New Side Project – Dad’s Cricket Diary

I’ve started working on a new side project spinning off from The Diary of the 17th Man.  It’s “Dad’s Cricket Diary” – the occasional musings of a 50-something dad who decides to return to the cricket field after a 25 year absence.

It’s not really autobiographical, but let’s just say that after playing cricket and spending a lot of time watching my sons play, the well of funny, weird and traqic cricket stories is pretty full.

Dad’s Cricket Diary is being released entry by entry on 17thManDiary.com.  You can start reading here.

Of course, later on, there will probably be a book.

I spent $200,000 on self-publishing

No I didn’t.

digital-self-publishingBut according to a recent article in The Guardian, everyone must THINK I’ve spent that much, because each of my 30-odd titles must have cost $6,000 to self-publish. The article lists editing, cover design, buying reviews and sending out physical review copies as the major expenses. It leaves out formatting, which is just one if its flaws. You can read it via the link below.

I have self-published 30 books now. There’s:

  • two novels,
  • a whole bunch of novellas and serials,
  • various compilations of novellas and serials,
  • a cricket humour series, and
  • a series of parody life tips.

Do the maths and round up a bit. Check out the catalog here.

I guess $6,000 is nothing compared to the time real “cost” of the time you spent writing your book, be it long or short. But it’s a lot of cash, and a complete nonsense. I’ve got most (but not all) of my books to market for no financial outlay.

Here’s some money saving tips:

Use the right tools. This is a golden rule.  Write your book using Scrivener. It costs about $45. When you’ve written, edited, proofread and slaved over it, you click a button and it makes a beautiful ebook file to upload for kindle, nook, etc.  If you’re patient, it will even do a print-ready file for a paperback as well.

Work collaboratively. I work with a number of different writers, either as co-authors or as just an “extra pair of eyes” looking over a story. “Is this story worth telling?” is a question that needs to be asked – ALWAYS – don’t forget to ask it. When the answer is “No”, drop it like a hot potato.

Ask Friends. Friends who know what they’re doing, of course.  I designed the cover for The Queensberry Rule, but I knew it wasn’t right. A friend who does some design work looked at it and told me in two minutes what was wrong, and the ten minutes I spend fixing it transformed it from OK to fantastic.  My friend would never have agreed to design the cover if I’d asked her to do that.

Engage readers. I’ve got a few readers who (mostly) like my work, and they love proofreading, testing, and commenting on new stories. They feel privileged to be part of the process, and they make a huge difference in the development of projects. I have two novels in planning which wouldn’t exist without the feedback of readers. Listen to them!

Use the barter economy. I’ve got a few contacts who each other, mainly with proofreading. It takes time, but we get to read each other’s work.

Read Aloud. This takes time, but if you want to find mistakes, and get a sense of how your language sounds, you’ll find more things to fix than you wanted to by reading your last draft out aloud.

 

I did spent some money on my first book – to have it edited, and for a crowd-sourcing website to do a cover. The editing investment was worth it as far as me growing as a writer goes – but not “worth it” in terms of the financial return of that particular book. Across the whole portfolio, of course, it makes much more sense.

There’s only one way to write a best seller – and that’s to start writing the books that come BEFORE it straight away – without being put off by vested interests who keep trying to keep the gates closed by saying things like it’s going to cost an arm and a leg to self-publish, or that writing like Hemingway is what is needed to “succeed”.

You can read the Guardian article here.

More usefully, you could read/listen to:

When the mood takes you . . .

studio lights

The garage is fast turning into a music studio, and my workshop being overtaken by amps, guitars and copies of song chords floating around the place.

Yep, that's me aged about 7

Yep, that’s me aged about 7

I’d already had the idea for some mood lighting in my workshop/mancave before the studio came about. Over the last 12 months I’ve purchased some original parts from a 1960 FB Holden on ebay – tail lights and the instrument cluster. They’re heavy and metallic, with real screws and light bulb sockets, and with real 50 year old dust as well.  We had one of them when I was a kid in the late 1960s – it was light green with a dark green highlight.

To bring these to life, I’ve basically shoved a 100 LED Christmas light string into the back of each of them. There was a fair bit of order put into that “shove” action, just to be clear.

The tail lights are fantastic, the dash not as bright as I would have liked, but it still looks good and the whole set up is great fun.

Milestone in May!

May has been a big month! I’ve released four new titles across the literary forms I love – long-form fiction, contemporary novella and satire/humour.

That’s taken my total number of books for sale to 25, and then beyond, to 27.

Here’s the fresh crop.

Warm-Honey-The-OneNo Roomdriving  Cover FInallCooking Cover FInall

Warm Honey.  Life under the bleaching Perth sun is becoming complex for twenty-something Rob. With the encouragement of Charis, his new girlfriend, Rob leaves behind years of procrastination and finally attempts to contact his estranged father. Together, they have to deal with an unfolding family tragedy and the ghosts of the past.  My second full-length collaboration with Steve McAlpine is available in ebook here.

No Room in the Bin. Set deep in suburbia, this humorous novella asks the reader a few deep philosophical questions about their rubbish. This is the sixth book in the Live-Fiction series, and was co-written with Steve McAlpine. Available here.

Nanna’s Tips. After Nanna’s triumph with her Travel Tips, she has returned with Nanna’s Driving Tips and Nanna’s Cooking Tips. These books are short and quirky, and the tips are homespun, sometimes questionable, probably dangerous and by no means comprehensive. (Travel Tips and Driving Tips are available in paperback, Cooking Tips will be soon!)

May has also seen the release of the paperback of The Queensberry Rule. Thanks to James Stewart for some cover help and to Johnny, Sean and Dave from Self-Publishing Podcast and Simon from the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast for their weekly dose of challenge and encouragement.

Want to come along for the ride? Sign up to my email list and receive a free ebook as my gift to you.  It will be great to have you along for the adventure.