beginning?

I’m new to writing, new to blogging and this is my first ever website!

I’m hoping to cover numerous subjects over the coming weeks, months and years, and not least of those will be writing.

I’m a newly published author, and hope to be able to provide advice to those new authors following the same path. I’m no expert, but from reading other people’s blogs, articles and simply going through the process, I’m finding my feet. And hopefully, so too will you. It’s a tough, intimidating world, that of writing. Agents have their own do’s and don’ts, how to approach them, how not to. When to approach them, when not to. And mainly, that will result in a no. And that’s if you get a response. And its very difficult to get a publishing deal without an agent these days too.

But then there are sites like Smashwords and Amazon’s KDP and Create Space, which allow you to self publish. Self publishing allows you to get your book out there, even if it is only for friends and family to purchase and read. But once you’ve published, that’s really only the beginning. Actually getting your book out there for the masses to read, is very very difficult indeed. You have to think laterally, consider every way that might help you to sell just a few more books. Give your book away if you can, it doesn’t matter if you don’t make a million, believe it or not, the thing that really matters in the end is that people read and like your work.

That wasn’t how I felt to start with, but its definitely how I feel now. Actually having people read and respond to your work is like a drug, and the physical writing of the book is a similar addiction. Taking the ideas from your head and getting them onto the page is such an enjoyable process, to me anyway. But if you’re just starting out, then it can feel a little daunting. I had my idea for The End around fifteen years ago. I knew where I wanted to go with it, but decided I needed another story to get me there. Then I struck on the idea of using the Mayan Calendar predictions as a way get to my main story line. Its the curse (or maybe blessing) for the writer. That thought of “Here’s one way of looking at it, but what if…” its the thing that drives you on and gives you an angle on a story.

At the very start, I sat down with my laptop and thought ‘Right, here we go!’ I started writing, and it was slow. But then I felt it really kick in, I felt things start to flow. It felt like my fingers were a blur on the keyboard. I sat back, blew out a breath and thought ‘I must have written pages there.’ I’d written around 300 words and about half a page. That was a sickener. I really didn’t think it was going to work for me. So for the next month, i pottered about doing bits here and there. And after that month, I had written somewhere around 20 pages. You might think that’s okay, but it wasn’t happening quickly enough for me. So, I sat down and set myself a target. I used a spreadsheet, and set our individual days for the next 5 months or so. And decided I would try to write 1000 words a day for that 5 months. I know that sounds like a lot (or to some, very little), but I figured I could do it.

And I did, and finished my first draft when I wanted to. The sense of achievement was amazing. I’d written my first book, I’d written a novel. But the work had only just begun. Don’t get me wrong, it really is an amazing achievement finishing a novel, many try, but few succeed. But it really is only the beginning. For me, the beginning of The End! I knew I had to do a re-write, but didn’t have the heart. So I started writing another novel, this one a YA book. After a couple of months, I went back to The End and re-read it with pen in hand. It’s very hard to do, I won’t lie, but it needs to be done. But another important decision I made, was to find an editor. I did so, and it was a good decision for me personally.

She allowed me to step back and look at it objectively. She also taught my invaluable lessons in writing, that I had no idea about. Concepts that I had not encountered. She also liked the story, which is always good to hear. If you’d like Irene’s contact details, email me at dave@lazeyink and i will oblige. Believe me, having your work edited sets it apart from many pieces of work that are being self published.

I will continue with my next post, in the next week or so. In the meantime, good luck, and feel free to email me.

 

Cheers, Dave.