Saturday, November 9, 2013

Onwards and upwards and yes it's all about me ;)

Good morning/afternoon/evening, whatever the time happens to be when you read this. A new blog so soon, you are all so lucky! I have almost recovered from the dreaded lurgy and I'm writing because I'm ensconced in the kitchen, it's 4pm on a wet November Friday in the UK and it's cold and almost dark. The kitchen is warmly lit - and warm! - and I'm feeling cosy. The rain is pattering pleasingly (you will note the alliteration) on the skylights and I have a hot cup of tea. Plus I am feeling virtuous because I've devoted some time to my first book, which I sent out on its own back in April. It's my first book and my first self publishing experiment (for those of you who perhaps have joined my journey later on and thus missed my initial blogs which were devoted to Book 1) and it has been travelling the waves of e-space all alone.

I decided that I no longer approved of the cover of this book (I spent many hours teaching myself how to make an e-cover and designing and making this cover that I have just decided is no good. Without the help of my sister I would have destroyed my computer out of frustration I think when I was learning) so I designed a new cover and today set about changing it. I think I have said in a previous blog that I try always to follow my instincts and my instincts tend to announce themselves in a sudden and impulsive decision - so I'm listening to my instincts. To change the cover I had to make sure the dimensions were accurate and log into my Smashwords account. As far as I can tell changing the cover on Smashwords (this is the e-book publisher I decided on by the way) also changes it for the distributors. I hope so.

Seems relatively simple so far, yes? Of course, I had no idea what sort of cover I wanted so I spent quite a lot of time aimlessly surfing the web until I found a suitable pic. Then of course I found I had completely forgotten everything I learned about making a cover and had to relearn it. Then get my sister to change the pixels because I totally suck at all this technical stuff. Then find out how to change the cover on Smashwords which thankfully was very simple. However it was rejected as the cover was too small and my sister is at work and I am impatient... So now I know how to dick around with the pixels - and it was accepted which quite frankly astonished me since as I have said I suck at the technical stuff.

Now I have to wait while the entire book is reviewed again on Smashwords and then I think re-released to the distributors. I am also published on Amazon so I went through the same hoops with them and am waiting there also for the review. I decided to change the cover to make it more appealing because so many readers look at the cover and if the cover does not grab their attention they don't even look inside. I know I am guilty of this. Don't judge a book by the cover - yet we all do I think.

In the process of doing all this I noticed that I have actually had sales and some recent ones too which heartened me considerably! And I have sold on all of the distributor sites as well which again has heartened me. This is quite a feat for a new author - I know some have the joy of going viral and having their lives changed forever, but in general there are so many e-books that it is all too easy to get lost in the crowd. So to have sales across all distributors warms my heart and gives me real hope for my career as an author. 

I didn't have a point for this blog, - well I never do - I was simply excited to see that I have slow but steady sales and felt re-energised to continue my chosen path in life. I have on my path taken many steps back and some sideways. There have been big holes and I have fallen into almost all of them. This path is not an easy one, it is narrow and there are many corners I cannot see around. Obstacles present themselves unexpectedly or I make them myself through my fear. But this is my path and it is right for me.

I have learned a lot about myself, my life and what I want from it. I have been on a journey of self improvement and there have been some huge learning curves. I have learned to let go of what was so that I can embrace what will be - easier said than done. I have learned to let go of trying to control everything, to have faith and trust and to jump without that parachute - waaaaaaaay easier said than done. And I have learned that if you take that jump, take that risk, change your way of thinking and your way of living, that the rewards are far more than you could have imagined.

I'm only part way along my journey, and I know there are still obstacles and problems. Career wise selling a few books is not going to make me a living, but it's a start and a positive start. A great many authors who self publish e-books sell not one copy ever, so I am pleased that I have been noticed in the massive jungle that is e-book publishing. In my life there are still many loose ends to tie up and problems to find a way through or around. But today, I really believe I can achieve all that I want. I just need to take one step at a time, tackle each problem as it arises, and keep on moving forward towards my goal. 

I know what I want and where I want to be and I know how I want to get there. And I am truly blessed to have wonderful people in my life who know me and support me and are always there for me. 

As a matter of interest, here are the two book covers, the old and the new, should you feel curious about them :) 


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