Friday, 17 July 2015

The Upsides and Downsides of Being a Self-Published Author

Being a self-published author has its upsides and its downsides.

A major upside is that it gives you a hell of a lot of control.

A major downside is that it gives you a hell of a lot of control.

Having a quick glance of the proof copies of my paperbacks, it was evident that the print was way too small - again.

I thought I had dealt with this issue last time. It's a complete nuisance because I then have to figure out why this is happening, then I have to spend time rectifying it; then I have to wait for more proofs to come through to see if the issue has been dealt with.

Hopefully now - fingers crossed, I've sorted it out once and for all. When the proofs come through the post, we will see.

(It had something to the do with the margins in Word being too big for the size of the book I had selected in Createspace. Because of this, when it went to print, they shrunk the print to fit the size I had selected. Oh, and by the way, Createspace have been super supportive with all the issues I've had whilst trying to get my books to print.)

Whilst sorting that out I noticed a few alterations I wanted to make - and this is one of the upsides to self-publishing: the ability to make changes whenever you want, without getting into trouble with the publisher.

Of course, these changes would've probably been dealt with if I paid for an editor in the first place, but like everybody else I've been cutting costs where I can. I've sent my books to various people (members of my "dream-team") whom I trust, but even they don't see where changes need to occur when it comes to individual style; choice of word; preferred grammatical changes etc. I'm so damn keen to get my work out there that a lot of changes don't come about until months after I've pressed the 'publish' button.

And when I make changes it means that for hours at a time my books go offline.

So apologies if you've not being able to purchase them.

It's my fault...

If you're a self-published author or would like to know a bit more about the pros and cons before you take the leap into the world of self-publishing, check out this video I found the other day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfwY2rI8qAc

www.gavinwhyte.co.uk

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Full-time Artist

Having just got back after a month long trip around Europe, I find myself feeling like another chapter in my life is starting.

Like all change, it's daunting, but I have nothing else to do apart from embrace the fear that arises and use it to motivate me.

I think a major reason for feeling the way I do is because I no longer have a stable job. My safety net has been pulled from under my feet. The last time that happened was when I finished college in 2001, but even then I had a part-time job, so I wasn't entirely "netless".

When I think about what I've given up it's not a great deal, to be honest. It was a job I had been wanting to replace for a long time. I had been in it for a decade when I finally left, so change was afoot.

So now I've left the job, what has it been replaced with?

That which I was doing all along: writing.

All I have to do is acquire a new perception of myself as a full-time writer. But that's harder to do than it sounds. It involves rewiring the brain to think and perceive differently.

In the space of five years I've written five books, published three of them, and had several articles printed in magazines. I say this, not to brag, but to highlight the fact that throughout all of this I still didn't see myself as a writer.

My good friend Peter O'Toole quit his job several years ago to become a full-time illustrator. Since then he has worked with The Telegraph, Clarks and Adidas, to name but a few.

On our trip to Europe we stopped by the UK for ten days to see family and friends. Pete was one of those friends, as our six week breakfast meeting was some nine months overdue.

As always we got talking about being artists and he said something that really hit my dilemma on the head, "Once you make a commitment to yourself to become a full-time artist, writer, or whatever, doors start to open up for you. I don't know why, they just do. When I quit my job to become an illustrator I didn't have any work lined up. I had no money coming in at all, but I made up my mind there and then that enough was enough; it was time to dedicate myself to doing what I was passionate about. Do you know what happened? I got two jobs that were way out of my league. I really shouldn't have been offered them, but I took them and reaped the financial rewards on completion. It wasn't just getting the money that felt great, it was the fact that my confidence had been given a boost and I knew that there was a real chance of making it work."

So now it's time.

Enough is enough.

How many more books do I have to write in order to see myself as a writer!?

My Homepage

My mate, Pete

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Author Interview

I was recently interviewed by Library of Erana. 
Have a read on the following link: 
https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/author-interview-number-eighty-eight-gavin-whyte/
And listen to some music whilst you do it : )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4Mjth49TtI
***

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sorry, I'm a Self-Published Author

One of the main aspects of self-publishing is that you have a large degree of control.

You obviously want what's best for your work. You've spent hours, days, weeks, months or even years slugging away on a single project, trying to get it as close to perfection as possible.

You finally manage to complete your project. You've got a cover sorted (if you couldn't afford a professional one then you've probably used a template, provided by the company you used... no big deal), you've also got yourself a marketing plan, with a list of magazines, newspapers and journals to send press releases to etc etc.

You take a deep breath and click "Submit and Publish".

It's a bold move. The non-creative folk don't realise what it feels like to put so much of yourself "out there". If you explained to them they would probably say, "Then don't do it," which proves to you that they have no idea what it's like to be a creative person, to have ideas that long to be expressed and shared.

So a part of you is "out there" and now has a life of its own. It can be a very anxious time.

You get the FRF... the first review fear.

Are they going to like it? Are they going to get it? 

What you don't expect is: "I've just bought your book and I can't read it because the words are too small. Really, really tiny."

There's that knot in the stomach.

Why has that happened!?

You did everything correct. You reviewed it over and over again. You checked everything. 

So it's back to the drawing board.

What a feeling of disappointment. You want your product to be in great shape. After all, you're providing a service. You want your customers to be satisfied. You're an honest person - you never intended to sell a kettle that didn't boil!

It happens.

It has happened to me more times than I care to remember.

It's important for me to realise that this is a learning curve. It's just a shame that some people buy my books and then are disappointed, and not because of the content, but because of how the content is presented. 

For you people, I'm sorry. I hold my hands up and claim full responsibility.

Just last night I resubmitted all three of my paperbacks for publication - again. All three of them had incredibly small print. Why? First of all I assumed it was the size of the font, so I increased them all to pt14 (even though, whilst I'm doing it, I'm thinking, this isn't right... it's going to be huge). I resubmitted them with the new font size. Then I was told it had nothing to do with the size of the font at all, that pt12 Times New Roman was standard (I knew it!). It was because the PDFs that I uploaded were bigger than the size selected on the site I used (Createspace). 

The people at Createspace have been a huge help. They explained why the issue had arisen in the first place and gave me a link to a website to compress my PDFs. So hopefully, fingers crossed, you'll be able to read my books without a magnifying glass.

Please accept my apology if you've bought any one of my books and found that the content to be minuscule.

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Dying in a Dream

I'm not really one for sharing dreams but I feel compelled to share this one with you.

It happened a couple of nights ago.

I was laying on the backseat of my parents' car. I wasn't well at all. I think the car was going really fast, so I'm guessing we were whizzing our way to the hospital.
All of a sudden I floated out of my body and sat up straight. There was no panic whatsoever. In fact, I was really calm, collected and at peace.
I said, 'Dad, I think I've died.'
But even though I had said those words they were silent. Come to think of it, it was exactly like a thought. I was aware that my words were silent to the ear, but I also knew that my dad could hear me.
He turned around instantly and gently nudged my body. When he saw that it was lifeless pandemonium broke out in the car.
My parents were crying and panicking and all the while I was saying to them (silently, as before), 'I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm here.' But I knew it was futile. They couldn't hear me anymore.
And I knew why.
It was their fear.
Their fear was overriding that part of their psyche that only a moment before was alert and sensitive enough to hear my silent words.
** Reflecting on the dream, I can't help but think that this is exactly what happens when we die. And those who are left behind block the channel of contact with fear of their own death and the suffering they cause themselves through grieving severely.

***




Saturday, 21 March 2015

Free Your Products

There's this restaurant around the corner from me, and on the first day of every month there's always a long queue of people waiting for it to open.
People get there early and even mark their position in the line by placing a rock on the ground, then they go and do whatever and come back when the doors are open. (What's stopping someone from kicking away their rock and replacing it with their own? I honestly don't know... this is Taiwan we're talking about here. People do things differently.)
The first time I saw this line of people (and stones) I asked my girlfriend what was going on.
"Everything is free on the first of every month."
How great is that?
They give away their food for free and their business absolutely thrives. People get a taster of what their food is like and if they like it they won't think twice about coming back for more and actually paying for it.
Consider giving away your product for free. People like free things!
That being said, from tomorrow (22nd) till Thursday (26th) my mini book, The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair is going to be free to download.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=gavin+whyte
Put rocks on the ground, by all means, but you really don't have to.

***
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gavinwhyteauthor
Twitter: Gavinwhyte45

Friday, 6 March 2015

Free ebook Weekend

Last week I was giving away my ebook, Happiness & Honey. This weekend it's time for Waiting for Wings to be free.

It's a short novella (perfect for a weekend) about how one boy's life gets flipped upside down, when his best friend gets diagnosed with cancer. With the help of his little sister and their strange new neighbour, the boy finally understands that death isn't anything to be afraid of.

Described as being a "Truly inspiring read" and "Absolutely wonderful and endlessly comforting" you don't need to wait any longer for your wings.

Because it's free!

Please follow this link to download it: Free Wings

If you have any questions please get in touch at: contact@gavinwhyte.co,uk

Have a great weekend.

G

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