Is this a mid-life crisis? That’s what I kept asking myself during 2014 as I took on the challenge of writing my first novel. Some people buy a fancy sports car, I decided to do something that would leave my mark on the human race beyond my existence… potentially.
18 months later and my first book is available in the Amazon store worldwide in both paperback and ebook formats. It’s been a long journey, if nothing else I have learnt many knew skills in the art of writing, which in my line of work is a benefit I can leverage.
Introducing: The Kings of the New World, book one of The Rhythms of Greedom series. An epic-world, hard-science-fiction thriller. An indulgence of new technology, fast paced battles and deeply troubled characters.
I used my daily commute in and out of London as my writing time, three hours a day otherwise spent reading, listening to music or playing games on my phone. To start with I would use the laptop during my overground train journey, but I soon became so engrossed that I kept the manuscript in the cloud and continued writing on my phone during the packed underground stages. Occasionally I would become so wrapped up in a chapter, I would spend the evenings writing too, but balancing a family life at home meant keeping that part down to a minimum.
As things progressed I started thinking about what I would do if I ever finished my new hobby. Initially I did a lot of research on publishers and agents. The more I read the more depressing the landscape became, so I looked into self-publishing. These days there are many self-publishing options available and they don’t involve the author shelling out a ton of cash either.
I used Amazon’s Create Space service. It’s free for starters, they offer print on demand which means no upfront printing costs and their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) service is super easy to use too. They even allow you to order proof copies of your book at cost – great to give to your beta readers for gathering feedback before launch.
As an independent author you will need to think about cover design and editing. There are services out there to help with both, in an assortment of cost and quality. I decided to create my own cover design as I have an art & design background. Editing is another story. I read my own printed proof a dozen times from front to back and I found knew things to fix every time. I’m very lucky to know a couple of people who could help me, one being an editor for an industry recognised publication… Make the most of the people you know!
Now it’s time for marketing (which includes this post), I have a new twitter handle, a new blog page, a Facebook group and a dedicated website for the book. Please feel free to visit, follow, post, hopefully purchase a book, enjoy a good read and don’t forget the review part – I hear that’s what makes a book successful 😉