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.


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.