As I’ve mentioned here before I completed a novel for an MA a while back and have been dithering and dathering about it for a while. Like the perfectionists amongst you – I’ve never thought of myself as one but in terms of my writing I must be – I have kept on at it, knowing full well I was really just changing it rather than improving it.
In the summer I decided ‘enough’. I needed editing. A good friend, Anna Rogala has edited it, very thoroughly, a while back but I thought I’d ask another editor (who was, equally importantly, also going to help with the formatting) to tear into it. Ben Way, take a bow. If you are looking for help, look no further . I also had a couple of beta readers read the final, final version. All that effort ended just over two weeks ago and I have no excuse.
I did try sending it off to a few agents a while back – not a glimmer of a hint of an interest – which isn’t surprising in this competitive world. I could keep trying but the corollary to that is I will keep nibbling at it. I know myself. And while I do that, I don’t finish the other books I have, or more importantly write new ones, better ones. So I’ve given that route up and its Indie for me.
Apart from a rushed six copies of my Nano effort last year (just for my family, for Christmas – I used Lulu.com and it was very straightforward) I’ve not attempted publishing anything. But, so my little brain has it, if I publish my book, that’s it. I can stop. I can move on. It’s no longer mine.
For the last ten days I have thought about Kindle. I’ve registered. I’ve set up my account. And feverishly, over the last few days, I’ve formatted and adjusted the e-version of my book:
DEAD FLIES AND SHERRY TRIFLE!
I want to launch the print version too so next up it is Createspace (the weekend for that) and I hope there won’t be too much to do. Ben told me I was brave to go straight from Word to Kindle Direct Publishing rather than via a platform like Scrivener but I looked at Scriv, I read the tutorials and I tried loading my book into it and it hurt my brain and I felt I’d gotten nowhere. Had I felt I failed at the direct Word-KDP route then I’d give it a crack. If anyone has mastered the transfer of a Word job to Scriv successfully and wants to give me a tutorial I’m game. Anywhere in the UK and you get good lunch… But my effort looks ok. Anyone who picks it up will be able to tell me if that is naïve.
I learnt some stuff. Somehow a lot of expand/contract links had appeared in my document not just at the start of chapters but Al over, which made it impossible to create a table of contents. I sorted that out – not necessarily via the easiest route but it has worked and my Kindle version will have the recommended hyperlinks as a TOC. And I spent a bit of time on what I always think of as book clutter – the acknowledgments, the copyright mumbo jumbo, the author’s note. But in looking at others for guidance I decided to include the first chapter of my next book
You heard that here first! See, I have a plan. Dead Flies goes live this month. First quarter next year and it’s God Bothering. And second quarter its Salisbury Square (that’s the provisional title – it used to be Six Degrees of Connectivity, but I thought that a mouthful; however others are trying to convince me to go back – watch this space). I can then leave those books alone and move on. I may even squeeze in the YA book I forced out for Nanowrimo last year – the Miracle on Sydenham Hill. Let’s see.
Sending DFST out to the wide world means I can commit to another Nano this year. What I write is still up for grabs but, damn it, I will do it. The choice is one of two sequels, to Dead Flies or to the YA. Probs the former and leave the latter for next year.
There you have it. I hope, if anyone picks Dead Flies up up, they will enjoy it. And of course review it! This isn’t a reason to do so, but any money I make I intend dedicating to the youth club I work for, Streatham Youth and Community Trust. They do any amazing job with inner city children and young adults as well as run classes for adults in need of extra support. My plan has always been to use the proceeds of my writing for good causes and this is the first.
I will follow this post with a post that it has gone live. Not long now.